Lori Dennis Celebrity Luxury Interior Designer | Blog

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


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

Last Chance! Get’yer REVO!

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!  

Decide, Commit, Succeed

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!  

Buh-Bye Cans – Hello Pendants!

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!

Design Camp Give-Aways!

  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.

Top 5 Reasons Why I Love HOUZZ

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?

Where Will You REVO?

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.  

5 of my Favorite Hotels Around the World

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?


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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