Designer Crush Q&A Lori Dennis Lori Dennis of Lori Dennis Inc. is a serious Renaissance woman when it comes to design. Along with maintaining luxury interior design-focused office in Los Angeles New York and Miami, she also had time to star in HGTV television series, Real Designing Women, and wrote a book about one of her greatest passions, Green Interior Design. But the multitasking doesn’t end there. Lori’s design firm owns and operates SoCal Contractor, a Los Angeles general contractor, business, meaning clients can come to her for total overhauls, historical preservation and heavy lifting jobs an interior design firm wouldn’t otherwise be able to take on. And judging from Lori’s portfolio, she is clearly making the most of her tools and expertise. We love seeing so many outdoor spaces included in her work, along with seamless transition from interiors to exteriors- further proving SoCal living should never be indoors only.
- Where do you currently live in CA and what’s special about how you’ve designed your personal space? I live in Los Angeles, and my personal space is open, bright, and kid friendly. At this stage of my life, my five year old rules the roost.
- What’s your dream design project? Who would it be for? My dream client is Lloyd Blankfein. Like me, he has humble beginnings in NYC and has risen to the top of his industry. He has home in two of my favorite cities, New York and Miami, where I have offices. I believe he has the budget to allow me to create perfection for him and his family.
- In real life, what’s your favorite design project you’ve completed to date? My favorite interior design project to date is for a single man who is a top executive at Goldman Sacks. He gave me a budget, communicated what he wanted, and then allowed me to complete task while he was in a another country. He trusted me to walk into a completed project without having to be involved in the minutia. This is the best way to work! Plus his home overlooks the Pacific Ocean, great view!
- You’ve been gifted a fabulously furnished dream home but can only bring one item from your current space. What would it be? My Diego Rivera painting.
- What’s your creative process when designing a space? The first I do is examine the architecture and then listen to what the client wants. I combine further ingredients of originality, sustainability, comfort, livability and elegance. It’s always exciting to see what will come out the oven.
- Where do you score prized interior design items? Any shopping tips? Interior design scores happen when you open your eyes. I’ve been given great pieces from older European friends, my grandparents; bought them in auctions, antique dealers, flea markets and even tag sales throughout the world. Sometimes during a stroll on the beach or hike in the mountains, I’ll collect natural curiosities that I assemble into fantastic objects of art. Great finds are everywhere.
- Ever had an epic DIY disaster? What project would you never take on again yourself? In my early twenties I refinished a breakfront. I thought, “how hard can it be?” I was sore a week and gained a new respect for finishing trades.
- What new design trend are you excited to integrate into your next project? I’m all about high end performance fabrics, indoor outdoor experiences, sustainable living and vintage/antique pieces. We’re also working on a Hacienda –inspired line of fabric and lamps called Casa Catorce.
- Lighting round!
- Beach or mountains? Beach
- Instagram or Pinterest? Pinterest
- Architectural Digest or Wallpaper? AD – NO CONTEST.
- Should you spend money on a fabulous bathroom or kitchen? Bathroom.
- Would you rather shop new or vintage? Vintage
- Great view or perfect pool? Great View
- SF or LA? LA BABY!
Our interior design partner Lori Dennis was interviewed about the Laurel Canyon full scale renovation project we built together. The home, a full scale remodel, featured hand painted ceilings, replacement windows, Spanish courtyards, pool house and a chef’s kitchen.