BLOG

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Big Design Mistakes We in Living…

rug sizing example
Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Lack of a Focal Point    Often the best area to emphasize in a living space is the fireplace or great view outside but if you don’t have those options, create a vignette (grouping) of furniture/accessories that will grab your attention. Then group your upholstery around the focal point to emphasize it. Here in this living room the stone fireplace acts as a focal point for the seating area.
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

2.  Purchasing Over Sized Upholstery Or Too Many Pieces  Have you ever decided you wanted to buy a new living room grouping but didn’t bother creating a floor plan or measuring the space first? Suddenly your furniture arrives and the furniture takes up so much real estate you can barely walk through or don’t have room? As an interior designer I can’t tell you how many frantic calls I’ve received from homeowners requesting help with their space planning only to discover the wrong furniture was already purchased and they want me to fix it which we know is impossible. In this living room, the right size furniture was used and strategically placed to not only enhance the focal point (fireplace) but also leave ample room for someone to pass through.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior decorating by Karen Mills

3.  Selecting The Wrong Wall Color   After working on 1200+ interior design projects I see this mistake happen more than any other. We might want to blame a decorating network like HGTV or DIY for making us believe that picking paint colors is easy but I think its because the general public doesn’t realize how much a color can change when it goes from a tiny paint swatch to an interior or in different lighting situations. In this great room we selected the paint color during day that not only coordinated with the finishes and furniture but also played well with other rooms in view.

For more inspiration, 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 
INSTAGRAM and FACEBOOK here!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Tips for Creating a Cozy Bedroom

Often we take sleep for granted until we start to have problems with concentration, alertness, or our overall ability to function well. Then good sleep becomes more of a priority. Read on for 3 ways to create a nest like atmosphere in your bedroom that’s conducive to better sleep.

Interior design by Karen Mills featured in international book titled Architecture Today Interior Design
  1. Simpler Bedding and Patterns As an interior designer in Kansas City I’ve used simple tone on tone patterns and texture in bedrooms for years in everything from fabulous washable linens from Italy to textured velvet or sheared fabrics like we’ve seen recently in fashion wear. Here in this Overland Park bedroom Italian bedding from Terrasi Home on the Plaza in simpler patterns, textural finishes and clutter free space create a stress free environment where we can unwind and relax.
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills featured in international book titled Architecture Today Interior Design

2. Cozy Beds  Beds that envelope us will continue to be popular whether its are a four poster bed, an upholstered bed like this guest room in Mission Hills, or a fabulous combination of both. In this guest room calming colors and patterns, low lighting, and clean lined furnishings enhance the overall feel, creating a beautiful interior design.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills featured international book titled Design Icons

In this bedroom a four poster bed creates a cozy feel
while the wallpaper, area rug, upholstered bench, and simpler fabrics on the chairs beyond enhance the relaxed inviting feel of this beautifully designed master bedroom in Mission Hills.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Curated Kravet


3. Textured Walls  Painted accent walls have been a craze for years but wrapping the whole room in textural walls will gain popularity again this year. In this interior design space featured by Curated Kravet an upholstered bed, area rug, bench, throw, and bedding add to the cocoon feel created by the gorgeous textural walls enveloping the space.

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

For more information on how to get better sleep and create a healthier environment, learn more at SLEEP BETTER LIVE BETTER now!

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

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Designing a Monochromatic Living…

Custom design by interior designer Karen Mills – Overland Park
  1. Choose One Color Hue – When an interior designer says the word hue, we are referring to a color family such as blue, white, or black, for example. By focusing on one color like the white we selected for this family room area, you can make a huge impact. Here the whites vary from walls and trim to finishes, furniture, and floor coverings.

2. Use softer variation of color hue on upholstery or walls. In this lobby living area space, a darker color of pumpkin grounds the floor, while lighter upholstery fabrics and tile on pillars repeat the color scheme

Karen Mills' blog
Custom Design by interior designer Karen Mills – Mission Hills

3. Layer in multiple textures. Even though we created custom upholstery in a solid neutral brown, the soothing gray blue green color scheme selected still makes a strong statement while evoking a calming vibe. A darker contemporary wool rug we designed grounds the room, while the custom pillows and throws we created enhance the monochromatic hue along with blue walls beyond.

