Hosting for the Holidays? Here are 7 GREAT Tips (plus a bonus) To Make Your Guests Feel Right at Home. 1 Create a Beautiful and Festive Entry 2 Leave A Luggage Rack So Guests Can Keep Their Belongings Stored and Off the Floor 3 Have Your WiFi Access and a Free Outlet / USB Available for Charging 4 Offer Organic Toiletries and Supplies in the Bathroom 5 Have A Soft Cozy Robe and Plenty of Towels Available 6 Light a Lovely Fresh Smelling Candle 7 Make the Night Stand Welcoming with Books for Casual Reading, Fresh Flowers and A Light. Offer Plenty of Pillow and Blanket Options for Guests Who Like To Sleep Light or Hot. BONUS! Leave a Carafe of Water and Glass Near the Bedside. We Wouldn't Want Anyone Feeling Parched. Any (or all) of these ideas will be sure to help your guests completely comfortable in your home this holiday season!
Benjamin Moore's Pick for 2017 COLOR OF THE YEAR Shadow Last year, Benjamin Moore selected Simply White as color of the year. As the months went on, they were getting a bit antsy and felt drawn to something deeper and richer. In thinking about the play between light and dark, and how objects change from sunrise to sunset, Benjamin Moore set their eyes on Shadow. More than just a color, it's soft. It's moody. It's a dance. All the beauty of life is made of light and shadow - Leo Tolstoy Shadows are the echo of an object between the surface and light source. Light is beautifully filtered through the room, casting shadows that add another layer of texture to the space. As the sun moves throughout the sky, shadows change shape. Ethereal shadows of glass. Shadow 2117-30 Ode to Aubergine Ombre of deep and royal amethyst. Where have we seen this rich aubergine? Women's Fashion Inspired by Nature In Men's Fashion In sultry home decor mixed with wood, leather and splash of white. If purple isn't really your thing, try adding just a splash and see how you like it. It looks bright and fresh when paired with white or light grey. A striking color scheme to use with Aubergine is a light green: Contrasting light colors with dark is bold in this landscape design. Deep purple orchid with dewy green background. Purple has long stood for Wealth, Royalty, Luxury, Spirituality, Creativity, Mystery and Magic. Paired with a mossy green. A mix of bronze, purple and taupe create a calm and peaceful bedroom. I'm curious to see what home furnishing will be popping up next year with various shades of Shadow. Lighting, rugs, upholstered furniture and plenty of accessories will range from a sweet lilac to a deep dark eggplant. Set the mood for your space and see how you feel with a little shadow. Design Teams of Lori Dennis and SoCal Contractor at the debut party of Benjamin Moore.
Flashback Friday! Our Favorite Dining Rooms We've been working with our clients lately to prepare table settings for the fall holidays. All this planning and preparation has us thinking about some of our favorite dining rooms from past projects. While these are not necessarily in the fall theme, they're a great inspiration for any style you feel drawn to. Pick and choose for favorite and have fun with it! In our Hollywood Hills dining room, we added fresh pomegranates for a pop of color. One of our more casual Breakfast Nooks at Villa del Sur. Fill the table with white serving pieces and let the food be the star! In this formal dining room, we added big beautiful purple hydrangeas that not only look and smell great, but add texture to the table. This sexy bachelor's dining room table is topped with organic succulents and moss. Nothing says classic more than blue and white in this transitional dining room. Sprinkle in accents of gold to bring the luxury up a notch. When the table is not set, simply add a group of topiaries to add height, color and texture. And because we're in California, we can't forget about those indoor outdoor dining spaces. A sweet little outdoor retreat off a master bedroom suite. We love the bold linens, white vases with different textured designs and a water dispenser filled with lemon and rosemary. Powerful pops of orange with blue accents fill the table of this Spanish Style home. This table was all about color, and lots of it! We took our color inspiration from the Andalusian cement tiles in this custom table top. We hope you enjoyed our Flashback Friday in Dining Rooms. Now go have fun creating your own special tablescape!
