Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: How to Showcase Your Personality with Color

Ever wonder what your favorite color says about you and how to use it to showcase your personality?

As an interior designer and color expert, I can tell you that’s not always an easy task because it takes years of experience to learn how colors colors can impact a room in different lighting situations..  No wonder painting is currently listed as the most common home improvement project since countless homeowners waste money having their spaces repainted after selecting a color or combination that doesn’t work.

So here’s some insight on your color’s meaning that may help and ideas for using it in your home.

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If you love red like I do you most likely live life to the fullest with spontaneity and excitement like this little girl pictured in a red Halloween costume.  But what does a red interior say to others?  The color, associated with blood, raises your blood pressure and grabs your attention!  So if you don’t want to go completely red, try using it as an accent color to make your space a little more vibrant.

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Blue, however, exudes stability and calm, making it a perfect color for bedrooms where you need to unwind.  Lovers of this color tend to be dependable, responsible citizens who do the right thing.

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Yellow, like a ray of sunshine on a fall day portrays warmth and optimism in a room, making it perfect for a kitchen or a sunny living area, and fans of this color are often optimistic people with a positive encouraging attitude.

Green, the color of nature exudes calmness and warmth, which makes it a good color for bedrooms or spaces where you need a more relaxed feel.  And fans of this color are usually warm, kind, and charitable.

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Purple fans, often a more complex and creative type of individual, are fascinating individuals but sometimes may seem mysterious or dark to others who don’t understand their creativity.

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Orange, the color of hunger and vibrancy fits perfectly into that dining room or kitchen area where you need some life.  And if you’re an orange lover, you probably show the same vibrant spirit as the color with your enthusiastic zest for life.

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

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 Decorating: Fall Decorating Ideas From Your Backyard

Tips for Creating Fall Arrangements Using Items from Your Backyard and More

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Interior decorating by Karen Mills

A couple of weeks ago I did a live TV segment on Fox4 TV where I shared tips for fall decorating using natural items from outdoors from the perspective of an interior designer.  Of course the foliage hadn’t started to turn yet here in the mid west so I had to inject some rustic color foliage from the store to create the look of what can be done.

 

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Fox4 TV segment

To recreate this lovely fall decor piece start with a container you have around the house that coordinates with your home.  Then cut some evergreen branches and fall color leaves from nearby trees along with other interesting additions you find along the way.

I added a couple of mangoes that I already had on my counter for additional color along with a beautiful white pumpkin that my friend Marilyn Beebe decorated for me a couple of weeks earlier.

 

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Pumpkin decorating by Marilyn Beebe

Here’s another of Marilyn’s fun creations.

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Interior decorating by Karen Mills

Here’s a closeup of the fun tabletop decoration we did.  First I grabbed a clear vase and filled it with barren branches I got from the woods.  Then I placed the vase of branches on an existing tray and filled the bottom with pieces of a decaying log and pine cones I discovered while traipsing through the woods and topped it off with leaves and berries.

For more great fall decor ideas and design tips 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: How to Cozy up Your Space with…

Area Rug Design Ideas for Your Interior

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As our long term interior design clients know I have a penchant for designing custom rugs that have a pattern that relates back to nature so when The Rug Company presented their line of rugs to our interior design firm last week I got excited about what they’re doing and wanted to share some of the most interesting ones.

How amazing would this butterfly rug look in the right space?  And the best part? We can source the rug in an array of color options to fit our client’s needs just like we do when we design custom rugs.

Love graphic designs especially like this rug that reinforces the cleaner lines in this room, plus the combination of warm and cool neutral colors makes it more versatile.

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Of course if you’re a lover of bold contrasts and a more modern look then this blue and white rug might be just the right fit whether its in blue, red, black or another color.

You might not be able to tell it but this fabulous leaf rug is multi dimensional which gives it a one of kind look that you don’t see everyday.  And in this bedroom the tonal color palette is perfect for giving a serene feel to the space.

