Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

A blog about luxury and green living by top interior designer Lori Dennis

Main

How to Hire an Architect or Designer, Part I

So you want to remodel your home and you're not sure where to start.  Don't panic.  We're here to help guide you through the steps of starting your project and will point you in the right direction. If this is your first time, the whole process of building your dream might make you a little nervous. Just relax and read up on our 3 Part Series that will help you along the process. Depending on what you'd like to do, you will mostly likely need a Builder or Contractor and an Architect or Interior Designer. #1 What is the difference between and Architect and an Interior Designer? While they each have their own special skills, they often overlap in certain areas.  A simplified description might be that Architects focus on the exterior and structure of a building, and Interior Designers focus on the interior (and sometimes exterior).  If you're interested in adding on to your home, you will most likely also need a Structural Engineer.  Both Architects and and most Interior Designers have years of training and are certified to design all types of buildings - not only homes.  They have studied design, architecture, construction, building codes and sustainability.  Both will redesign and move interior walls, plumbing and electrical, and create computer generated construction plans and elevations.  Both specify finish materials for your walls and floors and oversee the progress in construction.  And both focus on beautiful form, function, needs and safety of the users. It's common for people to assume Interior Designers are merely decorators.  While it's true that designers have an impeccable eye for aesthetics, more importantly they are designing how you use and feel within a space.  They create a space plan and appropriately select furniture, lighting, drapery, art, color, texture and finishes so your space feels rich and layered. Looking for a Professional who is a Green Design Expert? Look for an Architect or Interior Designer who is LEED AP (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional).  Designers and Architects who are LEED certified have advanced knowledge and training in the world of green design and are one step ahead in creating a healthy space for you. If you're interested, I happened to write the book on Green Interior Design which will help you create beautiful interiors while lessening the waste and pollution generated by the building industry.   #2 How Do I Find an Architect or Interior Designer? Word of Mouth This is one of the best ways to look for a professional to help you with your space.  Ask your friends, family, neighbors and colleagues.  Reach out to your online community on Facebook or Nextdoor. Online Check out sites like Houzz or The Franklin Report and Look for Pros in your area. Local Chapters  These organizations are a great source for finding licensed Architects and Interior Designers near you. AIA (American Institute of Architects) ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) IIDA (International Interior Design Association) Websites Once you've narrowed down your search to a handful of Designers or Architects, look through their website. Does their work excite you?  Do you have a similar design style you're interested in? Really think about the kind of space you want and start collecting images.  You can easily start an Ideaboard on Houzz, Pinterest or your own computer files.  Having images you like will help you visualize and begin the creative path.      #3 Pick Up The Phone When you have your list of people you'd like to potentially work with, it's time to start a conversation. Be Prepare to Answer Questions About Your Project: What is the style of your space? When was it built? How many square feet is it? What are your goals with the project? (Would you like to add on? Remodel the kitchen and bathrooms?  Add new windows, doors, flooring, paint and lighting? Do you need new furniture or will you bring in your old items into a fresh space?) What is your personal style? What are your priorities What is on your Wish List? What is your budget? (They ask not so they can spend every dime, but so they know what level of work to be done and finishes they can specify.) When would you like the project to be completed? (They should be able to give you a rough estimate of how long this might take.)  These 3 Tips should be enough to get you started. Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 on How to Hire an Architect or Interior Designer. Next Up: #4 Meet Your Architect or Interior Designer #5 Understand the Designer's Process #6  What are the Architect's or Interior Designers's Services #7  The Digital Age of Design #8  How Much do Interior Designers and Architects Charge? #9  Who Will Hire the Builder or Contractor


