I am SO HONORED to be included in the Celebrating Women issues of this month’s Johnson County Lifestyle and Leawood Lifestyle Magazines!  Check it out!

I’m going to be honest, here; this is a thrilling moment for me and unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. There is always a sense of pride and accomplishment that I feel when I see my interior design projects shining back at me from the glossy pages of a magazine. But this time it’s different. This time it isn’t about being inspired by my creations, this time it’s about being inspired by ME. This time, I am honored to grace the pages amongst some truly inspiring local women who have found their calling giving back to the community in our own unique ways.

Get to know these inspiring women! Read the Johnson County Lifestyle issue here and the Leawood Lifestyle issue here. I can be found in both issues, as shown below:

Leawood Entrepreneur

Arlene Ladegaard

Article Ann E. Butenas
 Photography Paul Versluis

When you first meet Arlene Ladegaard, principal designer and owner of Design Connection Inc., if you sense an upbeat, energetic, spirited, generous, fun-loving and engaging personality, then please don’t waver from that initial conclusion. Blessed with a keen eye for design and an innate ability to understand her clients, Ladegaard presents as a winning combination of experience and passion for what she does, coupled with a solid grasp of how to precisely deliver results that transcend each client’s expectations. Undoubtedly, it is her crisp, timeless style that speaks to clients the most, remaining fresh with each passing year.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Ladegaard realized from an early age the professional path she wanted to pursue.

“I knew I wanted to do this type of work when I was in the seventh grade,” she recalls. “At the time, my mom had redecorated her home with the help of a designer and from that point on, I knew this is what I wanted to do. My mom let me decorate my own room when I was 12. I still remember the big bright floral wallpaper.”

The trajectory of her career initially took her to Stevens College in Columbia, Missouri, followed by studies in interior design at the University of Arizona and the University of California at Los Angeles. She began her career in Southern California working for various design firms before setting out on her own in 1988, establishing Design Connection Inc. Additionally, Ladegaard has lived and worked in Switzerland. She completed continuing education through the Study of Architecture in Paris and obtained her California Certification in Interior Design while living abroad.

When not moving at full throttle in her business, Ladegaard enjoys down time with her husband Ed and their two cocker spaniels, Ruby and Coalby, at their Leawood home. Among her favorite indulgences are spending weekends boating at the Lake of the Ozarks or just getting together with her kids and grandchildren.

Giving back to the community is an integral part of Ladegaard’s life philosophy, and to that end, she has been actively involved for 18 years with the Leawood Rotary Club. She also enjoys her long-standing membership with the Leawood Chamber. Ladegaard loves assisting in local charity events in the Johnson County area. Add, tionally she is an active member of the local chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

No matter what fills her days, Ladegaard continually keeps her finger on the pulse of a business she began nearly three decades ago that has positively transformed the lives and homes of hundreds of clients, creating polished spaces that are decidedly functional and beautiful.

The reason for her tenacious drive is simple: “I love what I do,” she says, smiling.

Design Connection Inc. is the only interior design firm in the metro area with an on-staff architect, a solid infrastructure and the resources and experiences to work with clients through all stages of design. Ladegaard and her team show up fully prepared so that clients are educated on the process and know exactly what is being delivered.

“My job is to really understand what clients want and to be completely honest with them,” says Ladegaard, whose experience speaks volumes and for whom integrity, quality and value are clearly represented in each project.

Design Connection Inc. is an award-winning design firm located in Overland Park, Kansas. Arlene Ladegaard, principal designer, can be reached at 913.851.8776 or