Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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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.


Still High from Vegas Market

There was something extra special about Las Vegas Market this year.  The energy was buzzing.  People were excited.  And the showrooms were overflowing with beautiful new pieces that look even better in person! Some of the highlights for us this year … Design Camp's Sara Plaisted, Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis starting the day off at HGTV   Gorgeous Halle Screen from Arteriors   Sexy Small Gourds from Barbara Cosgrove   Great take on a classic at Brownstone   Saw this gorgeous Mazarin Ovale mirror at Christopher Guy   Really cool fabric selections for beautiful pieces at Cisco Brothers   Had a great discussion on Sustainability and Cradle to Cradle with Lewis Perkins   Can't wait to put this in one of our client's Dream Closet - Cindy Lou Hoo at Cyan Design     A different kind of horn at Four Hands   Love the detail on the Quatrefoil Table at Global Views   So many goodies at Go Home Ltd.   Best of both worlds with a wood framed upholstered bed at HGTV   We were dying over all the beautiful tribal shell necklaces at Interlude Home   So many vibrant colors in striking designs at Jaipur Rugs   Stunning paintings of cranes at Leftbank Art   Delicate detail of the Coco Mirror at Made Goods   Check out the texture on this buffet at NOIR / CFC   Love the coastal lamps from Palecek   Cutest kid furniture at Zuo Mod       I can't wait until the next Vegas Market this summer when it'll be even bigger and better when partnered with Design Camp!  See you guys soon!


Las Vegas World Market 2014: Interior Design Tastemakers

Hot off the presses...  here are the Tastemakers  for the Las Vegas World Market. I'm thrilled to be included with world  famous interior designers Barbara Barry and Barry Dixon!! When you visit market January 26-30, 2014, come say hello.  I'll be speaking for the Sustainable Furnishings Council on Green Interior Design, Sunday,  January 26th in Building C 1-2PM.


Green Interior Design: How Do I Know If I’m Buying Green Furniture and Building Materials?

Anyone see the smog images from China lately? If you had any questions about how the environment is adversely affected by  the manufacturing of goods and materials, you're likely a believer after viewing those photos.  For those of you who think, "oh it's all the way in China, it won't hurt me", think again.  The atmosphere doesn't require a passport. Believe it or not, furniture, accessories and materials used in buildings are a significant portion of what's being manufactured in China, and around the world. Something as simple as the curtains hanging in your kitchen is playing a role in the causes for the disturbing images below.   If you're asking yourself questions like, "Am I partially responsible and if so, what can I do?" -- you're not alone.  As consumers are becoming more aware about how a product is made, what it is made of and the amount of energy it takes to manufacturer, transport and package it, we are equally concerned about what our choices mean to our planet and our health.  The problem we're facing is far from that we are apathetic,  it's the frustration at the lack of knowledge available regarding the "ingredients" of what we're buying. One way to help decipher healthier choices for the planet (and your body)  is with third party certifications that I discuss in detail in my book Green Interior Design. Green Interior Design by Lori Dennis Some of them include researching the following organizations: Greenguard Green Label Plus GreenSeal BIFMA level FloorScore Green Squared FSC Greenguard Gold Organizations aiding in research for Sustainable Product and Material Research include: USDA Certified Biobased (Biobased Products), Building Green (Building Materials), Cradle to Cradle (Material Chemistry), SMaRT (Material Life-Cycle Assessment), Pharos Project (Material Toxicity) and SCS Global(Sustainable Products and Testing). The list is daunting, I know.  However, the information found at these organization's websites is pretty simple to understand if you take the time to read it.  And if you're facing issues like asthma, fatigue, constant illness or you're aware of the fact that our resources are limited and our planet is under a chemical attack, a few hours of reading doesn't seem that impossible to accomplish. Once you've digested the information, it's so much easier to make wiser choices about pieces that are going into your home or workplace or those of your clients.  Further, once you understand who does what, you can look for the labels from manufacturers for clues that about what you're buying.  We've learned to do this with our food, so the process is familiar. Some logos to look for: USDA Certified Biobased Products Logo Building Green Logo Cradle to Cradle Logo Smart Certified Logo Pharos Logo SCS Certified Logo     Just in case you're wondering what the color trend of the season is, take a look at this river downstream from a clothing factory in China.  I'm guessing Persimmon.


Sit Back and Relax with W.SCHILLIG

During my last trip to High Point Market, I discovered W.SCHILLIG ,a 3rd generation company that creates high caliber seating with detailed, German design.  Sitting on their sofas,  felt like I was sitting inside an exquisite high-end luxury vehicle - the quality is top notch. Gioovani Gioovani Gioovani For those with limited space, this modular Gioovani sofa easily transitions into a King size bed with the click of a finger. William William We design for quite a few wealthy single bachelor homes and these sofas and ottomans are not only incredibly comfortable, but perfectly elegant and modern.  They have a beautiful range of soft leathers and high quality microfiber fabrics, all in affordable price points. Jan Jan Giuudita Giuudita These shapes and lines interesting and incredibly comfortable!  I was really impressed with their environmentally sound engineering.  Anyone who knows me knows that I can't stand waste and these are pieces are German engineered, built to last! Alessiio Alessiio They got the message that the 80's influence is back.  Check out those curves! Now I've saved the best for last.  Brace yourselves because this is probably going to seem like an oxymoron but this is the sexiest recliner I have ever seen - PERFECT for a media room. Brevyn Brevyn Brevyn Brevyn Brevyn Usually you think of  a bulky Barcalounger but this is sleek, beautiful and cozy.  I loved the clever arm rest / cup holder transition option.   It's like a sexy blonde who surprises you with a sharp brain and witty personality!