Wood vs. Porcelain Tile

Are you in love with the look of solid wood flooring for your home but think it may be out of your budget? It's time to re-think porcelain tile because it's come a long way, baby! Psssst.....this isn't wood Let's face it, wood is fantastic.  It's classic.  You can dress it up or down, and it's always in style. But now we have other options. And we like options! Now you can get all the look of wood for a fraction of the cost. We've been incredibly impressed with the appearance, endurance and price point of porcelain tile over the years and as the technology keeps getting better and better (you look maaaahvelous!) it's now a strong contender as a wood alternative on floors and walls. Below are some photos of some of our projects using wood and porcelain tile. See if you can tell the difference. (Wood) This project had real wood flooring throughout. But what about the bathroom?  Don't you worry about spills or floods? Nope. Porcelain tiles are perfect in wet/dry or indoor/outdoor areas. Bathrooms and Laundry rooms are ideal, and they're ideal for spaces that have radiant heating. (Porcelain Tile) Porcelain tile is stain and fade resistant and extremely durable - almost twice as hard as wood and stronger than ceramic tile. The wood look matches the grain and distress of natural wood. (Wood) (Tile) Try it on the walls and give your bathroom a laid back, casual style. (Porcelain Tile Walls) (Porcelain Tile Walls) Check out this herringbone layout we used in a lounge / pool side cabana. (Porcelain Tile) There aren't many downsides to using porcelain tile instead of solid wood.  Just make sure you use a qualified tile installer and you're set!


Before and After: Dining Room, Kitchen and Master Bedroom

 And now for another segment of Before and After! Let's start with one of our recent full home remodels. Home Chef Master Makeover Our wonderful clients (who we LOVE LOVE LOVE) wanted to keep the same layout of the kitchen, but really bring it up a notch.  They are extraordinary home chefs and wanted the best of the best in appliances, like a salamander and the first ever US imported Freddy Blast Chiller. The face lift really brightened the kitchen with new floors, custom cabinetry, hood, counters and backsplash, not to mention appliances by Wolfe, Miele, Blue Star and Irinox Freddy (the Italy import story was featured in Robb Report). Bachelor Master Room Makeover This next project was for a bachelor looking for a sexy and dramatic bedroom makeover. Inspired by the East, we completely transformed his basic room into something extravagant. We added black lacquer wall panel and molding with a dark charcoal grasscloth wallcovering, and covered the ceiling in black and gold wallpaper.  His existing rug was trimmed with red velvet and we kept his vintage dresser that he purchased at an auction (beating out Mick Jagger!).  New light fixtures, custom bedding, art and drapery completed the look. Modern Moroccan Makeover This bathroom was sweet as is but not as functional for a young family. The house was originally built in the 1920's, and this modest bathroom had limited storage and function. Our clients wanted a Modern Moroccan feel that would go along with the Spanish style of the home. Here you'll see a neutral color scheme in the Encaustic floor tiles, Andalusian Ogee white wall tiles and hammered metal vanity.  A Moroccan Mirror was re-purposed into the face of a medicine cabinet and was built to slide to the left or right for accessibility.  The overscale pendants were painted a bright turquoise to match the mirror and the gold star ceiling fixture was the cherry on top. Bonus Cost Effective Do-It-Yourself Makeover… If you don't have a lot of space for entertaining in your dining room and it feels a little drab, try these next steps . . . Add a coat of fresh paint and some value engineering. Build (or buy) a bench to create your own built-in seating. Slip cover the base, a few chairs, and add seat cushions and pillows. Still want more?  Tape up your walls and add stripes for a custom fun look.  Choose colors from your accent pillows. Now you're ready for entertaining! What will you do this weekend to freshen up your home this Spring?


Stone vs. Porcelain Tile

Stone is ageless, totally timeless and beautiful. If you're looking for Marble, Granite, Limestone, Travertine or Slate for your home, take a look at Porcelain Tile. It's really stepping up to the plate. (Tilebar) Porcelain tiles installed in a stacked pattern with polished finish for the ultimate modern style. When this "stone-like" alternative first came on the scene years ago, it was incredibly unimpressive. The technology just wasn't there yet and it looked highly pixelated. Nowadays, there are manufacturers who are producing such high quality tile, it will make you do a double take. You'll see the same aesthetics but without the maintenance hassle or price tag. (Stonepeak) Large Porcelain tile slabs installed as a bookmark application in the shower.  What a focal piece! Porcelain tile is stronger than Stone and less expensive to install.  (Make sure you have a quality installer). Like Stone, Porcelain tile contains color throughout so don't worry - a chip won't be as noticeable as it would in ceramic tile. (Tilebar) Calacatta marble look installed in a staggered pattern with a honed finish. Not only is Porcelain tile a nice alternative to Stone, but now it's available in slabs which expands the possibilties! This is awesome for large surfaces and counters, where solid surface quartz and Caesarstone have been dominating the field for quite some time. (Stonepeak) We're so impressed with the Stonepeak slabs used as counters. The large scale tile on the floor and walls is stunning. (Stonepeak) (Stonepeak) (Stonepeak) (Tilebar) Slate look in Porcelain Tile.


