Tag Archives: KMBZ business channel

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Budget Decorating


Looking for ideas on how to give your room a fresh new look without spending much money?   How about a one day makeover using your existing furnishings?  For only a few hundred dollars you can hire a professional interior designer to makeover your room instantly or do it yourself if you’re talented.  As an interior designer, I’ve transformed  hundreds of homes in the Kansas City area using my instant makeover philosophy and and I’m always amazed at how fabulous the rooms look using the homeowner’s favorite things.  Here’s an example below.

Karen Mills' blog

One Day Makeover by Karen Mills

3 Tips for Budget Decorating

1Shop your house.  Keep an eye out for furnishings that could look great in your room from furniture and area rugs to window panels, table lamps and accessories.   If you find something that might work, set it in a staging area just outside the room, where you have easy access.

Karen Mills blog

2. Emphasize your focal point.  Place your seating so it faces towards your focal point whether its a fireplace or great view outdoors, for example.   Start with the largest upholstered piece and add chairs to create a cozy seating area.  Then layer in more furniture such as tables and other smaller pieces to complete the look of your room.

Karen Mills' blog


One Day Makeover by interior designer Karen Mills

3Add color and texture to your room by layering in area rugs, lamps, window treatments, pillows, throws and/or artwork in a color scheme you’ve already selected.  And if you don’t have everything you need, get creative by repurposing and repainting furnishings such as covering dated artwork with leftover wallpaper. or dried leaves mounted on a white background.

Living Room 808 Greenway Terrace

One Day Makeover by Karen Mills

For more fabulous ideas on how to decorate on a budget, don’t miss Living Large with Kansas City’s interior designer Karen Mills this Saturday at 10:30AM CST as HGTV interior designer Meg Caswell, A&E Network host Tanya Memme, and New York interior designer Matthew White all reveal their secrets to inexpensive makeovers.

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Top 3 Trends in High Tech Interior Design

If you like convenience, then you’ll love the high tech direction we’re headed in the home! Three big trends in high tech design dominate right now so if you’re thinking of building a new home or just remodeling, you might want to consider adding some of these ideas to your space.

high tech igloo fireplace

Igloo portable fireplace by EcoSmart

1. Customization – Have you noticed as the internet continues to explode with new products, the availability of customization for your home in everything from images that can be printed on your furnishings or finishes including tiles, flooring, and walls to programmable shower/ bidets or window treatments?

But that’s not all.  As an interior designer, I’ve also recently had the opportunity to customize wood shutters, blinds, flooring, and even counter tops in custom colors or patterns to coordinate with the rest of the room for interior design clients.

high tech Zeta fireplace

Portable fireplace by Ecosmart

 2. Motion/Touch Activated Systems - One of my favorite examples?  The Ipad!  This cool high tech feature that goes absolutely everywhere with me as a designer!  And this tablet (along with some other tablets/phones) can control everything from raising/opening a hidden TV, automobile or window treatment to turning on sound systems, TVs,or preset lighting scenes, among others.  Plus the introduction of other cool devices for the outdoors like the robotic mower and glass cleaner that simplifies our lives even more.

high tech mower by Husqvarna

Robotic mower

We can also set up our lighting systems to sense when we enter a room or stairwell, program our gate to automatically open when we pull up or to turn on the hot tub or green energy resources, as needed.

3. Monitoring - No longer are high tech monitoring systems relegated to businesses or hospitals.  . Now our kitchen appliances can sense when they need repair and automatically order new parts or we can add security systems that notify us when there’s flooding while we’re on vacation.  Plus, we can set up our Ipad to monitor sleeping babies or our indoor air quality/toxin levels, for example..

Karen Mills' blog

Custom area rug and chair design by Karen Mills

For more fascinating ideas on high tech interior design, don’t miss Living Large with Kansas City’s designer Karen Mills as I interview the HGTV host of Hollywood High Tech this Saturday at 10:30AM CST on the KMBZ Business channel on 1660AM or catch our podcast next week by simply clicking on our Living Large show Podcast link on www.livinglargeshow.com.

Plus become a fan on Facebook now!,

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 kmbz.com) 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 www.livinglargeshow.com 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.