February 15, 2017
Lori Dennis talks interior design and her tips and tricks
Lori Dennis is interior design extraordinaire, and go-to designer for many a homeowner worldwide. Her signature style incorporates laid back Southern Californian aesthetics, indoor-outdoor living, and sustainability. She also heads up her own company leading teams in Los Angeles, New York and Miami. Working on projects worldwide, they focus on green, luxury and high end, interior architecture.
Lori has an impressive background to boot. Armed with a wealth of interior design knowledge, her talents have gone beyond the home. She’s shared her interior design know-how for sustainable living in her book Green Interior Design – the perfect read for those of us with green living at the top of our agendas. Now a recognized speaker at countless events around the world, she’s also no stranger to the screen. Making her TV design debut as one of the main characters on HGTV's Real Designing Women, she was a featured designer on the premier episode of "Designer Smackdown" on the Design Network: Thom Felicia V. Lori Dennis.
Her eye for design has led her to string of accolades, including recognition as one of LA’s top 10 interior designers by Decorilla, and one of Top 200 Design Industry Influencers by Fixr. Recently she’s also turned her hand to product design, launching lines in home decor, furniture, lighting and fabrics, including indoor-outdoor rugs for Jaipur Living.
We caught up with Lori to pick her brains about the industry, discover some of her tips and tricks and get the lowdown on some of her personal faves.
How did you get into interior design? And why?
When I was a little, we didn't have a lot of money. I had a Spartan room with no decoration. My aunt sent me a set of colorful sheets with a cartoon character on them. I can still remember how those sheets changed my environment and the wonderful feeling it gave me. I knew then that I wanted to be involved in creating meaningful spaces.
What or who really inspires you? Is there an artist or designer you’d like to work with?
Recently I visited Thailand where there is street food on every block. I never realized how much the colors, textures and smell of food inspired me. I suppose it's really the simple things that move me the most. Neri Oxman is my favorite designer – someone who inspires me. She is the most brilliant woman in the world, an architect and scientist who elevates design to another realm.
What’s your dream design job? Your dream client?
A single, wealthy bachelor, who gives direction and has a good budget. This person leaves for a few months and comes back to a finished project that delights them. Luckily this dream client shows up at our office a few times a year. Oh, and did I mention, this person always lives beach front. I guess I'm living the dream.
What are you top three tips to refresh a room’s style?
Pick a style you like, remove all the furnishings from the room that you want to redesign.Paint the room the inspiration color and only bring back things that fit into that style- things you really love. Get rid of the stuff you don't like and use money to buy the things you need to complete the look.
How do you use design to support green living?
At my firm we are big believers in indoor outdoor spaces, which encourages people to go outside – fresh air and sunshine! We also design clever layouts that take advantage of the natural elements and work with nature instead of against it, i.e. Cross ventilation, natural light, improper insulation. Easy to clean environments are key as well, allowing people to clean without having to use harsh chemicals. The list goes on and on, you can read more about it in my book Green Interior Design.
What colours, textures and furniture pieces do you love the most?
I love white with colorful accents and metallics. Linen and cotton velvet are my favorite textures, one simple, one complex and both elegant.
What is one thing in the home that makes you the happiest?
I love my bed. Getting in it is my favorite part of the day. I even sing a song called bed, bed, bed. Organic, white linen and fluffy down, it's like sleeping in a heavenly cloud.
By Clare Langrishe