Tag Archives: houzz

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


Karen Mills' blog

Interior Design: How to Coordinate Mismatched Upholstery



Do you have a room with mismatched furnishings that you’re not sure how to decorate?  Then read on for my 3 interior designer tips for creating a cohesive look in your room that includes a recent TV INTERVIEW on KCTV5 I did last week along with a Houzz article I wrote on a similar topic. 

Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by 29Pixel Studios

1. Repetition – To coordinate two pieces of mismatched upholstery, unify both pieces by repeating a color from one piece to onto another with a pillow or throw.  Here the blue green color of the ottoman was repeated in the pattern on the pillows, while the artwork brings everything together including the gray velvet sofa in the foreground.


2. Introduce a new design element  – A piece of artwork overhead or nearby accessories  with both colors can also serve as a way to bring two different colors of upholstery together effectively.  Here the blue center of the pillow is repeated in the blue candle nearby while the white seashell picks up the white upholstery.

When creating vignettes of accessories in your space whether its for a tabletop or shelves, try to place objects of various heights, sizes, texture, and shapes together to create a cohesive whole. Normally I place the taller narrower items at back with shorter wider items at the front.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian August furniture

3. Layer a rug underneath – Placing a rug underneath your upholstery not only creates a grouping of furniture but can also help bring the two disparate colors together by introducing both of them in your rug.  In this photo above the magenta red pillow picks up the color in the chair on the banquette along with the rug, while the cream white from the rug is also repeated in the banquette pillow and upholstery legs.

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

Become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design showKaren Mills, on Facebook here!

Watch my KCTV5 interview on Better Kansas City on the same topic last week



Interior Design: 5 Tips for Refreshing Your Kitchen For Less

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

Kitchens can be a huge investment so countless homeowners across the United States are choosing to just refresh their kitchen to save costs instead of remodeling.   Read on for my 5 tips as an interior designer for refreshing your kitchen.  Then watch my live interview on

1.Paint kitchen walls along with kitchen cabinets.  In this photo we painted the walls an almost white color to lighten up the dark space that didn’t get much light and kept the original footprint of the floor plan to save costs since she needed new cabinets.  When painting kitchen cabinets, remember to replace exposed hinges with hidden ones beforehand and update your pulls/knobs.

2.Replace back splash along with counter top – After working on over 1200 interior design projects we’ve noticed that homeowners doing a budget kitchen remodel  usually plan to replace only their counter tops and that’s a problem because the old back splash often makes the kitchen still look dated and less desirable.    In this kitchen we opted for a linear glass, marble, and stainless tile that would make the kitchen pop.



Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Design Within Reach

3. Introduce new bar stools  New stools that contrast well against your island or peninsula can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen without spending a large sum of money.

4. Replace dated chandeliers or pendant lights – By updating your light fixtures you can make a great impression walking into your kitchen because they are usually front and center over an island or table.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

5. Layer in accent color with accessories, rug, or art –  When I’m styling a space for an interior design project, especially a kitchen, I love to introduce a fun accent color that can be layered in on everything from napkins or a rug to platters and art.  In this photo the client showcased their beautiful collection of red and turquoise dishes on the live edge shelves to create a “wow” factor.


Karen Mills' blog

My  recent TV interview on 41KSHB’s KC Live with host Michelle Davidson about How to Refresh Your Kitchen

For more information check out my recent TV interview about How to Refresh Your Kitchen plus

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

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

ALso here’s an article we recently wrote – Ideas for Refreshing Your Kitchen for Less



Interior Design: Clever Ways to Disguise Your Flat Screen TV

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Jonathan Charles furniture

Let’s face it.  Even though we often love the convenience of a large flat screen TV, we don’t always want to showcase them because they can detract from our spaces.  As an interior designer, I rarely put TVs on display in living rooms, because they compete with the beautiful interiors we design.  So if you’re looking for a way to hide your television in the living room or family room, here is a link to a recent article I wrote on 7 Clever Ways to Conceal Your Flat Screen TV for Houzz.


For more great photos and interior design sign up for my 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!