Interior design tips to help you revamp your living room

There’s a lot to do to redesign a room and transform it into a space that matches your personal style. Kristen Pawlak, owner and interior designer at KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors, 8003 Vine Crest Ave., says that before starting a project, she spends a lot of time getting to know her clients.

“There are actually a lot of things we want to know,” she said. “We ask a lot of questions (and) we do house tours.”

During these visits, Pawlak learns about customers’ likes and dislikes, discusses their inspiration, and determines what, if any, of their current furniture and accessories will remain.

“We (also) talk a lot about the function of a space,” she added. “We get to know them. … Not only (what) colors and patterns (they like) and things like that, but if (there are) certain places they travel, or like, or hobbies, or interests. … It’s a bit like this kind of personal notes that will feed a design.

Pawlak has owned Decorating Den since 2009, and since then has designed countless spaces. Here are a few that offer three distinct living room styles.

Elegant sophistication

A set of glossy white chests flank the fireplace.

Pawlak describes the owner of this new construction as contemporary and elegant in her tastes. She loves white and grays, accented with touches of black and gold.

“She wanted a beautiful, clean, … sparkly, white look,” Pawlak said. “Even the lighting had to be daylight LEDs – no soft white light…or cream, or off-white, or whatever.”

To keep this clean, seamless look throughout the room, Pawlak used the same upholstery for the chairs and sofa.

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“It’s performance fabrics, which we do about 99% (of the time),” she said. “They are perfect for everyday living. (The owner) has dogs and is very concerned about the cleanliness of her home. That’s the good thing about these fabrics; they clean very easily; they are great for kids, pets etc. It was pretty neat – even though (it’s) a very bright white, it’s not like you can’t touch it or use it.

A set of matching white and glossy chests flank the fireplace, which is wrapped in geometric, textured wall covering. All of the white in the room is a little off with the wood-stained geode coffee table and black lacquer accents.

industrial ideal

Orange-red pillows add pops of color to an otherwise neutral space.

Designing this apartment living room didn’t require as much client discovery as other projects, as the space is owned by Pawlak’s son.

“It’s in a complex that was an old warehouse,” she said. “It’s one of those cool stories, remade from a warehouse-turned-living space. You talk about 20 foot ceilings, exposed ductwork and exposed cement.

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Considering the painted cement floor and concrete walls with peeling paint, Pawlak says leaning into an industrial look was the natural way to go. She incorporated rustic touches of wood and iron, simple grays, and mercury glass into the piece.

“(I also added) a shaggy-type rug,” she said, “and I love, love, love, the orange-red accents we put in it.”

Really traditional

The fireplace colors have been incorporated into the upholstery, pillows and carpet.

When Pawlak started working on this large rustic/traditional piece, she recalls the homeowner describing the fireplace as a major sore spot.

“She just didn’t know how to make it work and what to do with it (with it),” she said. “There were (all these) different colors; she was just bothered by the fireplace.

Rather than changing what seemed to be the space’s biggest problem, Pawlak used it as inspiration.

“(I) took the colors out of the fireplace in the room,” she explained. The same hues of the stones can now be seen in the carpet as well as in the fabrics of the pillows, chairs and ottoman.

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“It was this big embarrassing problem for (the owner), but there was nothing wrong with (it),” she said. “It was beautiful – (the problem) was what was around.”

Pawlak has also incorporated the same colors into new artwork hanging above the owners’ antique console table.

“We just softened the look,” she said. “(We) brought all these exterior colors and played in front of the fireplace. This is one of my favorite family rooms.

Do you know a house that would make a great house of the week? Email Editor Lennie Omalza at [email protected] or Lifestyle Editor Kathryn Gregory at [email protected]

nuts and bolts


Homepage: This is a 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 2 story traditional/craftsman style home in the Shake’s Creek subdivision in east Louisville that was built in 2019.

Distinctive elements: Hardwood and tile floors; granite countertops; vaulted ceilings.

Applause! Applause! KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors.


Homepage: This is a 2 bedroom, 2 bath, 900 square foot unit in the Bradford Mills Apartments building in Germantown. The building is a renovated textile factory which was converted into multiple dwellings around 2016.

Distinctive elements: Exposed brick; cement floors; exposed ducts and beams/trusses; freight elevators.

Applause! Applause! KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors.


Homepage: This is a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, 5,300 square foot two story traditional home in Shelbyville that was built in 2010.

Distinctive elements: Stone fireplace; hardwood floors; granite countertops; vaulted ceiling; veranda.

Applause! Applause! KP Designs/Decorating Den Interiors.

Betty K. Park