Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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

Main

Essentials for the Perfect Guest Room

How to Create the Perfect Guest Room Your guest room should be homier than a hotel room, but still less personal than the rest of your home. Here’s how to achieve the perfect balance! These are the elements you need to create the perfect guest room or guest house so that visitors feel right at home. With these guest room essentials, they may never want to leave! Welcome Housekeeping Upon entry, you’ll want your guests to feel right at home. So you’ll want to take care of housekeeping items that let your guests know where they can find everything: Consider including some form of a placard with important instructions (ie: how to use the TV, where to find extra pillows and towels, and, of course, include the coveted wifi password!). Guest Room Amenities Save your guests late-night or early-morning trips to the kitchen by including a coffee station and/or small mini wet bar: We recommend including a coffee/tea maker with some local brew and teas, or a basket or mini fridge stocked with local bottles of wine or beer. Decorate your mini-bar with something living (a little green goes a long way!) and something that smells good -- we love a space with a signature scent! So consider including a pillow mist or some luxurious scented candles. Guest Room Bedding Keep a closet or bed-foot storage stocked with easily accessible, extra pillows and blankets in neutral colors that are always welcoming and easily washed. The bed may be the one area where it’s always a good idea to take note from your favorite hotel suite, complete with: Multiple high thread-count flat sheets, with a light blanket sandwiched between them Plenty of cozy, down feather-filled pillows! (Shams, pillows, and throw pillows) A plush duvet and blankets Lounge Seating in Your Guest Bedroom Creating a lounge-like atmosphere akin to that of a hotel room: Consider including poufs or small cocktail tables with cozy seating or benches or trunks that can function as seating, tabletop, and storage. Decorate with coffee table books and magazine/city guides that pertain to activities to do around town! This is also a good place to include a catch-all for keys or jewelry, and an additional phone and computer charging station. Guest Room Closet & Laundry In the closet, you’ll want to include an empty set of hangers, laundry baskets or a hamper, and for added hotel vibes, a luggage rack (like this super styling one from Dunes and Duchess)! Guest Bathroom Include travel-sized toiletries or bubble baths and oils for an added luxe element, and extra toilet paper and towels rolled in a basket for easy access.


Rugs Shopping 101

How to Shop for Rugs Like a Designer

How to Shop for Rugs Rugs are responsible for the overall sense style in a space. They ground and define the space; add color are work wonderfully as a jumping off point to create a color palette in the room. From how to shop ethically to what materials are most durable: we’re answering the top 10 Questions we get about rugs: How Do I Choose a Rug? Color is often a good place to start, then consider style (traditional, modern, global), price point, and how much foot traffic a room gets (which often cen help you determine price point): Using a rug as a room’s anchor point, you might want to op’t for a monochromatic /neutral colored rug. Or perhaps you want something splashy! You’ll also want to look for ethical labels that prevent child labor in other countries, like Good Weave: https://goodweave.org/ What Size Rug Should I Buy? A few rules of thumb: In larger rooms, you want to be sure all the furniture can fit comfortably on the rug, without feeling cramped. In a mid-sized or smaller space, you want at least the front legs of your couches and chairs to fit on the rug. What is the Most Durable Type of Rug for High-Traffic Areas? Jute, Sisal, Woven rugs made of recycled material are known for their durability! Outdoor rugs made to withstand weather and spills are great for indoors too, since they’re easy to clean up messes from kids and pets. How Do I Care for My Rugs? When you vacuum, turn off the spindle to prevent the rug fibers from breaking down faster.  Vacuum on bare floor setting, rather than the carpet setting, and be sure to include rug pads beneath your rugs! Be mindful of the pile height as well-- shorter piles are going to be easier to maintain and clean. Why is Pile Height Important? Important to look at pile height and be sure to always include a rug pad underneath, especially when pile height is thicker. Flat weaves are durable and thin, making them excellent choices for high-traffic areas.  General pile sizes include: less than 1/4″ (short); 1/4″ to 1/2″ (mid-sized); 1/2″ to 3/4″ (luxe and shaggy). Some shags, including wool, can be up to ½” thick. Though longer, shaggy rugs can feel very luxe, they’re susceptible to crashing. Shorter piles will last a lot longer. Do I Really Need a Rug Pad? Rug Pads are important. They give cushion to the rug, making it easier on your knees. They also add traction so the rug doesn’t pull off the floor, and you don’t slip. You definitely need them in hallways and in kitchens. They’ll also help maintain your rug: They allow for more air circulation, which prevents mold and mildew in the inevitable case of spills. What Materials Are the Healthiest? When rug shopping, look for natural fibers, rather than those made of synthetic materials: Wool, Cotton, Jute, Hemp, Silk Blends, Sisal. That said, for some purposes, synthetic rugs may be the way to go: Viscose, for example, is synthetic but looks like silk, and is much more affordable. Which Materials to Are the Most Toxic? Health Concerns: Polypropylene Rugs can be very affordable but are also toxic, made of gasoline and can offgas (that’s how you get that ‘new carpet’ smell!). We wouldn’t recommend synthetic rugs for children’s rooms, where they are sleeping, or could be crawling on the rug with their faces near the rug. (The same goes for pets that lick their paws and the carpet at the same time). How Come Rugs Are So Expensive? How Come Some are So Cheap? Rug prices are generally determined by a few different factors: the materials they’re made of, the process by with they are made, and their country of origin and how ethically produced they are. Rug-making processes are fascinating! Rugs can be stamped, hand woven, hand loom, machine woven, or flat weaves-- which can account for disparities in price. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "loridennisi0b-20"; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; amzn_assoc_region = "US"; amzn_assoc_title = "Rugs 101"; amzn_assoc_linkid = "269d4a4e9fc68ca010298907d1c83760"; amzn_assoc_asins = "B00OHYQ47I,B01GS0CV2U,B0044MRFO4,B01HDWIOUK"; What are Common Types of Global Rugs and What’s the Difference Between Them? When shopping globally, we source a lot of rugs from South America, Africa, especially Morocco, the Middle East, and India. Dhurries are a type of flat-woven rug, and they're generally very affordable, Kilims are a popular type of flat-woven wool rug similar to dhurries, except they're more tightly woven. What’s Trending in Rug Design Right Now? Themed, novelty rugs are adding a youthful vibe to every space, not just children’s rooms! They’re also great for game rooms, man caves, and outdoor spaces. Coastal, tropical rugs are still trending as Palm Springs Desert Glam style continues to be popular. Modern, graphic, abstract rugs are trending as modern statement pieces! Natural Fiber, over dyed, ikat print rugs are richly textured and durable and are perfect for achieving that ‘California Cool’ aesthetic.


