Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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


Behind the Scenes at a Top Interior Design Firm

  We've been busy little bees over here!  As you know, our main job is high end, interior design of multi-million dollar remodels and new construction projects.  That could keep anyone busy for quite awhile! One of our favorite renovation projects in the Hollywood Hills Newport Coast, new construction project of an entirely different style and breath taking view of the Pacific Ocean! But we don't stop there, and if you want to succeed in business, neither should you.  It's great to do award winning interior design projects, but if nobody knows about it, your firm won't thrive.  Bill Gates once said, "it's all about the marketing. A superior product with mediocre marketing, won't succeed. " Since no one likes to "be sold", so we keep our campaigns interesting, informative and fun with a heavy emphasis on video.   This week we began shooting our TV series Metro Makeover, starring some A-List Lovely Ladies: Top Chef Dakota Weiss, Celebrity Make-up Artist Elle Leary,  Wardrobe Stylist Raxann Chin, and little ole' me. We all work our magic to transform a style-challenged slob into a METRO God. Shows like these and my HGTV Series, The Real Designing Women, give viewers a chance to get to know me, my style and what I do.  Raxann Chin, Lori Dennis, Dakota Weiss and Elle Leary Cast and Crew taking a break between shots to have a delicious lunch at Peking Tavern, a downtown LA restaurant that was once a turn of the century bank - complete with the old vault.  Great food and great company!   At our firm we also understand that sharing what you know is the foundation of building trust.  That's why I started Design Camp, the leading educational and networking event for interior designers. Every time I host an event, I have the opportunity to demonstrate my expertise, inner circle of contacts and how much I love what I do.   After discovering how many people around the world wanted to attend our continuing education events, we built  Design Campus, the online spot where design connects.  This week our team has been hammering out the final touches for our launch. The Design Campus Crew working hard on the launch! Filming videos highlighting the secrets for designer success. If you'd like to learn more about how to succeed in business, find balance in your life and have a great time doing it all, let me lead the way!  You can check up on me here: Facebook:  Lori Dennis, Inc. Instagram:  @loridennisinc Twitter:  @loridennisinc Pinterest: LoriDennisInc Houzz: Lori-Dennis

Viva Las Vegas!

  Oh Vegas, you've done it again!  Better wear comfy shoes to walk these 3 building at Vegas Market Excited campers picking up their goodie bags and heading into camp. Phillips Collection gifted everyone a sculpted Kalimantan Egg.  If your egg rattles when shaken, it's a good luck magic egg!  Hand-inscribed with symbols of time on the exterior, each egg is different. Last week was such a crazy fun whirlwind between my time at the Vegas Market, Design Camp and KBIS.  Before touring all the showrooms and checking out the latest items in our Insta-Hunt, we started Camp with a gorgeous vegetarian brunch hosted by Jaipur Rugs.  They always throw fantastic events with the most healthy and tasty dishes, and this was no exception.   I spy rose gold on the forecast...always a stunning showroom at Global Views. I loved these Hip Hacienda pillows from Jaipur Black is always in style at Sunpan Modern. Noir, showcasing their new organic chandeliers and their ever popular slanted bookshelf. Star International showing a little British Love. Tre Chic Indeed!  These are fantastic outdoor lounge chairs from Lexington Home. Lamps Plus, filled with so many options and styles and colors. Tight on Space?  This Four Hands desk is perfect! Fermob offers seating in every color of the rainbow. After our mini-camp, we headed over to the beautiful Natuzzi showroom for a cocktail party to mix and mingle with other designers and vendors from all over market.  What a blast!  Posing with Mr. Natuzzi himself.   I fell in love with this bed at Natuzzi and just wanted to crawl inside and take a relaxing rest. Rounding out the week at KBIS, was my P.I.C. Kelli Ellis's launch party for her new collection at Tile Bar.  These tiles are truly stunning!   KBIS is like Toys-R-Us for designers.  You walk in and your eyes get wide and everywhere you look - up, down, side to side - fills you with overwhelming excitement and you don't know where to begin.  It's filled with the most beautiful and creative innovations and technology in kitchen and bath design.   I left completely inspired and ready to tackle my new projects.  Ready, Set, GO!  

Highlights on Design Camp – HOTlanta

  Filming at Jaipur Rugs among the most beautiful collections of new pillows.  I was in heaven!   Design Camp Atlanta was HOT!  Not so much the weather, but definitely the event.  This was not only one of our largest but the most inspiring camps yet!  The theatre at Americas Mart was packed with over 600 eager interior designers ready to soak up all the tips and information on how to make their business a success and bring the entire design community to a higher level.  It was a packed house! Tastemakers Suzanne Kasler and Z Space Design's Peter Zakas were incredibly inspiring as they shared their stunning design aesthetics and immense creativity.  Once again, our always entertaining resident Design Camp counselor and wine connoisseur, Adam Japko, shared his wealth of knowledge and expertise in building online marketing content and social media, which resonates across the board to any small business.   Suzanne Kasler at her exclusive Design Camp booksigning in the Jaipur Rugs showroom.  Her new book Timeless Style features beautiful glossy, full-page images that effortlessly transport you into her elegant style and design.   Who doesn't love a scavenger hunt?  And posting your finds on Instagram makes it even more fun for everyone!  Designers were scouring showrooms throughout America's Mart on the prowl for the latest and greatest on the market.  Everyone got creative with their posts: hosting imaginary tea parties in Fermob's showroom, falling head over heals in love with their Kintbury Collection.  "They're the absolute cutest outdoor chairs we've ever seen.  Perfect for a garden party!"  Others posted shots of themselves melting into "the most comfortable chair EVER!" at Natuzzi.  Campers were blown away by the gorgeous new collections showcased at Jaipur Rugs, Currey and Company, Emporium Home, Noir, Europe2You, Leftbank Art, and more!     Natuzzi's Leather Recliner was a smash hit! Campers were so impressed with the texture in the art at Leftbank Fermob's sweet little outdoor Kintbury Collection Oh Noir, how I love you so!       Did you say Cocktail Hour?  Design Camp would never be complete without a fabulously hosted party where everyone has the chance to sip, mingle and make lasting connections.  We all know and love Currey and Company for their exciting furniture and lighting, but boy do they know how to through a party.  We'll have another!   Can't wait to join us in the fun?  There's still a seat for you at Las Vegas Camp on January 19th.  We'd love to see your smiling faces so register online here. I'm sure there will be plenty of highlights from this camp!  What happens in Vegas.....  