For more great ideas on design or 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 Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Instagram or Facebook now!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Ways to Remodel Smaller Kitchens to…

An Interior Designer’s Perspective on How to Make Your Kitchen Remodel Appear Bigger

As an interior designer who specializes in kitchen remodels, I often get called on to make a kitchen live larger. Read on for my 3 expert tips on how to do just that.

Interior design by Karen Mills – Kansas City
  1. Paint cabinets white or a light neutral color to reflect light around the room so the kitchen appears larger and cabinets seem to disappear. In this kitchen remodel natural light and interior lighting also give the room a larger feel.
Interior design by Karen Mills – Leawood

2. Incorporate open shelving or another design element to make cabinetry not appear so overwhelming. In this kitchen partial remodel we ran beautiful white quartz counter tops by Cambria up the wall as a back splash behind the shelving to offset the dark cabinets and lighten the room.

Interior design by Karen Mills – Kansas City

3. Glass front shelves, preferably lit, help open up this kitchen remodel to make it live larger by visually shrinking the cabinetry. Great interior lighting, sunlight, light neutral painted kitchen cabinets, white granite counter tops, and open shelves add to the larger feel.

For more great ideas on design or 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 Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Instagram or Facebook now!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Blue Color Scheme Options for the…

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 your favorite outfits or jewelry are often the colors that look best.  Read on for three possibilities for a blue color scheme in your living space.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesty of Century Furniture

2. Red, White, and Blue

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. Blue, Warm Gray, Beige, and White

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

Karen Mills' blog example of pattern
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Blue, Orange, White, and Taupe

Inspiration for this color scheme came from the existing mermaid artwork over the mantel.  To bring it all together we started with a light neutral sofa and coffee table, then layered in custom blue draperies and fun toss pillows along with an existing rug to create a cohesive color scheme with the artwork. In addition by using orange and blue together, you create a more energetic vibe since they are opposites on the color wheel.

For more great ideas on design or 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 Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Instagram or Facebook now!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Universal Interior Design: 3 Bath Trends of the Future

How to Design a Timeless Style Bathroom That’s More Functional For All the Stages of Our Lives

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is BE58A082-88CE-4597-95FE-6C79503F7EA9-768x1024.jpeg
Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Accessible Zero Entry (Curbless) Shower – A truly functional bathroom shower will accommodate everyone in the family no matter what the situation from post surgery to broken bones or aging in place where an assist device might be required such as a wheelchair or similar item.
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Ease of Use A bathroom that functions well for everyone whether they’re a small child, someone needing assistance – even if it’s from breaking your leg skiing, or someone wanting to age in place it’s critical for a bathroom to stand the test of time. Here in this bathroom shower we included attractive grab bars that look like towel bars that provide support when needed, an adjustable shower head that will lower to shower a kid, pet, or someone sitting down and clear access to the shower along with a wider entrance (not shown) to the bathroom. (Please note that a swinging glass door can be added to this shower to hold in the heat.)

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Ergonomic – As I was reminded recently when my small grandchild came to visit we need to ensure that all family members can use the bathroom no matter what their size or height. Here the free standing tub allows easy access for taking a bath for the majority of people who might use it because there’s no tub deck blocking access.

Interior design by Karen Mills

Faucets that can turned on without a knob provide easier access to turning on water as shown here. To make a vanity even more accessible we have also designed bathroom vanities that float on the wall so you can roll right under them to get to the sink.