Meet the Movers & Shakers of High Point Market

Stay in the Know: Design Trends, Quality Home Furnishings, Designer Exclusives

  In the design industry, it's important to stay in the know and there's no better way to do that than a trip to the High Point Market! We’ll keep you updated throughout on the Design Blogger's Tour, but we wanted to give you a sneak preview of what’s to come. Here's your sneak preview of the designer exclusive home furnishings we'll be sourcing this October market: More about the High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour A couple weeks ago we were finally able to announce the High Point Market Design Bloggers Tour in partnership with Esteem Media! Along with 10 other style spotters, we’ve been selected to participate and we couldn't be more excited to bring you the latest in home furnishing trends live from High Point Market. Read on to familiarize yourself with all the movers and shakers of the home furnishing industry and for our trend predictions: Bernhardt Furniture, www.bernhardt.com Bernhardt is a 125 year old, family-owned furniture company with something for every style! What we can expect to see: Exquisite, polished finishes and mixed metals. Century Furniture, www.centuryfurniture.com Gorgeous wooden casegoods and beyond! Their motto: “Nothing is more wasteful than disposable furniture” so they create products of such impeccable quality that they’ll last for generations. What we can expect to see: Classic lines mixed with more contemporary shapes for an elegant, yet eclectic look. Crypton Home Fabric, www.cryptonhome.com The best fabric for families and households with pets and in rooms for entertaining-- spill and stain-resistant technology. What we can expect to see: Cool, casual, inviting family-friendly spaces. Duralee, www.duralee.com Unafraid to be bold: Duralee partners with innovative textiles designers to create luxurious signature patterns and prints and is a go-to fabric company for color! What we can expect to see: New designer collections, large scale prints, tone on tone.  Green Apple Home Style, www.greenapple.pt Leaders in elegance and sophistication, Green Apple Home Style is a Portuguese-based company bringing their international style to High Point! What we can expect to see: World-glamour! Gold accents! Modern, luxe designs. Huntington House, www.huntingtonhouse.com When we think of this North Carolina-based company, visions of plush cushions and sturdy frames come to mind! What we can expect to see: Classic, contemporary furnishings, neutrals, tone on tone color palettes. IMC – SALON, www.imchighpointmarket.com/salon  The SALON at High Point Market features trendy companies’s latest designs in the furniture, lighting, rugs, wall art, home textile and decorative accessories categories. What we can expect to see: Funky, fearless, urban designer collections from coastal designers like Bend Goods and Flitch. Lloyd Flanders Industries Inc., www.lloydflanders.com Lloyd Flanders features quality woven furniture--some of the best, classic outdoor furniture you’ll find! What we can expect to see: Luxurious outdoor furnishings with the luxe shapes of formal interior living room furniture Scott Living, www.scottlivinghome.com Scott Living blends the Property Brothers, Drew & Jonathan Scott’s distinct twin-personalities into one with trendy sectionals, wooden cocktail tables, and midcentury-inspired sofas. What we can expect to see: Comfortable, modern, commercial furnishings.  Sunbrella, www.sunbrella.com Sunbrella fabrics are used for the most durable and sustainable umbrellas, outdoor furnishings, and awnings! They’re GREENGUARD® Gold Certified, OEKO-TEX® Certified, and have the Skin Cancer Foundation Seal of Approval. What we can expect to see: Durable outdoor fabrics, luxurious to the touch! Theodore Alexander, www.theodorealexander.com Over 4000 designers craft every piece of Theodore Alexander’s elegant case goods, beds and upholstery by hand. What we can expect to see: Bold, gold glamour! High contrast and lots of drama! Tomlinson, www.tomlinsoncompanies.com Crafted domestically, one piece at a time, Tomlinson partners with some of our favorite, fabulous designers like Barry Dixon and Bea Pila to create some of the chicest home furnishings in the game! What we can expect to see: Attention to detail! From chair legs to sofa arms, in the Tomlinson showroom, we'll be looking out for the detailing on the upholstery. Universal Furniture, www.universalfurniture.com Universal has a lot of incredible, functional, practical furnishings complete with stylish, built-in features, making their pieces excellent choices for media rooms and other entertaining spaces. What we can expect to see: Neutral, tone on tone palettes, clean lines. Wexel Art Displays, www.wexelart.com Wexel art frames’ modern, sleek design make it easy to change up the art in your space! They’re super easy to install and also make for excellent gifts! What we can expect to see: Modular, modern, customizable designs! Younger Furniture, www.youngerfurniture.com Younger upholstery is casual, comfy, and fuss-free. We particularly love their vibrant, retro Avenue 62 collection (a great source for teen rooms and plat rooms!) What we can expect to see: Fun, family-friendly durable home furnishings!