Shop Small and Happy Holidays!

Are you going crazy running around at the last minute trying find a few more gifts for someone special?   Rather than fight the crowds at the mall, think of the small businesses in your local city or town.  It's a great experience and you'll always find something truly unique while at the same time giving back to your community.  It's a win-win! I was thrilled to be a part of the AMEX Small Business Saturday over Thanksgiving Weekend and believe in it wholeheartedly.  We were set up in Coral Gables Florida near Miami and helped decorate the street and business store fronts to remind people to Shop Small.  It was really exciting!     See the cycle of giving One of the easiest installations I've had! A HUGE gift package just for you! Spreading the word to Shop Local and Shop Small.  You can't beat Miami in the winter! Jewelry Store Front Wrapping A little something with your name on it Helene Hollub of Hollub Homes adding her special touch Fancy and Festive! I met with the Mayor of Coral Gables, Jim Cason So happy to end the day with my beautiful family, SoCal Contractor and my little Princess. Thank you again to our fantastic team that helped put this all together: American Express MyVDRC Plant Professionals B Pila Design Studios Helene Hollub Luxe Design Studios Kelly Marie Interior Design Sherwin Williams JNJ Design Group WAC Lighting Here's to a Happy, Healthy and Joyous Holiday Season and a Wonderful and Prosperous New Year! xo Lori

Stunning and Sustainable Furniture at Phillips Collection

  At our core, we love being green and aligning with others who hold the same values.  We look for companies who provide something truly special to each home while at the same time taking care of our world.  One of our main go-to showrooms is Phillips Collection where we always find thoughtful pieces that stand out and spark a conversation.  You can usually spot a Phillips' piece of furniture when you see it.  It's always unique, artistic and sustainable - which is right up our alley!  And did I mention affordable? Consoles carved from abandoned tree roots from Northern Thailand   Using discarded scraps of wood, Phillips has created beautifully hand crafted Teakwood Horses.   Founder Mark Phillips says "It has always been our goal to be a steward of beautiful and socially responsible design.  This is an intrinsic part of our company."  And this is why we love them! We're not the only ones to notice their amazing efforts.  Because of their socially responsible products and business practices, Las Vegas Market, in conjunction with the Sustainable Furnishings Council, has awarded them their 3rd Global Goodness Award.  Highlighted was their Folded Glass Collection, which recycles shards of broken, cola bottles into stunning works of art. Folded Glass Table Folded Glass Planter Folded Glass Buddha Head  These chairs made of recycled seatbelts are cool and comfortable!   Re-purposed bicycle parts create chairs, tables and wall panels. Still a fan favorite is the raw edge tables and desks. Make it modern by adding a silver leaf finish. Something small can make a big impression, like these wood wall tiles.  So striking! This is just a taste of what Phillips Collection is all about.  They are a perfect example of one voice making a huge impact in the world.

Eye-Catching Lounge Pieces found at 220 Elm in Design 9 and Leif Petersen

  We love a great party, whether it's fun and funky or more chic and reserved.  They're all fantastic!  And we were so happy to see furniture that fits every lounge style at the 220 Elm building at High Point. Once a forgotten, hardly used space, we're now seeing a trend where people are using their "Formal" Living Room as a lounge.  What a great way to re-purpose a room that you'll actually use!  Here are some cool pieces from Design 9 and Leif Peterson that caught our eye: Design 9 Why be tied down to one layout in your home?  How boring!  You know we love multi-functional and modular seating and Design 9 is perfect for that experience.  This convivial piece called Roley Poley is ideal for group conversations.  You can place in the middle of the room as a focal piece, or break it up to round out a few corners.  You could even turn into 2 fun settees.  The possibilities are endless!    If you have a larger Living Room, placing two of these Vera Lounge Sofas back to back creates 2 different seating areas and is uber comfortable and relaxing for everyone.  This amorphous ottoman is perfect for multiple conversations at the party and everyone can still be comfortable and lean against the center back. Don't forget your social four legged friend who loves to lounge too! You don't need to have pet furniture that looks like pet furniture. It should blend with your surroundings and this Bow-Wow Lounge fits in perfectly! And for those friends that just can't make it home that night, this extra deep sofa converts into the most comfortable bed. Design 9 has a wide selection of great fabrics to choose from so make each piece a work of art and have fun with it! Leif Petersen A beautiful and carefully curated selection of modern manufacturers are represented at Leif Peterson, including furniture, lighting, rugs and more.  Here are some loungie faves: We love the open spaces in the back of this beautiful sofa. It encourages conversation from all sides. Plus the woven back support is a great touch and pretty to look at from across the room. This subtle yet sexy table lamp is perfect for mood lighting and makes everyone look young and beautiful. If music is your thing, this Sitar inspired chair is for you! Light enough to move around the room and comfortable enough to lounge in.  The webbing is great! This rug is so pretty, it could be wall art.  And on the floor it's incredibly soft and begging you to kick off your heels and get comfortable. Sleek and sculptural, this lamp gives you plenty of mood lighting and stays out of your way. I'm so inspired by Design 9 and Leif Petersen that I'm ready for a cocktail and some lounge music.  Who's joining me?

