Tag Archives: kitchen remodel

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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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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?!

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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.

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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.

 

Karen Mills' blog

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.

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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!

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Interior Design: How to Succeed at A Classic Kitchen Remodel

 

Karen Mills' blog  Karen Mills' blog

BEFORE                                                                      AFTER

Are you dreaming of a kitchen like the one on the right but your reality is the one on the left?

As I toured this historic high rise condo on the plaza in Kansas City for the first time as the interior designer, the reality of the situation was bleak.  The condo hadn’t been updated for years and the warren of tiny rooms made it difficult to imagine a beautiful open kitchen.  On top of that the small elevator and restrictions limited what could be done with cabinetry, counters, and much more.

 

To start I knew we had to enlarge the kitchen so we took over the tiny adjoining maid’s room shown above to gain a few more feet.

Our end goal was a large open inviting kitchen full of natural daylight that was a classic so to start we tore down the existing entrance wall (shown on left) to open the kitchen up to the existing dining room and we resized the mismatched windows in each room to flow together as one big window area.

We also relocated the adjoining dining room to the over sized living area and made the former dining room a hearth area that opened into the kitchen.

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To make the rooms feel more expansive but also timeless, we tore out the flooring in the kitchen and wove in new wood floors to match the existing wood flooring elsewhere.

Next we began to lay out a floor plan that included a gorgeous custom island along with designing custom flush mount European style cabinetry that was also functional and a lighting plan that would make the room pop.

 

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

On the right we designed a beautiful custom stove hood with lit glass cabinetry and large drawers underneath to hold pots and pans.  Plus we took the beveled subway tile to the ceiling to add height and drama to the space.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

In the back we designed a pantry area that disguised the crooked structural wall and added doors that opened to reveal a coffee station and appliance storage along with additional glass lit cabinetry.

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

On the left we created a bar area with a wine cooler, additional sink, and storage along with lit glass front cabinetry to hold glassware.

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And on the island we added a mitered top to give the beautiful Cambria marble style top even more importance!

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Interior design by Karen Mills

The result – a large open living/work space that lives large and is also functional.

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

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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