Top 10 Best Interior Designers

We are thrilled to be included in the TopTeNY's list of Top 10 Most Creative Interior Designers in the world. After scouring the globe, Lori Dennis, Inc. is among a group of elite designers like Kelly Hoppen, Karim Rashid, Marcel Wanders and Kelly Wearstler. Check out the list below and see other creative designs from the world's top interior designers. 10.  Olivia Ann Calleja 9.  Patricia Urquiola 8.  Robeson Design 7.  Lori Dennis 6.  Karim Rashid 5.  Phillipe Starck 4.  Marcel Wanders 3.  Martha O’Hara 2.  Kelly Hoppen 1.  Kelly Wearstler Thank you again TopTeny for including us! Read full article here.


Stage to Sell – Top 5 Tips on Home Staging

It only takes a few seconds to make a first impression. Staging your house to sell requires a completely different approach than how you might decorate your home.  For starters, think of it as property - a house that you would like to sell rather than the home you like to live in.  Changing those 2 words (House and Home) in your vocabulary will do wonders to your perspective.  Just like when you sell your car, if you want a maximum on your return, you fix a few things that show wear and tear, remove personal belongings and give it a deep detailed cleaning.  Your goal should be to sell your house in the least amount of time for more than the asking price. Here are a few STATS: - The cost of staging is typically between 1% and 3% of the list price and generates about 8% to 10% return. - Staged homes sell 50% - 80% faster than un-staged home, eliminating carrying costs. These 2 items alone support the argument that staging pays for itself. - 90% of buyers first view potential homes on the internet and form an opinion within 7 seconds of seeing it. Knowing this, staging your home to not only look great in person but also in photographs is key. Follow these Top 5 Tips on Home Staging and get into the mindset of potential home buyers: 1.  De-Clutter and Edit Remember Coco Chanel's famous quote: "Once you've dressed, and before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off."  The same applies in this situation.  Less is more.  Way more.  When people walk into the space, they want it to feel inviting, comfortable, peaceful and clean.  Remove furniture that is crammed into a room.  Take out personal photographs, memorabilia and chachkies that add unnecessary layers.  Clear off your counters of stacks of mail or things to be put away.  People want to want to see the house and architecture, not your things, and they want to be able to envision themselves living in your house and making it their home. 2.  It's not Personal Your overall goal would be to appeal to the masses, so keep it neutral.  Your space should be attractive to both men and women, young and older, and cross cultural.  You wouldn't want to exclude any potential buyer.  Think of it like this - you're selling the most delicious vanilla ice cream. But that doesn't mean that it has to be boring.  Clean and contemporary paint colors that won't scare people off would be a warm white or soft grey. 3.  Rearrange Existing Furniture Create an open floor plan in the public spaces so the room feels larger.  Place furniture in a symmetrical layout so it implies balance and peace. 4. Time to Update Perhaps it's been awhile since you've fixed up your place, so it might need a little make-over.  If your budget is tight, simply clean the house, de-clutter and rearrange the furniture making everything feel lighter and brighter.  Replace your sofa pillows, bedding, bathroom towels and shower curtain and purchase new planter pots for the front and backyard.  If you have a little money to spend you could revive the landscaping, replace the light fixtures and update the plumbing and electrical systems to current standards.  With an even more flexible budget, you could paint the exterior and interior.  Paint is always the biggest bang for your buck and makes a home feel completely new again.  Purchasing new flooring or lightly remodeling the kitchen and bathroom will give you more return on your investment.  Remember to keep it neutral with your selections, perhaps with a transitional, broad style that appeals to the masses.  Now is not to time to get fancy - you can do that in your next home. 5.  Hire a Stager and Rent Furniture Why hire a home stager?  You may not have the time to stage your home yourself, especially if it's completely empty, or  maybe you're just at a complete loss as to where to start.  Or maybe you think your home is fine the way it is, in all it's stunning glory.  Well, it might be helpful to get an outside eye with a fresh perspective.  Depending on your needs, you can hire a stager for a few hours to give you quick tips and help you rearrange and edit, or pay them a flat fee and they will stage a few rooms or the whole house.  We promise you, it'll be worth every penny.  When your house sells faster than you ever imagined and you're toasting with your celebratory glass of champagne, you'll be thanking me later.