Designing Monochromatic Rooms

“How to Make Your Monochromatic Room Not Look Like a Snowstorm”

How do you choose a color palette?
What types of fabrics and other textiles work best in monochromatic spaces?
How do you create depth and prevent a monochrome palette from making a space look flat?


Lori Dennis Selected to Participate in the Elite High Point Design Bloggers Tour 2017!

 Welcome to High Point Market This October, I’m headed to High Point Market to join an elite group of 10 style-spotting professionals on the Design Bloggers Tour in partnership with Esteem Media! What does that mean, exactly? What is High Point Market? Think of High Point as the fashion week of the home furnishings industry! It’s the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world: 11.5 million square feet of showspace, 75,000 attendees, and 2000+ exhibitors. High Point brings together retail buyers, interior designers, architects, and others in the home furnishings industry from over 100 different countries. The best part about this design bloggers tour is that it allows me to bring you on a virtual furniture-sourcing trip with me so you, too, can get a peek behind the scenes with me and the other designers! We’ll be covering all the hot spots at High Point Market, featuring the most innovative interior styles, shapes, colors, and materials defining the current state of design.   Sounds Great! Who Else is On This Awesome Tour? From interior designers, to product designers, bloggers and editors, this tour is packed with awesome points of view from across the country: Kristie Barnett, The Decorologist, www.thedecorologist.com Cecillia Cannon, Home with Keki, www.homewithkeki.com Brittany Chinaglia, The Vintage Rug Shop, www.thevintagerugshop.com/blog Deborah von Donop, dvd Design, www.dvdinteriordesign.com Cheryl Kees Clendenon, In Detail Interiors, www.indetailinteriors.com/stories Courtney, French Country Cottage, www.frenchcountrycottage.net Jana Platina Phipps, Trim Queen, www.trimqueen.com/trim-queen-chronicles Ann Sage, annsage.com, www.annesage.com Sarah Walker, The Curated House, www.thecuratedhouse.com/journal   Lori Dennis, Lori Dennis, Inc., www.loridennis.com/greenblog (me!)


The 10 Commandments of Designing Small Spaces

One surefire way to open up your small space is to op’t for a bright, light color palette, but we love color so much and break that rule all the time and, when done correctly, can still achieve the same desired results: Another option is to op’t for a monochromatic palette, whether light or dark. Or, if you simply cannot help yourself from including prints and patterns (we’re guilty!), a small space is perhaps a good place to get more matchy matchy with your walls, floors, and furniture, so everything blends.


