Category Archives: Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior design and decorating trends, tips and information

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Creating a Beautiful Bedroom

If you’re getting tired of your dated or uninviting master bedroom, then its time to incorporate my top 3 tips for designing a beautiful bedroom.

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Photo courtesy of Bernhardt

  1. Select a color scheme and design style that fits how you want to feel in your bedroom.   After working on over a thousand home projects as an interior designer, I would say that most of you want a comfortable cozy inviting space where you can unwind.   One of the most popular choices for a relaxing bedroom are the variations of blues, blue greens or greens, but neutrals and even dramatic colors can still work in a calm environment.   If you’re looking for another feeling in this space, though, then listen to your heart and create exactly what you are dreaming about for your room.

 

2. Create an eye catching functional floor plan

Normally it’s best to place the head of your bed on the longest wall and in a position where it can be seen from the entrance.  Add end tables and lamps for functionality and ambiance along with a chair or bench for seating.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Texture Texture Texture  To accomplish this feat consider adding different textures around your room from walls, bedding fabrics and window treatments to furniture and accessories because variety in texture is what keeps a space from being too cold.  Plus as an interior designer, I recommend keeping busy patterns to a minimum because if overdone, you’ve suddenly created a room with competing patterns that can be unnerving.

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

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WHAT’S NEW AND NEXT!

So excited to share a few of the incredible things going on this summer – a new book titled Architecture Today Interior Design. our new showroom, a couple of TV segments plus a revolutionary new design concept we developed for better sleep and stress management!

Karen Mills' blog

Thanks to FOX4 TV for asking us to do a fun outdoor decorating series!  Here’s part one.

 

Karen Mills' blog  Karen Mills' blog  Karen Mills' blog

Our book signing on the Plaza was a huge hit thanks to Ursula at Terrasi Living who hosted the event!   Click here to purchase a copy of Architecture Today Interior Design on Amazon now featuring top interior designers/architects around the globe and stop by Ursula’s fabulous shop if you get a chance.

 

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Viewers loved our latest TV segment on KCTV5’s Better KC  with sweetheart host Alexis Del Cid where I revealed The Secret to Translating Your Outfit into a Room Design.

 

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One of our projects featured in book 

Want to give a big shout out and thank you to our wonderful clients for allowing your fabulous homes to be featured in the book and more, plus thank you KCTV5 for your wonderful TV segment on Better KC titled Local Designer Puts Kansas City on the Map.  

 

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Come see our new kitchen and bathroom showroom (entry shown above) in Lenexa, Kansas!  We’ve partnered with an incredible custom cabinetry company – Custom Wood Products to be a one stop shop for world class interior design and custom remodels/new builds.  (By appointment only)

Karen Mills' blog

We’ve also launched a revolutionary design concept in sleep management and stress reduction called SLEEP BETTER LIVE BETTER!  I have spent years researching sleep and have personally been testing it out this concept for months.  It’s been life changing!   Sleeping great for the first time in years and have so much more energy!  So if you’re tired of taking pills and are ready to take responsibility for improving  your overall health click here now!

With all my love… Karen

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Interior Design: Master Bath Remodel Before & After

Tips for Transforming Your Bathroom From Blah to Beautiful

Karen Mills' blog

Master bath before remodeling

As an interior designer I think you will find this master bath remodel quite amazing not only because of the transformation of this historic high rise built in the early 1900s but also because of how it lives so much larger in the same space.

When you entered the master bath as shown here the space was chopped up by a walled in shower placed in the middle of the room making the space feel cramped, small, and unattractive.

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Master bath remodel before

To the right of the shower was a  dimly lit dressing area with a small amount of storage that didn’t function well.

To solve this interior design dilemma we ripped out everything but one small closet and started over.  By pushing back the shower we gave the bathroom a bigger sense of volume and were able to expand the vanity to accommodate two people instead of one just like the shower.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

As you can see the transformation was amazing!  By placing the same marble style tile from Italy on the floor and walls the room suddenly visually expanded into a beautiful timeless space with an over sized shower for two.  To help the bathroom live even larger we also eliminated the shower curb and placed a solid glass panel along the front so the shower space virtually disappears.

Karen Mills

Interior design by Karen Mills

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Hand sketch by Karen Mills

For the former dressing area I designed a double vanity that included usable top drawers that wrapped around the plumbing for better use of the space

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The result!  A gorgeous bathroom that ended up in a national design magazine – Kitchen Bath Design News along with an interview earlier this year.  Click here to read article!

Media Matters

Looking for more great kitchen design ideas that you can implement?  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!

or instagram 

 

Interior Decorating: How to Translate Fashion Style into a Room

As an Interior designer clients often tell me they lack inspiration for their room design.  To solve that dilemma we often start by looking at the clothes they love or favorite furnishings.  So if you’re having the same trouble deciding what to use for your home’s inspiration why not start with your closet!