Kohler and Kelly Wearstler Launch Parties

Oh, what a week! With friends and family, Kelly Wearstler, SoCal Contractor and Ann Sacks. We had a wonderful time celebrating the debut Kelly Wearstler's new tile collection for Ann Sacks. Always with a unique point of view and style expression, Kelly's designs are bold, fun and funky fresh. We were honored to be a part of the Grand Opening of the Kohler Signature Store inside Expressions Home Gallery at HD Buttercup where they featured me and my book, Green Interior Design.  The history of Kohler in Photos Sr. Designer Sara Plaisted and I at the Kohler showroom book signing. We loved this geometric cut glass sink. So many collections to choose from.  Just when I think I'm in love with one, I fall for another. A couple of the beautiful vessel sinks, perfect for any powder room. And finally the cherry on top, the jewelry for the bathroom, accessory hardware from Nest Studio Thank you again for all your kindness Kelly Wearstler and Kohler and Expressions Home Gallery!


Cast Your Vote: Fireplace Mantel Make-over

We gave an out-dated fireplace a mantel make-over for Angie's List and we'd LOVE your vote. Check out our step by step process here, starting with design decisions and finishing off with how we accessorize. We couldn't have done without help from our favorite sponsors Lamps Plus Finishes Tile Bar West Elm SoCal Contractor VOTE HERE You can vote every day! Voting Ends May 20! Thanks everyone!


Interior Design: How Much Do Things REALLY Cost?

People often ask us how much it will cost for a remodel, and our first question is usually "What would you like to do?" and our second is "What is your budget?" Most people honestly have no idea how much things cost, so we're here to help lift the curtain on the remodeling show. If you're lost and don't know where to start, think of your budget like you would a car: Would you like a Honda (Economy), BMW (Premium) or a Bentley (Luxury)? Other Questions We Might Ask You There are so many variables to consider, starting with the style of the home. Is it clean and modern? Or traditional with a lot of details? What is the size of the room? Are you changing the floor plan (moving walls or plumbing locations)? Knowing your budget helps us determine what type of finish materials, appliances, plumbing, fixtures, windows, doors, lighting, furniture, etc. We can find you a $5 door knob or a $500 door knob. Knowing what you'd like to spend helps us find you the best bang for your buck. Again, each of these items range from economical to high end luxury, or somewhere in between. Costs will include all of the above, but don't forget about permits, cost of labor and Contractor fees, and Designer fees. It's also a good idea to plan a little extra for the unexpected surprises along the way. Investing in a Kitchen or Bathroom remodel will definitely increase your property value and give you the best R.O.I. What Does a Kitchen Remodel Cost? A modest kitchen remodel might cost between $40,000 and $75,000. This would include things like possibly creating a new layout, professional grade appliances, custom cabinetry and hardware, stone counters and a glass backsplash. A high end luxury kitchen remodel might cost over $100,000. This might include a new layout with more detailed finishes to align with the style of the home, higher end luxury appliances, fixtures, cabinetry and materials - all with stunning details and beauty. What Does a Bathroom Remodel Cost? Remember, the scope of the project has a lot to do with how much it might cost. Is this a Powder Room or a Master Bath? A mid-range bathroom remodel could be somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000. This might include upgrades to plumbing fixtures, a new toilet, material finishes like tile and flooring, lighting, vanity and counter. On the high end, it could be anywhere from $50,000 to over $100,000. This would be for a full remodel, again depending on the scope of work. Costs might include new layout, high end fixtures and materials, custom cabinetry and added specialty details. You could include options like a steam shower or radiant floor heating. How Much Will It Cost to Furnish My Whole House? We've seen it happen a few times where a client spends over $1 Million to build their dream home, yet doesn't want to spend the money on furniture.  Instead, they bring in their dated furniture and are disappointed that their new home doesn't feel as special or cohesive as they'd hoped.  Furniture and Lighting are just as important as the finishes of your home because it really completes the look and style that you're going for.  We're not suggesting that you toss everything and start over.  Mix and Match Old and New to make your home feel collected, but keep in mind the style of the home and interior furnishings should work well together. A full room would include furniture, lighting, window coverings, rugs, wallpaper, pillows, plants, art and accessories. A moderate range can be between $10,000 and $15,000 per room. High end luxury furnishings could be over $30,000 per room. Our suggestion is: Figure how much you'd like to spend first. Research looks and styles that you love. Set your dream goal for what you'd like to do, then whittle down to what you can afford. Interview reputable Designers and Contractors who will guide you along the way. Have reasonable expectations of what things will cost & how long it might take. Most important - HAVE FUN!


