Monthly Archives: March 2012

Interior Design: Hot Textural Trends in Fabrics!

Obsessed with beautiful fabrics?!  I am because I grew up surrounded by thousands of beautiful fabrics with fabulous patterns and wonderful hands (feel).  That’s why I get so excited about seeing what’s new at the design market each seaon!

Karen Mills' blog

Designer only fabric

Karen Mills' blog

Karen Mills' blog

I’m continuing to see wonderful textured fabrics in natural materials like velvets, linens, wools and basic cottons often with an overlay of metallic or shimmery material introduced in cut velvets, embroiderery, or wovens that are becoming a work of art on their own.  And these fabulous fabrics range from the look and feel of snakeskin to intricate embroidered scenes sewn over detailed backgrounds with stripes or other simple patterns to create a one of a kind look!


Karen Mills' blog

Designer only outdoor living fabrics


Karen Mills' blog

Karen Mills' blog

Designer only fabrics

Can you picture one of these fabrics in your own space and how fabulous it would look each time you walk in the room?

For more great tips on fabrics and furnishings, don’t miss Living Large this Sunday at 10AM CST on News Radio 98.1FM KMBZ as I talk with HGTV’s Karen McAloon along with nationally known interior designer Christopher Lowell.

Plus if you’re looking for tips on living spaces, then tune into Living Large with Karen Mills in Kansas City at 10:30AM CST on the KMBZ Business Channel on 1660AM!


Interior Design: Fire and Water Inside and Out?

If you’ve been trend watching this year, you’ve noticed the growing popularity of fire and water features outdoors.  But now I’m seeing the trend move indoors which is so exciting.  For years I’ve recommended water features and fire features for indoor spaces to my interior design clients because of the ambiance it creates but haven’t had much selection.  Now the selection is growing by leaps and bounds.

Karen Mills' blog

Fire and water feature by Elena Columbo

Karen Mills' blog

Karen Mills' blog

Karen Mills

There’s nothing better than fire and water to create just the perfect ambiance outdoors or in!  But if you can’t afford to add one of these wonderful features, you can still add a beautiful fire feature to your home by buying a container to burn gel fuel which you could place on top of pillars, in urns or other containers.

Karen Mills' blog
Burning gel fuel (indoor and outdoor)
For more fantastic ideas for outdoor living spaces don’t miss Living Large this Sunday at 10AM CST on News Radio 981.FM and 980AM KMBZ (also streams live on as I interview the DIY Network host of Extra Yardage, Billy Derian along with Manny Mendoza and his designer from Blue Haven Pools & Spas who share the latest trends.
Plus, if you’re looking for interior design and architecture ideas, tune in Saturday at 10:30AM in Kansas City to Living Large with Karen Mills on the KMBZ Business Channel on 1660AM as nationally known interior designer and author Barry Dixon shares his insights with me. 
And if you missed our last show, catch the podcast at the top of our blog at

Karen Mills' blog

3 Tips To Fabulous Kitchen Makeovers For Less

If you’re looking for great ideas to makeover your kitchen for less then you’ll love these ideas!

Karen Mills' blog

1.  Refurbish your existing kitchen cabinets.  How?  If your cabinets are in good shape and not too dated, sand, repaint and seal them.  Two of my favorite colors to repaint kitchen cabinets when working with design clients is to repaint dated cabinets in an orange oake color a fresh white or a beautiful dramatic black.  Another look I love is give a vintage cottage look to cabinets by sanding, repainting, and sanding them again for a distressed feel.


But if your cabinet design is really dated, try having them refaced with new doors and fronts, or remove your door fronts and add glass inserts, replace your dated moldings wiht new wood moldings and add crown molding above to completely transform them along with new door hardware.

Karen Mills blog

2. Replace your dated or worn appliances with more updated used ones you can find for less on the internet, replace dishwasher fronts or just prime and repaint appliances with appliance paint yourself.


3. Refurbish your existing floors with stone tile found on clearance and install yourself.  Or try stenciling over dated wood floors to disguise the worn areas and give them some personality.  Of course if you have linoleum, you can replace your flooring with a new pattern that looks like wood or stone for almost nothing.

Karen Mills' blog

For more great kitchen makeover ideas, don’t miss Living Large this Sunday at 10AM CST on News Radio 981.FM or 980AM KMBZ (also streams live on as HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri share their secrets to great kitchen redos along with Nick McIntyre from LifeWise Renovations.

Plus if you want to learn the latest interior design trends, don’t miss Living Large with Karen Mills  this Saturday at 10:30AM CST on the KMBZ Business Channel on 1660AM as I interview and  HGTV’s Antonio Ballatore from The Antonio Treatment.