Exciting New Finds at 220 Elm in High Point: Innovation Living and MAT Rugs

  Each time we head to High Point Market, we're always on the look-out for something we haven't seen before - and there's so much to discover.  During our last trip we explored the 220 Elm Building on the hunt for something new and exciting.  There are 4 floors filled with over 60 showrooms and we have to share a couple of our favorites with you - Innovation Living and M.A. Trading Company. Innovation Living: We have worked on projects where space is limited and we try to maximize not only the design, but also the function in each room.  Being able to accommodate overnight guests in their own suite is a luxury but sometimes there's just not enough room. So bring on the sofa bed!  Noooo, this ain't your grandma's old rickety bed of dread.  I'm sure we all have horrible flashbacks of an uncomfortable night's sleep with bars jabbing you in the back or a sagging thin mattress.  But not these beds!  Founded in Denmark, Innovation lives up to it's name with their stylish AND comfortable designs.  Check it out! The stunning Long Horn Sly Sleek Sofa Oak has curvy legs and a sexy back. Going for Retro, this slimmed down Chesterfield gives you all the style and saves on space. Here you can see the quality support and total built in comfort. Each piece can be customized with a wide selection of leathers and woven fabrics to choose from, along with leg style options.  We were so impressed and excited for this discovery at Innovation and hope you check them out!   MAT Rug Company You know we love playful, whimsical designs and are never afraid of color.  And you also know we like to support companies that take responsibility for the earth as well as the people they work with.  Well, we have found our mecca!  M.A. Trading Co. is a third generation company in India whose 3,000 weavers and craftsmen create beautiful, contemporary and elegant rugs.  Each rug is hand-knotted, hand-woven or hand-tufted which makes each piece unique and truly special. Matisse inspired rug is so fun and full of color! How cute is this ottoman as a major pop of red? This rug reminds me of colorful candy dots. I love it! And Pantone style ottoman.   Notice the criss-cross thread detail. We're seeing a lot of 3-D textures in materials and this rug and ottoman are no exception.  It's a great addition of texture, color and fun! Who said you have to stay within the lines?  These flowers follow no rules and it's paying off with a sweet and playful design. MAT has so many more beautiful rugs in natural fibers like bamboo, wool, silk, flax, hemp, linen and silk - all exquisite and gorgeous.  Definitely a company to keep in your favorites tab. I'm so excited to have these new tools in my resource bag and be able to work with quality vendors like Innovation and MAT.  It makes my job even more fun!

Pet Friendly Designs by Phillips Collection

Welcome to the zoo at Phillips Collection!   If you love animals as much as we do, then you know there's no need to hang dead animals on your wall. Let Phillips Collection demonstrate your love and appreciation of the animal kingdom in a more whimsical way.   Their designers have been hard at work creating herds and schools of chic, modern, no maintenance pets.  And as always, Phillips Collection brings high style & high impact without breaking the bank.   Inspired by Francois Xavier Lalanne, Phillips Collection brings the outdoors in with these resin sheep.  Bhaaaaaaaaaask in their glory. Who needs to troll all day for fish when you can just pick up the phone and order from Phillips?  Save that sunny time for a beach, a hammock and a cold margarita. Here's our fellow Design Camper enjoying a ride on a larger than life Great Dane. Starfish and Crocs and Rhinos - OH MY! We couldn't help ourselves!  We had to kiss these funny wrinkled faces, and we're not talking about ours! Really, we're all just a bunch of animals. Now this is REALLY hypoallergenic! Take no bull!  Except this one, which is pretty amazing. You HAVE to check out what's going on at Phillips Collection.  Their new collections at High Point Market amused, delighted and surprised us. If you want to smile too, check out the latest on their Instagram Account @PhillipsCo Stay tuned next week when we talk about the latest and greatest in Outdoor and Sustainable from Phillips Collection!

