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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: What’s New & Next in Fabrics and…

Karen Mills' blog
Kate Spade fabrics courtesy of Kravet Furniture

After attending several fall 2016 interior design markets  I wanted to share a few examples of what’s new and next in fabrics, patterns, and finishes.  The biggest trend I’m seeing?  Personalization!

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Designer fabrics

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Karen Mills' blog
Kate Spade design from Kravet fabric

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Karen Mills' blog
Courtesy of Lee Industries

But bold colors, organic natural looks, antique reproductions and  patterns that allude to the 1970s or 1980s are still growing in popularity too.

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These fun finishes I discovered can be used as tops for furniture.

Karen Mills'
Ralph Lauren fabrics

And I had to share these luscious classic Ralph Lauren fabrics that have been introduced in their fall collection.

 

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Also loved this fabulous linen stripe from Italy by Schumacher.    Perfect for a beach house or for that type of design style.

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 5 Secrets to Selecting the Perfect Sofa

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesty of Century Furniture

As an interior designer I realize how little most homeowners know about how to select a sofa that best fits 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.

 

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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.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Bernhardt Furniture

4. Select the correct material for your sofa.  If you will be using the sofa constantly 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. 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.

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Photo courtesy of Bernhardt furniture

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: DecoratingTrends for 2017

 

Karen Mills' blog
Kate Spade for Kravet

Does anyone else feel besides me feel as though they’ve been catapulted back to the 70s and 80s with the latest introductions in furniture, fabrics, and clothes?

Next year the 70s and 80s will continue to be on trend with their retro looks, flower power, graphic patterns and much more.

Karen Mills' blog

Organic looks and free form style also dominate the scene for next year in everything from furniture to wallcoverings.  Plus color forecasts for next year range from neutrals like the taupe color selected by Sherwin Williams to the bold amethsyt color picked by Benjamin Moore.

Lea Eiseman of Pantone, the most renowned color forecaster,  just named the  Color of the Year for 2017 so be prepared to see this color showing up everywhere from the home industry to fashion and technology.

 

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One of the newer trends in furniture next year will be more bulbous less tailored upholstery and I’m not sure I’m a fan unless its a more tailored piece like shown above.

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Jean-Louis Deniot furniture by Baker

Another trend you’ll be seeing more of this year will be dramatic spaces like the one shown above along with interesting lighting options.

Karen Mills' blog
Bernhardt furniture

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: The Making of a Beautiful Bathroom

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

After working  as an interior designer on over 1200 projects , I’ve realized that most homeowners have no idea the amount of detail that goes into successfully creating a beautiful bathroom.   That’s why today I’m sharing an award winning bathroom project we designed in a collaborative effort with our clients that’s currently being featured by Elle Decor magazine and MSN.

The clients had a wonderful vision of a Hollywood Glam style bathroom and we helped them turn that vision of a timeless classic into reality, while ensuring the bath was also warm, inviting, and up to date.

Karen Mills' blog

Since we already had a vision for the Hollywood glam design style, we began by selecting a color scheme from Benjamin Moore.

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Then we discussed requirements for functionality including layout/space planning, storage, electrical requirements, and more.  And even though we loved the glossy marble finish on the floor, we opted instead for a matte finish to minimize slippage.

Karen Mills' blog

Karen Mills' blog

The existing fireplace was not being used, so we decided to replace it with a fabulous custom make up cabinet where our client could relax and get ready.

 

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As we began designing the beautiful custom vanities, we made sure they were functional with drawers deep enough to fit requirements for storage and built in electrical outlets for recharging toothbrushes/razors.  We did the same thing for the custom make up cabinet, opting for mirrored fronts  instead of glass on the upper cabinet doors to hide toiletries and make up.

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Marvel floor tile by Atlas Concorde

Once the beautiful custom cabinetry design was finalized, we begin selecting the other finishes for the bathroom including a gorgeous stacked stone with embedded crystals for an accent wall behind the tub, a free standing tub, counter tops, back splash, floor/wall tile, plumbing fixtures, pulls, and light fixtures along with a lighting plan.

shower-tile-configuration-2  shower-in-progressKaren Mills' blog

But we didn’t stop there.  Once the walls were up, we sketched plans on exactly how to layout all the different colors and sizes of tile we had selected so  we would have just the look we wanted.

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The result?  A beautiful one of a kind award winning bathroom that our clients enjoy every day that helps reduce stress and make life better!

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips to Creating a Beautiful Bedroom

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

If you’re getting tired of your dated or uninviting master bedroom, then its time to incorporate my top 3 tips for designing a beautiful bedroom.

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KMBC Concept home Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Select a color scheme and design style that fits how you want to feel in your bedroom.   After working on over a thousand home projects as an interior designer, I would say that most of you want a comfortable cozy inviting space where you can unwind.   One of the most popular choices for a relaxing bedroom are the variations of blues, blue greens or greens, but neutrals and even dramatic colors can still work in a calm environment.   If you’re looking for another feeling in this space, though, then listen to your heart and create exactly what you are dreaming about for your room.

