Spring 2024

Tuscan Enlightenment

ML Designs brightens a home from browns and neutrals to a sophisticated range of navy blues, emerald greens and blush pinks.

Words by Megan Litts  |  Photos by Laurie Kilgore


enovating an entire home is an intricate process that can be daunting for clients and designers alike. With nearly a decade of experience in the field, ML Designs approaches this task with meticulous attention to detail, considering elements even as small as the color and style of a drawer knob. While some clients prefer to entrust ML Designs with full creative control, others opt for a more hands-on approach, actively collaborating at every stage. In the instance of this particular project, the latter option was embraced.

Originally designed around 17 years ago by the late renowned Kansas City designer Janet Alholm, the residence was inspired by a traditional Tuscan style, characterized by heavy drapery and a range of brown and neutral tones woven throughout. While the initial design exuded a grand and elegant ambiance, the homeowners sought to infuse more light and color into the house, making it better suited for hosting their growing family. 

The client’s favorite colors played a prominent role in the project, utilizing a sophisticated range of navy blues, emerald greens and blush pinks. The strategic use of the color scheme resulted in a remarkable transformation from the previously dominant brown Tuscan style to a softer, lighter aesthetic that creates a truly striking visual impact.

Contributing to this visual transformation, the integration of light fixtures around the home played a crucial role in achieving the client’s vision. Given the distinctive and spacious entryway, there arose a need for a commanding focal point in the area. However, the challenge lay in the sheer size of the space, making it difficult to determine the ideal feature. ML Designs stepped in, aiding the client in discovering the perfect solution—a distinctive, custom-crafted gold chandelier that ultimately became the centerpiece of the entire renovation.

The kitchen emerged as another highlight of the project, earning favor from both the design team and the client. Beginning with a blank canvas, the team stripped the room down to the studs, orchestrating a complete redesign to create a space that seamlessly blends family gatherings with practical cooking. A key adjustment involved relocating the stovetop from the center island to the wall, allowing for the creation of a focal point with the addition of a stylish brass range hood. Simultaneously, the center island was then opened up to become the perfect gathering place for the family.

ML Designs’ commitment to detail ensures a uniquely tailored home for each and every one of their projects. Prioritizing a mix of beauty and functionality, the collaboration between the client and ML Designs transformed the residence into a refreshing space characterized by light and vibrant colors.


Interior Designer: ML Designs, @mldesignskc

Contractor: Holthaus Building, holthausbuilding.com


Interior Designer: ML Designs
Contractor: Holthaus Building
Cabinets: Built to Fit
Countertops: Dimensional Stoneworks
Flooring: European Floors
Hardware: Locks and Pulls
Lighting Fixtures: Relative Lighting
Plumbing Fixtures: Ferguson
Showrooms: KDR Designer Showrooms; Designer’s Library
Window Coverings: One Stop Decorating

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