On this week’s KCTV5 Better KC show I shared some examples of how to translate your fashion sense into a beautiful interior design. (see link below)

Karen Mills' blog

Model and photographer Haley Johnston

Karen Mills

Styling by Summer Ann of Girlsinmadras.com

Haley’s love of florals comes through in the vase of flowers and fresh spring/summer color scheme of fucshia, green, and blues in the accessories on the table and in the glass cabinet to create a classic southern hospitality style.

To successfully transform your room using a favorite outfit as inspiration start by taking the dress or main part of the outfit and using it (color or pattern/color) as your focal point.  Then begin to layer in other components as additions such as purses, shoes, and accessories while trying to keep the same sense of style.

 

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Model and photographer Haley Johnston

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Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren and Luxury Textures

The  red dress worn by Haley translates easily into this sexy dark and moody entry shown here.  The red artwork, a focal point in the room, repeats the color of her red dress while the black wallpapered walls by Ralph Lauren add to the sophisticated style.

Karen Mills' blog

While I was on the TV show, the host Alexis Del Cid asked about my dress which is pictured above and how I would transform the dress into a room.  Here’s one example of how to take a dreamy ocean inspired summer dress like mine and use it in a room.

Looking for more great ideas that you can implement?  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!

or instagram

Interior Design: What to Consider Before Remodeling Your Kitchen

Karen Mills' blog

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

If you’re  considering remodeling your kitchen or even designing a new kitchen, here are my suggestions as an interior designer to consider before signing any contracts or starting construction to avoid costly mistakes.

First I recommend that you look for design inspiration in interior design magazines or online to get ideas of what you like so  you can effectively communicate your design vision to the team you assemble.

Karen Mills' blog

Make a list of items you absolutely must have in your kitchen and another list of things you would like to have.   If you’re not sure, make an ongoing list as you use your kitchen on a daily basis for a couple of weeks.

Next hire an interior designer to show you how to layout a kitchen that’s both functional for your family and beautifully designed.   An interior designer will have great resources for contractors, architects, and trades people to help you accomplish your goal, will act as a trusted advisor, and will help create flow in the space along with coordinating finishes, assisting with lighting, and giving advice on storage to ensure your kitchen design looks great!

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

If you can’t afford an interior designer for the whole project, I would recommend hiring a designer for at least a couple of hours to help you create a master plan that makes sense.

Looking for more great kitchen design ideas that you can implement?  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!

or instagram 

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Designing a Relaxing Living Room

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

Nothing’s better than coming home to an inviting relaxing home.   That’s why my focus as an interior designer has always been as much about function as beauty.  Read on for three tips for creating a comfortable interior design.

1. Comfortable seating.  Select upholstery cushions that are comfortable for long periods of sitting.  Plus ensure your feet are able to touch the floor and the seat depth is right for you.
Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Layer in texture  Texture can be added with area rugs and/or soft window treatments along with accessories like pillows or throws.  And remember each layer of texture creates a cozier feel.
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Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

 3. Create a Cozy Seating Area for Conversation
When interior designers put together a floor plan for a living area, they focus on designing intimate seating areas like this one pictured.

Looking for more great ideas that you can implement?  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!

or instagram

Interior Design: Kitchen Remodel – From Ugly Duckling to Beautiful Swan

Remodeling a historic high rise kitchen

When updating a historic high rise apartment like this one on the renowned plaza area in Kansas City, there’s much more to consider than  the interior design of your home.

Karen Mills' blog

Kitchen Before Remodel

First you must find out the building’s requirements for construction from time of day limits to how the construction is completed.  Next you need to know building structure  limitations (especially for a 1931 historic building like this one) and if your finish materials or products will fit whether it’s up the elevator or via another method.

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Left Side of Kitchen Before

When I first entered this kitchen in Kansas City I knew as an interior designer it was going to be one of our more challenging interior design projects which was exciting because I new the change would be dramatic and could see the new open space in my mind almost instantly.

Karen Mills' blog

Maid’s room before

To start the process I got a barely legible copy of the 1930’s blueprints and immediately went to work creating an interior design that was an open floor plan.  For the kitchen I had the wall between the maid’s room and kitchen torn out along with the wall between the dining room and kitchen.

Karen Mills' blog

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

In addition we right sized the windows from the maid’s room and kitchen to flow together and added layers of lighting.  The result?!

Karen Mills' blog

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

A beautiful airy light filled kitchen that now opens to the hearth room (formerly a dining room.

Karen Mills' blog

Photography by 29 Pixel Studios, LLC

Much of this high rise apartment had original wood floors so we weaved in new wood flooring in the kitchen to make the space live larger and feel more cohesive.

Karen Mills' blog

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

For the stove area we squeezed in a beautiful custom wood hood and beautifully lit glass cabinets flanking the hood to create a wow factor when entering the hearth/kitchen area.  In addition we designed inset cabinetry drawers and doors (flush with cabinet frame) to create a luxurious look along with mixing it up with pulls and knobs.

 

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

At the end of the kitchen (formerly maid’s room) we designed pantry area that hides a permanent slanted wall and to provide much needed storage which includes cabinet doors that open up to reveal both a coffee station and appliance garage.