Before & After: Kitchen & Bath plus Master Closet

 Are you ready for some Make-Over Magic? We know you love Before and After shots, so we'd like to share a few of ours with you. The first few images below are from one of our Aging in Place / Accessibility Remodels. Our goal was to not only make this space functional, but a happy and beautiful home to live in and thrive.  Hallways and doorways were widened, the carpet was removed, and a serene and peaceful blue and white color scheme was introduced throughout. Along with brightening up the kitchen with new white cabinetry, blue counters and small subway tile backsplash, we replaced the floor with a wood-like porcelain tile throughout.  The florescent lights in the ceiling were removed and we added a beautiful chandelier, floral drapes for privacy as well as a built in banquette with table. Fresh, clean and up to date!  Our little secret was this accessible vanity cabinet.  Nobody wants to see the undermount of a sink and plumbing in this case, so we concealed it.  It's safe and easy for anyone in a wheelchair and looks finished and beautiful when not in use.  The home is now easy to move around in, free of obstructions, and transformed into a lovely home that feels comfortable and relaxing. And now....one of our favorite makeovers is this closet. Can you believe this is the same room? As you can see, the door was widened to showcase a stunning view room from the master bathroom into the custom built, Sex in the City inspired, master closet for her.  We've wallpapered the ceiling, added a ribbon glass chandelier and mirrored armoire that makes the space feel even bigger. And now for a Cost Effective Do-It-Yourself Make-Over... In general, one of the easiest and most affordable ways to transform a space is by simply painting the walls.  In this case, add white molding to bring in a more traditional feel.  A new upholstered bed with nailheads and white linens really make it clean and beautiful.  Matching lamps bring in the balance and symmetry.  If your nightstands are different sizes, that's ok, just make sure your lamps are at the same height.  You can accomplish this by placing one lamp on top of a few books.  Sprinkle in a few decorative items like a rug, table, or even a chair and voila!  You've transformed your space from drab to drama!


La Cornue – The Bentley of Luxury Ranges

Last week we were invited to Snaidero for a cooking demonstration on the state of the art range, La Corneu.  Not only was the food incredible, but we learned a big difference between Luxury and Premium brands of ranges and what makes La Corneu a great investment. La Corneu has long been considered the Bentley of residential ranges.  The best of the best in terms of performance, quality and stunning design.  Some units, like the Chateau Grand Palais 180, cost as much as $60,000!  This may seem outrageous to some, but back in the day, appliances were considered a major investment - so much so that people took them with them as they moved from home to home. Made with solid brass gas burners and a multi functional electric oven and convection oven in one. Luxury means hand-made with exquisite attention to details.  Similar brands like Aga or Gaggenau are also considered luxury, however they might be a bit challenging for the average American home chef which can be frustrating.  We were assured that this range is not complicated and anyone working on a La Cornue will have a comfortable and easy cooking experience. Made in France and distributed here in Los Angeles, La Corneu has responded to the market's demand and is now offering their version of a high quality range for as low as $7,000.  That is comparable to our other favorite Premium brands, such as Miele, Wolf, Bosch or Thermador.  At this same price point, why not go for the Bentley?    We can't get over all the beautiful details - the knobs, trims, brass burners and towel rod.   With over 8 colors and 3 trims selections, have fun and enjoy the experience of cooking on a La Cornue. Do you feel pretty?  Why not go for pink?   With so many to choose from, which is your favorite?


