Tag Archives: Living Large design show

Interior Design: 7 Easy Ways to Style Your Foyer


Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

Front entries are the first impression you make on guests so why not create an inviting space.  As an interior designer I tell my clients to think of their entry as an advertisement for their home and what’s to come.  The entry should hold some of their favorite things and introduce the color scheme for their home’s interior design, revealing a little about their personal style.  Read on for 7 simple ways to create a beautiful foyer.

  1. Introduce a Sofa Table or Case piece –  Start with a piece of furniture that fits easily in your entry and ideally can also hold decor.  Examples of case pieces could include a chest like this photo, a curio, sofa table, desk, etc.   A chair adds pattern and color to create a more interesting look.
  2.   Freshen Up with Live Flowers or a Plant – In the photo above the texture of the flowers and branches  balance out the cold surfaces of the mirror, chest, and vases, bringing the outdoors in.
  3.   Layer in Artwork or a Mirror – Introducing artwork can add texture and reveal a bit of your personality, while a mirror is not only functional but also makes a style statement and can bounce light around from a lamp placed in front.
  4. Ground Your Entry with a Rug – Layering a rug underneath adds warmth, color, and style to your foyer.  In this photo the rug also picks up the colors of the chair and flowers.

    Karen Mills' blog

    Photo courtesy of Schumacher

  5.  Light it up With a Lamp –  Lamps not only provide function and ambiance, but they can introduce more style to a space like the demure pink lamp in this photo of a sofa table grouping that’s actually part of a living room.  The gold color throughout creates a cohesive element, while the pattern of the sofa table, stools, and branches add style and interest.
  6.  Replace Your Overhead Lighting – This photo provides a great example of how to dress up an entry with a stunning light fixture.  Of course an actual entry chandelier might be smaller but this fixture adds style without competing with the rest of the furnishings.

    Karen Mills' blog

    Photo courtesy of Motif Designs

  7. Tell a Color Story – You don’t have to be as bold and bright as this entry photo, but every space does have a color scheme even it’s neutral.  The red color of the sofa table and vase do add more sizzle to the blue lamp and wallpaper, but their simple lines and lack of pattern help calm the space to keep it from being overwhelming.  Fresh leaves give life while the mirror helps bounce light and visually enlarge the space.

To learn about color options for your foyer, read my Houzz article titled 7 Color Palettes for a Pleasing Entryway  – 


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Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Palecek



Interior Design: 3 Ways to Successfully Mix n Match Your Existing Furnishings


As an interior designer who’s designed or decorated over 1100 homes, I understand how overwhelming it can be for a homeowner to bring together their disparate furnishings to create a beautifully designed interior.  Read on for 3 steps you can take today to created a more finished look.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Horst by Hickory White

1. Repetition – To coordinate mismatched furniture or accessories I recommend tying them together by repeating a color from one piece to onto another like the pillow, rug, and art in this photo that helps unify the furnishings to create a beautiful interior design.  The branches, rug, artwork, and cloth fabrics also provide a welcome contrast to the hard surfaces of the floor, windows, walls, and table.


Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Marge Carson

2. Opposites Attract –  One great way to combine furnishings is by juxtaposing shiny finishes with dull, textural with smooth or formal with casual to give your room life and keep it interesting.   The upholstery, branches, stone formation, and rug contrast beautifully against the hard surface of the tables while the brown pillow on the sofa marries the sofa to the chair.

3. Size (and shape) Matters –  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 like this photo, while keeping taller items at the back for a graduated look.   Pillows, artwork, and blue accessories bring together the color palette, while the yellow vases provide an unexpected pop of color.

Click here to watch one of my recent TV interviews with Gina Bullard on Better Kansas City on KCTV5 about how to create rooms with staying power


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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.


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Interior Design: Lucite (clear acrylic) Furniture Finds


Karen Mills' blog

Raleigh bed by Bernhardt Furniture

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know.  When an interior design trend reaches the retail market it’s usually a good sign to interior designers that the trend is on its way out.   But that’s not been true with lucite furnishings, an acrylic almost transparent material.

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Iconic Ghost chair by Phillip Starck for Kartell

In fact as an interior designer, I just suggested this lucite sink base pictured below for a bathroom.


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Acrylic sink legs by Palmer Industries

And I specified a lucite coffee table for another interior design project recently.  One of the big reasons I love lucite is because it virtually disappears in a room helping create a lighter feel.  But lucite was popular in the 70s too which has made a huge comeback in the U.S.

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Lipstick chair courtesy of Sand Birch

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Lucite coffee table featured by 1st Dibs

If you’re a fan of lucite furnishings and want to add one to your collection you need to understand that not all lucite furnishings are high quality.

Karen Mills' blog

Lucite scroll table featured by 1st Dibs

One way to tell if you’re looking at a quality piece is to ensure the joints or connected areas are transparent.  Then you can purchase a piece that will be more likely to hold up and maybe even become valuable later.

Karen Mills' blog

Lucite bar stools featured by 1st Dibs

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Interior Decorating: Fabulous New Finds in Chairs


Karen Mills' blog

Courtesy of Lee Industries

Ready to see what’s new or fun in chairs from the interior design industry?  Here are some of my favorites that are starting to make an appearance or already have.

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Courtesy of Lexington furniture

Love how the embossed leather is juxtaposed against the shiny metallic arms to create a “wow” look.

Karen Mills' blog

Elka chair by Bernhardt furniture

This Elka chair looks so inviting and could fit in a wide range of design styles, making it a popular choice for interior designers.

Alexandra chair by Hickory furniture

Alexandra chair by Hickory furniture

When I saw this Alexandra chair I just made me smile because its so feminine and light.  Plus I love the quatrofoil design in the back that’s commonly described as Moroccan style.

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Dixon arm chair by Century furniture

How beautiful are the lines in this Dixon chair with arms that almost feel like they’re trying to hug you?

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Barrington chair by Dunn

Love how much style is in the Barrington chair by Dunn.  Amazing how a simple wood chair can have such a feminine edge to it by introducing sexy slim legs and a thin profile seat.

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