Tag Archives: interior decorating

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.

 

Karen Mills' blog

Model and photographer Haley Johnston

Karen Mills' blog

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

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Interior Decorating: What Happens When Blue Meets Orange!

When calming blue meets vibrant orange, it’s complementary color, you will have a dramatic look in your room, especially with a light neutral backdrop.  Read on for ways to combine this fun combination to create drama and interest in your space.  Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall furniture

In this living room, blue dominates the space, while orange is shown in the chair/pillow fabric, art, and a flower in smaller doses to keep it from overpowering the space.  A light beige sofa, rug, and walls also help neutral the contrast between orange and blue.

 

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Allan Knight furniture

Orange chairs frame the bold blue sofa beyond to draw you into the room while a light neutral wall and flooring along with a lucite coffee table help calm the space down.

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Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall furniture

Here the orange chair with blue accents and matching pillow immediately grab your attention to create an exciting contrast against the calming back drop of light neutral walls and flooring.   An orange vase and pattern in the ottoman add more drama to the room’s design.

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

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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.

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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 Decorating: 5 Keys to Profitability When Staging Home for Resale

You only get one chance to make a great first impression when selling a home for resale because buyers are visual and often lack imagination. So where do you start? Besides a thorough cleaning, basic repairs and removing clutter (usually 50%+) I recommend focusing on five target areas to make a home more appealing to buyers.

Karen Mills' blog

1. Curb Appeal – The majority of buyers won’t leave their car if the house lacks curb appeal. Stand outside and take an objective look at your house ensuring your yard is manicured and the entry inviting including a freshly painted door, welcoming doormat and perhaps a pot of flowers, weather permitting.

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Styling by Karen Mills

2. Inside Foyer – As a state certified staging for resale instructor and interior designer I always tell homeowners to think of their entry as an advertisement for what’s to come in their home.  Start by creating a wonderful ambiance with an inviting entry rug, nice looking furnishings, a table lamp, and a neutral wall color.

Karen Mills' blog

Styling by Karen Mills

3. Living/Dining Room – Arrange your rooms to emphasize your focal point such as a fireplace or view outside, while  adding pops of color with accessories such as pillows or throws to draw your eye through the space and create interest, while removing personal items such as photos that make it clear its not the buyers home.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

4. Kitchen – Clear the counter tops except for a couple of large vignettes of accessories, clean the kitchen thoroughly, and add a dab of vanilla extract on your light bulbs to give the sense that something just came out of the oven.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

5. Master Suite – Set the stage for an inviting retreat in the bedroom that includes organized closets and clutter free floors/tops. Create an inviting bed with light colored washable bedding in simplistic patterns, add a seating area, if possible, and create a spa feel in the bath with thick white towels.

Karen Mills

Photo courtesy of Bernhardt

For more great ideas on interior decorating sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

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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.

For more great ideas on interior decorating 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!

Interior Decorating: 3 Color Scheme Options for Your Living Room

One of the biggest questions I get asked as an interior designer is what color scheme to use in decorating or designing a space.  If you’re not sure what color is best, trying shopping your closet for inspiration because often your favorite outfits or jewelry are the colors that look best.  Read on for three possibilities for your living space.

Karen Mills' blog

1. Blue and Orange 

Here in this photo I snapped before the rug was placed to tie everything together, we incorporated cool turquoise pillows to calm down the bold pops of orange along with introducing pillows with both colors to lessen the impact.

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Interior decorating by Karen Mills

This living room is another example of how to decorate with blue and orange.  Our inspiration for the color scheme came from the existing water blue and orange artwork over the mantel.  To bring it all together we started with a light neutral sofa and coffee, then layered in custom blue draperies and fun toss pillows to create a cohesive color scheme with the artwork.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesty of Century Furniture

2. Blue and Red

In this living space blue and red has been used quite effectively to create a little drama.  By starting with a neutral base of white and blue gray that’s more relaxing, red decor – tables, pillow patterns, and accents, can be added without overpowering the space.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior decorating by Karen Mills

3. Taupe gray and beige

When you have a room that already has bold patterns and color in its finishes like this one, you might want to introduce lighter neutral colors with little or no pattern.  Here we introduced lighter upholstery and an area rug with interesting textures and less pattern to create a calming effect.

For more great ideas on interior decorating 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!

and check out our latest interior design article on Houzz here

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/97946595/list/redecorating-lite-6-quick-updates-to-liven-up-your-living-spaces/

Interior Decorating: Tips n Tricks to Creating a Closet You’ll Love

 

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Closets to Go

Do you ever cringe at the disorganized mess you call a closet?  Read on for great tips and ideas for creating a beautiful closet that you can enjoy every day.

  1. Add storage whether that’s adding built ins or simple as simple as  free standing shelves with bins/baskets and/or a storage unit with drawers to your space.

    Karen Mills' blog

    Photo courtesy of Doctor Closet

  2. Organize your clothing and accessories for easy access.  Personally as an interior designer when I speak to groups about how to organize I  recommend you begin by pulling everything out of your closet, trying it on, and only putting back what you love.   When placing items back in your closet, separate your spring/summer clothing from                     your fall/winter clothing if you’re in a climate that dictates different wardrobes.  Then take it a couple of steps  further and separate by type of clothing and then by color.  