What We’re Up To: Lighting, Unbreakable Glasses and The Franklin Report

 This has been a really fun week! We are currently on a judging panel for Residential Showroom Lighting.  There are so many beautiful spaces that it's hard to pick just one.  Somebody help us!  Since lighting is on our minds, we thought we'd  share a few special light fixtures from one of our latest  projects. The image above is a delicate circular chandelier above the dining table and a peek into the office beyond where you can see a beautiful curved wall sconce and a gold lotus chandelier above the writing desk.  What a cool Master Closet for him, featuring a metal cubist chandelier and faux horn lamps with burlap shades.    Of course, she has a Master Closet of her own, featuring a fanciful gold glass and crystal chandelier and wall sconces to feature her fantastic shoe collection.    This is Big Daddy's Happy Place, where you can always find him after work - hanging out in the club filled with a poker AND pool table, cigar lounge and wine cellar.    The Living Room features contemporary reading floor lamps and a stunning rings of gold chandelier above the seating area.  Unbreakable Wine Glasses      We've launched something special on Amazon - Unbreakable Stemless Glasses. We've tested so many shatterproof glasses to find you the best on the market. They're crystal clear and BPA Free with a smooth rim and strong body. I'm thirsty already.  Someone, pass me the bottle.    These are a perfect size and fit all types of hands, even petite ladies and kiddos. One of the highlights we love is that they're dishwasher safe, reusable, recyclable and long lasting.   Look Sexy on the Beach! Safe for use on boats, pools, camping, tailgating, concerts and anywhere you don't want broken glass.     Ending our week on another high is our invitation to be included in The Franklin Report.  Lori Dennis, Inc. and SoCal Contractor are honored to be a part of such a highly curated list of designers and contractors in Los Angles. And on that note, I think it's time for a celebratory Unbreakable glass of wine. Happy Friday!


Bathroom Backsplash Styles and Trends

We are honored to be featured in the Bathroom Backsplash Styles and Trends gallery on HGTV and Apple News! Today's designers are taking tile from floor to ceiling in the bathroom, and not just in the shower. Our bathroom features a bold blue-and-green mosaic tile backsplash that extends throughout most of the room. Look for more inspiration on creating a spa-like bathroom of your own. Classic subway tile which is always clean and classy A solid sheet of tinted glass for a chic look Fun shapes like octagon or arabesque tiles Natural Stone that's traditional and timeless Bold Colors for fun and excitement Monochromatic Colors that look a bit more masculine Narrow Glass Tile for the ultimate contemporary style Traditional Square Glass Tile Speaking of tile, stay tuned for our new collection from TileBar!


Color and Your Personality

Have you ever thought about why you're attracted to certain colors and what it may say about your personality? Check out some of our designs below and see how your favorite color describes you! BLACK Artistic, Intuitive, Bold, Powerful, In Control WHITE Independent, Organized, Logical RED Driven, Determined, Risk Taker GREY Reliable, Cool, Composed, Seeks Peace YELLOW Teacher, Enjoys Learning, Expressive ORANGE Social, People Person, Team Player PINK Wants to Love Unconditionally, and Be Loved Unconditionally PURPLE Perfectionist, Seeks Emotional Security, Humanitarian BLUE Seeks Inner Peace and Absolute Truth, Always Thinks of Others GREEN Loyal, Honest, Values Integrity BROWN Great Friend, Enjoys a Stable Simple Life, Not Materialistic One of the easiest and most affordable ways to add color to your space is through paint. Katherine Ireland is known for her use of color in her designs and has partnered with C2 Paint Company.  They are fantastic and luxury for any project. And you can never go wrong with our other favorite, Benjamin Moore Guess you'll have a future project to plan soon! Have fun!


Five Fabulous Tips for How to Accessorize a Room

  The final touches to making a room feel put together is accessories. All the top interior designers know, accessories are the cherry on top.  But many people feel stuck. They either have too much stuff and don't know how to organize it (edit, edit, edit), or they don't have enough (Time to shop!  Oh, the torture.).    When setting your table like celebrity interior designer Lori Dennis, don't forget to add the finishing touches. We love a casual look, placing your dinnerware, glassware, stemware and beautiful linen napkins (available soon at Lori Dennis Home) in stacks on the table.  Don't forget to bring in color and texture through flower arrangements, decorative items, textiles, a decanter and bottles as displayed in this contemporary dining room.    What color grabs your eye in this room?  That's right, Pink!  It really pops in an all white living room and gives it a little excitement.  Pops of color give a room personality and are an easy way to pump up the volume.   Every successful room has a touch of black in it. It's sexy, sophisticated and dramatic.   This James Bond inspired, masculine, master closet exudes richness with the ebony Bombay chests and faux horn lamps.  Staging a table with accessories is all about scale and diversity.  A bowl of flowers on a couple books, art, pottery and trinkets in various sizes, and lighting keep the eye traveling around the space and creates an interesting composition. Show your personality with romantic floral wallpaper, a glam gold leaf lamp, personal art from your travels, vases and pottery. And Voila! So are you ready to decorate?  Let's get to it!


