Author Archives: Karen Mills

About Karen Mills

Interior Designer Karen Mills believes everyone should have access to beautiful design and loves to inspire people around the globe by sharing the latest design trends through different venues including her radio show "Living Large", her green show "Living Green with Karen Mills", in her nationally published work or Designer's Eye columns.

Interior Design: Pretty in Pink (or Fuchsia)

Was suddenly struck by the popularity of pink this year at my birthday party in January when most of the guests showed up with gifts in a pink color ranging from a bold bright fuchsia to a pale pink that just happened to coordinate beautifully with the live fuchsia flowers I had placed on the top of my cake.  Of course as an interior designer I know pale pinks have been a hot color trend for a few years but I’m loving this more dramatic shade everywhere from fashion to interior design!

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall furniture

In this living space the fuchsia takes center stage on the draperies where it mimics the color of the tree blossoms beyond.  The color repeats again on the floral chair fabric and in decor.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Design within Reach

Love the purple spin on the fabulous fucsia throw in this living space.   Here a book and artwork over the mantel repeat this fabulous hue of pink.

 

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Photo courtesy of Spectrum Limited

But if you’re like me and you love all the colors, why not do something fun like Spectrum in this dining space by mixing up all the colors to create a cheerful artistic space.

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New York City

Or just have a fabulous head covering like this horse I passed by on a trip to New York City.

For more great ideas and photos sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook

or instagram here!

 

 

Interior Design: How to Use Black and White in Your Living Spaces

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Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall furniture

Who doesn’t love the classic combination of black and white?  Timeless and classy, black and white bring a punch to a room like nothing else.  And the best part is that you can add touches of your favorite color to completely change the look like this living space that has a warm neutral color added to calm it down.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian August for Hickory White

In this space the designer punched up the drama with black walls that visually disappear behind the white upholstery.  Pops of red add to the bold look.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall furniture

The best feature in this room are the black painted over sized windows that showcase the height of the room, while drawing you into the space.  White and red upholstery add to the drama while the white drapes and walls help soothe the living space.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of All Modern furniture

Because the majority of the finishes and furnishings in this room are white, this space takes on an ethereal feel that’s calms the senses while the touches of greenery help bring the room back to earth.

For more great ideas and photos sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook

or instagram here!

 

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Creating Rustic Glam Style at Home

As a full time interior designer I’ve noticed a huge trend over the past couple of years towards creating simple spaces that are a mix of rustic and glamour.  Here are my 3 tips for creating your own style of rustic glam style.

Interior decorating by Karen Mills 

  1. Introduce weathered furniture/furnishings

In this great room we layered in an end table with a rustic finish, a simple striped white and blue pillow in a rustic feel and lamp with a rustic base to juxtapose against the more glamorous light fixtures and shiny back splash in the kitchen.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior decorating by Karen Mills

Here’s another view of the great room which clearly shows the client’s bent towards rustic style that’s offset by the more sophisticated gray wall color, light fixture, and crystal decanters.

Karen Mills' blog

From dark to light

 

2. Add touches of white

By juxtaposing the white chairs in the eating area against the rustic table finish and shimmery light fixtures, a wonderful symphony is created that undulates between masculine and feminine in this relaxing space.

The family room beyond continues the rustic glam theme with its beach elements on the coffee table contrasting nicely against the tufted sofa and gold mirror beyond.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Mills/Photography by 29Pixels, LLC

 

3. Layer in a glamorous element

In this kitchen a re purposed chandelier provides the perfect glam touch to this beautiful  kitchen with updated finishes.  The rustic table juxtaposes nicely against the marble in the kitchen to create just the right amount of tension.

For more great ideas and photos, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

Plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the renowned Living Large interior design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Our Design Projects Just Published in an International Interior Design and Architecture Book

Karen Mills' blogThrilled to announce that our interior design projects were published this month in an international design book titled Architecture Today Interior Design by Booq Publishing in Barcelona, Spain along with other top interior designers and architects around the world whose work is absolutely fabulous!

Above is a photo of the book I snapped with my cell phone as I held it for the first time late yesterday afternoon.

 

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Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixels Studios, LLC

Here’s a sneak peek of one of our favorite projects fondly called the “The Flat” after the clients’ London flat that will be featured along with other wonderful designs.