Why we LOVE Architectural Digest

When it comes to Interior Design magazines, Architectural Digest is the Dom Pérignon.  So what is it that makes it so great?  Their striking projects, sharp editorial staff, gorgeous photography? Let's start with our love of Margaret Russell.  With her keen eye and exquisite taste, she took a classic in Architectural Digest and brought in a totally fresh and contemporary look without changing the integrity of the magazine.  When AD arrives each month, it's my favorite time where I sit with a cup of coffee and devour it slowly, page by page.  Their selection of exceptionally talented AD100 Designers is on point and incredibly varied which always keeps it interesting.  Favorites include Darryl Carter, Timothy Corrigan, Jean-Louis Deniot, Bunny Williams, Mario Buatta, Madeline Stuart, Miles Redd, Suzanne Kasler, Thomas Pheasant, Vicente Wolfe, Victoria Hagan and more...I can't stop dropping names - I love them all! So what does it take to make it into the AD100?   Premier Art Collections Some of the highest, most sought after artists have been represented in AD.  Pieces range from world-class antique and fine art found at auctions houses like Christie's or Sotheby's, to the ever-current graffiti artist, RETNA, who was just featured on the cover in Ellen Pompeo's home, designed by Martyn Lawrence Bullard - another favorite. For our client, a partner with Goldman Sachs Asia, we worked with Daniel Maltzman who brought in touches of his surrealist and abstract art.   Art by Daniel Maltzman   Quality Vendors The team of vendors you surround yourself with can make or break a project.  We are honored to work with the finest craftsmen in the business and we all collaborated on this jewel of a room at the historic Maison de Luxe Greystone Mansion Showcase House in Beverly Hills. Bed woodwork by WestArt Woodwork, Bed finish by Jimenez Brothers, Upholstery by RAGS USA, Furniture and Accessories by Maitland-Smith, Rug by The Rug Company, Drapery by Heritage Drapery, AV and Speakers by Van Wert Technology Design and Sonance, Art by Kevin Barry Fine Art, Custom Ceiling Mural by Jill Crawford Interiors, Fabric and Wallpaper by Thomas Lavin, Crystals by Crystalarium and construction by SoCal Contractor.   Celebrity Clients We had a great time working with Jen Rade, celebrity stylist to the stars on her Zen Villa in Los Angeles.  She had a clear vision and we were able to work with great pieces of art and furniture from her travels around the world. Jen Rade's home she shares with her husband, a well-known set designer.  Some of Jen's clients include Angelina Jolie, Dave Matthews, Pink, Cher and Marilyn Manson, who gifted her a few pieces of his personal paintings.    Every star needs a relaxing Hollywood spa experience. Vintage Furniture Just like cars, buying new furniture tends to depreciate once you drive it off the lot or take it out of the showroom.  With antique and vintage pieces, the value only increases over time which makes it not only a wise investment but a way to create a collected and unique design within your home.    Antique Josef Hoffmann chairs found at Dispela Antiques Our client's personal dining table and chairs by Robjohns Gibbons High Quality Custom Furniture When you just can't find what you have in mind, designing a custom piece of furniture is your best bet and a guarantee to make each home feel special. Inspired by Julia Child, we designed these leather, iron and wood stools to hang on the wall when not in use. Custom furniture can be anything from large scale pieces to a seemingly effortless yet beautiful accent.  We designed these matching settees with leather inlay and matching bolster pillows, and added tassel and tape trim to the occasional wingback chairs.   Location!  Location!  Location! Property values, exclusive world-wide locations and stunning views are all fantastic features of an incredible home tour. This home was located in the famous Bird Streets of Hollywood Hills just above the Sunset Strip.  The multi-million dollar neighborhood is well-known for residents such as George Harrison, Leonardo DiCaprio and Dr. Dre, and features more than 180 degree jaw-dropping views of LA from downtown to the Pacific Ocean.  This is one of our favorite rooms in our Blue Jay Way project. It must be Charisma Bath and Bedding's favorite too because they chose this location for their Gabriel Aubry ad. Kitchen at Blue Jay Way   Our Blue Jay Way bar was so hot... BOOM! It was featured in Sean "Diddy" Combs' sexy commercial for Ciroc Vodka. I'll drink to that! What have been some of your favorite projects featured in Arch Digest and what AD100 Designers continue to push the envelope and inspire you year after year?  While you think about that, I'll head back to finish this month's editorial.

A Global Inspiration

Interior Design inspired by world travel and global influence.

Design Camp High Point

We're on the road again and our next destination is fall market at High Point.  For those of you who have never been, this is the perfect time to come and see what's new and refresh your interior design and business skills at Design Camp. High Point We'll be camping out in the fabulous Jaipur Rugs showroom Suite 3000 in Showplace, Saturday, October 18 from 3-6PM.  Design Camp Co-Founder Kelli Ellis and I will share our insights on how to charge a flat fee, being transparent with clients and staying profitable.  Joining us is our friend Michael Stein from Houzz, sharing secrets on how to get more clients and raise your ranking on the number one interior design site.  There will  be a surprise Design Icon and our usual gift bags and giveaways for the first 100 designers who register.     Following the camp, Jaipur will be hosting a cocktail party.  I've been quoted saying that one of my favorite things about market is the lunch at Jaipur.  The cocktails are just as good!!!  Asha (the owner), Candace and the rest of the team roll out the red carpet and welcome you with old fashioned, Indian style hospitality (you will not go hungry at this cocktail party). Asha Chaudhary and the Jaipur Team You may have also heard through the grapevine that Design Camp has partnered with Jaipur to bring you a line of outdoor rugs.  We've long been fans of the style and quality that Jaipur has to offer, but are even more grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the charitable work the Jaipur Rugs Foundation is doing!!!  Some of my favorite rugs are the Barcelona indoor outdoor and the tribal kilims. Jaipur Rugs Foundation Jaipur Tribal Flatweave Jaipur Rugs Barcelona   Come say hello, learn a lot, make new connections and enjoy everything that Design Camp and Jaipur has to offer! REGISTER HERE.

Top Five Guests at My Dream Dinner Party

The people who impress me most have unusual clarity, drive and are the best at what they do. With their unique views on the world, determination and perhaps good fortune, they've risen through the ranks, ascending to the top.  Everyone knows finance and politics are taboo topics among guests and anyone who knows me, knows I don't care about being taboo.  Guest one and two, sitting right in the middle of the table, are dominate power players who impact the world.  I also like a good story, so I've invited the best in the biz.  Finally, I'd love my party to have panache, so I've called on the dead to invite the most "fabulous" person I know. Without further ado, please meet my guests.   1.   Lloyd Blankfein - CEO and Chairman of Goldman Sachs An avid Zero Hedge reader, I'm fascinated by how money really works in the global economy.    This NYC boy came from a  middle class home, not elite private schools on the Upper East Side. Through ambition, hard work and unwavering perseverance, he became Valedictorian of his high school and went on to attend Harvard undergrad and Harvard Law.  Since taking on the role of Head at Goldman Sachs - and not without controversy - Blankfein has since been named "2009 Person of the Year" by Financial Times, Forbes Magazine's "Most Outrageous CEO of 2009", and #43 on Forbes list of "The World's Most Powerful People." 2. Vladimir Putin - President of Russia I'd love to listen to his story about his journey from his early years living in a communal apartment with other Leningrad families, to becoming one of the wealthiest men in the world.  He restored the glory of a failing nation, steadily grew the economy during his first two terms as President, and continues to receive the love of his people after being re-elected numerous times.  Under his direction and energy policy, Russia has become a clear energy leader in environmental sustainability and energy development. 3. Jenji Kohan - Creator of great shows like Weeds and Orange is the New Black She's such a delightful story teller who always seems to know the inner workings of the Vlad and Lloyd.  With many credits under her belt, including 7 Emmy Nominations ( finally winning for Executive Producer for Tracy Takes On)  her point of view and getting to the nitty-gritty is always intriguing. 4. Wes Anderson - Director, Screenwriter of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, Moonrise Kingdom  If you've seen his movies, you can only imagine what insanely hilarious things he could write about the guests at this dinner party. The, quirky cartoonish details of his storytelling shock and delight.  Every movie is different yet distinctively "Wes Anderson" and the same lines run through my head for each one, "WHERE DID HE COME UP WITH THIS SH*T?" Design: 5. Tony Duquette - Designer in Costume, Jewelry, Set, Furniture and Interiors Last but not least, the most "divine" person on my list has also risen from modest roots to working for and along-side the elite in film, fashion and all things design.  Elsie de Wolfe picked him up and he was off and running in the design world!  Duquette is the king of recycling - transforming the ordinary into something exquisite.  Also, I know he'd give me great decorating advice for the party and perhaps he would bring some of his beautiful jewelry over for me to borrow for the evening. Am I forgetting anyone?  Bon appetit!