Highlights from HGTV Home at Hight Point

I had a lovely tour of HGTV Home while I was at High Point last month and I was inspired by the bold colors, patterns and textures. I love the Mexican inspired, Like A Diamond fabric.  I expect to see this trend continue in a big way. I can never get enough of bar carts!  This is such a petite delicate piece. We can spend a fortune on built-ins, especially with lighting.  Try this trick of placing 2 of these curio cabinets next to each other to give off a grand feeling.  The wood backing can either be the light finish as shown, or flipped to a darker finish that matches the rest of the piece. Wallpaper can sometimes be expensive. This is a great way to use a single roll to create a major pop statement and a really cool vignette. I love this casual take on the modern waterfall table with a built in tray. This Raffia Chest is a great blend of traditional and casual - love it! I love twin beds in a room and these beds are a great price point. Check out more products from HGTV Home and let me know what you think!


And the REVO Fireplace Winner is…

Congratulations to Bob H. from Forest Lake, MN! He is the winner of the new REVO Fireplace from Heat & Glo! I'm sure he'll be feeling nice and roasty toasty this winter!   Stay tuned to Heat & Glo for more fun in the future!    


Design Camp Orange County was a hit!

I'm still buzzing from Design Camp Orange County at the Laguna Design Center!  Each and every camp I learn something new and am filled with a fresh spark of enthusiasm.  This was our biggest and best camp yet (164!) and we're so grateful to everyone who attended - Counselors, Campers and Sponsors.  You are all so amazing and YOU are what makes this event great! This camp brought a theme of Passion and Positioning to our world of design.  Passion for what gets you out of bed in the morning, excites and drives you.  And Positioning your business, brand and marketing and how this all feeds back into your ultimate success. Like everyone else, my brain was overflowing with so many ideas and inspiration, and my cheeks were sore from all the smiling and laughing.  I watched as connections were made, ah-ha sparks were lit and as camper Monica Nordquist said, had "a bonfire lit under me". Our line-up of incredible speakers this camp included the Design Elite Kathryn M Ireland, Timothy Corrigan, Nathan Turner, Adam Japko (Digital Sherpa), Cliff Fong, Barbara Deckmeyer, Katy Garrett (Connexion Software), Phil Pallen, Bill Indursky (Design Life Network), Julie Thigpen (Belle Maison), Paloma Contreras (La Dolce Vita), Builder John Finton, Pamela Jaccarino (Editor-in-Chief of Luxe Interiors+Design), Jason Clark of Hansgrohe, Christopher Kennedy, Christian May (Maison21), Tracy Burge and Julie Arcelay (Sub-Zero Wolf), Jeff Andrews, Brian Van Gorder (BVG PR), Rich Pedine (RP PR), Aaron Danzig (Williams-Sonoma), Jennifer Convy, and Penelope Francis.  Amazing! The Opening Night Party, hosted by Sub-Wolf Zero was incredible and we had a wonderful time (despite the Southern California rain - what?)  We can't wait to visit their huge new showroom in Orange County soon! Kelli and I Gettin' Glam With my team Hawlie Ohe, Krytal Hudson, Elena Matara and Sara Plaisted - plus the amazingly talented Daniel Maltzman, who helped cover the Design Camp walls with his beautiful paintings. Adam Japko talking about our Design Tribe Two of the most uplifting and inspiring speakers, Christopher Kennedy and Timothy Corrigan You could hear a pin drop while Master Builder John Finton and PR Guru Penelope Francis were on stage With Kathryn M. Ireland signing her gorgeous book, Timeless Interiors Sharing their wealth of knowledge on High-End Design and PR, Bryan Van Goder, Cliff Fong, Jeff Andrews and Rich Pedine Aaron Danzig talked about the strength in branding for Williams Sonoma Two Passionate People building relationships at Kravet, Pam Jaccarino and Christopher Kennedy With one of the most down-to-earth Designers, Nathan Turner Bill Indursky is always enthusiastic to talk about what's happening in design Blogger Typhanie Peterson and Gail Rysavy of Bassman Blaine Our Sponsors from Sub-Zero Wolf, Cambria Quartz and Witford enjoying the party Bummed you missed Camp this time?  Read some of our reviews here, get pumped up and book your trip to Vegas, baby for our next camp July 25-27 2014! Thank you again to our sponsors Axor Hansgrohe, Sub-Zero Wolf, Luxe Interiors+Design, Designer Marketplace, Williams Sonoma, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Rejuvenation, Mark & Graham, Design Sherpa, ConnexionSoft, Cost Plus World Market, Cambria Quartz, Jaipur Rugs, The Design Life Network, La Dolce Vita, Currey & Co, Belle Maison, Lisa Mende Design, SoCal Contractor, Daniel Maltzman, Kravet, Witford and Bassman Blaine


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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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