What an incredible year 2016 has been for us at Design Connection, Inc.! Here is a look back at some of our favorite Before & After projects from this past year. Enjoy!

Ahhh, the 1980’s… The era of “anything goes” with fashion and design. This once totally bodacious, mauve, carpeted bathroom is now totally history!

Before and After Bathroom I Design Connection Inc Kansas City Interior Design

While the general design of the original bathroom wasn’t extremely dated, the carpet certainly was. Having carpet in areas with high humidity levels creates an ideal environment for mold. Back in the ‘80’s, carpeting in the bathroom wasn’t seen as a science experiment for mold cultivation; it was regarded as lush and luxurious, high-end and sought after. Because of the location and the age of this carpet, safely addressing and removing the mold was our first priority. The carpet was promptly replaced with a heated floor using 12” x 24” textured tiles.

Bathroom Remodel Kansas City Interior Designer Arlene Ladegaard

After living in this home for decades, my clients wanted to replace their unused bathtub with a large, well-appointed shower with clean lines and Euro glass doors. Being HUGE Kansas State fans, they requested that the school colors, purple and silver, be showcased in their new bathroom design. Purple glass mosaics in the built-in shampoo shelves as well as in the back splash above the Cambria Quartz countertops was the perfect solution to this design requirement.

Arlene Ladegaard Bathroom Remodel Kansas City Interior Designer

The cabinets were also updated with well thought out storage solutions specific to my clients’ daily life, from hidden outlets and storage for beauty supplies to the easy access built-in cabinet designed to display their perfume collection.

Before and After Bathroom II Design Connection Inc Kansas City Interior Design

To begin the process of remodeling their whole home, my clients initially contacted Brackmann Construction Company and, at their recommendation, Design Connection, Inc. was brought it on the project. This kitchen was transformed from a dark and dated 1980’s-inspired space into a bright and beautiful transitional dream kitchen.

Before and After Kitchen Remodel Kansas City Interior Designer Arlene Ladegaard Design Connection Inc

The original kitchen was dated by the style of the oak cabinets and the aged appearance of the appliances and countertops. The original cabinets were a dominant design feature and gave the impression of boasting a large amount of storage. In actuality, the storage was inadequate and the layout of the original kitchen did not maximize the potential of this space.

Kitchen Before Design Connection Inc Kansas City Interior Designer

A load bearing wall was removed, allowing the kitchen and breakfast room to be open to and flow seamlessly into the newly styled great room.  A new island was designed to maximize the use of this space and provide additional custom storage.

Kitchen Remodel Design Connection Inc Kansas City Interior Designer Arlene Ladegaard

Aside from updating this kitchen with new quartz counters, gorgeous new appliances and updated modern lighting, one of my main considerations in planning this kitchen was my clients’ need for more storage. Custom cabinetry was designed in both the kitchen and the adjoining laundry/pantry area where storage was tailored to suit the specific needs of my clients. See more Before & After pictures from this award winning project here.

Before and After Kitchen 2016 Design Connection Inc Kansas City Interior Design

The kitchen had an incredible amount of space, but the layout made it difficult to navigate for any more than two people.


Because this entire kitchen needed to be gutted and rebuilt, this was the perfect opportunity to give my clients their dream kitchen, with attention to even the smallest of details. By creating an island that was attached to one wall, we were able to maximize their counter space and provide a prep sink, gas cook top, seating area with a large flat screen TV, as well as an abundance of storage.




In this project, my clients had initially purchased furniture they liked through local retailers, but they found their new furnishings to be bulky and uncomfortable, and in turn, the room was rarely used. They needed help addressing the two focal points in this room as well as finding functional furniture pieces that fit awkward shape of this space.

Before FR


We also updated the music room. See more pics of this project here.

Click here to see more project photos!

Most of our interior design projects are a combination of updating the décor and redesigning the floor plan. An open-concept floorplan and hardwood floors that flow throughout the home are among our most requested design elements. This Shawnee, KS home already had an attractive, functional, flowing floor plan, but it also had a combination of carpet and light hardwood floors with TONS of trim throughout. The honey-colored oak floors, trim, and cabinetry dominated the entire first floor and held this home in a perpetual design state of Throwback Thursdays-1990’s edition.


My clients enlisted Design Connection, Inc. to revamp their dated first floor, which includes the family room, powder room, kitchen and dining area, laundry room, and formal dining room.

Because the rooms on the first floor flowed from one space to the next, we tackled my clients’ all-too-common design dilemma with the careful selection of paint colors. We used beautiful shades of grays with white trim throughout, ensuring that each room effortlessly blended into the next and maintained the style and flow that our clients desired.


Comfortable seating that focused on the fireplace and television were skillfully positioned. We installed the television above the mantle, ensuring easy viewing from every angle in the room. Upholstered pieces with well-wearing fabrics were wisely chosen to marry the older traditional pieces with the new end tables and contemporary lighting.


When our clients receive a drastic design change complete with new furnishings, many times there is an accessory or painting or a special piece of furniture that they would love to see incorporated into their new design. These treasured pieces tend to serve as a jumping point in our designs; colors are pulled from a painting and used to tie a color scheme together, or, as in this case, their mid-century wood pieces anchors the new furniture selections and balances the re-design of this newly remodeled transitional great room.


The new area rug grounds the room and the gold and warm gray tones add richness and comfort to the new color scheme. Hunter Douglas wood blinds finished in white compliment the new trim color and complete the look of this beautiful and updated transitional space.


