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loridennis3In 1998, Lori Dennis opened her own interior design company, Lori Dennis, Inc.  Her firm specializes in green interior design and her work has been featured in the New York Times, Coastal Living, Women’s Day and many other publications.  We asked her about what distinguishes her style.

1. Which designers influenced you?

Victoria Hagan and Karin Blake — clean lines and modern interiors with warm feelings and regional accessories.

2. What’s your favorite design style?

Find Out the Answer

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Fans of Biltmore Estate can now take home a piece of the great chateau’s opulence and history. Biltmore For Your Home is the exclusive line of products ranging from Biltmore-inspired hardwood flooring to handmade accessories. You can even buy garage doors reminiscent of the carriage doors seen on the estate.

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This week, you have the chance to win artwork featuring furniture used in the Vanderbilts’ home. This Dining Chair print is a historically accurate portrayal of the Biltmore’s seating, while the simplicity and colors give it a modern touch.

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For a chance to win, answer this week’s question before 12/11c, Monday, August 9.

This week’s question: Which architectural style fits you best? Old World like the Biltmore? Or sleek like the HGTV Urban Oasis apartment at the W in New York?

Click for official rules.

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Scot Meacham Wood opened SMW Design in 2001 after working 13 years for Ralph Lauren. When Scot designs a residence, he begins by learning about his clients’ lives. For this home in San Francisco’s tony Presidio Heights neighborhood, Scot worked with bold colors and dramatic furnishings.

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There’s a great reward in creating something with your hands and seeing the finished product. Here are some ideas to jolt your creativity into action.

Start small with dollar bill origami from wide open spaces.

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Or branch out by growing wheat grass to hold seating cards or making a Father’s Day gift package.

If your crafting ideas bob toward outdoor pool time, check out Diary of a Crafty Chica’s floating drink holders.

For the more ambitious crafter, check out DIY Network’s wine label decoupage dresser.

The Worsted Witch shares sweet painted animal silhouettes and a linen mobile.

Roudy Stroudy combines baking, thrifting and partying into a crafty lemon-themed party.

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design-happens_cindy-portrait200x300Cindy Aplanalp works in both commercial and residential design, is a regular design blogger and travels extensively to keep her inspirations fresh. She’s also a single mom who went back to school to study interior design. Learn about Cindy’s mid-life careeer change and her tips for aspiring designers.

1. Tell us a little about you as a designer?

I am a late bloomer in the design world. I’ve always loved design but started out with a business degree and worked in accounting. It took me a while to realize that it wasn’t my calling. I had always helped friends decorate and loved designing my own home, but I didn’t think of it as being a possible job. When I realized a huge life change was coming (a divorce), I knew I needed a way to support myself and my kids. So, just entering my 40′s, I went back to school to get a degree in interior design.

If you have a passion for design, it’s never too late. Aesthetic develops and enriches over time — all of life’s experiences and exposures add to your creative genius. My global travels, raising a family and paying attention to the world around me all add to my value as an interior designer.

2. Which designers influenced you?
Cindy’s Answer

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Have you ever designed a room and been stumped when it came to finding the perfect accessories? We’ve got the solution.

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Alluminare specializes in custom lamp shades, pillows, wallpaper and fabric. We’re giving one reader the opportunity to create two lampshades free of charge. The winner will also receive two turquoise lamp bases to go with their custom-designed shades.

For a chance to win, answer this week’s question before 12/11c, Monday, August 2.

This week’s question: What accessory or piece of furniture are you looking for to complete a room in your home?

Click for official rules.

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Garden Guide: New York City Revised Edition (W.W. Norton, 2010) is a concise, well-researched pocket-sized guide for anyone wanting to explore the green spaces of New York. Visitors and New Yorkers alike will benefit from the subway and bus directions, history and detailed points of interest for over 100 gardens. Authors Nancy Berner and Susan Lowry have separated this book from other garden guides by not only including well-known public gardens like Central Park, but also focusing on community gardens and eccentric gems from all five boroughs.

design-happens_healing-garden533x280The Healing Garden on Staten Island

  More NYC Gardens

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So. This renovation is killing me. And I know, right now your eyes are rolling back into your skulls, because people have much bigger fish to fry than staring down the barrel of a long overdue move. Yet for someone that loves decorating and redecorating their home (and usually redecorating it again!), seeing it in shambles has definitely done a number on me.

Regardless. This is an optimistic post. Because a few weeks ago, we had a fantastic crew recommended by Andersen Windows install our new 100 Series windows, and they are gorgeous. We even replaced a few standard windows for sliding glass doors, and I was surprised to see how smooth the installation process proved to be.

