Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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

Architecture and Design

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!