The thick mitered island counter by Cambria was juxtaposed against the light airy mini chandeliers for a perfect composition.

Karen Mills' blog

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

The bar area includes a wine cooler, bar sink, and lit glass cabinets to hold glassware along with a hidden washer/dryer area.

Overall as an interior designer I was thrilled with the outcome of this remodeled kitchen especially now as I’m reminded of where we started.

Looking for more great remodeling ideas that you can implement?  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!

or instagram

Interior Design: 3 Remodeling Tips for Making Your Bathroom Appear Larger

If you’re tired of your cramped small bathroom, here are 3 tips to help your bathroom live larger when you remodel or build!

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

1. Increase your floor space – Start by swapping out an existing vanity cabinet for a floating vanity/sink or pedestal style sink.  In this guest bath we designed a vanity with legs to make it appear lighter and visually smaller in size while also decreasing the normal depth of the vanity.

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

Also consider installing your toilet tank in the wall if budget allows or wall mount your vanity like the space here where we remodeled a former closet into a tiny powder bath.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

2.  Monochromatic color scheme –  One of my favorite tricks to make a small bathroom look bigger begins with using one color on all the walls, furniture, floors, and decor like a light neutral to give it a fresh clean look and bounce existing light around the room.  In this master bathroom shower we removed walls while covering the floors and walls in the same large scale tile to create a space where its more difficult to tell where the walls start and end.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

2.  Reflective surfaces –  To visually enlarge your small bathroom, use mirrors or glass to reflect light and give your space a light airy feel.   By adding tall mirrors to this master bath we visually doubled the size of the room.  Shiny vanity pulls and vanity lights reflected in the mirror also add to the airy feel that expands the space.

Other great ways to enhance your small bath?  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!

or instagram here!

 

Interior Design: 3 Ways to Spruce Up Your Outdoor Space for Summer

Taking Your Outdoor Room From Blah to Beautiful

Karen Mills' blog

I love this time of year – warm weather, food on the grill, and great parties outdoors!  But when its time for outdoor parties sometimes our outdoor spaces need a little boost to get them ready for guests so here are 3 tips for taking your outdoor room from blah to beautiful!

1. Add a pop of color with pillows

On this porch we helped clients design we started by layering in fun pillows with a beach theme in a beautiful blue color to remind them of the ocean, one of their favorite vacation destinations while also providing some contrast against the chairs.  To see more about this fabulous porch design, watch my TV segment below.

Karen Mills' blog

2. Layer in textural decor

Texture in a space is critical – it softens the hard surfaces and creates interest.  In this photo the large blue green vase on the hearth adds a pop of color while the branches inside add texture along with the orange flower and napkins.

 

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3. Make it Personal

When you’re decorating or designing a space its important to add your own personal touches that show off your personality.  In this porch the client had a painting done on wood and picked up an iron table base to give this outdoor room a one of kind look.

Karen Mills'blog

The same holds true for this outdoor patio space where a vintage trunk on wheels has been re purposed as a coffee table.   Other personal touches on this patio include a vintage candelabra and wrought iron table that was handmade.  To see more about this patio design, click on the TV segment below

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!

Porch TV segment (click here)

Patio TV segment (click here)

 

Interior Design: 3 Savvy Ways to Makeover Your Living Room Using Existing Furniture

One Day Makeover Tips 

If you haven’t updated your interior for 5 years or more, it may be time for a refresh.  If your budget doesn’t allow you to start completely over, why not opt for a one day makeover instead?

In this photo above our interior design firm reupholstered an existing sofa and chairs to freshen up the space along with refinishing the kitchen table top and updating the room’s finishes including the floor, light fixtures and walls.

If you’re ready to refresh your space, here are my top three tips!

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

1.  Create an inviting floor plan that emphasizes your focal point whether its a fireplace or bed, for example.  If you don’t have a focal point, design one yourself by grouping items together such as a sofa table or chest with a piece of artwork overhead plus a table lamp and/or tabletop decor.

In this room the client started with a favorite piece of art over the mantel and we replaced the fireplace tile along with upholstering the existing chairs and ottoman to create a fabulous new look!

Karen Mills' blog

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

3. Shop your entire house for furniture/furnishings you can use in your room.  Keep those items you discover in mind as you start to put together your room, bringing ones you think might work to a staging area nearby.  

In this living area, the client wanted to keep an existing coffee table that had been passed down through her family in the interior design of this living room so we had to ensure we had similar warm hues – the outdoor fireplace beyond, to create a  cohesive feel with the antique table.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Add a pop of color with accents throughout your room with pillows, art, drapes, decor or an area rug.   Remember, you can repaint or re purpose items to use in your refreshed room too.   In this great room the client wanted to keep the mermaid art over the mantel so we tied in the furnishings to the art by layering in orange and blue pillows along with luxurious blue drapes beyond.

 Looking for more great budget friendly decorating ideas that you can implement this summer?  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!

or instagram here!