2016 is Starting Off With a Bang!

Happy New Year Everyone! Here we are in Paris celebrating the holidays. I have so many things to be grateful for from 2015 and so much to look forward to in 2016.  For starters, this month is going to be busy busy busy!  We have great design projects we're working on and 2 big Design Campus Live summits coming up where we get to meet so many wonderful people who we can inspire and be inspired by.  I always walk away from camps filled with a deep love and excitement for what I do and the design community as a whole. Design Campus and Design Campus Live have fantastic events for you to be a part of.  We've expanded our reach within the design industry and have opened our Campus doors, offering on-line courses, including CEUs, community involvement, an extensive library and interactive monthly events with Design Time.  Read more here. This weekend I'll be co-hosting Design Campus Live at the Atlanta Winter Market. And the following weekend, we'll host Design Campus Live at the Dallas Winter Market.   If you haven't signed up already, you still have a couple days left to join us at either Super Camp. Get started early this year! CEU's are available in this 2 day event packed with exciting and informative speakers who will discuss licensing, architectural and landscape elements, Instagram, accessorizing with art, designing in the current economic climate and trends. 10 hours of Continued Education Units (CEUs) Exclusive guided showroom tours of 12 top home furnishing vendors Meet and greet with product designers Mentorship by celebrity designers during showroom tour 14 expert speakers and design icons who will take the stage at the Dallas Market Center Extensive training on topics such as: social media, marketing, licensing, architectural and landscape elements, healthcare design, designing in the current economic climate, trends and more. Cocktail parties and networking opportunities Giveaways from our partners! While I'm in Dallas, I'm honored to be a presenter for the 27th Annual ARTS Awards where we will shine the light on beautiful 2015 designs in Rugs, Home Accents, Textiles, Lighting, Interior Designers and Retailers and more.   Don't worry.  I'll make sure to share everything I see and learn this month with you.  It's gonna be great!


Manual of American Interior Design

  We are thrilled to be published in the Manual of American Interior Design, along with friends Timothy Corrigan and Joe Lucas. The editors have done a beautiful job of capturing stylistic building techniques and furniture from the Early American Colonial Period through Modernism.  The book is filled with rich colors, textures and variety and our project Club Laurel Canyon was featured in the chapter of California Style. Images for our project Photography by: Ken Hayden


Designer Home Tour: Andrea Michaelson’s Romantic Modern Abode

    Andrea, seen here with husband Marc We had a wonderful opportunity to tour the stunning home of Andrea Michaelson - an unbelievably talented designer of interiors, metal tile, furniture and fashion.  Her eye is exquisite with no detail left unattended, and she is incredibly down to earth, kind and humble. Andrea's Coffee Table Plank finished dark burnished brass plated aluminum. Her Coffee Cube Tables made of metal, wood, marble - fully customizable. Although these next images of her personal home don't do her space justice, we were so thoroughly enthralled and had to share.  It's a perfect blend of casual comfort and rich sophistication, without any pretense.    At the entry, sweet little delicate chairs flank a stunning overscale and ornate mirror. The structure of her home is architecturally modern with clean lines, concrete and metal finishes, but she adds in rich layers of antique furniture, modern art and perimeter lighting which makes the space completely unique and other worldly. Traditional furniture warms up the modern home, and a slip-covered sofa adds a contemporary feeling. A sleek metal coffee table designed by Andrea and laid back sofa sit among vintage and antique furniture rugs and tapestries. Staircase railing made with a metal chain and finials add texture. Curved wooden doors and old world decor. Curved doors fit perfectly into the straight edge detail of the wall structure. Who says you need one big dining table? The pizza oven in the professional chef's kitchen made the most authentic pizza. Don't worry so much about marks, stains or rings on your furniture. Nothing is perfect and this is a great example of something that has been lived in.  So relax, enjoy your home and make your memories. Modern art and a metal coffee table contrasts with the worn and aged furniture. The outdoor lounge space in between the structure of the home covered in vines and her Design Studio.  We could've hung out here all night.  Overlooking the pool on to the Design Studio in the background. Samples displayed on reclaimed wooden crates. A creative way to display and store her inventory of delicate wrist sleeves. Her metal tile samples hung casually by clips. One of our favorites was the Deck Composite Tile in a Dark Nickel Finish. We couldn't be more impressed with the taste and quality of her designs and want to thank her for her warm hospitality.