 

Finally I wanted to share this wonderful rug that feels like a contemporary paint or paint brushed across a canvas.  Don’t you love the way this patterned rug makes a huge statement without overpowering the living room?

What’s your favorite rug design?  Let us know!

For more great ideas and photos on how to design with area rugs, 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 Secrets to Creating a Dramatic Dining…

Designer Tips for Making a Dramatic Dining Space

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Interior design by Karen Mills

Who doesn’t love the thought of a beautiful dining room where you can have dinner parties, a romantic dinner, or just intimate family gatherings. Read on for how to design your own beautiful dining room.

1. Select Your Personal Design Style –  If  you have no idea what style you are start by finding inspiration photos online or in print.  Then notate your favorite elements from each room to get a sense of your style.

Using existing furniture, we added personality to this room by introducing a stunning crystal chandelier by Schonbek along with dramatic art, texture and pattern.

 

Karen Mills
Styling by Summer Ann of Girlsinmadras.com

2. Pick  a Color Scheme –  Most of us don’t spend much time in a dining room so have fun in here and pick colors you love.  Bolder colors can go on decor, rugs, chairs, or even walls but if you like to change up your style often, you might consider neutral walls and floors that give more flexibility when you want to change your color scheme.

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Photo courtesy of Hickory White

3. Add Dining Table and Seating –  The dining room table and chairs along with the items directly behind them are the focal point of your room.   Begin by determining how many people you need to seat and ensuring you have room for the table you want.  Plus remember that your chairs don’t need to match your table, just enhance them.

If you opt for a dramatically styled table, then consider simpler style chairs and backdrop.  Or if you go with a simpler style table, you might bring in drama with a wall covering or beautiful buffet with art above.

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Interior decorating by Karen Mills

4. Consider Including Additional Furniture –  The majority of dining rooms benefit from functional storage furniture like a buffet and curio cabinets or an antique armoire like shown in this photo, but remember sofa tables, tea carts, and other furnishings can also enhance your room and provide handy surfaces for lamps, platters, trays, or display.

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Photo courtesy of Schumacher

 5. Introduce a Dramatic Element – A bold element can range from a gorgeous piece of art and beautiful buffet to a stunning light fixture over a painting or interesting chair backs and wallpaper like shown here.

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Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall

6. Layer in Texture  – Adding texture softens all the hard surfaces of the table, chairs, buffets, and hard flooring.   Texture can be introduced with an area rug, drapes/window coverings, fresh flowers, live plants/trees, or textural decor.  In this photo fresh flowers on the table and upholstered furniture add much needed texture.

7.  Add lighting –  Table lamps on a buffet or sofa table look beautiful behind a dining table along with a stunning chandelier and/or sconces on the wall behind.

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 Living Large design show, Karen Mills, on Facebook or Instagram here!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: How to Inject Autumn Orange into Your…

Ways to Fall for Orange in Your Home

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Interior Decorating by Karen Mills

Injecting fall hues like orange into your home for the season can be as simple as layering in orange toss pillows or artwork over the mantel like this room.

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Interior design by Karen Mills

Introducing fall leaves in a glass container or a ceramic vase can also add a pop of orange along with an orange rug and art pictured here.

 

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Interior design by Karen Mills

In this dining room artwork helps create a fall orange vibe along along with velvet covered seats in orange and brown.

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Interior design by Karen Mills

But if you want just a pop of orange then you might opt for a couple of toss pillows with orange accents and orange decor on the coffee table like we did here.

Other options might include also include pumpkins or oranges grouped together in a clear glass container or orange decor.

For more great ideas about how to inject orange into your home for autumn, read my latest Houzz article here.

then 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 Design: 8 Steps to Designing a Beautiful Space

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Interior design by Karen Mills

Commonsense Tips for Creating a Beautiful Interior 

Designing a new or remodeled interior design can be both exciting and daunting.  Read on for my 8 tips as an interior designer for creating a functional and beautiful space.

