BLOG

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Tips for Translating Your Fashion Style…

  • July 13, 2018

Share

I shared this post last summer but just wanted to post again because its a great way to get inspiration for your interior. As an Interior designer clients often tell me they lack inspiration for their room design.  To solve that dilemma we often start by looking at the clothes they love or favorite furnishings.  So if you’re having the same trouble deciding what to use for your home’s inspiration why not start with your closet!

Karen Mills' blog

Model and photographer Haley Johnston

Here is a great example of how to make a fashion statement into an interior statement.

Karen Mills
Styling by Summer Ann of Girlsinmadras.com

Haley’s love of florals comes through in the vase of flowers and fresh spring/summer color scheme of fucshia, green, and blues in the accessories on the table and in the glass cabinet to create a classic southern hospitality style.

To successfully transform your room using a favorite outfit as inspiration start by taking the dress or main part of the outfit and using it (color or pattern/color) as your focal point.  Then begin to layer in other components as additions such as purses, shoes, and accessories while trying to keep the same sense of style.

Karen Mills' blog
Model and photographer Haley Johnston
Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren and Luxury Textures

The  red dress worn by Haley translates easily into this sexy dark and moody entry shown here.  The red artwork, a focal point in the room, repeats the color of her red dress while the black wallpapered walls by Ralph Lauren add to the sophisticated style.

Looking for more great ideas that you can implement?  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: 7 Steps For Creating a Room Design

Like any project that involves money, you need a budget or at least a range before you start. Do some research and bring in the experts  – an interior designer, contractor/builder, and architect  to give an estimated investment.  Then follow these 7 steps to create the room of your dreams!

Master bedroom retreat example
Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Decide on a design style or mix of styles that will flow with your architecture and existing furnishings you will be re purposing.   As an interior designer in Kansas City, I always suggest clients select several photos of room designs they like and make sure any spouse or significant other involved agrees. Here in this bedroom we mixed a more contemporary transitional style with a rustic antique look.
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

 2. Determine your color scheme ensuring it coordinates with adjoining rooms and any existing furnishings to be used in the interior design.   If you have no idea, take a look in your closet to see what colors you’re drawn too or pull colors out of an inspiration piece such as art, a rug, or fabric. In this living room we selected a white, warm gray, and teal color scheme.

  3. Create a floor plan so you know what fits in your space and the sizes you need.   To do that go online and use space planning software or get an interior design expert to help.

  4.  Set a timetable.   At this point you might want to bring in an expert – interior designer and contractor/builder to review your design plan/timetable because investing in a master plan can help avoid thousands of dollars in costly mistakes and a reasonable timetable helps reduce stress.  

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills. Photo by 29 Pixels, LLC

5. Design and order custom furniture and any built in cabinetry after consulting with your interior designer. At this point all custom designs need to be finalized and ordered .   In addition permits need to be pulled for construction.

6.  Select and order all plumbing, flooring, tile, and general lighting.

7.  Design furnishings

Furnishings may include rugs, window treatments, pillows, bedding or other items.  Also ensure you select art, finishes, and other decor needed. Here custom made pillow enhance the custom sofa and other decor.

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 long running Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 5 Tips for Creating an Outdoor Oasis

Want to make your outdoor space more beautiful?  Here are 5 ideas for enhancing your outdoor room!

photo to explain point
Photo courtesy of B&B Italia

1. Create a cozy outdoor area for lounging or entertaining by grouping seating in a cozy arrangement. Add end tables, coffee tables, outdoor lamps, and an area rug to make it live like indoors. Here in this outdoor area the seating area is centered around the coffee table to create an inviting place to have conversation.

to explain point
Design by Karen Mills

2. Bring in one of kind vintage items to show off your personality.    In this outdoor porch area, my clients introduced a table base they found along with stone top for the coffee table to create a one of kind space.

Photo courtesy of Gloster

3Layer in different textures to keep the space interesting such as wood, metal, wicker, or plants. Here in this outdoor room a wood roof and decking provide texture along with wicker seating, fabric cushions/pillows, woven rugs and a metal table to create a visually compelling space.

