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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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!
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!
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
Alright everyone, we're getting close to announcing the Grand Prize Winner of the Heat & Glo REVO Fireplace - October 14 is the lucky day. Just in time for cozy fall weather! Have you signed up yet? Just to wet your whistle, the REVO fireplace features a patented, invisible Razor burner, a reflective black glass interior, and a slender, 7-inch deep profile, which makes it easy to place in any room. It's so sleek, I love it! The REVO fireplace is available in three models (square, linear, vertical), making it a versatile addition to just about ANY space! Congratulations to our past $100 AMEX Gift Card Winners - Patrick Hsieh, Angela Molloy & Wayne Aiken! Good luck everyone and my fingers are crossed for you!
Do I feel like getting up at 5AM and doing 30 minutes of squats followed by 18 minutes of sit ups? Not really. But I know it's going to give me the body I want, so I commit and move forward. Lately I've been working out with Leandro of Brazil Butt Lift Fame. He's a great motivator and his techniques work! Each and every time I'm 5 minutes into the workout, I am happy, energized and succeeding in my fitness goals. Leandro Brazil Butt Lift Being a successful interior designer takes the same kind of dedication. It means being able to master budgeting, time management, marketing, scheduling, designing, inventory, installations, public relations, networking, administration, project management, client relations, HR, the list goes on. A lot of days, it feels like waking up at 5AM to do an excruciating workout. Having a coach with a proven track record will give you the confidence to tackle your task, knowing that 5 minutes in you will feel the same level of satisfaction in your journey that I feel each morning when I commit to working out. Design Camp is that coach, actually it's many top level coaches (who we lovingly refer to as Camp Counselors) motivating you and giving you the guidance you need to meet your career goals and SUCCEED. And although Design Camp is a lot fun, it is a financial, emotional and time investment that is sometimes difficult or even scary to make, but absolutely necessary to stay inspired and get what you want out of your interior design business. Design Camp Counselors Lori Dennis and Kelli Ellis Design Camp Counselor Barry Dixon w/ top designers Lisa Mende and Kandrac & Kole So, like Leandro does to me each day, I invite you to DECIDE, COMMIT and SUCCEED on your professional course. I promise that if you join us at Design Camp, YOU WILL SEE RESULTS. And it may not even take you 5 minutes with us to become overjoyed, realizing that your journey to success has begun. Design Camp Counselors Kelli Ellis, Nathan Turner and Lori Dennis Design Camp Counselors Mitra Morgan Joss & Main and Jillian St. Charles HGTV Design Camp Counselors Kelli Ellis, Pam Jaccarino EIC @luxemag and Lori Dennis Our next camp is in Orange County, California on October 9-11 at the Laguna Design Center. Bring a friend and save $500. REGISTER NOW!
Let's play a game of Would You Rather. Would you rather have a room with this: or this... The Instant Can Converter is one of my latest fan favorites. Have you seen this? It's a simple kit that can bring instant style and charm to your home without a lot of electrical work and expense. Now you won't have to look like a goblin with the down lights casting shadows on your face. Isn't that lovely? It's as easy as changing a light bulb! You can find these kits at Amazon, Lowe's or Home Depot. Even better - catalogs are selling the kits along with the pendant light so it's a one-stop-shop, thank you very much! I first found these instant light adapters with pendants through Home Decorators, but others like Ballard Designs have them too. It's not always easy to vary the lighting within a room but now we have help. Don't you love it when little things like this make life easy? So can your cans and upgrade your space to something that's truly beautiful!
Who doesn't love a great Give-Away? Not only will you walk away from Design Camp feeling totally inspired and over-flowing with new ideas to catapult your business to the next level, but you could leave with a beautiful gift from one of our sponsors! We can't wait to see what they have to offer, and here are just a handful of goodies up for grabs. Each camp, Hans Grohe does an interactive design challenge where the winner receives a Radiance Hand Shower. I'm not lying when I tell you this is the best shower I've ever had. It's like heaven is raining down on my head! This elegant book, Charlotte Moss Decorates, or a stunning Gilt Twist Accent Table could be in your hot little hands, courtesy of Currey & Company. Jaipur not only offers beautiful products, but their philosophy on social responsibility rings close to my heart. They are giving back to the hard working and talented communities who are helping to create these rugs, and empowering them to find better financial and social stability. And you may have a piece of these creations in your own home if you're a lucky winner! Bassman Blaine will be offering something just as lovely as ever from Arteriors. We love Arteriors! Soicher Marin has promised to bring something brand new and exciting to camp and we're dying to see what it is! Our Sponsor Give-Aways keep getting better and better. It's the icing on the cake when you head home after a few great days at Design Camp! We can't wait to see your pretty faces in Orange County this October! Register here.