Smart Luxury: The Best Technology for a Sustainable Home

Why Luxury Hotels Are Our Ultimate Smart Home Inspiration

Let’s set the scene: You walk into a luxurious hotel room… Engulfed in the ambiance, the room is an experience a designer has crafted, specifically for you. Every detail has been thought of and executed to perfection: There’s no work for you to do. It’s time to relax. You’re on vacation. Your favorite music is playing, the lighting is just right, perfectly soothing. The drapes are either open or closed, dependent upon the time of day, and move automatically, no drawstrings in the way. This is true luxury: a living space that’s comfortable and easily functional and adaptable. Why Luxury Hotels Are Our Ultimate Smart Home Inspiration We get so many requests to make homes ‘hotel-like,’ but what does that mean, really? Is it an aesthetic? What makes hotel rooms such distinct living spaces? Hotels specialize in creating these relaxing escapes by utilizing cutting-edge technology. That’s why luxurious hotel rooms are our ultimate smart home inspiration! And now, with increased accessibility to technology, there’s no reason you can’t apply the same principles to your home to increase the style, safety, and functionality of your home for greater ease. Smart homes support the senses: keeping your music at a comfortable level, keeping garage doors and appliances quiet and keeping ugly tech out of sight, maintaining comfortable temperatures and moving things with ease. Security: Access Control in Your Smart Home From cameras, camera doorbells and alarm systems to FOB access, and garage door safety, home security is one of our biggest requests when talking to clients about a smart home. So this is always a good *safe* (pun intended) place to start with implementing smart home technology. And while we tend to think of lighting in terms of decoration, it’s another smart technology to implement in your homes in terms of safety and security, especially outdoors. You’ll want plenty of lighting around pools & spas on timers, and you’ll want landscapes to be well lit as well for both aesthetic and functional purposes. Consider implementing a feature walls, or safety paths. Put lighting on sensors and timers for a hands-off approach. Smart Home Audio / Visual Luxury is complete, customizable control: You want to be able to control surround sound, TVs, and outdoor music with the push of a button. Build AV controls into walls: Utilize iPads to control security cameras or speakers for music. Sometimes this even serves a practical function: One of our clients would blast mariachi music outside when she wanted her husband to come in from his man cave and come to bed! Drapery for Your Smart Home Living & Bedrooms Now let’s move indoors...No More pulling on chains or having unsightly hanging strings or rods that break or are dangerous to kids. Drapery is now electronically controllable, which is both an aesthetic luxury that gets pesky hanging strings out of the way and is a great step in childproofing a home without compromising the home’s design. Keeping It Cool Smart thermostats that learn what temperature you like your home can read the outside temperature and adjust accordingly. And smart window shades (controlled electronically, of course) also help cool your home, keeping cooling costs down. Lutron Integration System for Lighting and Automation Smart Home Kitchen Appliances From touch-screen refrigerators that maintain your family’s grocery list and can grow produce inside them to smart ovens that self heat and clean when you need them to, no room is the house has seen such a vast impact in smart home technology as the kitchen. Household names like Samsung and up-and-coming brands like Everblume and Urban Cultivator are truly changing the game when it comes to efficiency in the kitchen with smart-phone controlled appliances. Shower & Tub Systems for a Smart Home Bathroom Just like cars with a preset button for each user, smart shower systems get to knows you best! Smart shower systems can also involve color and sound therapy; setting the temp, water flow, lighting, and sound to cultivate the most relaxing spa-like experience. Our favorite smart shower tech is from Kohler! Plumbing in Your Smart House Smart toilets have been all the rage for a while -- among our favorite products is the Toto Neorest 2-in-1 with heated seats, night lights, auto-flush, auto-lift. And since our firm focuses heavily on sustainability, our favorite feature is its capacity to conserve water. The controls are wall-mounted next to toilet. Small remotes for toilet and shower media make implementing smart technology in the bathroom easy breezy! Other Smart Controls Acting as your digital personal assistant or house manager, smart systems like the Amazon Echo, Wink Hub, or Google Home can do everything from controlling lighting, playing your favorite music, or sync all of your personal devices. Pick one that works for you AND is stylish (or cover it with something decorative.). Other smart systems to consider implementing for maximum efficiency and security are washers & dryers, sprinklers, and garage doors. HGTV 2017 Smart Home| Photo By: Brian Rozar/Auto Imaging Inc Raising Your Home’s IQ Without Letting Technology Run Your Life Achieving smart-home status is like getting rid of clutter and organizing a room: it takes a bit of time in the initial set up, but feels SO GOOD once it's done and is working for you. Think about the placement of Smart Home Support Systems so they're not an eyesore or placed in the middle of a beautiful focal wall. You don’t want large speakers on a beautiful wall designed with expensive finishes. Don't let modern technology and support ruin the beauty of the room with cords all over the place. Hide technology accordingly so your space can be designed in any style, modern or more traditional, regardless of whether or not it’s high tech. This will make your space more functional and create an environment that is easier to unplug in when you need to.


How to Hire an Interior Designer

How Much Do Interior Designers Cost?

From this moment on, you are entering into a significant relationship. Clear, open and transparent communication will be the key to your success. You'll get an idea of if they understand what you're looking for in the project, how they work, what they provide for you (ie. concepts, project management, construction documents, purchasing, fee structure, etc.) And you can begin to get excited to embark on this exciting design journey with your new designer!