Top 5 Faves in Outdoor Furniture

Things are really heating up around here and I am ridiculously ready for summer!  I've got my favorite shades on, a glass of cucumber lemonade and music playing - it's time to kick back and relax, my friends. As you know, I'm big on indoor / outdoor living, and I'm seeing some great designs that are exciting this season. Tommy Bahama Outdoor Furniture has taken woven wicker to a whole new level by bringing these typically indoor styles to the outdoors.  This collection feels so fresh - the light and beachy feel, the fluid movement of the table base and these chair styles that I've loved so much for living rooms but have never seen for the patio.  Nice job, Tommy!   Lamps Plus (Yes Lamps Plus has furniture!) has a great selection of outdoor pieces in various styles, including this play off the traditional outdoor wicker settee, giving it a more relaxed and modern feel with it's shape, open weave and grey tones.  I'll take 2!   Jaipur offers up plenty of bright and colorful graphic indoor/outdoor rugs, pillows and poufs that I love to use in my projects.  You can keep a neutral backdrop and change these out for a fresh look each season!   It's a great way to create a new look without breaking the bank.   Much to our delight, last fall we discovered that Made Goods now has outdoor furniture!  Thank you!  Thank you!  Their pieces are so much fun and really make a space feel special.   If you want something straight out of a resort, Zuo Mod has the hot stuff you're looking for.  This Martinique daybed is regal, relaxing and a little exotic.  Just my summer style! I'm constantly impressed by how many new and exciting things come to market each season and am really looking forward to the next few months.  Whether you come home inspired by your summer vacation or you want to create your own oasis at home, there are so many options out there.  Let loose, have fun and let the summer fiestas begin!

Bernhardt, I love what you’ve done with yourself!

When I walked into the High Point Bernhardt Interiorsshowroom, I almost didn’t know where I was.  There was low mood lighting, down-tempo music and furniture I wouldn’t necessarily associate with the Bernhardt I’ve known in the past.  It was sexy, contemporary and on trend, resulting in an absolutely stunning curation.  Ron Fiore, Stylist and Creative Director, is to thank for the showroom experience whose eye for ambiance in each collection totally transported me to another place and time....say the chicest hotel in London! This large scale brass Greek Key cocktail table is awesome! After 125 years, this family owned operation, now lead by 4th generation Alex Bernhardt Jr., has reinvented themselves in Bernhardt Interiors and I am blown away! What impressed me even more, was the price point and wide variety of customizable options.  You name it, they can do it.  If you love that cabinet but it's just a couple inches too wide, they'll adjust it for you.   Their pieces are well made and pricing is extremely competitive with other major manufacturers which makes me a very happy designer. So in love with this brass chair!   The New Look: Classic and Contemporary Bernhardt Walking through the 75,000 sq. ft. showroom with us, Alex Bernhardt, Jr. talked about his inspiration for bringing in designs that he personally loves – which were coincidentally the pieces that we were especially drawn to (the brass table and chair in the above images and this jaw-dropping bed). Talk about going with your gut and moving in a clear direction - Bernhardt has nailed it! Oh, yes please! Always close to my heart is not only the beautiful end result of items that come from a favorite manufacturer, but how they treat their employees and the environment.  Bernhardt employs about 1,250 people and they have implemented a comprehensive set of Environmental Policy Objectives, ranging from energy and water use, emissions and air quality control, waste reduction and the use of renewable materials, and how they package their products.  As designers, we want to make sure we source our products in a conscious manner so it's beneficial for everyone involved, from design concept to building to installation. Sara Plaisted and I with the ever so humble and charming Bernhardt Creative Director Ron Fiore.  We were very lucky to catch this shot because he's one shy guy! One of my favs...the Lance chair with the white leather and brass cantilever base. A major talking point was the notice of hardware being the jewelry of the furniture.  Such attention to detail was much appreciated! Notice the hardware "jewelry" on the back of the chair and on the cabinet The theme of this collection and space in the showroom was "A special woman who is a world traveler.  It's sophisticated, luxurious and elegant."   Refined Elegance Bernhardt has tapped into the horn trend and introduced these cool chairs and table. Elka Chair with Ombre Horn Legs   Horn Console Table Ribbon Wood Table Base This table is so interesting.  They've created the look of a light, ribbon-like wood base that is strong enough to support the glass top.  The trick is having a metal interior and wood veneer.  Genius! Silver Leaf Metal Applique Dresser   Cool and Affordable Acrylic Side Table This is perfect example of an awesome price point - this acrylic side table is 1/3 the cost of similar tables I've seen.  Very impressive! Sure to be taken seriously behind this faux Snake Skin Desk I have a new passion love for Bernhardt,  I'm so excited to share my "discovery" with my clients and design friends.  I'm sure you'll be just as impressed as I am!

