Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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

Materials

A Glimpse into the Pasadena Showcase House 2017

2017 Pasadena Showcase House We were honored to be invited to a special Blogger's Breakfast and private tour of this year's Pasadena Showcase House, set in a historic 1916 English Estate.  This annual event which re-imagines a different home each year, always holds a special place for us in Los Angeles.  And this year's designers didn't disappoint.  We noticed ongoing themes of global styles and rich colors, along with the classic neutrals and old-world touches, and keep your eyes peeled for the gorgeous Walker Zanger tiles in the kitchen and baths. But first, let's start with all the buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.   Bee's Bliss Gardner's Retreat We started our tour at this sweet little 114 square foot cottage housed so many special detailed moments with bee-hive and honeycomb motif's. Favorite Elements:  The doors.  Look at the leaded glass and cute little door knob and lock set.  We almost died! Loggia This picturesque loggia was the set for the famous garden party scene in La La Land.  Do you see it? Favorite Elements: Indoor Outdoor Lifestyle featuring one of our favorite color schemes: peacock blue, indigo and gold.  Sheers blowing in the wind softened the brick columns, giving it a touch of romance.  And of course, the bar cart.  Everyone's gotta have a bar cart. Pool Garden A serene retreat just outside the loggia featuring a shaded organic shaped pool and lush California plantings. Favorite Elements: This stunning custom concrete centerpiece with a delicate meandering stream running through a landscape of rock and succulents. Let's take a peak inside . . .   Foyer & Staircase The Entry and grand Staircase were filled with detailed carving guiding your eye up toward the vaulted ceiling.  Magnificent! Favorite Elements:  The Trompe-l'oeil printed fabric on the ceiling and hand painted panels between the wooden wainscoting. Conservatory & Dining Room We loved this mix of vintage elegance in these high contrast rooms, set on top of classic geometric encaustic floor tiles. Favorite Elements: Large scale black and white botanical wallcovering and the petal mirror. Living Room A casual and peaceful setting filled with textural elements of linen, cotton and raw silk throughout the room. Favorite Elements: You can never go wrong with a set of blue and white ginger jars. Kitchen A simply stunning mix of finishes and materials: white faux marble porcelain counters, cherry cabinets with a brown sugar stain, delicately designed wall tiles and limestone porcelain floor tile work together to create a charming old world kitchen. Favorite Elements: Check out that faucet! Library Inspired by the lifestyle of the iconic designer, Ralph Lauren, this library blended timeless design with modern luxury. We love the warmth of crackled leather, creamy neutrals, luscious velvets grounded in black and tan. Favorite Elements: The Vintage Rug. Hands down. Master Suite The calming color palette in muted blues and neutrals makes this bedroom a perfect retreat at the end of the day. Favorite Elements: If you have room in the ceiling, hide the TV in the attic space. Master Bathroom Tying together the Seaside Escape theme, the Master Bath brings in soft soothing blues with hex floor tiles and 3-D textured wall tile wainscot, grounded with an earthy warm wood vanity and sandy quartz counter. Favorite Elements: The delicate tracery work on the ceiling overhead. Guest Bedroom We absolutely loved this eclectic global funk of a room.  Everywhere you look there's something interesting, collected, and detailed. Favorite Elements: Mix of patterns and embellishments.  And let's be honest, the crystals. Nanny's Room Casual elegance envelopes this earthy room, featuring a custom headboard covered in a beautiful damask hemp linen.  Yes please!  And don't forget that inlayed black and white dresser. Favorite Elements: That rich dark green accent wall.  All. Day. Long. Nanny + Nursery Bathroom I could kick myself, because this photo doesn't give this room justice.  It's so fresh and soft with shades of salmon and teal.  The teal and white arabesque encaustic tile, freestanding tub with aged brass fittings and grasscloth wallcovering were splendid. Favorite Elements: The peach shower drapes with natural beaded trim. Nursery We couldn't get enough of this little nursery.  How CUTE!  With the mix of vintage toys, rose gold crib and star filled silk canopy, we were in baby heaven. Favorite Elements: The handmade macrame baby swing. Teen Room This room was filled with a rich blend of textures, from the fireplace updated with geometric glass tiles and matte black stone, to the hand carved wooden furniture, charcoal and gold accents throughout. Favorite Elements: Mix of materials in metals, woods and linen. Laundry Room This is a multi-tasking masterpiece of a room.  Complete as a mudroom, laundry room, potting room, gift wrapping area, prep station and office. Favorite Elements: A must have is the deep utility sink with an air circulation mode for washing delicates.  Brilliant! Terrace Definitely a modern contrast to a traditional English style home, and it worked great.  Contemporary and Traditional CAN co-exist.  The live green wall was a great backdrop to this setting. Favorite Elements: You had me a pop of orange. We hope you have a chance to check out the Pasadena Showcase House before it closes on May 21. You won't be disappointed! Get your tickets here.


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!


Interior Design: How Much Does a Remodel or New Furniture 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!