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Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixel Studios, LLC

Copies of the book are now available at retailers worldwide so we can’t wait for you to pick up a copy and enjoy this book for years to come!

For more great ideas and photos, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

Plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the long running Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Decorating: 3 Ways to Make Your Living Room Bloom for Spring

If you’re like me you’re ready for warmer weather and cheerful colors.  Here are 3 ways to make your room bloom!

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Kravet furniture

1. Add bold pops of spring color

In this room bold patterned pillows, a cheerful blue vase and red throw mimic the colors of the brightly colored area rug underneath to give a spring like feel to this beautiful room by Kravet furniture.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian White for Hickory furniture

2. Introduce fresh flowers and/or plants

This dining room gets a touch of spring with fresh flowers on the table that replicate the colors in the artwork on the furniture to add life to this space.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian White for Hickory furniture 

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Design within Reach

3. Swap out dark furnishings for lighter ones when possible

If you have a lighter area rug like the one pictured here that you can swap out for a darker one, the entire room can be transformed from winter to spring.   Fresh leaf clippings, a red pillow, and purple throw add to the fresh spring atmosphere of this living room.

For more great ideas on interior design sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Design: 7 Steps to Successfully Designing a Room

Like any project that involves money, you need a budget or at least a range before you start. Do some research and bring in the experts  – an interior designer, contractor/builder, and architect  to give an estimated investment.  Then follow these 7 steps to create the room of your dreams!

Karen Mills' blog

    Interior Decorating by Karen Mills
  1. Decide on a design style or mix of styles that will flow with your architecture and existing furnishings you will be re purposing.   As an interior designer in Kansas City, I always suggest clients select several photos of room designs they like and make sure any spouse or significant other involved agrees.

 

Karen Mills' blog

 2. Determine your color scheme ensuring it coordinates with adjoining rooms and any                   existing furnishings to be used in the interior design.   If you have no idea, take a look in               your closet to see what colors you’re drawn too or pull colors out of an inspiration piece               such as art, a rug, or fabric.

  3. Create a floor plan so you know what fits in your space and the sizes you need.   To do that       go online and use space planning software or get an expert to help.

  4.  Set a timetable.   At this point you might want to bring in an expert – interior designer                  and/or contractor/builder- to review your design plan/timetable because investing a                      few dollars for a master plan and viable timetable can help avoid thousands of dollars in              costly mistakes from bad decisions or huge delays.    

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Interior design by Karen Mills. Photo by 29 Pixels, LLC

5. Design and order custom furniture and any built in cabinetry after consulting with your        interior designer or tradespeople if you’re managing the project yourself.    At this point all          custom designs need to be finalized and ordered.   In addition permits need to be pulled for        construction.

6.  Select and order all plumbing, flooring, tile, and general lighting needed.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

7.  Design furnishings

Furnishings may include rugs, window treatments, pillows, bedding or other items.  Also ensure you select art, finishes, and other decor needed.

For more great ideas and photos, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

Plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the long running Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Decorating: 3 Ways to Decorate Your Outdoor Area for Spring

If you’re ready to get outside and enjoy the weather here are 3 tips for setting up your outdoor porch, pergola, or open seating area to enjoy for months to come.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lexington Furniture

1. Create a Comfortable Seating Area 

High quality seating and a  “L” or “U” shaped configuration like this outdoor room by Lexington Furniture help create a comfortable and inviting outdoor space.  Here the yellow chair color repeats again on the sofa pillows while the patterned pillows on both upholstered pieces add to the cohesive look.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lexington Furniture

2.  Introduce Fun Accessories

Some of my favorite accessories are bold pillows, live flowers or plants, and trays for the outdoors like shown in this photo.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Braxton Culler

3.  Layer in an Area Rug to Create a Cozy Grouping

Placing an area rug underneath a seating area helps define the space and make it feel more like the indoors like this outdoor room.  Interesting accessories in turquoise add to the finished look along with the pillows and tray on the table.