Welcome to the Final Post about How to Hire and Architect or Interior Designer. Let’s re-cap what we’ve discussed so far: 1 – What’s the Difference Between an Architect and an Interior Designer? Laying out the differences and similarities and who each professional can do what for your project. 2 – How do I Find an Architect or Interior Designer? 4 key places to find your perfect match. 3 – Pick Up the Phone Tips and preparation before your initial conversation. 4 – Meet your Architect or Interior Designer The importance of this face to face meeting. 5 – Understanding the Interior Designer or Architect’s Process Their approach on how they will work through your project. 6 – Defining the Services of an Architect or Interior Designer What services to expect from the beginning to the end of a project. To read our previous blogs, see Part I and Part II of Hiring an Architect or Interior Designer PART III #7 It’s the Digital Age, baby. How do I know what my project will look like? How do designers and architects envision what they want to create in a space and then describe it to their client? It’s hard for most people to visualize. Thankfully, there are a variety of approaches to tackling this issue so that the designer can explain visually what’s going on in their head and translate it into something you can see and understand. With large scale projects (and often larger budgets), a 3D Model or computer rendering is presented in the early phases to help you get an idea of what your space could look like. This is a key portion of the design phase where the architect can build it all virtually before they break ground with actual construction. With smaller budgets this may not be feasible, so you might be presented with examples of other finished designs and styles that similar in look and feel. In the early stages, ask if this is something you’ll be provided, or if there will be an additional fee. We’re in the 21st Century and technology allows us to communicate much more easily and efficiently. You can email or post your favorite inspiration images and send them directly to your Architect or Designer, or as we prefer - save them in Pinterest or a Houzz Idea Book for easy reference. Designers and Architects can then also present concepts and designs online when you’re working across the country or around the world. #8 So let’s talk money. How much is an Architect or Interior Designer? In a previous blog (here) we’ve talked about the cost of hiring an Interior Designer, but here's a brief recap. Something to think about – Architects or Designers who offer the lowest bid might only provide minimal work, or might up-charge down the road. The lowest cost is not always the best idea and quite often is more expensive in the long run. Remember, you get what you pay for. Hourly Much like a lawyer or other service professionals, Interior Designers or Architects might charge by the hour for the time they spend working on your project. Ask for an estimate of the time they feel it might take so you’re prepared for what the cost range will be. If there are any project changes or additions, nothing will need to be renegotiated in your contract. Flat Fee Flat fees are most commonly used on larger scale projects. The Architect or Interior Designer will give you a quote with their fee structure along with a list of services and time line within your scope. This is the most transparent in terms of fees and expectations. This structure will account for the amount of time it will take to complete your project, and will also come with restrictions on how many revisions are included. It's important to ask how many design revisions or change orders are permitted and what that cost will be. Percentage An Architect typically charges between 15%-20% of the total construction budget. Let's say your budget is $1,000,000, then your architect might charge about 18%, or $180,000. Note: if your budget increases, so does the fee. Project Cost The Total Cost of a project is Hard Costs (Construction) plus Soft Costs (Fees and Inspections). It’s safe to assume that soft costs will be another 25%-30% of the hard costs. #9 Build It and They Will Come Now, Where Do I Find a Builder? Your Architect or Designer may refer you to a builder they prefer working with and have had a successful relationship in the past. Or you may bring your own builder into the project. Whatever path you decide, you will have a separate contract with the builder and they will act as a partner on your project along with you and your Architect or Interior Designer. It’s helpful to have a builder on the team during the design phase of pre-construction. They will offer their feedback on feasibility and costs within your budget. Find an Interior Designer on Houzz or ASID Find an Architect on Houzz or AIA Find a Builder on Houzz Find a General Contractor on Houzz Best of luck building your dream team to create one of your biggest and most beautiful investments! To read our previous blogs, see Part I and Part II of Hiring an Architect or Interior Designer
Thank you Shutterfly for featuring our bedroom design for Rad Teen Room Ideas! Are you looking for ways to make your teen's bedroom reflect them and their interests? Use their easy to navigate filters to check out 75 more Ideas for Boys or Girls Teen Bedrooms with styles like Classic, Global, Modern or Rustic. Have fun!
A big THANK YOU to Houzz for including us in their Ideas From 10 Trending Living Rooms This decorating post talks about all the latest trends from top interior designers on Houzz - like wallpapering the ceiling for a dynamic pop, creating a calm color palette through the use of tone on tone, or making a statement with an eye catching chandelier. Check out more ideas and see what works best in your home!
Thank you in+ex Magazine (pg 14) for publishing our work this month! In our interview we talk about Design Inspiration, Keys for Designing High-End Interiors, Design Advice, and Featured Projects Bond at the Beach and Villa del Sur.
