Top Design Tips

Kara Wuellner has been designing homes for over 40 years. Originally from Illinois, the multi-talented designer, who’s now based in Houston, TX, takes pride in creating living spaces that speak to the personality, preferences and experiences of her clients.

Below, Kara shares her top design tips she has learned over the years!


Pick no more than five colors. A balanced interior typically consists of three hues: dominant, secondary, and accent. You can base these on which tones make you feel good. What rooms are you working with and how do you want to feel when you’re there? Numerous studies and articles discuss how the power of color affects our mood and feelings.

i.e. Beige symbolizes calm and simplicity. Yellow signifies joy, happiness, betrayal, optimism, idealism, imagination, hope, sunshine, summer, gold, philosophy, dishonesty, cowardice, jealousy, covetousness, deceit, illness, hazard and friendship. Dark Blue: Symbolizes integrity, knowledge, power, and seriousness. Purple symbolizes quality, luxury and royalty. Red is a very hot color. It’s associated with love and passion. Orange is a very vibrant and energetic color. In its muted forms it can be associated with the earth and with autumn. Because of its association with the changing seasons, orange can represent change and movement in general. Orange is also strongly associated with creativity.


Make sure your artwork is the correct height. Ideally, the main piece should be eye-level. However, when you’re working with high ceilings, taller artwork might defy this rule.

Tall decor leads into height illusions when working with lower ceilings. To gain visual height in your home, vertical lines from tall to slim furniture, or wallpaper, can create the illusion of the ceiling to look higher than it actually is. Adding tall elements in your low ceiling space will ultimately make your home look and feel luxurious and expensive.


Add three levels of light: tasks, ambient, and accent. Layered light is functional and adds depth and atmosphere to your space. When layering light, you’ll have to choose from soft white, cool light, and daylight. Warmer light can make a room feel cozy, while cooler hues are more ideal for offices. Also, updating light fixtures is one of the easiest things you can do to change up the overall feel of your space. By simply adding a beautiful statement light, you can boost the visual appeal of your home without a lot of hands-on effort. You can even double natural light by placing a mirror on another wall beside a window. This is an easy trick that helps maximize artificial light with reflective surfaces.


Look up! We tend to forget that we can play around with ceilings. If you decide to go bold on the ceiling, make sure to balance the room by complimenting the ceiling design with toned down elements in the rest of your space. In your bedroom, living room, or hallway – a decorated ceiling will be the wow factor in the room.

The Design Firm is known for our beautiful hand painted faux finishes. A faux finish is a custom hand painted design to your wall. If you thought faux painting was passé, think again. Faux decorative finishes are making a resurgence in the world of high-end interior design, and it’s easy to see why. Faux finishes break the limits of ordinary wall paint, offering a wide range of gorgeous, custom surfaces that achieve a new level of luxury.

We understand that designing your dream home can be a handful. From choosing the right furniture, textiles, patterns, to sizing – we are here to help you every step of the way.

We hope you enjoyed our professional interior design tips.

Thank you for choosing The Design Firm for all of your interior design needs!