Earth-Friendly Designer Lori Dennis
Mix equal parts feng shui, casual sophistication and sustainability and you'll arrive at designer Lori Dennis' (relatively) simple design style.
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Beverly Hills designer Lori Dennis believes in resting gently on the earth, even in L.A., the land of excess where she lives and works. A lover of plants and all things natural, the What's your design philosophy? Did you know you wanted to be a designer at a young age? Why was design so attractive to you? Is that also when you developed your love of nature? Did you want to save the environment when you were young?
I like to keep things simple and natural. I love simple elegance. I'm a great believer in not wasting and in not harming the environment if you don't have to. That sustainability ties in with my belief in feng shui. They're both about good energy and making energy work in your favor to create a good, calm life.
I knew from a very young age that I really loved real estate, design and architecture. I wouldn't go on dates with guys unless they could drive. I'd make a lunch and we'd go to open houses every Sunday from two to five. We'd pretend we were brother and sister looking for our parents. I loved it.
I lived with my mom and we were really poor. She left family in New York to and came to school in California, had two small kids and didn't have anything. I slept on a cot, not in a bed. My aunt sent me a set of Popeye sheets and I noticed right away what a difference it made having those sheets in that horrible empty room. That's when I started paying attention to design and how much impact it can have on the environment. The sheets were blue and bright and just made that horrible cot and horrible room happy.
My mom was a hippie and kinda doing her own thing, and I would be by myself a lot. I would clip little succulent plants and make little gardens with them. It was a way for me to control my environment and make things beautiful, and to feel good about what I was doing during the day. I was manipulating my environment and making something beautiful out of nothing. That's stuck with me. And years later I would see these huge magnificent jade trees in places where I'd planted them!
One of the things I could do to get money was collect bottles and cans and get cash in my pocket; I quickly became a friend of the environment because I was saving the planet and helping myself. From there I started paying attention. We didn't have money to waste, and to this day I can't stand waste. My mom feels the same way. She now lives in a multi-million dollar home and she still recycles wrapping paper! Why not?
What's your design philosophy?
Did you know you wanted to be a designer at a young age?
Why was design so attractive to you?
Is that also when you developed your love of nature?
Did you want to save the environment when you were young?
Nan Sloan shows how to make a classy, designer-appearance ottoman simply by stapling batting and fabric to a plywood frame.