Tag Archives: Living Large

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

And read my recent Houzz article here – 6 Questions to Ask if Your Living Room Feels Unfinished.

 

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 Design: 3 Tips for Making Your Basement Live Like Upstairs

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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

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

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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

 

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Interior Design: How to Use Interior Doors to Enhance Your Design

Karen Mills' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

How often do we think of interior doors as design elements?  Probably not much but they can have a big impact on your interior design like the glass french doors in this photo of an Overland Park  home that frames the desk and art beyond.    The glass allows light and a view into the office, while the panes add interest to the interior design.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Haute Living

Or if you’re looking for a more contemporary interior door option, why not consider sliding panel doors that can allow light to penetrate further into your home like this photo above.  The repetition of the horizontal slats create an interesting pattern in this simple clean design.

To learn more about designing with interior doors, click below to read my recent article Beyond Open and Shut:  7 Ways to Use Interior Doors as Decor.  

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/82255678/list/beyond-open-and-shut-7-ways-to-use-interior-doors-as-decor

Plus sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

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

Interior Design: Make a Grand Entrance with Your Front Door

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Rylock doors

If you want to make a grand entrance to your home the front door is key because its the focal point area at the front of your home and can add or detract from your home’s curb appeal.   If you have a great eye for design, then you can do it yourself, but if you don’t please contact an interior designer first to ensure you don’t make a costly mistake.

Karen Mills' blog

Door photo courtesy of Therma Tru

Countless styles of doors exist from the red pivot style I reveal in my Houzz article in the link below to doors with cut outs like this door.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Simpson Door

Read my article in the following link titled Make an Entrance with a Dramatic Front Door  to learn about more door styles and possibilities.

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/82788557/list/make-an-entrance-with-a-dramatic-front-door

For more information and inspiration sign up for my weekly interior design blog here

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

Interior Design: 5 Secrets to Buying a Quality Sofa With Staying Power

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Lillian August for Hickory White

If you’re like most buyers, selecting a sofa is confusing and overwhelming because you have no idea how to select one that’a high quality, the right size, and a style that will last.  Read on for my five secrets to selecting a quality sofa with staying power that’s just right for you.

Pick the right size – Before shopping start by taking measurements of your room and the other furniture to be used.  Then create a floor plan that allows ample space for walkways (3-4 feet) between furniture groupings and walls.  Also take into consideration the height or scale of your room along with the other furniture to be used.  In addition all of us are unique in our proportions so selecting a sofa that fits your body is key to being comfortable long term on your sofa.  Considerations include sofa height, seat height, seat depth, and length if you’re planning to take an occasional nap.

Choose a style with staying power – The sofas with the most staying power often have simpler lines and less trendy details.  Avoid trendy looks that may look dated quickly.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Baker furniture

Quality construction – Sofas of high quality often have similar attributes in how their frames, suspension, and cushions are made that not only helps them last longer and hold their shape but also be comfortable.  Such attributes may include frames made of kiln dried hardwoods, 8 way tied springs with several coils for suspension that you can feel under the seat cushion, corner blocking for frame reinforcement, mortise and tenon joints,  fabric patterns that line up at the seams and much more.

Karen MIlls' blog

Interior design by Karen Mills

Opt for a solid or tone on tone neutral color-  By opting for a solid fabric with little or no pattern, you’ll not only tire of the sofa less quickly but you’re also more likely to be able to re purpose your sofa as you change homes or interiors.

Select durable fabric –  High performance fabrics are becoming a big hit with interior designers because they won’t fade quickly and spills just bead up.  Other durable fabrics can include wool, velvet, some cottons or linens, acrylic, and some blends of natural/man made materials.

Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Bernhardt furniture

Select durable fabric –  High performance fabrics are becoming a big hit with interior designers because they won’t fade quickly and spills just bead up.  Other durable fabrics can include wool, velvet, some cottons or linens, acrylic, and  certain blends of natural/man made materials.

For more information on how to select a quality sofa for you, contact a qualified interior designer that serves your area.

For more great tips 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, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Decorating: 3 Tips for Decorating on a Budget

Karen Mills' blog

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!