Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Ways to Showcase Room with Interior…

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Coastal Shower Doors

The architecture or bones of the house are the most important elements when building or remodeling because they set the backdrop for any interior design you’re about to create and determine the style of your space.  That’s why not only the walls and ceilings are so important but also the doors and windows.

Here are 3 ways you can use doors to create drama in your space.

  1. Make your door the focal point like the shower door pictured here.  In this room the grid design of the door draws attention to itself along with the dark dramatic color, making it the star of the room.

Once you’ve selected your shower door, then you can repeat the color or pattern on the door to unify your space.

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2. Introduce doors that are wider or taller than average to give a grander feel to your space.   In this room the french doors appear to be taller by adding a transom above.

Recently completed an interior design project for a client where we specified 8 foot doors to create a majestic look walking in the front door and we are currently creating a fabulous new interior design project  where every interior door will be at least 8 feet, completely transforming the space into a grandiose one of a kind home.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is office.jpg
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Use doors to divide space without visually closing off the rooms in an open floor plan.   The french doors here create a wonderful view into the adjacent home office while providing an option to be closed when needed.

For more inspiration, 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 
Instagram and Facebook here!

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

INTERIOR DECORATING: COLOR TRENDS 2019

2019 Color Forecast for 2019

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Pantone Color Institute

Color is an equalizing lens through which we experience our natural and digital realities and this is particularly true for Living Coral.  With consumers craving human interaction and social connection, the humanizing and heartening qualities displayed by the convivial Pantone Living Coral hit a responsive chord.  Lea Eiseman, Director of Pantone Color Institute

The impact of the annual color forecast by the Pantone Color Institute reaches much further than what you might imagine covering a wide range of industries from interior design and fashion to cars and appliances to name just a few.  Why?  Because their forecast is considered to be the one to follow for what’s new and next.  But today I want to include a couple of other color forecasts for 2019 along with sharing color trends I see as an interior designer for the future.

As you read through this color forecast look for similarities because I think you might notice an overall trend this year for color.

 

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore

 

Calm, composed and effortlessly sophisticated, Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year 2019, Metropolitan AF-690, exudes glamour, beauty and balance.  

Benjamin Moore company

 

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

 

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

A warm terracotta color with ancient, elemental roots, Cavern Clay SW 7701, is our 2019 Color of the Year. Cavern Clay is a nod to midcentury modern style, but with the soul of the American Southwest, which together creates a desert modern aesthetic.  Sherwin Williams Company

 

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Sherwin Williams

 

My Color Forecast:  Warm Vibrant Colors

 

Red, black and white color scheme

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Ralph Lauren

 

Even though I’m still a big fan of warm grays, I have to admit I’m a little bit excited to see warm vibrant colors and bold color combinations coming back into vogue.  Red has been huge trend this year in fashion, especially with black, white or other vibrant colors like golden yellow, bold blue, and persimmon.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

Golden yellow or mustard will be popular also along with a return to more traditional tobacco colored in leather, suede, and other materials like this wall pictured above.

For more great ideas on selecting furnishings and design 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 Instagram or Facebook

here!

 

 

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 5 Tips for Picking 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.

 

Karen Mills' blog
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  regularly 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

For more great ideas on selecting furnishings and design 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 Instagram or Facebook

here!

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 7 Tips to Creating a Dramatic Entry

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of John Richard furniture

Front entries are the first impression you make on guests so why not create an inviting space.  As an interior designer I tell my clients to think of their entry as an advertisement for their home and what’s to come.  The entry should hold some of their favorite things and introduce the color scheme for their home’s interior design, revealing a little about their personal style.  Read on for 7 simple ways to create a beautiful foyer.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

  1. Introduce a Sofa Table or Case piece –  Start with a piece of furniture that fits easily in your entry and ideally can also hold decor.  Examples of case pieces could include a chest like this photo, a curio, sofa table, desk, etc.  In this entry the art brings together the warm neutral lamp, antique chest, and blue vase.
  2.   Freshen Up with Live Flowers or a Plant – In the photo above the texture of the leaveas  balance out the cold surfaces of the floor and walls, bringing the outdoors in.