Photo courtesy of Lexington

4. Add a water feature to create ambiance and to reduce outside noise from neighbors or the street with a small bubbler, hanging fountain, or even tabletop fountain. Here in this outdoor a pool beyond provides the water feature that could also include a waterfall or fountains.

shows example
Photo courtesy of Schumacher

5. Add height to your outdoor space.   One of my favorite ways as an interior designer to add height to my client’s outdoor spaces inexpensively starts with tall drapery panels on a pergola or porch or a potted tree that can be brought outside for the season.

For my own outdoor oasis, I designed a beautiful outdoor pergola with grand white Greek columns covered with climbing flowering vines and a curved header between snuggled inside a beautiful berm of trees with thick cushioned seating underneath.

Have a wonderful and safe Fourth of July holiday with your family and friends!

For more great ideas on outdoor living, join 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 here or instagram here!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Creating a Relaxing Living…

Nothing’s better than coming home to an inviting home where you can relax and unwind. That’s why my focus as an interior designer has always been function first, then beauty. Read on for my three tips on how to create a comfortable living room design of your own.

example of comfortable seating
Interior design by Karen MIlls

1. Comfortable seating.  When selecting a sofa, opt for upholstery cushions that are comfortable for long periods of time. As an interior designer I always tell my clients to also make sure their feet can touch the floor – unless they’re planning to just curl up on the sofa instead, plus remember to ensure the seat depth is right.

Here in this living space, we utilized a custom designed chair to create a cozy nook where our client could entertain or just relax.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Create a Cozy Seating Area for Conversation After coming up with an overall design concept for style/color with your interior design, the next step is to create a floor plan. In the living room make sure you focus on creating intimate conversation areas that draw you into the space like shown here.

By creating an U shaped seating area you give everyone the chance to become part of the conversation. Texture was added with a hand knotted area rug, a stone fireplace, textural fabrics and rough hewn wood furniture while pops of color were introduced through blue vases, pillows, and other decorative items.

example of texture and color
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Layer in texture and color As an interior designer I love adding texture to a boring room because suddenly the space comes to life by just layering in a few additions such as a rug, decor, and drapes like we did here in this great room.

Looking for more great living room ideas that you can implement?  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 here!

or instagram

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Creating a Restful Retreat…

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 decorate a bedroom that’s a wonderful space for restful sleep.

master bedroom retreat
Interior design by Karen Mills

1. Starting with a soothing color scheme 

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

Master bedroom retreat example
Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Choose bedding in natural washable fabrics that are soothing. Here in this master bedroom we designed we used washable bedding from Europe that only looks great but can 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.

master retreat
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Provide seating for getting dressed or just relaxing. In this gorgeous master bedroom we 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 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 the Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook here!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Tips for Refreshing Living Room with…

One Day Makeover Tips 

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?

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 plus a table lamp and/or tabletop decor.

In this room 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!

To explain idea
Interior design by Karen Mills

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.  

In this living area, the client wanted to keep an existing coffee table that had been passed down through her family in the interior design of this living room so we had to ensure we had similar warm hues – the outdoor fireplace beyond, to create a  cohesive feel with the antique table.

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 roomtoo.   In this great room the client wanted to keep the mermaid art over the mantel so we tied in the furnishings to the art by layering in orange and blue pillows along with luxurious blue drapes beyond.

Looking for more great budget friendly decorating ideas that you can implement this summer?  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 here!

or instagram here!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 8 Ingredients of Timeless Design

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesay of Bernhardt furniture

Timeless spaces are beautiful, sophisticated, and understated. They tell the story of their occupants and their belongings like nothing else can. Plus they hold their value and memories of loved ones for years to come, as they bring family closer to live, love, and grow.   That’s why I love to design timeless spaces.

 So if you would like to avoid trendy decorating and have a more enduring design too, here is an informative article I wrote for Houzz .  (Click link below to read)

8 Rooms with Staying Power

Looking for more great design ideas that you can implement? 
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 here!
or instagram here.

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: Transforming an Ugly Duckling Bath into a…

Master bath before remodeling

As an interior designer I think you will find this master bath remodel quite amazing not only because of the transformation of this historic high rise built in the early 1900s but also because of how it lives so much larger in the same space.

When you entered the master bath as shown here the space was chopped up by a walled in shower placed in the middle of the room making the space feel cramped, small, and unattractive.

