14 Tips for Breathtaking Home Design from HGTV Designer Kenneth Brown

Dec 20, 2017

Kenneth Brown, HGTV designer and interior designer for stars like Zac Efron and Kristen Bell, has worked with Bardwell Homes and homeowners in Veranda at University Club to turn their homes into outward expressions of their personal styles. From paint colors, flooring options and ideal plumbing to lighting fixtures and countertop options, Kenneth shares his 14 design tips for finding the perfect blend of traditional Southern style and modern flair.

Don’t be afraid to mix old with new  

Use a reclaimed beam for a large opening and choose to keep the old paint on it. The patina adds a nice sense of history to the new kitchen cabinets.

Bring back brass

Use unlacquered brass fixtures and hardware in the kitchen set against dark painted cabinetry to bring in a fresh look.

Play with scale

Don’t be afraid to go with a large light fixture, sofa or piece of art in a smaller space. Contrary to what most people would expect, over-scale items open up the room by giving the impression of larger space.

Carve out interesting, multi-functional spaces in your floor plan

Create a beautiful butler’s pantry at the entry to the laundry room. It allows for beautiful storage as well as a space that’s perfect for placing a statement light fixture.

Take a good tile and make it great

Use master bathroom floor tile as reliable as a basic ceramic tile but cut with a linear pattern. By cutting the ends of the tile at 45 degree angles, a beautiful chevron pattern creates a breathtaking first impression.

Don’t forget the small details

Use interior door trim with an additional 1 x 2 trim that frames the casing and adds a modern punch to a traditional home.

Tailor storage and style in the shower

Rather than carving out a bunch of niches in the master shower, go for a more tailored look by carving out a niche as one long shelf across the shower wall.

Define your entry

Many open plan homes combine the entry, living room and dining room into one space. By adding classic paneling painted white in the entry, the space is defined as a welcoming foyer.

Put a new spin on an old style

In Veranda homes, interior door knobs are an ode to crystal door knobs of the past. Instead of the antique faceted crystal knobs, install simple crystal disc set on a black metal rosette.

Have fun with a “Mush-Room”

An emerging trend in many cities, this extra space is flexible and carefree for families with kids.  The use of bean bags and casual furniture is an added bonus for playing video games, or just hanging out at home with the kids.

Create a cohesive design thread with your color selections

A beautiful, deep paint color on the kitchen cabinets can be echoed throughout the home on all the interior doors. Sometimes it’s these subtle design decisions that make all the difference in tying a home’s design together.

Love your laundry room

Instead of standard depth counters go with extra-extra deep counters to give room for folding and storage. Place a sink between the washer and dryer for better function and install it at a level that makes it easy to bathe the family pet. Complete with open shelves and decorative baskets, this laundry room is a place to enjoy spending time.

Design a dramatic powder room

To create a big impact in a smaller powder bath install a large framed mirror behind a stylish light fixture for extra design impact.

Don’t be afraid to mix furniture styles

The key to a well decorated home is the mix of styles, woods, textures and accessories. The play between a new piece of upholstery set against an old table is what gives a home personality. When you allow your decor to have imperfections, you release the tension in the space which ultimately creates a comfortable, warm and welcoming environment.


Minutes from LSU and downtown Baton Rouge on Nicholson Drive, Veranda in the prestigious University Club is the perfect place to settle in among new friends and neighbors who share your desire for a traditionally planned community.

As the exclusive home builder in Veranda, Bardwell Homes has a close relationship with Mike Sullivan of Looney Ricks Kiss, the principal architect, and HGTV designer, Kenneth Brown which gives home buyers the freedom to choose from several select home designs whose traditional lines and Southern charm welcome you to celebrate life and build new memories.

For information about homes and sales, call Heather Kirkpatrick from KDK Realty at 225-252-0668.