Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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

Materials

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?


Smart Luxury: The Best Technology for a Sustainable Home

Why Luxury Hotels Are Our Ultimate Smart Home Inspiration

Let’s set the scene: You walk into a luxurious hotel room… Engulfed in the ambiance, the room is an experience a designer has crafted, specifically for you. Every detail has been thought of and executed to perfection: There’s no work for you to do. It’s time to relax. You’re on vacation. Your favorite music is playing, the lighting is just right, perfectly soothing. The drapes are either open or closed, dependent upon the time of day, and move automatically, no drawstrings in the way. This is true luxury: a living space that’s comfortable and easily functional and adaptable. Why Luxury Hotels Are Our Ultimate Smart Home Inspiration We get so many requests to make homes ‘hotel-like,’ but what does that mean, really? Is it an aesthetic? What makes hotel rooms such distinct living spaces? Hotels specialize in creating these relaxing escapes by utilizing cutting-edge technology. That’s why luxurious hotel rooms are our ultimate smart home inspiration! And now, with increased accessibility to technology, there’s no reason you can’t apply the same principles to your home to increase the style, safety, and functionality of your home for greater ease. Smart homes support the senses: keeping your music at a comfortable level, keeping garage doors and appliances quiet and keeping ugly tech out of sight, maintaining comfortable temperatures and moving things with ease. Security: Access Control in Your Smart Home From cameras, camera doorbells and alarm systems to FOB access, and garage door safety, home security is one of our biggest requests when talking to clients about a smart home. So this is always a good *safe* (pun intended) place to start with implementing smart home technology. And while we tend to think of lighting in terms of decoration, it’s another smart technology to implement in your homes in terms of safety and security, especially outdoors. You’ll want plenty of lighting around pools & spas on timers, and you’ll want landscapes to be well lit as well for both aesthetic and functional purposes. Consider implementing a feature walls, or safety paths. Put lighting on sensors and timers for a hands-off approach. Smart Home Audio / Visual Luxury is complete, customizable control: You want to be able to control surround sound, TVs, and outdoor music with the push of a button. Build AV controls into walls: Utilize iPads to control security cameras or speakers for music. Sometimes this even serves a practical function: One of our clients would blast mariachi music outside when she wanted her husband to come in from his man cave and come to bed! Drapery for Your Smart Home Living & Bedrooms Now let’s move indoors...No More pulling on chains or having unsightly hanging strings or rods that break or are dangerous to kids. Drapery is now electronically controllable, which is both an aesthetic luxury that gets pesky hanging strings out of the way and is a great step in childproofing a home without compromising the home’s design. Keeping It Cool Smart thermostats that learn what temperature you like your home can read the outside temperature and adjust accordingly. And smart window shades (controlled electronically, of course) also help cool your home, keeping cooling costs down. Lutron Integration System for Lighting and Automation Smart Home Kitchen Appliances From touch-screen refrigerators that maintain your family’s grocery list and can grow produce inside them to smart ovens that self heat and clean when you need them to, no room is the house has seen such a vast impact in smart home technology as the kitchen. Household names like Samsung and up-and-coming brands like Everblume and Urban Cultivator are truly changing the game when it comes to efficiency in the kitchen with smart-phone controlled appliances. Shower & Tub Systems for a Smart Home Bathroom Just like cars with a preset button for each user, smart shower systems get to knows you best! Smart shower systems can also involve color and sound therapy; setting the temp, water flow, lighting, and sound to cultivate the most relaxing spa-like experience. Our favorite smart shower tech is from Kohler! Plumbing in Your Smart House Smart toilets have been all the rage for a while -- among our favorite products is the Toto Neorest 2-in-1 with heated seats, night lights, auto-flush, auto-lift. And since our firm focuses heavily on sustainability, our favorite feature is its capacity to conserve water. The controls are wall-mounted next to toilet. Small remotes for toilet and shower media make implementing smart technology in the bathroom easy breezy! Other Smart Controls Acting as your digital personal assistant or house manager, smart systems like the Amazon Echo, Wink Hub, or Google Home can do everything from controlling lighting, playing your favorite music, or sync all of your personal devices. Pick one that works for you AND is stylish (or cover it with something decorative.). Other smart systems to consider implementing for maximum efficiency and security are washers & dryers, sprinklers, and garage doors. HGTV 2017 Smart Home| Photo By: Brian Rozar/Auto Imaging Inc Raising Your Home’s IQ Without Letting Technology Run Your Life Achieving smart-home status is like getting rid of clutter and organizing a room: it takes a bit of time in the initial set up, but feels SO GOOD once it's done and is working for you. Think about the placement of Smart Home Support Systems so they're not an eyesore or placed in the middle of a beautiful focal wall. You don’t want large speakers on a beautiful wall designed with expensive finishes. Don't let modern technology and support ruin the beauty of the room with cords all over the place. Hide technology accordingly so your space can be designed in any style, modern or more traditional, regardless of whether or not it’s high tech. This will make your space more functional and create an environment that is easier to unplug in when you need to.