I love HOUZZ and I can’t say it enough. It's something I use often in my business and consider it to be a huge asset to what I do on a day to day basis. So I thought I'd share my enthusiasm and offer my Top 5 Reasons why it’s the best go-to resource, inspiration and communication tool out there. 1. Keywords – With such a depth of descriptive keywords, I always find exactly what I’m looking for. Let’s say I’m searching for white kitchen cabinets. Over 381,000 images popped up! Or I search for modern wood table - I get thousands of images, plus products I might be interested in purchasing, so it's a one stop shop. See something you like in an image, it will take you directly to the online store. No matter what you’re looking for, I guarantee you’re going to find it. For those of you who like choices, you got'm. 2. Images – Did I mention how many images they have in stock? There are millions and millions to sift through. Literally. Forget the basics like Google Images. This is your headquarters for anything and all things design. 3. Articles – The home page features Today on Houzz where you’ll see about 10 different articles on topics like Wallpaper, Product Picks or Share a Home Office, Keep Your Marriage. I check in weekly to see what’s going on in my "news feed", and get a shot of great ideas and information. I could spend hours here, and sometimes I do. 4. Idea Books – These are one of my most useful tools when working with clients, whether they’re down the street or around the world in Dubai. I can easily and visually share my design concepts with them to express the exact look and feel that I’m going for. Plus my clients can share their own favorite images to communicate details or images they love. 5. Houzz Tours – Who doesn’t love a whole home tour? With over 1,000 homes from around the world you can see just about anything. Pick a style, like English Cottage, and you're off collecting so much inspiration your head will spin. One of my recent favorite searches was 6 international Bed and Breakfasts. This just might help me plan for next year's vacation! I could easily go on and on but I'd love to hear how you use Houzz. How has it helped you turn your dreams a reality?
I have partnered with Heat & Glo to help spread the word on my favorite super sleek REVO fireplace and contest, Where Will You REVO? What I absolutely love about the razor thin 7” deep fireplace is that I can use it in so many ways and in places where I never thought I’d have the space. With square, horizontal or vertical shapes, I can fit it on any size wall or room for that added focal point and heat source. Having a wall-mounted fireplace like this in a bathroom is so easy to install and adds that spa like feeling we all crave. Personalization of the frame style and finish is an added feature which pulls a room together for a custom look, whether it’s contemporary or traditional. How sexy is this profile? Before we knew about REVO, we used a piece of art to symbolize the feeling of fire to accomplish the look we were going for. A REVO would've been perfect! So you gotta have a REVO, right? Just go to Facebook and sign up. Can't wait to see where you REVO! Weekly Winners The Heat & Glo team will select eight (8) weekly winners (1 winner per week). Each weekly winner will receive a $100 American Express® gift card. Grand Prize Winner One (1) grand prize winner will receive a new REVO fireplace for their home. The grand prize winner will be selected at the conclusion of the contest. Contest ends October 11, 2013.
As I begin my summer filled with travel, amazing hotels have been swirling around in my mind. Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort Tuscany, Italy If anyone knows me, they understand the depth of my love for olive oil. Not only do I use it in the kitchen, but it’s a fantastic moisturizer. Just ask Sophia Loren! Being in the fresh country side of Tuscany, surrounded by lush beauty within an olive oil resort is such a sensory experience, like a little piece of heaven. Palazza Barbarigo Venice, Italy So sexy. So urban. So Chic. The rooms are designed in boudoir glam and when you’re staying in this intimate 16th century Venetian hotel overlooking the canals, you instantly feel like you’re Mr. and Mrs. Smith. HERODS Hotel Tel Aviv Right on the beach, Herods takes you back to 1930’s Tel Aviv, where east meets west. To me, the cool and laid back vibe always makes me feel like Elvis could be anywhere in the building. Melenos Lindos Hotel Rhodes, Greece Melenos Lindos is quintessential Greece, full of relaxation, enchanted luxury and crystal clear blue waters. Located next to the Acropolis in the tiny town of Lindos, you will literally need a donkey to help you carry your luggage up to your exquisitely detailed room. Ngorongoro Crater Lodge Tanzania Where exclusive luxury meets the African Wild. Talk about being one with nature, surrounded by over 25,000 animals. This is safari gone glam at its best. Ngorongoro Crater is often referred to as the 8th World Wonder. I'm already relaxed and ready for my vacation! What exciting places are you off to this summer?