1. Decide on an interior design style or mix of styles that will flow with your architecture and existing furnishings you will be re purposing. Start by selecting several photos of room designs you like and make sure any spouse or significant other involved agrees.

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.

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Interior design by Karen MIlls

  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 expert to help.

  4.  Set a timetable.   At this point you might want to bring in an expert to review your design plan/timetable because investing a few dollars for a master plan and viable timetable can help avoid thousands of dollars in costly mistakes or huge delays.    

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Interior design by Karen Mills

5. Design and order custom furniture and any built in cabinetry after consulting with your interior designer or tradespeople if you’re managing the project yourself.    At this point all custom interior design needs 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 needed.

7. Design any custom draperies, bedding, rugs, wall/floor/ceiling finishes or pillows needed along with choosing hard window coverings, light fixtures, and any ready made furnishings.  Place orders.

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Interior design by Karen Mills

8. Make final purchases including artwork, hardware pulls, lamps, and all other furnishings needed.

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

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Creating a Beautiful Bedroom

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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Photo courtesy of Bernhardt
  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.

 

2. Create an eye catching functional floor plan

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

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.

For more great bedroom design ideas and photos, sign up for our weekly blog here

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

WHAT’S NEW AND NEXT!

So excited to share a few of the incredible things going on this summer – a new book titled Architecture Today Interior Design. our new showroom, a couple of TV segments plus a revolutionary new design concept we developed for better sleep and stress management!

Karen Mills' blog

Thanks to FOX4 TV for asking us to do a fun outdoor decorating series!  Here’s part one.

 

Karen Mills' blog  Karen Mills' blog  Karen Mills' blog

Our book signing on the Plaza was a huge hit thanks to Ursula at Terrasi Living who hosted the event!   Click here to purchase a copy of Architecture Today Interior Design on Amazon now featuring top interior designers/architects around the globe and stop by Ursula’s fabulous shop if you get a chance.

 

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Viewers loved our latest TV segment on KCTV5’s Better KC  with sweetheart host Alexis Del Cid where I revealed The Secret to Translating Your Outfit into a Room Design.

 

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One of our projects featured in book 

Want to give a big shout out and thank you to our wonderful clients for allowing your fabulous homes to be featured in the book and more, plus thank you KCTV5 for your wonderful TV segment on Better KC titled Local Designer Puts Kansas City on the Map.  

 

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Come see our new kitchen and bathroom showroom (entry shown above) in Lenexa, Kansas!  We’ve partnered with an incredible custom cabinetry company – Custom Wood Products to be a one stop shop for world class interior design and custom remodels/new builds.  (By appointment only)

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We’ve also launched a revolutionary design concept in sleep management and stress reduction called SLEEP BETTER LIVE BETTER!  I have spent years researching sleep and have personally been testing it out this concept for months.  It’s been life changing!   Sleeping great for the first time in years and have so much more energy!  So if you’re tired of taking pills and are ready to take responsibility for improving  your overall health click here now!

With all my love… Karen

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: Master Bath Remodel Before & After

Tips for Transforming Your Bathroom From Blah to Beautiful

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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.

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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.

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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
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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 better use of the space

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The result!  A gorgeous bathroom that ended up in a national design magazine – Kitchen Bath Design News along with an interview earlier this year.  Click here to read article!

Media Matters

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: How to Translate Fashion Style into a…

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!

On this week’s KCTV5 Better KC show I shared some examples of how to translate your fashion sense into a beautiful interior design. (see link below)

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Model and photographer Haley Johnston

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.

 

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Model and photographer Haley Johnston
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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.

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While I was on the TV show, the host Alexis Del Cid asked about my dress which is pictured above and how I would transform the dress into a room.  Here’s one example of how to take a dreamy ocean inspired summer dress like mine and use it in a room.

Looking for more great ideas that you can implement?  SIgn up for our weekly interior design blog here

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