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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips To Help You Choose the…

Suggestions for Selecting Paint Colors for Your Interior

Paint color, one of the biggest issue faced by homeowners starting an interior design or interior decorating project is often an overwhelming task so today I’ve broken it down into three manageable steps for you to implement. 3 Reasons Why White Kitchens Stand the Test of Time

  1. View color swatches on a white background – When you’re ready to select paint colors for your interior, start by placing the color swatches on a solid white background to get a true reflection of the color before painting a large sample of the paint on your wall in the room where you want to paint. While making selections, ensure you’re wearing neutral clothing and don’t have bold colors nearby on walls or furniture that could reflect on your paint sample.
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Photo courtesy of Kravet

2. Make your color selection during daylight light hours. And if its a cloudy day, look at the paint sample again on a sunny day to get the full range of changes that color will make as you transition from sunlight to cloudy to dark.  3 Color Scheme Options for Your Living Room

When selecting trim and ceiling paint colors, look to the lightest end of your paint strip for options along with whites. 

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Paint large swatches of your paint selection on a backed poster board – All too often I walk in as an interior designer and see clients who’ve painted a light neutral over another color on the wall and the original color is bleeding through or distorting the new color. Once you have the board painted, place it against a neutral white background so you can view it during both daylight and after dark.

 But what if you don’t even know where to start with paint colors. Then pull inspiration from your closet, artwork, or a rug, for example. Then let the fun begin!


For more great tips on color and how to use it become of fan of our weekly interior design blog here


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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Reasons Why White Kitchens Stand the…



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Interior design and remodel by Karen Mills
  1. Reflects light and makes us look better – As an interior designer who specializes in kitchen remodels I believe we secretly crave light airy kitchens because they not only feel clean and fresh but also bounce the natural light from outside around our room, enhancing the way we look and feel when we are in there. 3 Big Kitchen Trends for 2020

In addition they make us look younger by reflecting light back onto our face in contrast to darker kitchens that can make you look more haggard..

                                     Interior design by Karen Mills 

2. More Timeless – White kitchens have always stood the test of time as the most popular kitchen cabinet color so if you don’t get too crazy with your design or finishes your white kitchen remodel will likely feel more in style than a darker ktichen over time, especially when it comes time for resale.

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Interior design by Karen Mills

3. More Versatile – White kitchens can be paired with almost any colors and changed up when you tire of the color scheme. And if you’re like the majority of homeowners, you love the ethereal feel of white kitchens, especially one with warm inviting layers of texture like this existing kitchen was refreshed with a can of paint, new back splash, and dining table fixtures. Here the wood tabletop was repainted in a rustic gray finish and existing leather chairs slip slip covered in a washable fabric to finish the look. 5 Big Mistakes We Make In The Kitchen

For more great ideas and photos on kitchen design and kitchen remodels 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 Design: 3 Biggest Mistakes We Make in Basement…

Interior design tips for finishing a basement to live like upstairs

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

Often we when I walk into finished basements as an interior designer, the first thing I see are the ledges along the wall, a telltale sign that I’m in a basement. Or I see the outlines of the duct work along the ceiling covered in drywall including there it narrows and widens. And each time I ask why. If you want to make your basement inviting and attractive think of it as a ground level space where there’s plenty of light and beautiful architecture. Read on for my 3 ways to increase the visual appeal of your remodeled basement. Interior Design: 5 Hottest Product Trends for Kitchen Design/Remodels

1. Not taking advantage of natural daylight – In this recent basement design we situated the bar area in a spot surrounded by natural light to make the space feel like the main level of the home. To further enhance the light airy feel we designed the bar with white counter tops and lighter paint colors to bounce more light around the room.

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Interior finishes by Karen Mills

2. Not hiding the telltale signs of a basement living space. –When finishing your basement ensure that you hide all ledges, duct work, and niches or anything else that screams basement. Here in this space we added wood flooring, artificial light, and and accent lighting to give this basement a first floor feel.

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Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Lack of adequate artificial light – As an interior designer I can’t emphasize enough the importance of artificial lighting. Here we started with general can lights, added task lighting over the island, and then topped it off with accent lighting inside the shelves and under the cabinets to create a wow factor.

In summary light is key to creating a basement interior design that draws you into the space along with finishing in a way that’s appealing and not trying to gain every square inch of space at the cost of an attractive room.

For more great ideas and photos on basement interior design or remodels, 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 Design: 3 Suggestions for Creating 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 design a bedroom interior that creates an atmosphere of restful sleep.

master bedroom retreat
Interior design by Karen Mills

1. A Soothing Color Palette 

When looking for a color scheme that’s soothing opt for muted colors or neutrals when possible. Here in this nationally published master bedroom we designed, the soothing colors draw you in for a good night’s sleep.

