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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: Lucite (clear acrylic) Furniture Finds

 

Karen Mills' blog
Raleigh bed by Bernhardt Furniture

Here’s something I bet you didn’t know.  When an interior design trend reaches the retail market it’s usually a good sign to interior designers that the trend is on its way out.   But that’s not been true with lucite furnishings, an acrylic almost transparent material.

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Iconic Ghost chair by Phillip Starck for Kartell

In fact as an interior designer, I just suggested this lucite sink base pictured below for a bathroom.

 

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Acrylic sink legs by Palmer Industries

And I specified a lucite coffee table for another interior design project recently.  One of the big reasons I love lucite is because it virtually disappears in a room helping create a lighter feel.  But lucite was popular in the 70s too which has made a huge comeback in the U.S.

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Lipstick chair courtesy of Sand Birch
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Lucite coffee table featured by 1st Dibs

If you’re a fan of lucite furnishings and want to add one to your collection you need to understand that not all lucite furnishings are high quality.

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Lucite scroll table featured by 1st Dibs

One way to tell if you’re looking at a quality piece is to ensure the joints or connected areas are transparent.  Then you can purchase a piece that will be more likely to hold up and maybe even become valuable later.

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Lucite bar stools featured by 1st Dibs

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: Trending in Winter White

Karen Mills' blog
Courtesy of Century Furniture

The color white has ruled the interior design market for 2016 and I don’t see signs of this dreamy color dying out yet.   In fact there’s nothing I personally love to wear or be surrounded by than white because of the way it bounces light around the room and how fresh it makes me feel.

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White chair by Z Gallerie

Believe it or not the majority of my new projects as an interior designer are still requests for whites and cool light neutrals with a pop of color even in the midst of winter.

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Photo courtesy of Hickory White
Karen Mills' blog
Burma stool by Bungalow5

So today I’m sharing some winter whites that inspire me and giving more insight into this fabulous color from the color experts.

 

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Courtesy of Bernhardt Furniture
Karen Mills' blog
Georgina coffee table from Bernhardt Furniture
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Natalie chair by Christopher Guy

According to former Living Large show guest and color expert Kate Smith color affects us physically in the following ways:

Aids mental clarity

Encourages us to clear clutter or obstacles

Evokes purification of thoughts or actions

Enables fresh beginnings

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Visual Comfort lighting

But that’s not all.  The nation’s leading color expert and former Living Large guest Lea Eiseman of the Pantone Color Institute states in one of her books, “White also signifies innocence.  It is a recall of youth and simplicity, and a longing to be young again.”   No wonder I love white!

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Photo of Brittanicca counters courtesy of Cambria

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Steps to Creating a Home for…

 

Karen Mills' blog

If you’re like much of the world, you may have run out of time to decorate for the holidays whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or just having time off work.   That’s why today I’ve come up with 3 easy steps as an interior designer that you can use to decorate your home for the holidays whether its to host last minute guests or just for you to enjoy.

  1. Style  –  Start by determining how you want to feel in your space whether it’s more formal and glamorous, casual like a woodsy or cottage feel, nostalgic like a retro/vintage or a style all your own.
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Christmas tree by Raz Imports

Some of the hot looks right now include plaids, shiny glam, or organic/woodsy  along with graphic patterns and softer colors.

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Christmas tree from Raz Imports

Then start with your Christmas tree, tabletop, or mantel decorations and build from there.   I would look for at least one or two antique/vintage items you may have laying around the house to start or begin your journey by shopping vintage/antique shops to find an item that reflects  your personality such as an old pair of skis, sled, or other item that fits your design scheme.

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Wreaths and trees from Accent Decor

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2. Select a color scheme that not only makes sense for the interior design style you selected but also coordinates with your home whether it’s traditional red and green or a fun variation.

3. Create vignettes or groupings of decor in key areas only for the most impact such as a tree, mantel, and tabletop or door wreath.

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For more great holiday decorating ideas and photos sign up for our weekly interior design blog here or check out some great tabletop inspiration from Williams Sonoma’s blog

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 Decorating: Fabulous New Finds in Chairs

 

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Courtesy of Lee Industries

Ready to see what’s new or fun in chairs from the interior design industry?  Here are some of my favorites that are starting to make an appearance or already have.

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Courtesy of Lexington furniture

Love how the embossed leather is juxtaposed against the shiny metallic arms to create a “wow” look.

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Elka chair by Bernhardt furniture

This Elka chair looks so inviting and could fit in a wide range of design styles, making it a popular choice for interior designers.

Alexandra chair by Hickory furniture
Alexandra chair by Hickory furniture

When I saw this Alexandra chair I just made me smile because its so feminine and light.  Plus I love the quatrofoil design in the back that’s commonly described as Moroccan style.

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Dixon arm chair by Century furniture

How beautiful are the lines in this Dixon chair with arms that almost feel like they’re trying to hug you?

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Barrington chair by Dunn

Love how much style is in the Barrington chair by Dunn.  Amazing how a simple wood chair can have such a feminine edge to it by introducing sexy slim legs and a thin profile seat.

For more great trends and photos sign up for our interior design blog here

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

shower-layout

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.

finishes

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

 

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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.

 

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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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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

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.

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Lea Eiseman of Pantone Color Institute
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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.

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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,”

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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