The 10 Best Home Office Design Tips for Maximum Style & Productivity

Here are 10 Tips for maximizing Style and Productivity in your Home Office -- Scroll down to go more in-depth or Pin This Image to your Pinterest Profile to Read Later:  1. Get Your Office Organized You're ready to overhaul your home office with cohesive decor and a mixture of built-in storage solutions but before you start anything, you'll want to go as paper-free as possible. Sign up for e-payments online, scan and digitize your documents, digitize your signature, etc. Then we can begin thinking about what's left and what will realistically be added to your paper stash to design optimal storage solutions for your home office.   2. Choose an Inspiring Color Palette Some may prefer splashes of Color for character so not too distracting, but we had fun with these clients who wanted a bright, bold wallpaper to keep them inspired all day long.  Color seems to be a hang-up in the design process for lots of clients. It highlights our primal fear of change in such a silly way. We wrote abut why and how to overcome it, along with answering all the FAQs we get about choosing paint colors last week here.  3. Pay Attention to Flow & Frequency Seating  is the key for comfort in a home office. You’ll be spending a lot of time time in office chairs so choose desk and lounge seating that you can comfortably adjust positions in all day long. That's the key to a really good chair: When you initially sit down, you don't need to be comfortable right away-- you need to be able to adjust positions and sink in comfortably over time.   4. Vary Lighting Types Rely first on your natural light since it's easiest on the eyes, then put any additional lighting like task lighting or chandeliers on dimmers so it’s easier to transition from day to night. Consider getting a screen protector for laptops or televisions. Lighting seems to be another area in which clients are overwhelmed. If you want to learn more about choosing lighting for every room in your home, this is a great source.  5. Hide Electric Cables This one is pretty self-explanatory: Nothing ruins a beautiful room quite like our 21st century techno-comforts, but you want to hide electric cables and stow unsightly printers away with some chic built-In cabinetry or up against walls, behind larger furniture pieces like consoles and media cabinets.   6. Float Your Desk One of the biggest mistakes we see homeowners make again and again is pushing all their furniture up against the wall. Give your home office a designer touch by floating your desk in the middle of the space. This also places the desk in a Godfather-esque position of power and is great for the overall chi (good flow) of the space. It is an office, after all, your desk should take front and center. 7. Accent with Mirrored Surfaces Integrate some shimmer to bounce light: mirrors, metallics, mixed metals. We love mixing metals to give a space texture, luxe, and a lived in feel all in one. Because of the bounce, you won't need to use as many light sources at once.    8. Accessorize with Art This point, again, ties into the frequency with which you'll be utilizing the space: Include art you want to look at all day long! In the case of this particular home office, the art was already part of the client's personal collection, which was the perfect jumping off point to help us personalize her home office.   9. Face Your View How your home office seating placement functions is two-fold: firstly, you're likely spending a lot of time at your desk, so you'll want a relaxing view. Facing windows always helps! By the same token, you don't want visitors to be distracted, so the placement of extra seating is directional and will tell them where to look. It also better optimizes the feng shui of the space, by facing windows. 10. Go Green! In the vein of going green, be sure to include some fresh flowers or plants throughout the space. Plants help improve the air quality of the space they occupy and they don't have to be high maintenance. We wrote an in-depth guide to indoor plants, if you're afraid of always killing them, which you can access here. 


How to Choose Paint Colors for Your Home

Answering questions like: Why is it so hard to choose a paint color?