3 Biggest Mistakes We Make in the Bedroom

Master bedroom retreat example
Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Natural Washable Bedding in Soothing Patterns. Here in this master bedroom we designed, we had washable bedding from Europe brought in that not only looks great but can also stand up to the wear and tear of children or pets. The soothing muted colors and seating enhance the retreat like feel of this space. 3 Tips for Reducing Stress and Nurturing the Soul

master retreat
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Comfortable Seating In this gorgeous master bedroom our interior design firm designed, we added seating not only at the end of the bed and by the window but also in a nearby sitting area that’s set up just for relaxing. A muted color scheme on the leafy wallpaper, watery area rug, and seating for fabrics enhance the relaxing feel of the space.

For more great ideas on remodeling or interior design 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 Design: 5 Questions to Ask a Contractor Before…

Things to Consider When Procuring a Remodeler Besides Cost

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Interior design by Karen MIlls
  1. What qualifications/experience do you have with my type of project and can you provide references? For example ask if the contractor belongs to NARI, National Association of Remodelers or HBA, Home Building Association.

2. Can your insurance company mail a current copy of your insurance policy(s) before we sign the contract? Contractorsshould have liability insurance to cover any damage to your property and workman’s comp for anyone working on your home to protect you if they get hurt on the job.

3. How do you charge? Normally remodelers give a bid/estimate of total amount for project minus any unseen issues or simply charge for time (hourly) and materials (products). If you want to buy materials yourself and just pay the contractor for your time, make sure they offer that option and that you can put a limit on the hours billed so project doesn’t get out of hand.

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Kansas City Interior design by Karen Mills

4. Can you complete work within my requirements and may I have a timeline/schedule of construction beforehand?

5. Will you provide a signed contract with scope of work to be done and warranty?

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Kansas City Interior design by Karen MIlls

For more great ideas on remodeling or interior design 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 Design: 3 Tips for Adding Glamour to a…

Ideas for Softening the Look of Your Cabin

The romantic lure of the rustic style home or cabin is undeniable.  Maybe its because of our rich heritage of building log cabins to protect our families from the weather. Or maybe its the way rustic homes connect us with the outdoors with their rough hewn beams, simple style, and organic materials like stacked stone fireplaces.

But even though we still love our rustic home, sometimes we crave furnishings that are more refined and luxurious to offset the rugged architecture for that perfect mix of masculine and feminine.  If that’s you, here are my 3 tips as an interior designer to help you create the perfect blend.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills.
  1. Select a muted color scheme that picks up the hues reflected in your finishes.  By picking up existing colors in the home’s architecture for the furnishings, the overall design style is strengthened and the furnishings connect better with the hard surfaces .  Here in this great room we pulled out the beautiful gray blue and taupe color scheme from the hues found in the nearby stone fireplace.   Then select furniture and an area rug in a lighter color and softer materials in the same hues to create a more inviting comfortable feel that also adds interest to the space. 3 Ways to Create a Rustic Glam Style

2. Keep it simple  Because of the rugged nature of this style it’s important to balance rough elements shown here with furnishings that have cleaner lines and softer edges to create the perfect balance of rugged and sleek. Here in this living room the softer lines of the sofa and tables help balance the rough hewn fireplace and stone columns in the background.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills/Photography by Nick Schale

The same is true with this family room where the textural pillows, shag rug, and light neutral swivel chairs add texture and light to the darker hard surfaces of the fireplace, floors, and leather sofa. 7 Steps for Creating a Room Design

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Layer in organic materials that coordinate with the room’s rugged finish to soften the room such as natural cottons as seen in the bedding and the casual fabrics on the chairs.  The textural rug also adds light and interest to the room.

The beautiful simple pale blue shimmer wallpaper in an organic pattern also provides a nice juxtaposition against the stone columns and paneled wood ceiling.

In review by toning down the dramatic tile, stone, and wood throughout this rustic lodge with lighter muted colors, softer textures and organic elements you’re able to achieve a more inviting look.

If you’re looking for interior design, decorating, or remodeling 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 Design: 3 Tips for Selecting Outdoor Furniture

How to Make Smart Choices for Outdoor Seating

to explain point
Interior Design by Karen Mills
  1. Comfort

Comfort is the most important factor when it comes to seating, especially if its where you will sit for prolonged periods relaxing in your outdoor room. When selecting furniture I always tell our interior design clients to ensure your legs can comfortable touch the floor and that the seat isn’t too short or too deep.

Here on this porch the chairs provide thick cushions helping ensure a comfortable place to relax or entertain.

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Photo courtesy of B & B Italia

2. Furniture Style

Style, a key factor in selecting furniture, plays a huge role outside because the furnishings must coordinate with both the exterior finishes of your home and the view beyond, while also relating to the the adjacent rooms inside.

In this outdoor space, contemporary style furniture with clean lines blend beautifully with the modern house architecture.

