Carpet design

Home decorating tips to help you redesign your living room

There is a lot that can be done 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 the den interiors, 8003 Vine Crest Ave., explains that before starting a project, she spends a lot of time getting to know her customers.

“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 tours, 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 are getting to know them. … Not only (what) colors and patterns (that they like) and things like that, but if (there are) certain places that they travel, or that they like, or hobbies, or interests . … It’s a bit like that kind of personal note that will fuel 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 refinement

A set of crisp white chests surround the fireplace.

Pawlak describes the owner of this new build as contemporary and elegant in her tastes. She loves white and grays, which have been accented with hints of black and gold.

“She wanted a look that was gorgeous, clean,… sparkling and white,” Pawlak said. “Even the lighting had to be LEDs in daylight – no soft white lights … or cream, or off-white, or whatever.”

To maintain this clean and consistent look throughout the room, Pawlak used the same upholstery in the chairs and sofa.

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“These are performance fabrics, which we do about 99% (of the time),” she said. “They are perfect for everyday life. (The owner) has dogs and is very attentive to the cleanliness of his house. This is what is good about these fabrics; they are super easy to clean; they are great for kids, pets, etc. It was pretty neat – even though (it’s) a really bright white, it’s not like you can’t touch or use it.

A set of matching bright white chests frame the fireplace, which is wrapped in geometric and textured wallcovering. All of the white in the room is broken up a bit by the geode-shaped stained wood coffee table and black lacquer accents.

Industrial ideal

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

The design of this apartment living room did not require as many discoveries from the client as other projects, as the space belongs to Pawlak’s son.

“It’s in a complex that used to be a warehouse,” she said. “This is one of those cool, remodeled warehouse stories. You talk about 20-foot ceilings, exposed ducts and exposed cement.

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

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

Truly traditional

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

When Pawlak first started working on this large rustic / traditional piece, she remembers the owner describing the fireplace as a major issue.

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

Rather than changing what seemed like the biggest problem in space, Pawlak took inspiration from it.

“(I) pulled the colors from the fireplace around 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 ottomans.

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

Pawlak has also incorporated the same colors in new works of art hanging above the owners’ antique console.

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

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

nuts and bolts


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

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

Applause! Applause! KP Designs / Den interiors decoration.


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

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

Applause! Applause! KP Designs / Den interiors decoration.


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

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

Applause! Applause! KP Designs / Den interiors decoration.