Interior Design: Looking at Color Trends 2012 and Beyond

Wow!  What an explosion of color for 2012 and beyond!   I’m so excited because I love color, especially when spring is about to bloom!  So what are the color forecasts for the year?  After interviewing three of the country’s top color experts for interior design and one national magazine editor, I’ve come to some conclusions.

Karen Mills' blog

The color forecast predictions for this year includes Tangerine Tango by the Pantone Institute of Color, Argyle green (along with hues of reds and blues) by Sherwin Williams, and Yellow as a major presence from the Color Association of the U.S.

Karen Mills' blog

The jury is still out on how I’m going to use Argyle green but I’m sure I’ll come up with some great ideas now that I now its definitely  heading our way!  As for Tangerine Tango,  I’ve already been using that color for the past two years in projects and absolutely adore it.   Other combos I’m loving include orange with turquoise, fuchsias with turquoise, translucent colors that change depending on how you look at them and combining these colors with beautiful neutrals like champagnes, creams, grays and grayed down browns or taupes.

But looking even further ahead to next year, the hottest interior design colors predicted include  Orange Daredevil and Blue Denim (Sherwin Williams) along with  Pink Peppercorn, New Growth Green and shades of purple (Color Association of the U.S.).

Karen Mills' blog

Deep down I think I already sensed the new colors on the horizon because the color schemes  I’ve  put together for my design projects are spot on!  For one design project, I’m combining bold turquoise, bright fuchsia pink, rich whites, champagne and caramels to create a youthful energetic living space.  In  another space, I’ve picked shimmery taupes and browns mixed with jolts of lime green to add some drama.

In another project’s space I’ve combined a monochromatic palette of creamy whites, shimmery taupes, and champagne with pops of brilliant orange that are warm and inviting but with an unexpected injection of color that’s a delightful surprise.  And for another room nearbly I’ve selected  shimmery Tangerine Tango fabrics combined with beautiful hues of blues, champagne and black which is just stunning.

Unfortunately none of these projects are complete yet, so stay tuned and I’ll post them once I’ve got photos!

Karen Mills' blog

For more great insight on the color trends for this year and next, don’t miss Living Large at 10AM CST this Sunday on News Radio 981.FM and 980AM KMBZ as Jackie Jordan, the head of color marketing for Sherwin Williams shares her predictions along with Oma Ford, the executive editor of Better Homes & Gardens magazine.

Or if you’re wanting to design a space that personalized to your taste, then tune in this Saturday at 10:30AM CST to Living Large with Karen Mills on the KMBZ Business Channel on 1660AM to hear what the host of This Old House, Kevin O’Connor has to share about create a room that reflects you


Interior Design: Remodels With The Best Resale Value

Wondering what remodel projects will be your best investment? Here’s what the experts are saying.

Karen Mills' blog     Karen Mills' blog


1.  Cost vs Value Report from Remodeling magazine  Click here to look up their informative report on popular remodeling projects by state.

Karen Mills' blog


2.”3 Recession Home Remodeling Trends Likely to Stick Around” by U.S. News.    I find it interesting that the number one trend listed is a mother in law suite as part of a new addition or basement remodel because I’ve noticed more extended  families moving in together to make ends meet or as a way to keep parents out of a retirement home.   Of course the suite could also be used for grown children who are without jobs or for a nanny’s quarters.  And while you’re on their site, check out their “5 Best and Worst Home Remodeling Projects” which rates attic bedrooms as one of the top choices!

When I’m asked as an interior designer about creating a separate suite, I recommend placing one where there’s an outside entrance when possible so guests or live-ins can come and go as they please like a walk out/walk up basement, house addition or as a separate building on the property such as a cottage or first floor carriage house for aging in place.

Karen Mills' blog

For more great information on remodeling, don’t miss Living Large this Sunday at 10AM CST on News Radio 98.1FM and 980AM KMBZ (also streams live on as I interview former HGTV host and interior designer Michael Payne as he talks about trends along with other experts, plus hear from ex Kansas City Chiefs player and hall of famer, Nick Lowery.  And if you can’t tune in Sunday, catch the podcast on next week.


And if you want great tips and ideas for bathroom design, don’t miss the DIY host of I Hate My Bath, Jeff Devlin on Living Large with Karen Mills this Saturday at 10:30AM on Kansas City’s new KMBZ Business channel on 1660AM.

Plus become a fan now of Living Large on Facebook by clicking the link at the top of our blog.