Grays are HUGE right now and they are still gaining momentum, proving to be a design trend with staying power. Classic yet fresh, grays are the perfect neutral with personality. By using a darker gray on the fireplace and behind the shelves on the build-in, we were able to add visual interest to this space by drawing the eye in and highlighting the beautiful craftsmanship and stunning fireplace surround.


The bar area in the great room was also re-vamped. The awkward and chunky honey-oak double door cabinet was replaced with a separate lower cabinet and a lighted glass paneled upper cabinet. The Cambria quartz counter top adds class  and clean lines to this new great room showpiece.


The original kitchen was dated by the style of the oak cabinets and the aged appearance of the appliances and countertops. The old honey-colored cabinets were in great condition and the storage capacity was thoughtfully designed, so we  refinished them in a crisp and classic, timeless white. The custom designed cabinet was the perfect choice to unify the contrast of the white cabinets with the newly darkened wood floors and the new table and chairs. This cabinet was designed and created for my clients’ specific storage needs in mind and included custom features like a hidden charging compartment for their wireless devices.


The Cambria quartz countertops and the new stainless steel appliances combined with the glazed gray subway tile backsplash gives this kitchen a new contemporary feel, yet blends perfectly with the traditional look of the white cabinetry and the dark flooring and warm wood pieces.


The new wood floors continue throughout the main floor and the warm gray wall color flows effortlessly into the dining room. This space was also updated by replacing the brass chandelier with a brushed nickel finish and adding gorgeous new custom window treatments.



The first floor powder room was a complete remodel, updating everything from the floor to ceiling. The light oak wood was refinished and the powder room was brought up-to-date and on-trend with the new mirror, the custom vanity, and the smooth Cambria quartz counter top. The patterned wallpaper creates visual interest and ties the colors in with the rest of the updated first floor.


I had already completed many projects in this clients’ Leawood, KS home over the past few years and when they were ready to renovate their unfinished basement, they called and I ran. I was so excited to transform this space into the wine cellar they had been dreaming of.


Adding a wine cellar was a long-time desire of my clients. During their years of research on the many different design styles and wine cellar features available, they had acquired a collection of over 1200 bottles of wine! The moveable rack system allows them to easily accommodate their variety of different sized bottles.


Because the new wine cellar was set to share a wall with the entertainment area, we added extra insulation between the walls to prevent the 80 inch television and sound system from vibrating the wine bottles. After much consideration, a large mirror was added which brightens the space and adds visual interest by reflecting the light and highlights their show-stopping wine collection.


I selected a weathered oak gray finish and carried this look through the wine cellar and tasting area, using the same coloration on the floors, and cement gray paint on the walls and ceiling. A Cambria Quartz countertop with a chipped edge and a customized cabinet houses the various sizes of glasses used for different wines.  Track LED lighting was installed, setting the perfect mood for this unique wine cellar.


Live in the moment. That’s one of those great gems of advice passed down by our elders that holds a unique meaning to everyone who hears it. Live in the moment. For my clients, living in the moment meant living in a kitchen that was lost in the past. Eager to leave their Corian countertops and laminate cabinets behind, they called on me and my team at Design Connection, Inc. to bring their kitchen design out of the past and into “this moment”.


Keeping the sink in the same location, the focal point of this kitchen is now a beauty to behold. The crisp and classic white herringbone Jeffery Court tiles pair perfectly with the new white inset cabinets and really makes a statement against the Newport Brass antique bronze faucet and accessories. Chosen for their durability and exquisite beauty, the new quartzite countertops add a stunning element to this newly renovated kitchen.


Glass front cabinets that flank the sink and add visual interest while the adjoining lowered cabinets add dimension and depth to the space. My clients loved the idea of blending traditional and modern components in their new kitchen; the X design featured in the glass cabinet fronts was a great way to tie in these transitional elements while keeping the design current yet classic.


When designing custom cabinetry, we are able to hone in to your needs and create smart storage solutions that are tailored to your ideals. Because this entire kitchen needed to be gutted and rebuilt, this was the perfect opportunity to give my clients their dream kitchen, with attention to the smallest of details.



Designing a kitchen that has the perfect look and feel aren’t the only elements required in creating the kitchen of your dreams; well-thought-out custom storage is essential to attaining a high-functioning kitchen design.


Even with a large pantry, having your most used items close-at-hand is a gold star design element. My clients now enjoy easy access to their favorite spices, oils, and condiments with their custom 8-inch spice rack.


The needs of every family member are carefully considered when redesigning any space, including my clients’ furry children. This custom pull-out cabinet features dry dog food storage below and easy access to the family’s favorite cereals, crackers, and daily go-to snacks above.


Making clever use of space is one of my favorite challenges when designing kitchen remodels. I had a client once who used to keep a flashlight handy near her corner cabinet; she joked that she would go spelunking whenever she needed to retrieve a baking sheet. Blind corner cabinets can be deep and dark! For this reason I use corner cabinet pull-outs in many of my kitchen designs, like the Hafele peanut swing corner pull-out used in this project.


What was once a built-in bookshelf and catch-all is now a beautiful and functional extension of the kitchen.


Like the kitchen, the new bar area was designed specifically for my clients’ needs. Features like soft-close drawers with full extension allow for easy access to their sterling silver ware, table linens and accessories.  The quartzite countertops and backsplash maintain a continuous flow from the kitchen throughout this space.


While the dark coffee bean cabinets blend beautifully with the flooring, the contrast against the white kitchen cabinetry makes this new bar area stand out in the most elegant way. If that doesn’t draw your eye in, the seeded glass doors, glass shelves, and LED puck lights most certainly will!


We hope you’ve enjoyed checking out our favorite interior design projects from this past year. Stay up-to-date with all of our projects and sign up for our monthly newsletter here!