Houzz Spotlight Interview with Arlene Ladegaard: 3 Tips for an Elegant, Comfortable Home
After a recent interview with Houzz, I am so excited to announce that I’ve been given a Pro Spotlight Feature! Read the interview and see my Spotlight project pics here:
Who: Arlene Ladegaard of Design Connection
Where: Overland Park, Kansas
In her own words: “People don’t want homes to feel stuffy — they want them to feel comfortable, inviting and lived-in.”
Homes made for daily life and family fun can be every bit as lovely and well-designed as their museum-like counterparts. “It’s very important today that rooms feel more casual, that the fabrics, colors and textures feel inviting,” says interior designer Arlene Ladegaard, who owns Design Connection in Overland Park. “My clients say that the spaces I create for them are being used because they’re built around family. They’re beautiful and usable.”
An early focus. When asked in the seventh grade what she wanted to be when she grew up, Ladegaard answered without hesitation: “Interior designer.” She’d watched, fascinated, while her mother’s designer remodeled and redecorated their home. “The designer let me redo my bedroom and choose the fabrics,” she says. Ladegaard studied design at universities in Arizona, Missouri and California, and founded Design Connection in 1988.
European sensibility. Ladegaard, who hails from Los Angeles, lived in Switzerland and crisscrossed Europe, honing her designer’s eye. “I traveled to Germany and France, visiting textile mills and going to flea markets,” she says. She spent time in London with the International Interior Design Association chapter there, and studied French architecture in Paris and Provence. “When I moved back to Kansas, I wanted to bring a more metropolitan look,” she says.
Read Ladegaard’s tips below on bringing refined functionality to your home.
No matter how beautiful, every room needs functional details to work for everyday life. But that doesn’t mean those details can’t be lovely. Take, for instance, this transitional-style kitchen in Leawood, which Ladegaard designed for a family of six. “They didn’t have much cabinetry, and now they have tons,” Ladegaard says. “There’s a big wall of cabinets and two large pantries.”The custom cabinets, stained in a gray wash with a brown undertone, won’t chip as easily as painted ones. The team also combined the kitchen and hearth room, adding a T-shaped island that seats up to eight. It features a durable quartz countertop and a 28-inch-deep drawer near the cooktop for pots and pans.See more of this project
While au courant colors can be tempting, it’s better to select hues you know you’ll want to live with for a long time. When used well, your favorite colors can make a space feel more personal and inviting. “If you stay true to the colors you’re comfortable with, your home also won’t feel dated,” Ladegaard says.She translated an Overland Park client’s penchant for blue into the masculine, contemporary living room seen here. A Prussian blue ottoman atop a custom wool rug anchors the space, while abstract art, vases and throw pillows continue the color motif. Textured elements in taupes and grays provide a pleasing background for the shades of blue.See more of this project
Planning a room’s layout, elevations, furniture placement and even artwork size is key to a well-designed home. “Space planning is what makes a room look professional, polished and finished,” Ladegaard says. “When you walk into the room, things won’t look right if the scale is wrong.”Ladegaard used software to redesign the Leawood kitchen seen here. “The couple used to have a long, outdated galley kitchen, and everyone was running into each other,” she says. The team removed a wall of cabinets and replaced it with paneling, a built-in TV and a peninsula. The couple love entertaining and now have the right space for it; the husband especially loves turning on football games for friends and family.See more of this project
More: For more information on Arlene Ladegaard and examples of her work, visit Design Connection’s Houzz profile.