Why is it so hard to choose a paint color? Oftentimes clients have no problem choosing furnishings, tiles, throw pillows, and home accessories, but become paralyzed by fear when it comes to choosing a paint color. Change is scary and painting an entire wall a different color is a lot of change. Because paint covers so much square footage and can be time-consuming to repaint, people are terrified to get it wrong. We want to make choosing a paint stress-free by answering all of the common questions we get about paint: How to choose a palette for my home? Start with selecting a color that you love that's already in the room. Perhaps a secondary color from a rug or a piece of art, is a good jumping off point. There are also apps that let you take a pic of the room and it will paint the walls. (Like the Benjamin Moore Design Your Own Room App) Or find an inspiration image that you love and select colors from there. An inspiration image can give you a good idea of how the room will look when it's completely painted. What are the differences in paint finishes? How to Choose An Interior Paint Sheen? Flat- Flat finishes are easy to repaint and hide blemishes well. Consider flat finishes for low-traffic areas, interior walls, and ceilings. Eggshell- A good finish for an elegant look, but still hides blemishes on the wall well. Eggshell finishes are beautiful in moderate traffic rooms like living rooms. Satin- Satin finishes are beautiful, but you must have a near perfect wall surface because blemishes show. That said, satin finishes are great in rooms like kitchens or bathrooms with some exposure to moisture. Glossy and Semi-Gloss - Gloss is for high-sheen effect, perfect for cabinetry and trim. The surface must be blemish free, but a glossy paint is durable and will hold up well over time. Applying a gloss finish takes many thin layers of paint to get correct coverage. Lacquer Finish- Lacquer finishes require 10 or more layers to get a thick, glossy finish. The application is time consuming, but the end product is stunning. Are there any colors I should avoid? What mistakes do homeowners make in choosing paint colors? Color is specific to each person, so there's no color to avoid. However if you're going for something bold, test out an 4x4 patch on the wall to make sure you really like it-- the lighting in a room can affect how similarly or differently you view the paint compared to the swatch you saw at the store. In any event, a good rule of thumb is to give yourself 3 days to adjust to the new color.  You might hate it at first and then fall in love. What colors work best for reselling my home? What colors are best to paint rentals?   Whites and neutrals (light light greys, creams) are the best. These colors have broad appeal and work in virtually every space. White and neutrals are also great for rentals, for the same reasons. It’s also a good idea to use an in-stock, popular color for touch ups. White/Light colors are the best because you don't need a primer when you repaint.   Where do color trends come from? Do they matter? Paint companies, color trend companies, blogs and magazines all have their opinions about trends, but paint is personal and you should select what you love. Realize your opinion of what you love, however; is being affected by the trends in the aforementioned with the imagery they put out in print and social media. What types of paint to avoid/toxic paints? Go for Zero VOC if possible, but at least Low VOC. Avoid paints with formaldehyde. Acrylic or water-based paint is great, unless it lists toxic chemicals such as cadmium, cobalt, magnesium, chromium, and, of course, lead.


Terrifying Toxins We’re Eliminating from Our Homes

Tips to Make Your Home Healthier and Happier

With our firm’s focus on Green Living, we get a lot of requests to help create not just beautiful, but healthy homes.


5 Budget-Friendly Ways to Update Your Mid-Century Modern Home

Midcentury modern style is trending and it isn't actually that hard to achieve in your own home! From updating the space with a fresh coat of paint to choosing the perfect piece of budget-friendly art, Lori transformed a ranch-style home into the quintessential midcentury modern. Take the house tour in the video below and scroll down to read our 5 budget-friendly tips for updating your midcentury modern home: 1. Transform Your Midcentury Home with Poppy Colors: Paint is always going to be the least expensive way to quickly transform a space! Pair a pop of color with a calming neutral. Vibrant reds, oranges, or lime greens callback to the heyday of mid-century modern, when the Brady Bunch was all the rage, but don’t go overboard. Offset powerful colors with neutrals. In this case, we combined orange with a modern grey.   2. Update Your Midcentury Modern Home by Emphasizing Height: Midcentury Modern homes are often single-story, but living in a single-story home doesn’t mean you can’t have height--You just have to emphasize it! Oftentimes the original architecture in these homes comes complete with beams. These homes have great bones, so you just have to figure out how to highlight the height. Consider creating a playful wall-mural to draw the eye upward. Cityscapes are always a good idea! 3. Make Old New Again: As LEED-certified designers, our firm places a heavy emphasis on sustainability and green interior design. A great way to do that is by using what you already have and giving it a new life: Midcentury Modern homes are a great place to work in these repurposed pieces. In this home, we repurposed a vintage rug on an ottoman for a super retro vibe! 4. Update Your Fireplace: Play with the design of your fireplace. In this home, the fireplace was original to the home, we just gave the brick an updated, modern paint job to emphasize it’s style! 5. Art: A little abstract art can go a LONG way to completely transform a space! With so many budget-friendly art resources, giving up-and-coming artists a platform online, there’s no reason you can’t start a stunning art collection of your own.


Tile Style: 6 Stylish Tiles To Use In Your Home Makeover

Why choosing the right tile is SO important

If you want to get creative with your home renovation, tile is a great place to start. Tile has the potential to make or break a design. Read on for our complete guide to choosing stylish tiles for your home makeover