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Choosing a color scheme can be one of the most difficult aspects of designing a room.  Because of this, HGTV created a Color Guide to inspire and help you visualize what shades suit your space.

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This photo gallery shows how to steal palettes from items you may already have in your home.

Watch videos on pairing colors with different materials — from wood to stainless steel.  See experts match opposite colors to reinvigorate a room. 

It’s inspiring to watch other HGTV fans create fantastic designs. See how Rate My Space users went from boring to brilliant in their colorful bathrooms and bedrooms makeovers.

This photo gallery from designers will spark the wow factor for your kitchen.

Read how David Bromstad finds his color muse.

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This week begins with the red team returning to the apartment without Nina, and Stacey could not be happier: “This is probably the best outcome of any elimination to date. She’s gone. Like, do you know what a relief that is?” Meaning Stacey read the note I slipped her WORD FOR WORD.

The contestants meet Vern in the lobby of Trump Tower to meet Donald Trump, Jr. who is going to help judge the challenge this week. Each team has to design a model apartment in the brand new Trump property, The Trump Plaza Residences in Jersey City. Don, Jr., explains that the Trump look is consistently about luxury, but that it has to be contextual, which in this instance means it should reflect Jersey City. And since the Trumps are all about New York, each contestant must choose a New York City souvenir package and physically incorporate it into their designs. Uh, Design Star? Have you ever seen a souvenir? About as luxurious as an ingrown hair.

Casey takes the architectural package, Stacy grabs the yellow taxi bag, Alex selects the Big Apple package, Tom takes the Statue of Liberty, Emily gets the subway bag, Courtland takes the Times Square package, leaving Michael with the Broadway souvenirs. They head out to their apartments and the blue team immediately decides to apply crown molding. Emily worries it’s going to be a time suck. These designers have to realize at this point that if their gut is telling them TIME SUCK, then the reality is going to be TIME BLACK HOLE.

Read the rest of Dooce’s review»

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If you’ve seen the movies Wild Wild West, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Prestige or Sherlock Holmes, you’ve been introduced to steampunk. Steampunk has an appreciation for the Victorian era and Industrial age. It embraces technology, but not the sleek minimalist styles of today — instead ornate, attention-grabbing and often steam-powered technology. Steampunk is idealistic and romantic, visualizing a world of time travel exploration and whimsical fantasy.

So how does this translate into interior design?

steampunk_chandelierThe Steampunk Home
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Bill Musso of Musso Design Group has a “no surprises” approach when it comes to designing his clients’ homes and businesses. His beautiful and practical designs work within the owners’ taste to ensure their love for the finished product. This is certainly the case with the Rosemary Beach home in Florida, renovations for which began in December 2009 and ended in June. 

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Whether you are hosting a dinner party or lounging in front of the TV, these Japanese-inspired bowls are designed to fit perfectly in the palm of your hand. Flavour Design‘s Udon Noodle Bowl comes with chopsticks, making it the perfect tool for eating noodles in your pj’s.  

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For a chance to win the award-winning Udon Noodle Bowl, answer this week’s question before 12/11c, Monday, July 26.

This week’s question: What food do you think needs specially-designed tableware?

Click for official rules.

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It’s time I introduce you to some integral members of my family: Bernard P. and George Michael Loechner. Wave hello, friends!

This is the darling duo on Halloween last year. Left: Bernard P., Right: George Michael.

This is the darling duo on Halloween last year. Left: Bernard P., Right: George Michael. And also, if you'd like to know what the P. in Bernard P. stands for, I suggest you adopt a dog with a small bladder. It will become quite clear soon thereafter.

Bernard P. (Bernie) is a small Yorkipoo with a big attitude, and George Michael (George) is a soft-coated Wheaton terrier with an unhealthy affection for obedience. Seriously, the dog is perfection in a bucket. You’ll love him; come visit.
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design-happens_bob-photo267x155We recently featured a tour of designer Bob Richter’s NY kitchen — a space that was more museum than kitchen. Bob is back to talk about his biggest design influences and why you can’t have enough stuff in your space. 

1.What inspires your designs?

I’m an old movie buff. My other dream job is to be a host on Turner Classic Movies. What I love most are the sets. Old movies are full of inspiration — breakfast room with a lovely mural, a formal wood-paneled dining room, a sophisticated living room with a grand piano and an art deco fireplace with lots of built-ins. Watch The Philadelphia Story sometime. That house is fantastic — my dream home!

2. Who are some of your favorite designers?
See Bob’s Answer

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