Design Campus has been up and running for just over 24 hours and we're already flooded with positive feedback an hundreds sign ups! We're so excited for everyone because we know how valuable this information is and we've heard how it's transformed careers. If you haven't had the opportunity to make it to one of our Design Camps, this is a perfect way for you to take an online workshop in whatever topic interests you. Our leading design speakers give you the latest tips and resources on Business, Social Media, Getting Published, Trends, Lighting, Kitchen and Bath and more! If you've already attended one of our design camps and just want more or would like a refresher, here's your chance. As promised, Design Campus is a place to connect or reconnect with other passionate designers and business owners. This is an honest, open and relaxed forum for everyone to share, ask questions, get answers - all in a supportive environment. Your membership includes unlimited access to our entire library filled with instructional presentations, interviews with top expert interior designers, strategies to bring your business to the next level and more. This could be you, but in front of your computer wearing PJs! As a taster in these next few days, we're offering membership for just $1! WHAT?! You'll have instant access to exclusive videos from interior design experts from around the world! After that, it's just $27 per month and feel free to cancel any time. Don't forget, our next Design Camp is October 9-11 in Orange County, CA - and I promise you, it's gonna be GOOOOOOD!!! Early Bird registration opens July 8 ($500 off baby!) and we'd love to see you there! We're so happy to be a part of this with you and can't wait to hear how Design Camp and Design Campus have changed your life!
Lately these amazing designers have been an inspiration for me... Madeline Stuart Comfortably both classic and modern, Madeline Stuart is one of the elite members of AD100 and Elle Décor’s Top 25. Earlier this year, we had the opportunity to see, sit and chat in her Deco designed Green Room for the Academy Awards which was re-created at Baker. We didn’t want to leave! Chris Barrett Chris Barrett loves California and it’s unmistakable in the spaces she designs. She is well-known for her down to earth luxury and ease of blending color, light, scale and patterns into warm and comfortable environment. A girl after my own heart, Chris follows the principles of environmental sustainability and creates livable outdoor spaces filled with fresh air and light. Her new line of outdoor fabrics are hand designed with signature abstract patterns and they’re beautiful! Donna Livingston Another AD100 member, Donna has been in the business for over 30 years and it’s evident in her perfectly timeless, elegant and welcoming spaces. She has a passion or history and travel and with that perspective in mind, she’s able to enhance each room with rich layers and details. Elizabeth Dinkel When I toured the Veranda Showcase House at Greystone Mansion years ago, her room was one of my favorites. In 2011, I was honored to be chosen to design a room at the Maison de Luxe Greystone Mansion Showcase and was elated when I was offered this same room. Elizabeth’s style is so fresh and full of life and I always feel happy when I see her work. Timothy Corrigan Timothy is a scholar of what seems like every period! He can seamlessly blend a variety of styles and still make it feel comfortable and contemporary. Along with layering in exquisite art and antiques, I’m always impressed when other designers like Timothy are on board with the eco-luxury philosophy that never compromises style or quality. So many inspirations on so many levels! What designers have you had on your eye on lately or who is always on your mind?
For over twenty years, John Finton and his company Finton Construction have built a reputation as the leader in high-end custom home construction. With offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and soon San Francisco, his projects have graced the pages of Architectural Digest, The New York Times, Worth, The Los Angeles Times and Robb Report. During the last decade I have admired his work, longing to collaborate on one of his world class projects. What I love about John is not just his uncanny ability to connect with financial elites, his attention to details or the exquisitely finished products he delivers, it's his approach- cool, calm, collected, so very SoCal. For the building/remodeling virgins out there...cool, calm, collected and easy breezy are not terms generally associated with large scale residential, remodeling and new construction projects. Nicknamed the Indiana Jones of builders, John has visited over 80 countries and has 30 given international project on the boards at any time, affording him a perspective most builders will never know. He's certainly the first construction player to achieve Rock Star status generally reserved for architects and interior designers. Now he's even written a coffee table book, California Luxury Living. Deviating from other books by builders with their “how to” formats, John offers a look into the creative process of luxury construction and a peek inside some of Southern California's most prominent addresses. As someone who runs construction projects from the ground up,I am loving this book and can not wait to hear John espouse about it at Design Camp Orange County October 9-11.
Here we go! Season 1 of Real Designing Women airs this Saturday, June 1 in Canada. Check out the trailer. So much fun!
I'm so excited that my show Real Designing Women is finally premiering! The first air date is June 1 in Canada and will then be distributed world wide. In our first episode, Client Control, Dee Dee is shocked to be given only a promotional beer bucket to inspire her pitch to land a major restaurant chain as her newest client. It means she has to make her first trip to a strip mall in years. Also adding to her woes? The clients take on what she comes up with. Meanwhile, yours truly has to do a pretty big tap dance to convince a suddenly concerned couple that the color they signed off on will work, and eventually they see the light and my work is done. For Jennifer, it's a classic designer ploy. Sensing the client might reject her idea for a new dining room table, she convinces Profiles - in the New York Design Center - to let her “borrow” -- and deliver -- an expensive floor model for a personal pitch. Hope you all can tune in to see what happens on this crazy ride!
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.