Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Big Mistakes People Make in Living…

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills
  1. Lack of a Focal Point    Often the best spot to emphasize in a living space is the fireplace or great view outside but if you don’t have those options, create a vignette (grouping) of furniture/accessories that will grab your attention. Then group your upholstery around the focal point to emphasize it. Here in this living room a focal point was created on the back wall to entice people into the space for a closer look.
Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

2.  Purchasing Over Sized Upholstery Or Too Many Pieces  Have you ever decided you wanted to buy a new living room grouping but didn’t bother creating a floor plan or measuring the space first? Suddenly your furniture arrives and the furniture takes up so much real estate you can barely walk through or don’t have room? As an interior designer I can’t tell you how many frantic calls I’ve received from homeowners requesting help with their space planning only to discover the wrong furniture was already purchased and they want me to fix it which we know is impossible. In this living room, the right size furniture was used and strategically placed to not only enhance the focal point (fireplace) but also leave ample room for someone to pass through.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior decorating by Karen Mills

3.  Selecting The Wrong Wall Color   After working on 1200+ interior design projects I see this mistake happen more than any other. We might want to blame a decorating network like HGTV or DIY for making us believe that picking paint colors is easy but I think its because the general public doesn’t realize how much a color can change when it goes from a tiny paint swatch to an entire room or house. In this room, we selected the paint color during day that not only coordinated with the finishes and furniture but also played well with other rooms in view.

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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

 

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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.

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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

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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.

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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.

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: How to Inject Autumn Orange into Your…

Ways to Fall for Orange in Your Home

Karen Mills' blog
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.

Karen Mills' blog
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.

 

Karen Mills' blog
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.

Karen Mills' blog
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.

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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)

Karen Mills' blog

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.

 

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.

Karen Mills' blog

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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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: What Happens When Blue Meets Orange!

When calming blue meets vibrant orange, it’s complementary color, you will have a dramatic look in your room, especially with a light neutral backdrop.  Read on for ways to combine this fun combination to create drama and interest in your space.  Karen Mills' blog

Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall furniture

In this living room, blue dominates the space, while orange is shown in the chair/pillow fabric, art, and a flower in smaller doses to keep it from overpowering the space.  A light beige sofa, rug, and walls also help neutral the contrast between orange and blue.

 

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Allan Knight furniture

Orange chairs frame the bold blue sofa beyond to draw you into the room while a light neutral wall and flooring along with a lucite coffee table help calm the space down.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Wesley Hall furniture

Here the orange chair with blue accents and matching pillow immediately grab your attention to create an exciting contrast against the calming back drop of light neutral walls and flooring.   An orange vase and pattern in the ottoman add more drama to the room’s design.

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

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 3 Ways to Decorate Your Outdoor Area…

If you’re ready to get outside and enjoy the weather here are 3 tips for setting up your outdoor porch, pergola, or open seating area to enjoy for months to come.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Lexington Furniture

1. Create a Comfortable Seating Area 

High quality seating and a  “L” or “U” shaped configuration like this outdoor room by Lexington Furniture help create a comfortable and inviting outdoor space.  Here the yellow chair color repeats again on the sofa pillows while the patterned pillows on both upholstered pieces add to the cohesive look.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Lexington Furniture

2.  Introduce Fun Accessories

Some of my favorite accessories are bold pillows, live flowers or plants, and trays for the outdoors like shown in this photo.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Braxton Culler

3.  Layer in an Area Rug to Create a Cozy Grouping

Placing an area rug underneath a seating area helps define the space and make it feel more like the indoors like this outdoor room.  Interesting accessories in turquoise add to the finished look along with the pillows and tray on the table.

For more great 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

and if you have a porch to decorate, check out my latest article on Houzz titled Get Your Porch Ready for Spring Sitting below

https://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/95204125/list/get-your-porch-ready-for-spring-sitting

Karen Mills' blog

Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Decorating: 5 Keys to Profitability When Staging Home…

You only get one chance to make a great first impression when selling a home for resale because buyers are visual and often lack imagination. So where do you start? Besides a thorough cleaning, basic repairs and removing clutter (usually 50%+) I recommend focusing on five target areas to make a home more appealing to buyers.

Karen Mills' blog

1. Curb Appeal – The majority of buyers won’t leave their car if the house lacks curb appeal. Stand outside and take an objective look at your house ensuring your yard is manicured and the entry inviting including a freshly painted door, welcoming doormat and perhaps a pot of flowers, weather permitting.

Karen Mills' blog
Styling by Karen Mills

2. Inside Foyer – As a state certified staging for resale instructor and interior designer I always tell homeowners to think of their entry as an advertisement for what’s to come in their home.  Start by creating a wonderful ambiance with an inviting entry rug, nice looking furnishings, a table lamp, and a neutral wall color.

Karen Mills' blog
Styling by Karen Mills

3. Living/Dining Room – Arrange your rooms to emphasize your focal point such as a fireplace or view outside, while  adding pops of color with accessories such as pillows or throws to draw your eye through the space and create interest, while removing personal items such as photos that make it clear its not the buyers home.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

4. Kitchen – Clear the counter tops except for a couple of large vignettes of accessories, clean the kitchen thoroughly, and add a dab of vanilla extract on your light bulbs to give the sense that something just came out of the oven.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

5. Master Suite – Set the stage for an inviting retreat in the bedroom that includes organized closets and clutter free floors/tops. Create an inviting bed with light colored washable bedding in simplistic patterns, add a seating area, if possible, and create a spa feel in the bath with thick white towels.

Karen Mills
Photo courtesy of Bernhardt

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Interior Design/Interior Decorating

Interior Design: 3 Tips for Designing a Restful Bedroom

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 place to sleep.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Circa

1. Starting with a soothing color scheme 

When selecting a color palette that’s soothing opt for muted colors or neutrals.  In this bedroom by Circa furniture, the grayed out blues of the bedding, bench fabric, and drapes help calm down the room while also adding a touch of color to the gray walls and white rug.

Karen Mills' blog
Interior design by Karen Mills

2. Choose bedding in natural washable fabrics that are soothing

In this bedroom, we selected washable Italian sourced bedding, wallpaper and furnishings in muted colors with minimum pattern to keep the room’s interior design from getting too busy.  I love washable bedding because it cleans up easily when children or pets make a mess to reduce the worry.

Here the blue of the accent pillows on the bed repeat again on the chair’s pillow while the warmth of the bed’s wood is picked up again by the chair and carpet.

Karen Mills' blog
Photo courtesy of Century Furniture

3. Provide an inviting seating for getting dressed or just relaxing

In this room by Century seating abounds from the large tufted ottoman and bench to the chairs for sitting and reading.  The neutral color palette creates a soothing feel while the plants add life and color.

For more great ideas on interior decorating sign up for our weekly interior design blog here

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