Decor-Rest: Who’s Inside That Adorable Building?

For those of you who make the bi-annual treks to High Point Market, you're well aware of the challenges of touring millions of square feet of showroom space in three short days. I'm always a little sad when the trip is over and I realize there's so much more that I wanted to see.   For the past four markets I walked by the most quaint, Neo Classical building, thinking, "I have got to get in there, I can tell something good's inside."   Decor Rest Showroom High Point, NC This spring, my trip began with a visit inside that very building hello Decor-Rest.  Rain in the forecast, I was greeted by a woman at the door who handed me a complimentary, golf sized, black umbrella and invited me to enjoy a smoke salmon breakfast.  Pretty good so far! From there I walked through the showroom spying an enviable collection of upholstered pieces and case goods.  You can imagine how satisfied I felt with my selection when I learned that the "good looks" were coupled with green manufacturing.  Add to the mix that the company, founded in 1972, is family owned and values long term relationships while producing affordable, quality product... Design Shangri La?   Some of my favorite pieces were the tufted ottoman, the brown & white club chair with tufted back (shown above).  The "buzz" request of the day at our firm, is "transitional"; these surely fit the bill.   After so many years of streamlined Mid-Century pieces, I'm grateful that PRETTY is back in vogue .   The sinuous curves on this beauty, adorned with plum accent pillows and hints of turquoise, introduce glamour to a room without being overly feminine.   Throw in some pink accents, French chairs, round ottoman and crystal chandeliers, like they did in the showroom, and you get full on GIRL POWER, if that's the look you love.   With over 500 fabrics, a hearty selection of finishes, nail heads ranging from brass to crystal and hundred shapes, sizes and styles to chose from,  you have total, creative control to customize a look. Or ... you can keep it easy and  select something swanky off of the floor.     With a large client base of single men, I'm a huge fan of menswear styling in furniture. Sure enough, I found the perfect chair for my guys!  Add a cashmere blanket, a glass of top shelf scotch and a Wall Street Journal and it's ready for one of my projects!   For those of you who love your leather, Decor-Rest doesn't disappoint. This updated club rocked a classy camel/chrome combo.   Add a curated collection of  accent pieces and you get the ease of shopping for everything all in one place.  Some of my favorites were their consoles, mirrors and trays.   For those of you who dabble in hotel design, Decor-Rest can help you here as well.  They've been outfitting hotel suites for the past 40 years!  The team is super friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, it's like having additional staff you don't have to pay for- and I'm all for that kind of "outsourcing".         Finally the brand passes the Lori Dennis, Is It Green? test.  Sourced and manufactured in North America, Decor-Rest reduces its environmental footprint by using  SFC hardwoods, foam made of natural soya oil and technology to reduce waste materials in the final product.   I'm so glad I finally popped into to that adorable building!  

High Point Market Spring 2014 Highlights

We just got back from High Point Market where we saw the freshest in home design, toured beautiful showrooms and met future furniture partners.  There was so much inspiration, revelations, and new relationships made.  It's going to be a very exciting year! Sara Plaisted and I about to start our High Point Adventure   Our first meeting was at Lorts, who we are thrilled to be working with to develop our own line of hip-hacienda style furniture.  Throughout the years we've been collecting images, photographs and art as inspiration for when this moment would finally come and we're ready!  To sit down with our book of sketches and an "I have an idea - how can we make this happen?" collaboration was totally exhilarating.  Each person came to the table with a different perspective on how it all comes together from production to market and I couldn't have asked for a better team! Sitting with Judy Hunerberg from Lorts   We started the day off right at Bernhardt where they've done a total revamp of not only their showroom but their beautiful new pieces.  In Love! Well Hello Bernhardt!   Oh how I love acrylic and this Bernhardt table is at a great price point! Eco-friendly upholsterer Decor -Rest   delighted with sleek vignettes and UBER competitive price points.  With a line by Canadian Design Stars Stephen & Chris, it was obvious that substance backed up the style! Eco Friendly Decor-Rest Sofa You can't miss Stray Dog Designs walking through Market. Our most colorful and happy place at Stray Dog We loved their hand made paper mache jewelry, especially the chicken foot - because we love our backyard girls at home! Stray Dog Designs Jewelry Collection   Caracole was not only one of our faves, but they had a Spa Room where we sat with warmed lavender neck pillows and our very own foot massage.  I wish we had a snapshot of us - we'll have to track down Jeff Young, CEO who captured our moment of pure relaxation heaven after walking and walking and walking. Beautifully woven sofa at Caracole   Sculptural coffee table at Caracole   It's the Bomb Bay Chest at Caracole Charlotte Moss debuted her new line at Century Furniture which was beautiful! Charlotte Moss Collection at Century Furniture   I love the simplicity of the curves and the bronze inlay. Lovely! You can't keep me away from acrylic and gold at Century At Jaipur rugs we ran into our friends and Design Camp faves Bill Indursky and Vera Djonovic of Design Life Network. New Turkish throws at Jaipur   We stopped by Noir to have a meeting with Ken Bassman of Bassman Blaine and talk about our new partnership with Design Camp.  Don't miss out this summer in Vegas.  It's gonna be our biggest camp yet! We're big fans of Noir   Four Hands has such a great showroom at High Point and their theme this year was deconstruction.  A car was hung upside down with the parts shooting out just below it.  Very cool! And of course, I'm still in love with the beautiful Van Thiel Collection. Van Thiel Collection at Four Hands As we were leaving, we ran into our one-stop shop purchasing agent Jason Glassman of VDRC.  We love him because he makes our work easy and oh so seamless!  One of the best parts of Market is running into old friends and putting faces to names and emails of the people we work with on a daily basis. We discovered a new showroom off the beaten path at Francesco Molon.  We just picked up a new project with a Russian oligarch and a few of these items will be perfect! Rounding out our trip we finished our tour at Chaddock Home where we met up with Mary McDonald.  Mary is debuting her new line which was inspired by Napoleon who often campaigned in Egypt, so there were quite a few Egyptian influences.  She's in great company at Chaddock along with David Easton, Larry Laslo and Dave Hinckley. Mary McDonald's modern take on Egyptian X-Bench with Horse Legs at Chaddock  