The Future of Design: Trending Towards Sustainability

What Does the Future of Design Look Like? Fully-immersive, hands-on experiences like Virtual Reality and 3D-printing are making design much more accessible. As the general public becomes more sophisticated in their aesthetic preferences and understanding of the necessity for quality products, there is a trend towards sustainability and customization. And with more millennials entering the workforce, cities are booming and telecommuting is on the rise, which has many wondering if workspaces and offices will eventually disappear entirely.   SohoWorks Coworking Space in London Having recently spoken on a panel about the Future of the Workplace at Dwell on Design in Los Angeles, we'll argue that office spaces aren't going to cease to exist just yet. But one thing is for sure: the line between work and personal life continues to blur and the future of design is going to be dependent upon our ability to adapt accordingly. So what creates structure in a structure-less environment? What does the future look like? Enter more multi-disciplinary home offices, coworking spaces, multi-use and modular, community-centric environments--spaces that are economically and environmentally conscious. These are the design trends shaping the future of a brighter, more sustainable future: The Future is Bright! Sustainability, modern design, and minimalism all share an aesthetic connection. The materials we use and the colors we source them in are often dependent upon environmental necessity. And when predicting design trends, it’s often a good idea to look towards the automobile industry. Take popular color trends, for example: the car industry is worlds ahead of many others in color technology, in creating colors that can withstand weather and last a long time, which is why you might have noticed an increase in bright green cars (outer-borough New York taxis, or on zippy sports cars, for example); or perhaps you’ve noticed more crimson-red colored vehicles that don’t fade into a tomato-red in the sun like older models would (And both Greenery and Marsala-Red were recent selections for Pantone’s Color of the Year).    Brighter colors are also historically used in traffic control, in and around cars for safety purposes (Think Stop signs and car blinkers, crossing guard vests, etc.)  Don’t be surprised if you start seeing a lot of bright blue! YInMN (Yes, you read that jumble of letters correctly)-- the most recent shade of blue to be discovered in 200 years has been synthetically crafted in a lab and has recently become available for commercial use. The Future is Vertical! As a response to advancements in medicine and globalisation, populations are increasing and living longer, which means more vertical building to account for everyone. We’re losing horizontal outdoor spaces: less backyards, less gardens, but as a response we’re seeing a movement towards lots of plants indoors, and vertical wall gardens Lagranja Design Coworking Space in Spain Vertical wall gardens are a wonderful way in which people can grow their own produce or just improve the air quality in congested cities.  As the line between indoors and out is blurred, vertical gardens seamlessly bring the outdoors in. Tesla's solar roof panels have recently become available as well, making it easier than ever to harness solar energy in a sustainable fashion. With a focus on the aesthetic design, Tesla's tiles also make it more incentivizing for home owners to harness the power of the sun. The Future is Flexible! As a culture we’ve become accustomed to fast-fashion and instant-delivery; knock-off products that may look great initially, but are ultimately unsustainable. As a response; however, the general public becomes more aware of the process of creating products and services, we’re beginning to see more of a push back and demand for authenticity. The compromise of the cultural demand for instantaneous delivery, customization, and quality that is economical sound cultivates in the form of technologies like 3D-printing. Take a look at the time lapse below of an entire home that was printed in 24 hours:         Right now there are still limitations: manufacturing 3D-printed products with multiple materials at a time is still being developed, which does mean mixed materials will be out as a trend for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, this will result in more monochromatic, "futuristic," minimalist aesthetics overall, and will generate less waste by using only the exact amount of a material necessary. This blog post is a part of Design Blogger Competition organized by CGTrader #DesignForFuture


Why is My Home Renovation Taking So Long?!

The Design Process: How Much Time Do I Need to Renovate My Home?

The Design Process: How much Time Do I Need to Renovate My Home? The time required to renovate your home is contingent upon a lot of different factors:  the size of the space, how long of a time you take to feel comfortable with the design, and how intensive is your renovation (is it just a "pull and replace" project where things are just getting updated, or is the space/ floor plan being rearranged to increase functionality, are things being custom designed and made-to-order?) There are a lot of components that have to come together perfectly to allow for a project to go just as expected and that rarely ever happens. You can expect to spend on average, 2-6 months on a medium-sized home renovation, but we always suggest anticipating your project to take longer than originally planned. Here, Lori shares the 2 biggest reasons your home renovation is taking SO long:   Permits, Materials, and Lead Times, Oh my! Building permits take about a month to get after the design phase and before any building can really get going. Particular materials and specialty products with long lead times can add on months to your renovation. Custom cabinetry, for example, can take 3-4 months. Semi-custom cabinetry generally takes 4-8 weeks, stone or tile products often have long lead times. But a lot of delays come from the "unknowns" - Unlike the products and materials with predictably long lead times, these are the things we can't anticipate. Finding things you don't want to find once the process has started is always a bummer, but that's what we're here for! These issues can range from structural issues requiring additional permits, to plumbing & electric issues. Sometimes, during construction we find old infrastructure has to be upgraded or replaced. According to Houzz, here are the average amounts of time you can expect a project to take (Keep reading: We’ll break this down into a bit more detail below):   Kitchen Renovations Kitchens can take 3-6 months to complete, dependent upon what upgrades you want to make. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the appliances, and the harder and more surface area there is, the longer you can expect a project to take. From new ovens, sinks, and refrigerators, to counter tops and custom cabinetry, kitchens are entirely large appliances and hard surfaces. Bathroom Renovations If you’re overhauling a large master bathroom, complete with shower and/or bath features, and multiple sinks and counters, expect your renovation to take no less than 3 months. Smaller powder rooms may take slightly less time, but choosing, ordering, and installing the perfect sink, tiles, and toilets can still take about 3 months.   Laundry Room Renovations Similarly, laundry rooms require ordering large appliances with longer lead times, and can take upwards of 3 months to complete. Closet Renovations Building your dream closet means designing, building, and installing custom storage for all your clothing and accessories. While not as taxing as a bath or laundry room, the custom built-in’s are to blame for you closet renovation taking about 2-3 months. Bedrooms, Living Rooms, Home Offices Dependent upon the size of the room, designing a bedroom, living or family room, or home office can take 3-4 months. If you want custom furniture or if your project if more traditional and requires a lot of details, you can expect it to be even longer. But even without, furniture lead times can sometimes be unpredictable. Ready To Get Started? Get in touch with us and let's see what we can do together.


