Tag Archives: design show

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

Karen Mills' blog

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.

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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.

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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.

 

Karen Mills' blog

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!

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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 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.

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Interior Design: 5 Dining Room Paint Color Palettes

Since we don’t spend much time in dining rooms it’s a great opportunity to show off our personality and design something dramatic or even quirky.  Here are 5 fun color palettes to inspire you to refresh your dining space.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Schumacher

1. Black and White – This classic color combination always looks great not only because o the the stark contrast between dark and light, but also because you can pair almost any color with it like the yellow flowers here.

The wallpaper by Schumacher creates a wow factor in this space and draws your eye up to the ceiling to show off the height of the room.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian August furniture

2. Blue

Blue, one of my favorite colors for dining room, especially navy, pair nicely with several colors including the fuchsia shown in this dining room.  By repeating different shades of blue on both the wrap around settee and wall, you can create a more interesting color scheme.  The fuchsia hue of the chair and pillow repeat again on the rug to create a cohesive feel.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian White for Hickory furniture

3. Green 

Even though you don’t often seen green used in the dining room, I love how the green takes a back seat to the furnishings in creamy white and blue to help soften this bold shade of green.  Here in this photo artwork provides the inspiration for the color scheme of blue and green.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Hickory White furniture

Here’s another example of how to incorporate green into your dining room.  In this photo the yellow green in the art is repeated again on the chairs and reinforced by the green decor on the table.

 

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Kravet

4. White/Neutral

If you love white like I do, why not paint your walls an interesting shade of white or light neutral along with white furnishings to create a fresh feel.  Then you can either leave the room white or layer in an accent color or two to change the look as the mood hits you.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mils/Photograpy by 29Pixel Studios, LLC

 

5. Color Explosion

If you can’t decide on one accent color you like because you love so many why not keep a neutral wall color and introduce two or three accent colors that you love to create a space that reflects your artistic side like this photo by Spectrum Limited chairs.  To create this same look, keep the furnishings simpler also like these clear Lucite chairs to create your dramatic dining room.

Of course orange and purple can also be colorful options for dining rooms along with more neutrals colors as shown here.

For more great ideas on dining room design or other topics sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

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Design Dilemma: How to Layer Heirloom Antiques into a Newer Style Home

Karen Mills' blog

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

When these Kansas City area clients purchased a brand new home that was already finished, they were excited to start over with new furniture too except for a few family heirloom pieces that had sentimental meaning.   So they called on our interior design firm who had worked with them before to solve their design dilemma.

First they needed to incorporate an antique coffee table into the interior design of this spacious living area so we placed the table front and center to create a wonderful conversation piece and cohesive look with the outdoor fireplace beyond.

Karen Mills' blog

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

As we placed key heirloom pieces the homeowners wanted to incorporate, we had to ensure the pieces complemented the interior design overall because the main living area was an open concept.

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Interior design by Karen Mils/Photograpy by 29Pixel Studios, LLC

The armoire in the dining area was another existing piece that needed to be incorporated so we placed it behind a rustic style table with two existing end chairs that reflected an era gone by.

Karen Mills' blog

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

The entry chest, initially one of the biggest dilemmas because of it’s orange speckles, fell into place beautifully once we placed an existing piece of artwork that picked up the same colors as the chest.  To finish off the look we added a more contemporary lamp and vase that mimicked colors in the painting to create a wow factor in the foyer.

Karen Mills' blog

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

The master bedroom suite was also finished in warm gray colors so by repeating the orange wood hues of family heirlooms around the room along with designing simple custom bedding, the room complemented the antique pieces instead of competing.  A rustic bed and benches also help reinforce the timeworn feel of this space, making it more inviting and serene.

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Karen Mills' blog

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

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 Ways to Design Smaller Kitchens to Live Larger

Karen Mills' blog

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

   1. Open up kitchen to rest of the house

In this kitchen we took out the wall to the former dining room and the wall to the maid’s quarters on the opposite end to create a space that lives large and even has enough room for a sit down island.  Once the walls were removed we matched the wood floors of the dining (now hearth) in the kitchen which also visually expands the kitchen so it lives larger.

2. Use lighter colors on walls and cabinetry

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

By selecting colors that are similar in hue and lighter in color, this kitchen becomes more cohesive and ultimately feels larger because the lighter colors bounce light around the room.

 

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Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixels

In this kitchen by designing a lighter white/gray color palette including the table/chairs, back splash and wall color, the room seems to visually expand also as light is reflected throughout.

  3. Add great lighting 

Karen Mills' blog

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

Great lighting can make or break a room, especially a kitchen.  Here in this kitchen we not only added great under cabinet lighting, beautiful chandeliers, extensive general lighting. and lit glass cabinetry but we also coordinated the lighting to be the same color temperature so it flowed together beautifully.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

Here’s another example of a smaller kitchen where we layered lighting to create a wonderful ambiance and a happy place to spend cooking or entertaining.

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Interior Design: 3 Ways for Small Bathrooms to Live Large

 

Karen Mills' blog

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

If you’re tired of your cramped small bathroom and considering remodeling here are 3 tips to help your refinished bathroom live larger!

1.  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 such as bright white to give it a fresh clean look and bounce existing light around the room like the photo above.

 

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

2.  Reflective surfaces –  To visually enlarge your small bathroom, use mirrors to reflect light and a shower of glass surfaces to give your space a light airy feel like we did in the shower above.

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

Adding legs to your vanity like the one above also makes your room feel larger.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

3.  Increase your floor space – Start by swapping out an existing vanity cabinet for a floating vanity/sink or pedestal style sink (see photo below) or swapping your swinging door for pocket doors or barn doors like the bathroom we completed above.

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

You can also install your toilet tank in the wall along with more shallow sink vanities or use a floating vanity like above.

 

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Interior Design: Top 4 Bathroom Design Trends of 2018

 

The bathroom remodel industry has continued to explode this year and doesn’t show signs of slowing down anytime soon.  As a bathroom designer I’ve been immersed in so many bathroom remodels the past two years I’ve lost count and the phones just keep ringing.  But during this season, I’ve noticed four bathroom trends in the U.S. that I believe will continue into 2018.

Karen Mills' blog

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

  1. Clean Lines with a Zen Feel – Hotels and restaurants figured out years ago that ambiance is key for creating an inviting atmosphere and homeowners are starting to crave this inviting look too.  To create a simple zen feel, opt for cleaner lines, less pattern, a mix of textures, and vanities that look more like furniture than a boring row of cabinetry along the wall.

 

Karen Mills' blog

 

    2. More Timeless – For years our interior design firm has advocated interior design with staying power in our custom bathrooms but now its becoming a trend as seen in the trend towards classic marble, cleaner lines, less ornate architectural details, simpler tile designs, and less patterns.

    3. Luxury – The word luxury doesn’t mean that your bathroom design has to cost a fortune or be stuffy.  Luxury can be had through beautiful options like free standing tubs, steam showers, heated floors, custom cabinetry, or technology.  Technology could include heated towel racks, a coffee bar, hidden plug  ins for hair dryers, adaptable cabinetry for more efficient storage, or remote control window treatments.

    Karen Mills' blog

    Interior design by Karen Mills

    4. Rustic Elements   Products that fall into this category could include wood walls made of boat wood (duck board or engineered wood flooring, wood surrounds for tubs, concrete vanity tops, concrete wall finishes, river rock vanities, rock floors or walls, stone vessels, or rustic tiles, among others.

    To keep up with the latest trends, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

    Karen Mills' blog

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

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