THG Paris: Design as Art

Invitations, even digital ones, set the tone for a party; first impressions are everything.   Snyder Diamond understands this, as well as how to put on beautiful events.  I am continuously blown away by the attention to detail that is paid to each soiree they throw.  Last week's  THG Paris party at Robert Berman Gallery, Bergamont Station was no exception.     Greeted at the door with Domaine Allimant-Laugner, a sparkling champagne method from Alsace, we entered through a Orangerie styled interior, sculpture garden filled with Goodie bags- full of GOOD goodies!! This simple equation is universal:  Yummy Food+Fine Wine+Live Music= Successful Party.  Here we were treated to traditional Northern French Cuisine, wine pairings and a debonair string duet.         The only dry and very best Riesling I've ever had.   I like drinking my desert! This red was like a Cab with a touch of Cognac. Delish! In the design world, it's all about presentation, which brings us to the star of the evening: THG Paris fixtures.  Adorned in Baccarat and Lalique Crystal, one set was more scrumptious than the next. But the cleverest detail was to hold the party  in a leading Los Angeles art gallery and display the fixtures as an exhibition.   Tre Magnifique! Thank you Snyder Diamond, THG Paris and Robert Berman Gallery!  

Pre-Oscars Event: Red Carpet Green Dress

Last week I attended the Pre-Oscar event Red Carpet Green Dress hosted by Suzy Amis Cameron, wife of James Cameron.  For the last five years Suzy has promoted eco and sustainable fashion with her event Red Carpet Red Dress, in support of the Muse School, a non-profit in Calabasas. During Oscar season, the biggest question on the red carpet is always, "What Are You Wearing"? Suzy delves a little deeper, asking,  "what is what you're wearing made of?"  As a green interior designer, I can totally relate.  An organic lifestyle encompasses how we furnish and maintain our homes, it's what we eat and what we allow to touch our skin. Speaking of skin, did you know that the skin is our biggest organ?  Think about everything that touches it on a daily basis like clothes, bedding, bath linens, moisturizers, lotions, hair and make-up products.  Is the fabric your clothing is made of loaded with formaldehyde and other toxic chemicals that are dumped into a waterway during manufacturing process?  Or is it made of organic materials in a conscious and sustainable way?  Suzy and I prefer the latter. Lori Dennis and SoCal Contractor Have I been in Hollywood too long or does everyone love walking the red carpet and snapping some shots at the step & repeat?  Here I am with SoCal Contractor at the event, held at the Palihouse in West Hollywood. Now let's talk about the coveted, Oscar Swag Bags.  They are sooooo much better than anything we see in the design world! (I know, I know, a few more people are paying attention to the Oscars than the Golden Nugget Design Awards.) These Swag Bags were especially great because the contents were 100% in line with my philosophy and green aesthetic.  You know me, when I see a good thing I gotta share, so here's a snap shot of what was included: Gift Bag More info on the awesome products: Lux and Eco For those who live a holistic and sustainable lifestyle, Lux and Eco has curated a wide assortment of eco-friendly products and services including fashion, health & beauty, lifestyle, home and garden, pets, tech, gourmet food and vintage pieces.  Each product is hand selected for its environmental commitment and high ethical standards. Jacquelyn Willard hand selected the vendors who participated, including me as the green interior designer, and let me tell you, this woman knows quality.   Linnea's Lights 1st goodie:  Non-toxic candles. What's great about Linnea's Lights is that they're made of soy, come in so many beautiful scents and is packaged in recycled materials with a gorgeous hand stamp.  My favorite part was lifting the lid to find a matchbox attached inside!  Clever.  Included in the bags was Sea Salt, a calming aquatic blend of sea salt, briny sea moss, and fresh citrus.  So fresh and so clean!   Under the Canopy 2.  A great shirt with a  great message.  Under the Canopy uses innovative organic and sustainable textiles in the highest quality.  So soft.  So comfortable.  So cool!  Anyone who drives into Palm Springs from LA will recognize the windmill farm.   Haute Chefs 3. A rosemary gift card for a free in home gourmet meal. Are you hungry?  I am just by looking at all the delicious food from Haute Chefs.  These guys offer their culinary service delivery that is custom to your taste, schedule and health goals.  Like me, they believe that time and health are the true luxuries in life and they are here to help.  They also have full-service catering, consulting and cooking classes.  Sign me up!   Veev Vita Frute 4. Cocktails - a full sized bottle!  Veev Vita Frute cocktails are organic and made with the superfruit Acai.  Our bags contained margarita, made with premium tequila, all natural juices and agave nectar.  They're not only low-cal but are pretty tasty too AND they're the world's first carbon neutral spirit.  Cheers to that!   Portico Home 5. Wash cloths. If you're looking for super soft, organic bedding and bath linens, look no further!  Portico not only offers great colorways, but they use sustainable materials like Organic Cotton, Eucalyptus, Recycled plastic bottles, non-toxic dyes and finishes in all their products.  They never bleach with chlorine, their linens are free of toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde and added scents, and there is no PVC in their packaging.  Pretty clean!     Harney and Sons 6. Fancy Ice Tea. Delicious and full of flavor, family owned and operated Harney and Sons create over 200 varieties of high quality organic teas.  We're constantly drinking tea in our office and this is a fantastic addition to our day! I am : Enlighted Creations 7. Energy Drinks. Drawing from the classical wisdom of Ayerveda and Chinese Medicine, I AM Enlighted Creations offers a blend of Mind | Body | Spirit elixers, supplements and mists filled with nutrient-dense blend of botanicals, vitamins, minerals and amino acids.  The I AM HAPPY elixer has Pharrell's song stuck in my head - which is great for self talk!   Modern Minerals 8. Eyeshadow. I think about make-up a lot and what we are ingesting on our lips, absorbing into our skin and what can potentially get in our eyes.  Modern Minerals is 100% cruelty-free and made in the USA.  Big words to avoid in your ingredients are Parabens, Aluminum, Carmine and Phthalates - this product is free of those nasty chemicals and additives and is also vegan friendly.  Their philosophy is "Beauty" that is conscious of the earth and compassionate towards animals.  Words that sing to my heart.     Purely Elizabeth 9. Granola. I adore the name, probably because it's my daughter's!  Not only is Purely Elizabeth granola organic, vegan and gluten-free, made with pure and simple ingredients (that you can pronounce!) but their mission is to better the health of the community both small and large and support sustainable farming practices.  I love the Pumpkin Fig made with organic quinoa, amaranth and chia! Machilla Magic 10. Original Art. Root Woven Brochure covers by Machilla Magic are hand-made by a community of family artists in Mozambique .  95% of their products are made from recycled materials and all work under the Fair Trade system.   Green Garmento 11. Reusable dry cleaning bags. Be Fantastic!  Use less plastic!  The Green Garmento has a great product that reduces the use of those thin plastic dry-cleaning bags and replacing it with a reusable bag instead.   And remember - No Wire Hangers EVER!   I had a great time at this event and was more than happy to donate my services to the auction.  I hope it helps raise money and awareness that healthy living is not about sacrifice! It's attainable and LUXE if you just think about products you buy for your home and self. Big thanks to Lux&Eco and Suzy Cameron!  

