Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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

Interior Designers

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.


Designing Monochromatic Rooms

“How to Make Your Monochromatic Room Not Look Like a Snowstorm”

How do you choose a color palette?
What types of fabrics and other textiles work best in monochromatic spaces?
How do you create depth and prevent a monochrome palette from making a space look flat?