    Karen Mills' blog
    Interior design by Karen Mills
  3.   Layer in Artwork or a Mirror – Introducing artwork can add texture and reveal a bit of your personality, while a mirror is not only functional but also makes a style statement and can bounce light around from a lamp placed in front.
  4. Ground Your Entry with a Rug – Layering a rug underneath adds warmth, color, and style to your foyer.
  5. Karen MIlls' blog
    Photo courtesy of John Richard furniture

    5.  Light it up With a Lamp –  Lamps not only provide function and ambiance, but they can introduce more style to a space like this spiked lamp pictured here.  The gold and warm colors throughout creates a cohesive element, while the pattern of the chest, chair, and plates add style and interest.

  6.  Replace Your Overhead Lighting 

    Karen Mills' blog
    Photo courtesy of John Richard furniture

     
  7. Tell a Color Story – You don’t have to be as bold and bright as this entry photo, but every space does have a color scheme even it’s neutral.  The earthy brown of the chest is picked up again on in the painting and bowl while the blue lamp base color reinforces the artwork.

To learn about color options for your foyer, read my Houzz article titled 7 Color Palettes for a Pleasing Entryway  – 

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/…/list/7-color-palettes-for-a-pleasing-entryway

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

and sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Tips for Coordinating Mismatched Furnishings

Do you have a collection of mismatched furniture that feels unfinished or undone?  Read on for my 3 interior designer tips for creating a cohesive look in your room.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior decorating by Karen Mills

1. Repetition – To coordinate two pieces of mismatched upholstery, unify both pieces by repeating a color from one piece to onto another with a pillow or throw.  Here the blue green color of the ottoman was repeated in the pattern on the pillows, while the artwork brings everything together including the gray velvet sofa in the foreground and the new tile on the fireplace.

 

2. Introduce a new design element  – A piece of artwork overhead or nearby accessories  with both colors can also serve as a way to bring two different colors of upholstery together effectively.  Here in this family room the blue center of the pillow is repeated in the blue candle nearby while the white seashell picks up the white upholstery.

When creating vignettes of accessories in your space whether its for a tabletop or shelves, try to place objects of various heights, sizes, texture, and shapes together to create a cohesive whole.  Normally placing the taller narrower items at back with shorter wider items at the front works best.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of All Modern furniture

3. Layer a rug underneath – Placing a rug underneath your upholstery helps create a cozy grouping of furniture like this living area but it may also pick up colors from one or several pieces of upholstery.  Here the brown chair color is repeated on a pillow accent color and coffee table while the yellow and gray hues in the rug are mimicked again on the sofa and pillows.

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

Become a fan of Kansas City’s interior designer and former host of the Living Large design showKaren Mills, on Facebook here!

 

 

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Remodeling Basement to Live…

If you’re lucky enough to have a basement and are thinking about remodeling or finishing it, here are three tips for designing your basement to live large like upstairs.

1. Bring in the daylight.   When creating an interior design plan for a basement in a new home you’re building raise the ceiling height so you can bring sunshine further into your basement like this living area shown.  You can also incorporate french doors or glass windows in interior rooms that allow the sun to penetrate further into the basement.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior architecture and finishes by Karen Mills/Photography by 29Pixels, LLCOther ways to bring in the light could include adding a glass door and and sidelights to a walkout basement like shown in this basement or by adding a large daylight window.    The stacked stone wall we adding around the fireplace also gives importance to the basement living area while also adding a focal point to the space.Karen Mills' blog

2. Give it importance.  Treat your basement space like you would a main level room.  Use drywall on the ceilings and create focal points with architecture, color and/or interior design to give the rooms a “wow” feel like this wall where the television disappears into a black accent wall.

Here’s another example of adding a focal point in the basement using a niche and different wall color

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

3. Beef up your artificial lighting.  By adding extensive artificial light with wall washers, accent lighting and/or directional strip lights in addition to your standard lighting, you’ll find that your basement feels more like an upstairs living space.

For more basement remodeling ideas and more, 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: 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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

For more great interior design ideas, sign up for our blog here!

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

Karen Mills' blog
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.

 

Karen Mills' blog
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.

 

Karen Mills' blog
Pumpkin decorating by Marilyn Beebe

Here’s another of Marilyn’s fun creations.

Karen Mills' blog
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

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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

Karen Mills' blog
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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog
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.

Karen Mills' blog

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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!