Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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

Before and After

5 Common Design Disasters & How to Avoid Them

STOP! Read this before you try to DIY!

When you try to do everything yourself and rush through a room design or home renovation, important things fall through the cracks. It can be really easy to make expensive and time-consuming mistakes. From choosing the wrong shade of paint to the more devastatingly expensive construction mistakes, here are just 5 of the common design disasters we get called in to fix and the best ways you can avoid them.


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.


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.