Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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

Before and After

Before and After: Dining Room, Kitchen and Master Bedroom

 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?


Cast Your Vote: Fireplace Mantel Make-over

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!


Interior Design: How Much Do Things REALLY Cost?

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!