Fall Decorating for Thanksgiving

  I love the fall and the changing of the seasons (as much of a change as we get here in California!) It's a time where we bring the elements of autumn into our homes to add warmth and create a cozy, welcoming place to create lasting memories with friends and family. Think about Color, Texture, Earth Objects and you're ready to go.  Here are some great ways to add fall decor to your home... A warm welcome for you and your guests - 2 urns filled with leaves and branches from nearby trees and a pop of color from pomegranates. Even a neutral pallet can add a cool texture to a traditional home using raw wood, metal and a natural decorative pumpkin. A great example of Farm to Table.  Fill a tray with gourds and squash, and add leaves to linen white terracotta vases. An easy table display using colorful pumpkins, veggies, branches and candles. Do you have an old board laying around?  Use it to prop up your centerpiece of candles, fruits, gourds and whatever else you find in your backyard. We love West Elm and this season they have beautiful boxwood garland and topiaries that are freeze dried so they'll stay fresh for years and still look great! Gourds!  All I Really Want is Gourds!  I love this idea of using these as a vase for vibrant dahlias and other flowers.  Just empty the insides and add water. Like the flowers in the gourds above, here are beautiful succulents planted in a white pumpkin.  All natural baby. Here is my idea of winter white.  Soft linen sheets and a duvet, natural light wood and a comfy woven rug underfoot. (PS. that faux sheep skin rug is from IKEA and we use it everywhere!) A simple outdoor setting.  Just lie freshly cut flowers and leaves down the center of the table so guests can easily chat with their friends across the way.  Add a relaxed vibe with soft Mexican blankets for when it gets chilly in the evening. White on White on White.  An elegant and chic way to decorate this fall. I hope you've found some inspirational ideas for your home.  I know I have a few fun projects to work on this weekend.


The Design Campus Collection at Jaipur Rugs

 Hot off the Press! Lori Dennis and Kellis Ellis, of Design Campus, are proud to present a fun new rug collection at Jaipur Rugs, debuting this fall at High Point Market. Kelli and I, about to enter the Jaipur Showroom. Their showroom design is always so beautifully layered and their back coffee bar isn't bad either!  A go-to every time. I've been working with and using Jaipur rugs on my projects for years and am so happy that we were able to partner with them on our collection. Jaipur Rug in our Chicago Loft Style Project Jaipur's rich design catalog along with their business and manufacturing philosophy is something I've always stood behind and am now proud to be a part of.   This, coupled with their stunning designs, make us and our clients thrilled with the final results - and all at an affordable price. It's a win-win. Our chic and clean condo project for our Business Bachelor in Marina del Rey The new Design Campus Collection exemplifies contemporary living through contrasting colors and playful graphics that are at home in urban to coastal settings.  Appropriate for indoor and outdoor use. Check it out and play on! Clink Time Piece Ten Palms Neighborhood Watch Crew Neighborhood Watch Aquatics We'll be in High Point this weekend and would love to see you pop by and see these rugs in person!


blank-blog-1Celebrity-Interior-Designer-Lori-Dennis-1-251x300

Lori Dennis is a top Interior Designer, speaker, best selling author, star of HGTV’s The Real Designing Women and co-founder of Design Campus.

 

FACEBOOK TWITTER GOOGLE + PINTEREST YOUTUBE HOUZZ INSTAGRAM

 

SHOP FAVORITES

box_with_red_wine_Lori_Dennis_Home_Unbreakable_Glasses-lo-res-1

DCI02_RCT_HS-1

DCI04_RCT_HS-1

 

INSTAGRAM

 

Social-Icon-facebook-1 Social-Icon-Twitter-1 Social-Icon-Google-Plus-1 Social-Icon-Pinterest-1 Social-Icon-YouTube-1 Social-Icon-Houzz-1 Social-Icon-Instagram-1