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 3-D Printing is the Wave of the Future for Interior Design and Architecture

Let's Demystify 3-D Print Technology & How it Impacts the Design Build Community There is exciting news for all you design lovers out there. 3-D Printing is becoming more accessible, more affordable and faster than ever. Still not sure how the process works and can't seem to wrap your head around it? Check out this video above to give you a visual understand of the process. Let's start with the basics. 3-D Printing is a 35 year old additive (key word!) manufacturing process that builds material layer upon layer, and is controlled by a computer. Currently we can print material using wood, plastic, metal, glass and organic material (food and organs!  Yes you heard that right!). This is technology that's going to impact our industry as much as the industrial revolution. A Rococo table, is being 3-D printed using contemporary materials and colors.  A great way to make the old new again. 3-D Design and Printing is here and only getting bigger. In 1995, it was a $295 Million Dollar Industry. In 2014, it grew to a 4.1 Billion Dollar Industry. By 2020, it's projected to be a 21.3 Billion Dollar Industry. According to Ben Uglow of Morgan Standley These are number you can't ignore. There are some titans in the industry who are creating innovative pieces of furniture in a way that is forward thinking and environmentally conscious. Dirk van der Kooij is printing furniture that is Cradle to Cradle using 100% recycled plastic, printing locally and with less environmental impact.  Check out more of his work here. Bram Geenen has streamlined the process to be more efficient using a thin expensive carbon fiber skin that is printed on top of 3-D material without waste. Check his work out here. Lilian van Daal is inspired by nature and Biomimicry.  With her designs, she is changing the shape and feel of furniture being built with 3-D printing so that it's hard where it needs to be (legs for support) and soft in other areas (like the seat and back). There are Still Challenges This isn't a magic box.  You need tools or you need help. Inexperienced designers will need education or an engineer to build the CAD models to then manipulate and customize designs in scale, proportion, material, etc. They haven't perfected the process of the conception to finished product. This is still expensive technology at this phase in the game.  Printers run anywhere between $50,000 to $100,000. How Can You Design Your Own Line?   What's exciting to me about all this is that there is NO barrier to entry.  Currently, if a designer wants to develop their own collection of furniture, they have to work with existing powerful brands who hold the magic key.  As 3-D printers become more accessible, designers can soon create their own line whenever they want, or print one-offs.  It will be like a Kinko's for the design build industry.  This is nearly impossible with expensive traditional manufacturing.  When you design your own piece, it's highly customizable where you can easily change the color, dimension and entire concept. Now Watch This! If you printing furniture blew your mind, check out an entire HOUSE (above). This home was built in 24 hours and only cost $10,000! So Where Are We Going? To the moon, Alice! You heard me.  Norman Foster + Partners has completed a project with robotic arms that will be sent to the moon to 3-D print homes made of moon dust! And now, the sexiest scientist I've ever seen, Neri Oxman.  Neri is a material scientist at MIT and is printing wearable skin embedded with organisms to help humans survive in interplanetary travel. It's crazy! Check out her TED Talk here. Story of Provenance If you've read this far in my blog, that tells me you're interested.  Great!  So now you can participate in the conversation and join the community which is your opportunity to be a part of a new story. In printing your own designs, you can create an emotional connection and customization in your work to share with your clients about being at the forefront of the industry.  That's quite impressive! Because of all this, I've joined the Board at Print the Future which will be the next wave of printing ideas on demand.  We've set up a Pop-Up shop in NYC during the month of March 2017 so you can see the printer with your own eyes. I am incredibly inspired and can't wait to see what the future holds!


Kabuni Acquires Design Campus and Other News

We Had a Fantastic Week Filled With BIG News! Exciting News! Kabuni Acquires Design Campus. After 6 years of labor and love, I have sold Design Campus to the privately held company of Kabuni, a design resource and digital marketplace that links designers with homeowners. Kabuni is awesome for 3 important reasons: 1 - It's strong online platform and phone app bringing together Designers, Homeowners and Artisans. 2 - Kabuni House - a co-working space catering to the Design Build community, a place to network, learn and be inspired. 3 - Social Mission of Building Better Homes for Everyone, where proceeds from their designer marketplace helps to end the cycle of poverty and homelessness. Sold! I'm thrilled to join the team as strategic adviser to help continue and grow the online educational and business platform. Read More HERE   Thank you Ocean Home! Coastal Kitchen Design: Lori Dennis, Inc. Construction: SoCal Contractor Our Coastal Kitchen Project was featured in the latest issue talking all about latest in Kitchen Trends. Read More HERE     Thank you Houzz! Houzz included our modern bedroom in Hollywood Hills in their article on Platform Beds, Bedtime Stories. Having a low-profile platform bed maximizes warmth next to  a cozy fireplace. Thank you again to Kabuni, Ocean Home Magazine and Houzz!


How to Hire an Architect or Interior Designer, Part III

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