The Christopher Kennedy Compound

We spent last weekend in sunny Palm Springs where we were a part of the designer showcase at the Christopher Kennedy Compound sponsored by LUXE Interiors+Design.  First off, let me tell you the town was bumping!  It was crawling with mid-century design lovers all there to take in the art and architecture of Modernism Week.  By the time the event ended, more than 5,000 had walked through the showcase house and couldn't stop talking about it. We were honored to be among designers Celerie Kemble, Patrick Dragonette, Trina Turk, Woodson & Rummerfield, Jiun Ho, Tamara Kaye-Honey, Sammy Castro, Thomas Lavin and of course Christopher Kennedy - who are so incredibly talented and transformed each unique space into something absolutely stunning. With my girls Rachael Hodge and Sara Plaisted I don't mean to brag to all of you on the other end of the country who have been frozen over this winter, but our install day was a blazing 90 degrees.  We had a blast cruising in the U-Haul filled with all our goodies for the entrance of the estate. Before... Ready to unpack and get this show on the road!   And After... Our Seating Area at the Entry of the Christopher Kennedy Compound We were so happy to hear such great feedback about our indoor / outdoor design and want to again thank RAGS Custom Furnishings, Heritage Drapery, Stray Dog Designs, Edward Lentsch and West Elm.  When we were choosing our blue circle drapery fabric, there was only a limited amount of yardage left so we had to improvise.  In the words of Tim Gun, we had to Make It Work, People!  We chose another fabric in grey and had our talented drapery fabricator, Edgar from Heritage, cut and sew the 2 fabrics together to create the stripe design you see here.  We really think it made the space come together and was everyone's wow factor.   Our Mid-Century Gem for the weekend, Random Haus   Here are some shots of the opening night celebration... Getting styled before stepping out for the Opening Gala   Lori Dennis and SoCal Contractor   Christopher Kennedy and Lori Dennis   Beautiful Bedroom designed by Celerie Kemble   Monogrammed Hand Towel in Tiffany Blue by Christopher Kennedy   We were all in love with Patrick Dragonette's crystal table lamps   This acrylic pendant lamp and fish wallpaper designed by Tamara Kaye-Honey were so fun and unexpected   With two handsome men, Mike Ragan and Paul Newman   Chanelling that 70's vibe with Designer/Blogger Hawlie Ohe in the backyard space designed by Christopher Kennedy Oh just a casual dinner at none other than Liberace's home   Liberace's Shower - Always spectacular!   Dinner with the Designers and Luxe at the Liberace Estate SoCal Contractor and Lori Dennis   For an in-depth view into every room at the Christopher Kennedy Compound, check out the next edition of LUXE Interiors+Design.  I promise you'll love it!

How Much Do Interior Designers Cost, Part II

As a follow up to a previous post on How Much Do Interior Designers Cost are some very important questions to ask when looking for a designer.  Choosing the right person is important and will be instrumental in helping you get your dream results.   Once you've searched through portfolio after portfolio and have narrowed down your top choices, the next step is to see if you click and if they're the right fit for what you're looking for. It's never fun to be surprised by unexpected discoveries along the way, so here are a few essential questions to to ask a designer: Are you professionally accredited?   What sets you apart from other designers?   What is your interior design philosophy?   What is your track record in completing a design project on time and within budget?   What is your experience of my type of project? What challenges do you see with my project?   Will I work with you directly or with contractors?   What fees are included in your basic service?   What services would incur additional fees?   Being prepared with the right information, including your desired scope of work, budget and time line, will set you on your way to a wonderful experience and incredible outcome.


Lori Dennis is a top Interior Designer, speaker, best selling author, star of HGTV’s The Real Designing Women and co-founder of Design Campus.









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