 

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills
Karen Mills' blog
KMBC TV9 Concept Home by Karen Mills

2.  Create a floor plan that’s not only functional but aesthetically pleasing.  Normally it’s best to place the head of your bed on the longest wall and in a position where it can be seen from the entrance.  Add end tables and lamps for functionality and ambiance along with a chair or bench for seating.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Texture Texture Texture  To accomplish this feat consider adding different textures around your room from walls, bedding fabrics and window treatments to furniture and accessories because variety in texture is what keeps a space from being too cold.  Plus as an interior designer, I recommend keeping busy patterns to a minimum because if overdone, you’ve suddenly created a room with competing patterns that can be unnerving.

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Staging by Karen Mills
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Color Trends 2017: A Global Perspective

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A sea lion in the Galapagos Islands by Karen Mills

As I’ve watched the the interior design color trends 2017 unfold, I’ve been anxiously anticipating this year’s blog on color trends which I find to be one of our most popular blogs annually!  Last year I predicted white as color of the year and it has definitely dominated the interior design scene along with taupe grays and watery blue colors.

But this time instead of predicting my color choice for 2017 as usual, I wanted to give you a more global perspective on color trends 2017 based on my travels around the world including a trip to the Galapagos Islands where I got an opportunity to encounter this wonderful sea lion pictured at top that shows the burst of color coming next year.

Every year seems to bring a slightly broader palette of colors into the forecast and this year is no exception.  For 2017 Lea Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute gave a wide range of color predictions, but one of my favorite color groupings for spring is aptly named Florabundant  with bursts of fuchsia, green, and purple pink colors.

Karen Mills blog
Lea Eiseman of Pantone Color Institute
Karen Mills' blog
Italy trip – Karen Mills
Karen Mills' blog
New York City – Karen Mills
Karen Mills' blog
Benjamin Moore color of the year

Benjamin Moore narrowed their top color for 2017 to “Shadow”, a grayed out amethyst similar to the the purple colors in the Blue Mosque below where I visited in Istanbul.   Imagine how sexy that color could look in a dramatic living area or romantic bedroom.

Karen Mills' blog
Blue mosque – Karen Mills

Sherwin Williams decided to play it safe with a wonderful taupe color which as an interior designer, I love because of its ability to adapt to almost any color palette.  Sherwin Williams calls it ” modern and classic… a beautiful balance of warm and cool,”

Karen Mills' blog

Karen Mills' blog
National Geographic resort in Galapagos Islands by Karen Mills

Of course white will still be popular next year along with warmer shades of red, wine, purples, vintage pastels, greens, blues, and even yellow.

For more great color trends and interior design ideas, sign up for our weekly blog here

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Galapagos Islands – Karen Mills
Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: A Unforgettable Journey Through Turkey

Karen Mills' blog
Remote village in Cappadoccia region

Traveling through the remote parts of Turkey in Asia energized and inspired me as an interior designer, especially their bold colors and interesting design.  Of course the food was absolutely wonderful, the scenery stunning, and the people more than welcoming.

After we arrived in the Cappadoccia region known for its fantastic lava formations carved by monks and historical biblical significance, we discovered this quaint little restaurant (shown above) while looking for a little adventure on our motorcycle.

Restaurant in remote Turkey

Karen Mills' blog
Cappadochia with my son

That same day we hiked and climbed the lava formations for hours as we discovered home after home carved out of lava formations.   Can you imagine life in a lava house?

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Because we both love spontaneity, we decided to immerse ourselves in the culture fully instead of going the typical tourist route making our adventure even more exciting.

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Goreme, Cappadoccia

Here in remote Turkey much of the seating is covered with hand knotted rugs as you can see above. This small brick paved village called Goreme, known for launching hundreds of balloons at sunrise to float over their volcanic formations, was our favorite village to explore and stay.

As I reflect on this particular evening in Goreme, I’m reminded of an adventure that night which was one of many unforgettable events during this trip.

Lingering too long that night before we met the airport limo around 10:30 pm, we had to run back to the hotel but my sandals were slipping on the bricks so my son ran ahead.   As luck would have it, I got lost taking the shortcut through the alleys too so I asked a couple of local men for help.

To my horror, I discovered there were two cave hotels with the same name so I knew drastic action was needed.  Taking one of the men up on his generous offer to drive me to the hotels on his motorcycle, we sped off to the hotel arriving just as the limo was starting to pull away.

Karen Mills' blog
Cappadoccia

Of course I would never consider hitchhiking or climbing on a stranger’s motorcycle in the U.S. but this remote part of Turkey somehow felt safe..

Karen Mills' blog

Like many visitors to Turkey we came back with a hand knotted rug and pillows among other items, but also were given handmade items made by a generous Turkish woman including this scarf pictured above next to our Turkish pillows.