If you’ve been following our blog about How to Hire and Architect or Interior Designer, let’s re-cap what we’ve discussed so far. 1 – What’s the Difference Between an Architect and an Interior Designer? Covering the differences and similarities and who can do what for your project. 2 – How do I Find an Architect or Interior Designer? We suggest 4 key places to find your perfect match. 3 – Pick Up the Phone Where we offer tips and preparation before your initial conversation. Catch Up with Part I here. Part II #4 Meet your Architect or Interior Designer Once you’ve had a positive introductory conversation with your Designer or Architect and you’re interested in learning more about them, it’s time to set up a meeting. This can either be at their office or more importantly at your site. This face to face meeting will give you an idea of their personality and point of view. From this moment on, you are entering into a significant relationship. Clear, open and transparent communication will be the key to your success. #5 Understanding the Interior Designer or Architect’s Process Does the Vision of the Architect or Designer Appeal to You? Are they creative? Do you like their point of view? Are they listening to you and what you want to do? Does their work excite you? Are they logical? How Will Your Interior Designer or Architect Approach your project? Once you’ve walked through the space, have them explain their step by step process from the design concept to construction or installation. Don’t be shy. Ask questions when you need a better understanding. Now is the time for clarification so you are all on the same page and there won’t be any confusion or misunderstandings later. Do They Provide You With Drawings? In order to have your project estimated and remodeled or built, the Contractor or Builder will need a set of Construction Drawings. These are a necessity and filled with clear instructions on how the Architect or Designer communicates their design. #6 Defining the Services of an Architect or Interior Designer Services can be divided into various phases. Not all Architects or Designers provide the following services, so be sure when you are interviewing and evaluating proposals that you understand which services will be included in their fees. 1 – Needs Analysis or Programming This is an important step that will create a roadmap to guide you through the project. Your Designer or Architect will conduct a series of interviews and field measurements of the space. In this process, you will work together to build goals and priorities, budget and feasibility. This is the most important step no matter the size of the project and will allow you to move forward with confidence and clarity. It is in your best interest to be as clear and honest with your Designer or Architect so they are set in the right direction, otherwise you could both be spinning your wheels. *Something to note: It’s not a good idea to make plans for a big party or to move out of an existing home based on timeline estimates. Unforeseen situations tend to come up when you least expect it, whether it’s discovering wood rot in the walls, delays in permits and inspections, or furniture stuck on a shipping container at sea. It’s best to give yourself plenty of wiggle room and roll with the punches. 2 – Problem Solving or Concept Development Now that your goals, priorities, budget and feasibility are established, you’ll start to see your project come to life. This is one of the more exciting phases where you are presented with the vision of how your project could look. You’ll be presented with a variety of drawings and space plans that will help you visualize how your project will look and what it might cost to achieve these ideas. Be honest if you’re not into something, but also be open to new ideas and solutions. Trust that you hired them for their creativity and experience. You might be pleasantly surprised! 3 – Solution Development or Design Development Now is the time where you’ll be presented with all the things you can touch, feel and see like material samples, plumbing fixtures and appliances, hardware, furniture, fabric and lighting. By working through the previous steps of interviewing and concept development, your Architect or Designer has modified and refined their vision and are now presenting you with more custom details for your project. Your selections from these options presented should fit into your drawings and budget. Finalized construction documents, specification sheets, and schedules will be completed and a list of items will be given for your approval for the competitive bidding and purchasing phase. 4 – Purchasing Phase This is the administrative and back-end phase of the project, where your Designer or Architect will order all the finish items for your project. Some work different than others – some have the builder or contractor do the purchasing, some pay for items and are reimbursed by you, some use your credit card so you pay the vendors directly, some mark-up items and charge a lower fee and others charge what feels like a higher fee but don’t mark-up items, therefore extending the designer savings on to you. Ask what their process is during the interview phase so you’re not surprised. They will coordinate with various vendors to monitor the details of the order, delivery schedule, conditions upon arrival and any damage or defective items that need to be replaced. They will also work with the storage and distribution warehouse or job site for the deliveries. 5 – Implementation or Construction Step by step the Builder or Contractor is using what your Architect or Interior Designer has designed for you in the construction drawings, schedules and specifications of plumbing and appliances, hardware, finishes and lighting fixtures. They might also be overseeing this process at site visits and meetings with the trades to make sure their designs are being installed and implemented as they envisioned and constructed as according to their plans. 6 – Project Completion, Walk Through and Punch List As with any project, there will be some tweaking and refining along the way. When the time comes where it gets closer to completion, the builder or contractor will do a walk-thru with the design team and client to note what needs to be finished or touched up. This is the time where they will explain the ins and outs of the space, including features and operations of various systems and components, responsibilities for maintenance and upkeep. You can finally begin to exhale and start enjoying the transformation. Now you're a few steps closer to understanding how to make the best decisions in hiring an Architect or Interior Designer and getting a grasp on how things work. Stay tuned for the final Part 3 on How to Hire an Architect or Interior Designer. Next Up: #7 The Digital Age of Design #8 How Much do Interior Designers and Architects Charge? #9 Who Will Hire the Builder or Contractor?
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 an 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 Part II and Part III 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
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!
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 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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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?
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!
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.