For more great ideas sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here

and if you have a porch to decorate, check out my latest article on Houzz titled Get Your Porch Ready for Spring Sitting below

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/95204125/list/get-your-porch-ready-for-spring-sitting

Karen Mills' blog

Interior Design: 3 Kitchen Trends for 2018

Whether you’re designing a new kitchen or simply doing a kitchen remodel it’s important to know what kitchen trends in your city.  As an interior designer I’m consulting with 2-4 homeowners weekly on kitchen design or remodels and here’s  what I see as the biggest kitchen trends for 2018 so far.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

1. Transitional Style with Rustic Glam

Transitional style translates to cleaner lines and less pattern overall, creating a calmer feel like this kitchen.  Rustic touches might come through in textures like the live edge shelves we did in the kitchen in the following kitchen or other rough textures and glamorous elements that might show up in light fixtures and marble style counters like this kitchen.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Quartz Countertops

Granite countertops have been popular for year but as an interior designer I’m noticing a huge trend towards quartz countertops and I believe its because homeowners are craving calmer environments.  In this kitchen we not only covered the island and perimeter cabinets in quartz but also ran the quartz up the wall to create a dramatic feel.

 

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Storage

Even interior design clients on a tight budget usually opt for at least one storage/waste option to help their new kitchen feel less cluttered whether its a cabinet to hide appliances and have a coffee station like the gray cabinetry at the back of this kitchen we designed or pull out racks for spices.

For more great ideas on interior design sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Decorating: 5 Keys to Profitability When Staging Home for Resale

You only get one chance to make a great first impression when selling a home for resale because buyers are visual and often lack imagination. So where do you start? Besides a thorough cleaning, basic repairs and removing clutter (usually 50%+) I recommend focusing on five target areas to make a home more appealing to buyers.

Karen Mills' blog

1. Curb Appeal – The majority of buyers won’t leave their car if the house lacks curb appeal. Stand outside and take an objective look at your house ensuring your yard is manicured and the entry inviting including a freshly painted door, welcoming doormat and perhaps a pot of flowers, weather permitting.

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Styling by Karen Mills

2. Inside Foyer – As a state certified staging for resale instructor and interior designer I always tell homeowners to think of their entry as an advertisement for what’s to come in their home.  Start by creating a wonderful ambiance with an inviting entry rug, nice looking furnishings, a table lamp, and a neutral wall color.

Karen Mills' blog

Styling by Karen Mills

3. Living/Dining Room – Arrange your rooms to emphasize your focal point such as a fireplace or view outside, while  adding pops of color with accessories such as pillows or throws to draw your eye through the space and create interest, while removing personal items such as photos that make it clear its not the buyers home.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

4. Kitchen – Clear the counter tops except for a couple of large vignettes of accessories, clean the kitchen thoroughly, and add a dab of vanilla extract on your light bulbs to give the sense that something just came out of the oven.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

5. Master Suite – Set the stage for an inviting retreat in the bedroom that includes organized closets and clutter free floors/tops. Create an inviting bed with light colored washable bedding in simplistic patterns, add a seating area, if possible, and create a spa feel in the bath with thick white towels.

Karen Mills

Photo courtesy of Bernhardt

For more great ideas on interior decorating sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Designing a Restful Bedroom

A good night’s sleep can be difficult enough without adding a room design that’s not relaxing and calm.  Read on for three ways to decorate a bedroom that’s a wonderful place to sleep.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Circa

1. Starting with a soothing color scheme 

When selecting a color palette that’s soothing opt for muted colors or neutrals.  In this bedroom by Circa furniture, the grayed out blues of the bedding, bench fabric, and drapes help calm down the room while also adding a touch of color to the gray walls and white rug.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Choose bedding in natural washable fabrics that are soothing

In this bedroom, we selected washable Italian sourced bedding, wallpaper and furnishings in muted colors with minimum pattern to keep the room’s interior design from getting too busy.  I love washable bedding because it cleans up easily when children or pets make a mess to reduce the worry.

Here the blue of the accent pillows on the bed repeat again on the chair’s pillow while the warmth of the bed’s wood is picked up again by the chair and carpet.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

3. Provide an inviting seating for getting dressed or just relaxing

In this room by Century seating abounds from the large tufted ottoman and bench to the chairs for sitting and reading.  The neutral color palette creates a soothing feel while the plants add life and color.

For more great ideas on interior decorating sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

plus become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!