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/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Your Bedroom to Live…

Ideas for Visually Expanding Your Bedroom

Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Choose bedding in a similar color to other finishes. In this tight attic space where our interior design client requested a large bed and nightstands for guests we designed blue green bedding in similar hues to the wall color so the bed would seem to decrease in size even though it took up most of the space. Custom designed shelves and and light fixtures add to the visually larger feel.
Karen Mills' blog
Interior decorating by Karen Mills

2. Add fabrics and finishes with little or no pattern including bedding, walls, furniture, and flooring. In this bedroom tone on tone bedding, solid furniture finishes, acrylic legs on the bench, mirrored nightstands, and a white bed that bounces light around the room help create the light airy feel.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Layer in some furniture with legs that show. In this bedroom space, we layered in some furniture with legs showing underneath along with vertical striped wallpaper to draw the eye up and make the room feel larger. Light neutral bedding, a bed, and chair bounce more light around the room visually expanding the space.

For more great ideas on design and decorating 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 Instagram or Facebook now!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 5 Tips for Selecting a Sofa That…

Share

Designer Tricks for Picking a Sofa to Perfectly Fit Your Room and Body Type

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesty of Century Furniture

As an interior designer I realize how little most homeowners know about selecting a sofa that will fit them.  Here are my top 5 secrets to selecting a perfect custom sofa for your home!

  1.  Determine the style and size of sofa needed for your space.  If you have tall ceilings and supersized furnishings, you will need a sofa that’s in proportion to the room’s design and if its a smaller cozier space you need to make sure the sofa doesn’t overpower your space.
Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

2. Make sure you select the right cushioning for your sofa style and your personal preference whether it’s foam and down, all down, allergy free, or a combination of materials on the seat and back of your sofa.

3.  Ensure the sofa fits your body type and height so your feet aren’t dangling above the floor or you aren’t unable to lean back comfortably in the seat because it too deep.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Bernhardt Furniture

4. Select the correct material for your sofa.  If you will be using the sofa  regularly then you will need a higher double rub count for durability and if you have dogs or cats, try to avoid a fabric that can be snagged easily.  Also keep in mind how easily the fabric will clean and if it will go will with your room’s design and other fabrics.

5. Solid or Tone on Tone Sofa Color  As an interior designer, I prefer a solid color or tone on tone sofa because it’s usually one of the biggest items in your room and can seem overpowering if you select a busy pattern or even a color that’s too bold. Of course rules are meant to be broken but only if you are a professional interior designer or have a keen eye to know what works and what doesn’t

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Bernhardt furniture

For more great ideas on selecting furnishings and decorating 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 Instagram or Facebook now!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Tips for Fall Decorating Using Existing…

Styling by Karen Mills
  1. Mix together unexpected elements to create interest Here I created a one of a kind place setting using items I found around my house – a layer of two chargers and a place mat stacked on top of each other with a fossil napkin ring, berries, and a fashionista type coaster that makes a statement all its own.
Karen Mills' blog
Styling by Karen Mills

2. Repeat an Accent Color to Add Emphasis In this example I used things I had around the house starting with a rustic crate with evergreens and then layered pops of bright color with a beautiful pumpkin and fall foliage along with a couple of real mangoes.

Styling by Karen Mills

3. Create a vignette or grouping of fall decor items on a tray or in a container to give it more importance. Here I used items found in the woods behind my house along with berries and glass vases.

Styling by Karen Mills

For more great ideas on holiday decorating and photos, sign up for our weekly interior design and decorating 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/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Ideas for Luxury Bath Design with…

Luxurious Possibilities for Soaking Tubs

Ever dream of soaking in a fabulous free standing tub without a care in the world? Read on for wonderful design possibilities for your bathroom

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Enhance your tub as a focal point with a fabulous chandelier. In this stunning master bathroom we designed as part of a remodel, we replaced a solid shower wall with a glass open to enhance the view of the tub when entering the space while also adding a soothing blue wall color to enhance the relaxing vibe.
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Add an accent wall behind your tub to add interest. For this master bathroom, we ran an accent wall of tile to the ceiling to not only make the tub pop but also to show off the height of this grand space. A linen bench and rug help soften the room.

Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Make it Personal In this serene master bathroom area the clients wanted a refuge from their hectic workday so we created a personal spa for them with a wall of candles, teak accessories, white towels, and best of all – a photo of them on the beach.

For more great ideas and photos, sign up for our weekly interior design and decorating 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!