This pillow reminds me of one of our interior design projects done in oranges and blues below, plus some of the interior design colors predicted for 2017 which we will be revealing soon!

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

Join us next week as we journey through Istanbul, Turkey with its fabulous mosques, homes, and open air markets as we hunt for more design inspiration.

For more great design ideas or trends, sign up now for our interior design blog here

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Budget Savvy Ways to Refresh Your…

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills (Photo by 29 Pixel Studios)

If you haven’t updated your interior for 5 years or more, it may be time for a refresh.  If your budget doesn’t allow you to start completely over, why not opt for a one day makeover instead?

Even though the majority of my time as an interior designer is spent on custom design and remodel projects, when I have a spare hour or two I love helping enthusiast homeowners style their space using existing furnishings in their home to create a fresh new look.

In this photo above our interior design firm reupholstered an existing sofa and chairs to freshen up the space along with refinishing the kitchen table top and updating the room’s finishes including the floor, light fixtures and walls.

If you’re ready to refresh your space, here are my top three tips!

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

1.  Create an inviting floor plan that emphasizes your focal point whether its a fireplace or bed, for example.  If you don’t have a focal point, design one yourself by grouping items together such as a sofa table or chest with a piece of artwork overhead and a table lamp and/or tabletop decor, for example.

In the room pictured above the client started with a favorite piece of art over the mantel and we replaced the fireplace tile along with upholstering the existing chairs and ottoman to create a fabulous new look!

Karen Mills' blog
Interior renovation of La Jolla, California residence completed by Corine Maggio Natural Designs.

2. Shop your entire house for furniture/furnishings you can use in your room.  Keep those items you discover in mind as you start to put together your room, bringing ones you think might work to a staging area nearby.

As an interior designer I often re purpose items to make them work in a space such as using a bench or a set of small end tables for a coffee table.  Or I have a piece of furniture repainted to give it new life.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Add a pop of color with accents throughout your room with pillows, art, drapes, decor or an area rug.   Remember, you can repaint or re purpose items to use in your refreshed room too.

 For example, a chest could repainted and moved to your entry, used as a focal point in a living space, or even placed behind a sofa.  Ottomans can be upholstered and tucked under a sofa table for extra seating, used as a coffee table or pulled up to a comfy chair.  

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: Secret Recipe for Successful Kitchen Design

 

Karen Mills' blog

If you’re seriously considering remodeling your kitchen, read our suggestions here first before tearing out walls or hiring a contractor because your kitchen will be a huge investment that can cost thousands of dollars to correct or years of regret if you rush into it and hire someone who’s not reliable or does a poor job.

Karen Mills' blog

First as an interior designer I recommend that you look for design inspiration in interior design magazines and online to get ideas of what you like so  you can effectively communicate your vision to the team you assemble.

Karen Mills' blog kitchen-design-1

Next 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, start making a list as you use your kitchen everyday so your new kitchen will meet all your requirements.

 

Luxury Italian White Kitchen Designs - Kitchen Design Ideas & Inspiration
Luxury Italian White Kitchen Designs – Kitchen Design Ideas & Inspiration

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Then hire an interior designer to show you how to layout a kitchen that’s both functional for your family and beautiful!   An interior designer will have great resources for contractors, architects, and trades people to help you accomplish your goal, can act as a trusted advisor, can help create flow in the space, coordinate finishes, assist with lighting, and can advise on the latest storage options  to ensure your kitchen design looks great!  And if you can’t afford an interior designer for the whole project, I would at least hire an interior designer experienced with remodeling for a couple of hours to help you create a master plan.

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Best Modern Kitchen Wall Colors Furniture Modern Kitchen Designs Ideas With Fascinating Interior - Bee Home Decor
Best Modern Kitchen Wall Colors Furniture Modern Kitchen Designs Ideas With Fascinating Interior – Bee Home Decor

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

 

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Secrets for Small Baths to Live…

Karen Mills' blog

If you’re tired of your cramped small bathroom, here are 3 tips to help your bathroom live large!

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1.  Monochromatic color scheme –  One of my favorite tricks to make a small bathroom look bigger begins with using one color on all the walls, furniture, floors, and decor such as bright white to give it a fresh clean look and bounce existing light around the room.

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2.  Reflective surfaces –  To visually enlarge your small bathroom, use mirrors to reflect light and glass to give your space a light airy feel like we did in the shower below.

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Interior design by Karen Mills
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

3.  Increase your floor space – Start by swapping out an existing vanity cabinet for a floating vanity/sink or pedestal style sink.  Consider swapping your swinging door for pocket doors or barn doors like the bathroom we recently completed above.

Karen Mills' blog

Or install your toilet tank in the wall along with more shallow sink vanities or floating vanities.

Other great ways to enhance your small bath?  Add bold wallpaper on all the walls!

Karen Mills' blog

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