Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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

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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.


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

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


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.