Honolulu Vs. Martha’s Vineyard: Which Island Getaway is Calling Your Name?

Are you more Tropical or Traditional?

Martha's Vinyard Vs. Honolulu: Which Island Getaway is Calling Your Name? Are you more Tropical or Traditional?


5 Simple Steps to Get the Modern Farmhouse Look

The ‘Modern Farmhouse’ is the new design trend taking social media and Southern California by storm!

Marked by its tactful combination of rustic pieces and sleek accents, the modern farmhouse look is an incredibly warm, welcoming aesthetic. It is an indicator of tailored, designer taste, but it is also lived-in. It’s not stuffy or off-putting, as overly-embellished or overly-edited rooms can sometimes be. You know it when you see it: The modern farmhouse has increased in popularity due to the demand for the ‘Restoration Hardware’ look. But actually achieving the modern farmhouse style is as much about the architectural details of the home as it is about the furnishings, accessories, and textiles.


15 Father’s Day Gift Ideas for Dads Who Have it All

  Skip the Hallmark card and necktie department and get Dad something a little more luxe this Father's Day! We’re specifying gifts at every price point, for every personality! Whether he’s a wine-tasting, world-traveler, or the king of the grill who loves to entertain at home, there’s something for every dad on this list.  Use this guide to think more creatively this Father’s Day. Kitchen & Bar Accessories for Dad $-$$ Bar, coffee, and grilling utensils and accessories always make practical, appreciated gifts for Father’s Day! 2. For the chef who already has it all, getting more cooking supplies might feel too redundant. Check out Williams Sonoma where they have fabulous steak and lobster of month subscriptions! 3. Update Dad’s morning coffee with a shiny new Nespresso machine. Once you taste this frothy espresso, you’ll never go back to boring slow drip. 4. We always love a group activity gift, a game or kit-- something you and dad can do together! Turn your home into your own craft brewery with Williams Sonoma’s gluten free beer making kits. 5. And a Wayfair keg fridge to match! 6. If dad is more of a mixologist, consider an outdoor bar or 7. decorative wine storage. We’re partial to these fabulous easy-assemble bars and storage units from Wayfair! Home Accessories for Dad 8. Style dad’s office with a set of uniform desk accessories. West Elm has super chic collections of mid century desk organizers we can’t recommend highly enough, as well as  sleek phone and ipad tech covers. 9. Upgrade Dad's desk chair with a sleek, ergonomic one. 10. Green thumb? Cute compostable planters from Wayfair are a unique backyard addition dad will love. Travel Accessories for Dad $-$$$ 11. Luxe luggage is often something Dad’s won’t think to buy for themselves. Upgrade dad to first class with a leather duffle like this great find from Wayfair 12. And a custom passport cover to match. Luxe Gifts for Dad $$-$$$ 13. Every golfer needs an efficient way to organize their clubs! Wayfair has an impressive selection of sports storage racks dad will love. 14. No man cave is complete without a game table! This chic, multi-functional table from Wayfair fits perfectly with multiple decor styles. 15. For the ultimate collector, we discovered an elegant selection of watch winders on Wayfair. Structural beauties themselves, you won’t mind leaving them out on a bathroom vanity counter top or nightstand.


We Asked, You Answered: What’s In Your Dream Bathroom?

Bathroom Design Trends

Sparing no expense, what would be in your dream bathroom? Last week, we asked our followers that very question and got some amazing responses we just had to share! Read on for the top amenities our followers want in their dream bathroom makeover


Moorish Patterns Featured on Houzz

The History and Style of Moorish Patterns

Our summer is getting off to a great start! Houzz has featured a photo of one of our favorite projects in their post about The History and Style of Moorish Patterns.  If you'd like to read more about the rich Moorish tradition, learn about the variety of intricate patterns and see beautiful ways to incorporate Moorish designs into your home today, check it out here.   In other news... We'd like to thank Arch magazine in China for featuring the same Hip Hacienda project in their latest issue.  This project is striking a cord with everyone!  Could it be the chef's kitchen, his and hers private closets off the shared dual master bathroom, the cool gentleman's lounge or the colorful home office?   What's your favorite room and why?  We'd love to hear in the comments below.  


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

 

[mc4wp_form id=”4991″]

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