Tag Archives: interior design

Interior Design: Pretty in Pink (or Fuchsia)

Was suddenly struck by the popularity of pink this year at my birthday party in January when most of the guests showed up with gifts in a pink color ranging from a bold bright fuchsia to a pale pink that just happened to coordinate beautifully with the live fuchsia flowers I had placed on the top of my cake.  Of course as an interior designer I know pale pinks have been a hot color trend for a few years but I’m loving this more dramatic shade everywhere from fashion to interior design!

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Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall furniture

In this living space the fuchsia takes center stage on the draperies where it mimics the color of the tree blossoms beyond.  The color repeats again on the floral chair fabric and in decor.

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Photo courtesy of Design within Reach

Love the purple spin on the fabulous fucsia throw in this living space.   Here a book and artwork over the mantel repeat this fabulous hue of pink.

 

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Photo courtesy of Spectrum Limited

But if you’re like me and you love all the colors, why not do something fun like Spectrum in this dining space by mixing up all the colors to create a cheerful artistic space.

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New York City

Or just have a fabulous head covering like this horse I passed by on a trip to New York City.

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or instagram here!

 

 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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/

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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: 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.

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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: 3 Tips for Making Your Basement Live Like Upstairs

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

If you’re lucky enough to have a basement and are thinking about remodeling or finishing it, keep these three tips in mind when designing your basement to make it live large like upstairs.

1. Bring in the daylight.   When creating an interior design plan for your basement, think about ways you can bring natural sunshine further into your space.  One of my favorite tricks?  Use french doors or glass windows in interior rooms that allow the sun to penetrate further.

Other ways to bring in the light could include adding a glass door and and sidelights to a walkout basement or a large daylight window.  For a daylight basement try creating a walk up.

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

2. Give it importance.  Treat your basement space like you would a main level room.  Use drywall on the ceilings and create focal points with architecture, color and/or interior design to give the rooms a “wow” feel. I personally prefer lighter wall colors in a basement that’s dark so it doesn’t feel a cave unless its a home theater area or wine cellar.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Beef up your artificial lighting.  By adding extensive artificial light with wall washers, accent lighting and/or directional strip lights in addition to your standard lighting, you’ll find that your basement feels more like an upstairs living space.

For more basement remodeling ideas and more, 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 Design: 5 Tips for Refreshing Your Kitchen For Less

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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.

 

 

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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

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/80705354/list/ideas-for-refreshing-your-kitchen-without-remodeling

 

Interior Design: 7 Steps to Designing a Dramatic Dining Room

 

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian August furniture

Who doesn’t love the thought of a beautiful dining room where you can have dinner parties, a romantic dinner, or just intimate family gatherings. Read on for how to design your own beautiful dining room.

1. Select Your Personal Design Style –  If  you have no idea what style you are start by finding inspiration photos online or in print.  Then notate your favorite elements from each room to get a sense of your style.   In this room a transitional glam style sectional is combined with a more traditional style chair and artwork.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Hickory White furniture

2. Pick  a Color Scheme –  Most of us don’t spend much time in a dining room so have fun in here and pick colors you love.  Bolder colors can go on decor, rugs, chairs, or even walls but if you like to change up your style often, you might consider neutral walls and floors that give more flexibility when you want to change your color scheme.  Here the yellow green chair fabrics repeat one of the colors in the art while the buffet and tabletop add a dark contrast to the bold colors.

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Photo courtesy of Hickory White

3. Add Dining Table and Seating –  The dining room table and chairs along with the items directly behind them are the focal point of your room.   Begin by determining how many people you need to seat and ensuring you have room for the table you want.  Plus remember that your chairs don’t need to match your table, just enhance them.

If you opt for a dramatically styled table, then consider simpler style chairs and backdrop.  Or if you go with a simpler style table, you might bring in drama with a wall covering or beautiful buffet with art above.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian White for Hickory furniture

4. Consider Including Additional Furniture –  The majority of dining rooms benefit from functional storage furniture like a buffet and curio cabinets shown in this photo, but don’t forget about sofa tables, tea carts, and other furnishings that can enhance your room and provide handy surfaces for lamps, platters, trays, or display.

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Photo courtesy of Schumacher

 5. Introduce a Dramatic Element – A bold element can range from a gorgeous piece of art like a sculpture or painting to wallpaper or beautiful buffet/curio to a stunning light fixture.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

6. Layer in Texture  – Adding texture softens all the hard surfaces of the table, chairs, buffets, and hard flooring.   Texture can be introduced with an area rug, drapes/window coverings, fresh flowers, live plants/trees, or textural decor.  In this photo fresh flowers on the table and upholstered furniture add texture.

7.  Add lighting – Don’t forget about lighting because it creates much need ambiance and light when necessary.  Table lamps on a buffet or sofa table look beautiful behind a table along with a stunning chandelier and/or sconces on the wall behind.

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!

 

Interior Design: Your Vote Counts!

K.C.s Best Interior Designer Award

 

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

WE NEED YOUR HELP! Even though you may have seen our design work featured recently in USA TODAY and ABC National News  we weren’t sure if you knew our firm Interiors by Design made it into the semi finals for Johnson County’s Lifestyle magazine’s BEST INTERIOR DESIGNER award since most of you only know me as Karen Mills.

Please take a minute (literally) to cast your vote here for our company Interiors by Design! (You can skip categories – we are #50)

https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/rcjoco

Karen Mills' blog           Karen Mills' blog

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to those who nominated us and for your support by voting now!

P.S. We will have several projects featured in a new design book by an international publisher next spring so stay tuned for more details including how to get an advanced copy!

For more great design photos become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here.