Karen Mills' blog
Master bath remodel before

To the right of the shower was a  dimly lit dressing area with a small amount of storage that didn’t function well.

To solve this interior design dilemma we ripped out everything but one small closet and started over.  By pushing back the shower we gave the bathroom a bigger sense of volume and were able to expand the vanity to accommodate two people instead of one just like the shower.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

As you can see the transformation was amazing!  By placing the same marble style tile from Italy on the floor and walls the room suddenly visually expanded into a beautiful timeless space with an over sized shower for two.  To help the bathroom live even larger we also eliminated the shower curb and placed a solid glass panel along the front so the shower space virtually disappears.

Karen Mills
Interior design by Karen Mills
Karen Mills' blog
Hand sketch by Karen Mills

For the former dressing area I designed a double vanity that included usable top drawers that wrapped around the plumbing for more storage. 

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills



The result? A gorgeous bathroom that ended up in Kitchen Bath Design News – the national design magazine for kitchens and baths. Click now to read article!

Looking for more great bathroom design ideas that you can implement? 
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 here!
or instagram here.

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Ways to Create a Rustic Glam…

As an interior designer I’ve noticed a huge trend over the past several years towards creating simple spaces that are a wonderful mix of rustic and glamour.  Here are my 3 tips for creating your own style of rustic glam.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior decorating by Karen Mills
  1. Introduce weathered furniture/furnishings

Weathered style furnishings could include anything from antique/vintage brand new furniture in weathered finishes and styles that remind you of a farmhouse look.

In this great room a rustic wood coffee table and wire bin end table on wheels were introduced along with the casual cotton covered sofa and chair.

Karen Mills' blog
From dark to light

2. Add touches of white

By juxtaposing the white chairs in the eating area against the rustic table finish and shimmery light fixtures, a wonderful symphony is created that undulates between masculine and feminine in this relaxing space.

The family room beyond continues the rustic glam theme with its beach elements on the coffee table contrasting nicely against the tufted sofa and gold mirror beyond which feel more glamorous.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior decorating Mills/Photography by 29Pixels, LLC

3. Layer in a glamorous element

In this kitchen area matching mini chandeliers provides the perfect glam touch to this older kitchen with updated finishes.  The rustic table juxtaposes nicely against the marble in the kitchen to create just the right amount of tension.

For more great ideas and photos on design styles, 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 Quality Outdoor Upholstery

How to Choose Your Outdoor Furniture Wisely

As Memorial Day is drawing near some of you are contemplating an investment in quality outdoor upholstery where you can spend the days outdoors relaxing with family or friends.   Here are my 3 tips as an interior designer for selecting outdoor furniture that will be a good investment.

Photo courtesy of B&B Italia

  1. Functional Furniture – Comfort is my top priority when selecting outdoor upholstery so make sure you try sitting on the furniture for at least 20 minutes to ensure it’s comfortable and fits your body type – seating height and depth plus arm location and overall size. Thicker cushions and sizes are also critical when purchasing because the furniture may too large for your space if you haven’t measured ahead. Here in this outdoor space by B&B Italia furniture the furniture is amply spaced apart providing comfortable seating.
Interior design by Karen Mills
Interior design by Karen Mills

2. A color that will stand the test of time I think we as consumers are naturally drawn to our favorite colors and often purchase based on that fact alone but when you’re investing in a quality piece(s) of outdoor furniture you might want to consider longevity of a frame when selecting colors that aren’t neutral.

Of course if a particular color is part of who you are and always has been, then it may not matter.  For me as an interior designer, my favorite color is usually what we are designing that day or week.  That’s why neutral seating frames and/or cushions like shown on this porch are often best because pillows and other accessories can create a fresh new look without a big investment.

Photo courtesy of Schumacher

3. Design Style

Style, a key factor in selecting furniture, plays a huge role outside because the furnishings must not only coordinate with the exterior of the home and the view beyond but also relate to the adjacent rooms inside.

In this outdoor space the white furniture and cushion color help marry the contemporary fabric with the more traditional Greek pillars to create a more cohesive feel.

For more great ideas and photos on outdoor design and furniture, 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!