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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?

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog
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..

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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

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

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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.  

Looking for more great budget friendly decorating 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!

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.

Karen Mills' blog


For more great information on designing kitchens, sign up for our weekly interior design blog here!

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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!

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog
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

For more fabulous bathroom interior design tips, sign up for our blog here

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