    Karen Mills' blog

    Photo courtesy of Easy Closets

  3. Style Your Closet – Click below to read the article I recently wrote on styling  for Houzz –   We Can Dream: Turn a Walk In Closet into a Glam Dressing Room below.

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/54686783/list/we-can-dream-turn-a-walk-in-closet-into-         a-glam-dressing-room

Plus sign up for our weekly interior design blog here so you don’t miss out on ways to                  improve your home and life

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

Interior Decorating: 3 Tips for Decorating on a Budget

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

Do you ever feel like your room is unfinished or undone?  Do you have all the furniture purchased for your room, but don’t know what to do next and you’re on a modest budget? Here are 3 ways I recommend as an interior designer to inject personality and interest to your space while staying on a reasonable budget.

  1. Add color   Color can be painted on walls, ceilings, furniture or even brought in with decor like this blue candle and pillow in this room.  Color may also be introduced with fabrics on draperies and throws or layered in with a rug.
Karen Mills' blog

Interior Decorating by Karen Mills/Photography by 29 Pixels

2. Inject pattern –  Introduce pattern with fabrics, draperies, or pillows like this photo of a nursery we decorated on a budget as a surprise for parents from Community America Credit Union.  The horizontal stripes of the wall done by the homeowners add dramatic pattern along with the draperies and row of frames we hung with the baby’s initials.

Karen MIlls' blog

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

 

Karen Mill's blog

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

3. Layer in texture – Texture can come through rugs or throws like the room here along with pillows and draperies.  Additional texture was added in this room with the small marble tile mosaic inset in the fireplace surround.

In the photo of the nursery, texture was introduced with the pouf, area rug, and fuschia colored pillow.  And in the close up of the tray, texture is added with the shell, rope handle, and tray.

For more tips and photos, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

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

Interior Decorating: What Does Your Favorite Color Say About You?

 

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesty of Century Furniture

Ever wonder what your favorite color says about you or how to use it in your interior?

As an interior designer and color expert, I can tell you that’s not always an easy task because it takes years of experience to learn how colors can impact rooms based on lighting and location.  So here’s some insight on what color says about you and how you might use it.

If you love red like I do you most likely live life to the fullest with spontaneity and excitement.  But what does a red interior say to others?  The color, associated with blood and fire, can raise your blood pressure and grab your attention!  So if you don’t want to go completely red, try incorporating red as an accent color like the photo above to make your space a little more vibrant.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills. Photography by 29 Pixels.

Blue, however, exudes stability, tranquility, calm and reliable.  Blue’s also the favorite color for the majority of men. A perfect color for bedrooms, blue helps you unwind, especially blue greens that are soothing, and lovers of this color tend to be responsible stable citizens who do the right thing.

Yellow, like a ray of sunshine adds warmth and optimism, making it perfect for a kitchen or a sunny living area, and big fans of this color are often optimistic people with a happy misdemeanor.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills Photography by 29 Pixels

Green, the color of nature exudes calmness and warmth, making it also a good color for bedrooms or spaces where you need a more relaxed feel.  Fans of this color are usually warm, kind, and charitable.

Purple, a favorite color among children, denotes creativity.  Lovers of this color are often more complex artistic, fascinating individuals who sometimes may seem mysterious.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

Orange, the color of hunger and vibrancy fits perfectly into that dining room or kitchen area where you need some life or excitement.  And if you’re an orange lover, you probably show the same vibrant spirit as the color with your enthusiastic zest for life.

Karen Mills' blog

But what if your favorite color is beige?  Beige means you’re more timeless, basic, conservative, and simple.  Taupe leans toward traits of well balanced, classic, and fair, but brown usually denotes down to earth and no nonsense.

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Interior design by Karen Mills Photography by 29 Pixels

Grays tend to be intellectual, wise, calm, practical, and conservative and lovers of white lean toward cleanliness, neatness, and purity.

Black, the absence of color leans toward classic good taste but can also mean that you enjoy power, confidence or just being conservative.

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Interior Design: 3 Ways to Create Drama with Doors

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Coastal Shower Doors

The architecture or bones of the house are the most important elements when building or remodeling because they set the backdrop for any interior design you’re about to create and determine the style of your space.  That’s why not only the walls and ceilings are so important but also the doors and windows.

Here are 3 ways you can use doors to create drama in your space.

  1. Make your door the focal point like the shower door pictured above.  In this room the grid design of the door draws attention to itself along with the dark dramatic color, making it the star of the room.

Once you’ve selected your shower door, then you can repeat the color or pattern on the               door to unify your space.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Haute Living

2. Introduce doors that are wider or taller than the average door to draw attention to it like       sliding doors pictured above.  In this photo, these doors have a beautiful ethereal feel to              them that makes the room feel like its floating while allowing light to filter into adjacent                rooms.

As an interior designer, I recently completed a project where I recommended a row of            taller doors/windows installed for a room addition at the back of the house and now when          you enter the front door the first thing you see are the wall of grand doors/windows and the      incredible view beyond.

3. Use doors to visually divide space without closing off the rooms in an open floor plan.  Often      we use wall screens or room dividers to accomplish this, but these doors pictured below add      a sophistication and one of a kind feel to the the rooms that nothing else can.

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Photo courtesy of Haute Living

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