Photo courtesy of Lexington Furniture

3. Color

I think we as consumers are naturally drawn to our favorite colors and often purchase products based on that fact alone. But as an interior designer who thinks long term I would recommend selecting a solid neutral color frame and even cushion. That’s because you can always switch out pillows and accessories but quality furniture will be with you much longer.

If you’re looking for interior design, decorating, or remodeling 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!

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: The Art of Framing

3 Critical Tips You Need to know to Frame Paintings, Memorabilia, or Photos

Unfortunately most people have no idea how to properly frame art to enhance its overall look or even protect its value so today I’m sharing a few tips to get you started on the art of framing

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Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Use matting to add impact to most artwork. Ideal for personal photos, smaller items, and memorabilia, the recommended matting size should follow the golden ratio of 1 to 1.6 unless its a smaller painting or item that needs more matting area to help size it a bit larger. Matting in a neutral hue like the white matting shown here is best unless you’re a interior designer or artist who understands how to frame art and the way to combine colors for the best look overall. Here a simple gold frame that ties in with the painting colors and other decor adds to the overall look. A Beginner’s Guide to Collecting Original Art
Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Select a frame style that coordinates with the artwork style or period. Traditional artwork, period art, or classic artwork normally pairs well with a more traditional style frame in wood tones or gold while ethereal, light, or abstract art – like shown here plays well with simpler frames. Of course you can always break the rules but please don’t try it unless you’re an expert.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen MIlls

3. Adjust frame molding width to fit size of artwork With this original large artwork we had to fit the painting over the top of the buffet so instead of a larger width frame molding we did a narrow frame to make it work.

If you would like to help selecting or sourcing original artwork from around the world or help designing the best framing/matting/protective options for your artwork, click here for our services.

If you’re looking for interior design, decorating, or remodeling 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 Design: 5 Easy Steps to Space Planning Your…

5 Secrets for Creating a Cozy Inviting Living Space Using Existing Furnishings

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Shawnee Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Make it Functional – The first question I ask interior design clients who want us to space plan their living room is how they will use the room and what they need. For example if they entertain regularly how much seating do they need or if they take a nap how long does the sofa need to be. In this great room a coffee table and sofa table provide surfaces to place things while a nearby end table holds a much needed lamp.
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Prairie Village Design by Karen Mills

2. Determine Your Focal Point – In this outdoor living room the focal point is obvious because we put it front and center but if you don’t have a fireplace a great outdoor view or a furniture vignette created to be a focal point can work also such as a table, artwork, and lamp arrangement. Click here for 3 Ways to Make Your Living Space Bloom for Spring

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Overland Park interior design by Karen Mills

3. Place your sofa or largest upholstery (seating) facing your focal point. Here in this great room the sofa faces the fireplace, the focal point of the room while the other chairs sit nearby adding the to cozy appeal. Click here for 3 Tips for Refreshing Your Living Room for Less

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Interior design by Karen Mills

4. Make furniture arrangement inviting and cozy but not too crowded. In this living room the sofa is facing a focal point, the view out the window. A round ottoman helps create a more spacious feel in this cozy room. Click here for How to Mix Up Furnishings in Your Home to Create a Fresh New Look

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

5. Layer in tables and a rug. Tables are critical in your room for lamps and to place drinks or other items. In this hearth living space we designed a comfortable rug was layered underneath bringing all the furniture into a cozy grouping.

If you would like to re decorate you living spaces right now check out our  interior design and decorating options that we have whether its for remodel/new home builds, a design dilemma, or just decorating.

If you’re looking for interior design, decorating, or remodeling 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 Sprucing Up Your Outdoor…

If you’re ready to get outside and enjoy the weather here are my 3 tips for setting up your outdoor space to relax, entertain, or just take a nap.

Photo courtesy of B&B Italia

1. Create a Comfortable Seating Area 

High quality seating in a  “L” or “U” shaped configuration like this outdoor room by B&B Italia helps create an inviting space that’s also comfortable. Here the cozy grouping invites conversation and draws visitors in for a closer look while not competing with the view beyond.

Karen Mills' blog texture example
Interior decorating by Karen Mills

2.  Introduce Fun Accessories

Some of my favorite accessories as an interior designer are bold pillows, live flowers or plants, and trays for the outdoors like shown in this porch photo. 3 Tips for Reducing Stress and Nurturing the Soul While Staying at Home

Photo courtesy Bedside Manor

3.  Layer in an Area Rug to Create a Cozy Grouping

Placing an area rug underneath a seating area helps define the space and make it feel more like the indoors like this rug by Dash & Albert.  Interesting accessories in blue – throw and bowl along with a pillow add to the finished look.

For more great ideas 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 Facebook here

and if you have a porch to decorate, check out my article on Houzz titled Get Your Porch Ready for Spring Sitting.

Karen Mills' blog