As a Greater Kansas City interior designer, I am so honored to have one of my recent projects featured in the Transforming Interiors article in this month’s issues of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine AND Johnson County Lifestyle Magazine! Check it out!

Before and After


Any home renovation takes a heaping helping of know-how coupled with ambitious inspiration to effortlessly partner form and function with express aesthetics and elegance. Arlene Ladegaard, principal designer of Design Connection Inc., helped this active family of six transform the home in which they had been living for 15 years, taking it from its late 20th-century look and beautifully ushering in a style and voice more representative of current design expressions.

Known for her ability to understand the culture of design while simultaneously speaking the language of her clients, Ladegaard took to the task of going beyond just purchasing new furniture for the home. Instead, she transformed the formerly broken up spaces and created a seamless, open area for the entire family to enjoy. This required strategic space planning, along with thoughtful incorporation of flooring, light fixtures, custom furniture, countertops and all other necessary design elements to complete the project.

Room by room, Ladegaard and her team incorporated a delightful series of design elements to create the desired look. This initially meant eliminating the former combination of tile, carpet and hardwood floors and replacing them with one uniform flooring element.

“In order to create a design that allows the distinct living spaces to have an open feel and flow from one room into the next, we unified the main level by working from the ground up, starting with the installation of medium oak hardwood floors throughout,” Ladegaard says.

Highlights of the main floor transformation include the faux-painted cabinets with a dark brown finish in the kitchen, partnered with a gray painted island. Elegant quartz countertops, a herringbone backsplash and leather bar stools harmoniously steal the spotlight in this inviting space.

Kitchen Before
Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

The hearth room, once home to an oversized and unused sectional, has now become a conversational piece, in more ways than one. Four new chairs and a center ottoman now make this area one for genuine conversation. No TV allowed.

Hearth Room Before
Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

Once an unused area, the living room is now the family gathering spot, complete with a new sectional, two swivel glider chairs and coordinating ottoman, offering more than enough seating space for the entire family. The original fireplace was torn down to its studs, and now enjoys a framework of stacked stone and a custom mantel for the TV. Mirrors on either side offer a beautiful reflection of the entire first-floor redesign, and the client is now more than happy to reflect on the change.

Living Room Before
Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.

“The contractors Arlene used were professional, reliable and performed high-quality work,” the client says. “Her design selections were spot on, and she or her staff were on-site every step of the way. We love the new look of the total transformation.”

Read the full Issue of Johnson County Lifestyle Magazine here:

And the full Issue of Leawood Lifestyle Magazine here:


See more pictures from this project here:

Photo taken for Design Connection by Aaron Leimkuehler of All Levels Photo.