Lori Gilder

Lori Gilder is an award-winning Architectural Interior Designer known for her clean, architectural lines and comfortable California Modern style.

Architectural Interior Design

How To Identify Your Home’s Best And Worst Features Before You Sell

1.  ANALYZE THE SPACE Walk through your home and look at each room in the context of the overall property. Is your kitchen very dark and compartmentalized with an inefficient floor plan and layout? Are the cabinets just worn out and refused to stay closed? Do your appliances only work when they want to? OR – on the flip side: If you’ve maintained your home beautifully over the years and renovated your kitchen recently – added a new patio and landscaping – and updated the overall décor – but you’re still living with that green and pink guest bathroom down the hall, now would be the time to remodel it!  It will look extremely dated and tired compared to the upgrades you’ve already made.  So by refreshing it now will present a more cohesive piece of property to show later. 2.  IDENTIFY THE NEGATIVES – AND FIX THEM! Before you invest any time and money into any home renovation projects it’s so important to first evaluate the structural elements of your home. Do a walk through, and be really honest with what you find.  What weaknesses did you discover?  If YOU can see the problems  – so will the potential buyers! Be on the lookout for anything and everything from cracks in the foundation / rotting, bulging or splitting around doors and windows, Is the electrical wiring antiquated? Do you have a termite problem? These issues can’t be hidden or camouflaged. So be proactive and hire a home inspector before you sell.  They will help you uncover problems and looming issues that you may have over looked. A typical home inspection analyzes the home’s structural integrity, all major mechanical systems and provides you with a thorough assessment of your home’s structure and property. Use this information to repair the necessary areas of the home and give it the TLC it deserves. Set goals and decide what you NEED to do and the compromises you’ll willing to make to turn your home into someone else’s dream home. 3.  ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVES – AND ENHANCE THEM Highlight your home’s Best features:  Every home should have some.  If they don’t then create some! Is it a canyon view from the hillside? The ocean view from the kitchen? The spectacular double-sided fireplace or the fabulous gourmet kitchen you’ve loved for years.  Or the deck and outdoor kitchen off the family room? Whatever the asset –  dress it, enhance it, show it – AND CREATE THAT WOW FACTOR! I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Dwell On Design 2010

Dwell On Design – the West Coast’s largest design event took place over the weekend at the LA Convention Center.  I hope you had a chance to visit this great event.  This 3-day modern design show featured over 200 design forward product lines involving all aspects of the modern home – from indoor and outdoor furniture, landscape architecture and design, windows and doors – to laundry detergent. So for your next home remodel or renovation project here are just a few of the great products that caught my attention – and will hopefully inspire you. Daniel Ogassian: A master tile maker, designs the most beautiful concrete and ceramic floor and wall tiles.  The naturally inspired organic and geometric shapes are highly textured and can be applied to any interior or exterior project.  Specify these materials for your master bath, kitchen, foyer, family room or anywhere, and set your home apart from the rest.  www.DanielOgassian.com. Boca Do Lobo: This modern luxury furniture collection took my breath away.  Designed and crafted in Portugal, the limited edition pieces of the “Emotion Collection” can’t help but stir those emotions in you!  The very exclusive furniture collection is crafted from the highest quality materials and speaks to its ingenuity and creativity, thereby producing a true work of art – every time.  Their website alone is spectacular.  www.BocaDoLobo.com. Modernus: This Company manufacturers modern swing, sliding, pivot and pocket interior doors.  These custom doors can be specified in a wide variety of materials – from wood and glass, to lacquer and aluminum at factory direct pricing.  These interior doors will enhance any modern home with grace, sophistication and style. www.Modernus.com. Arrigoni Woods: This is the first engineered wide-plank wood flooring product that provides a truly unique and custom quality European finish.  Choose from wire-brushing, aging, hand-scraping and custom oiled surfaces to take your oak, ash, walnut, and mahogany wood flooring to an entirely new level.  www.ArrigoniWood.com. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


The 10 Best Ways To Design A Solid Floor Plan

Planning and designing is the most creative part of any home renovation, remodel or addition project, as it allows you to express yourself truly and honestly. If you’ve hired a design professional it then becomes their job to make sense of all your wants and needs – and to program and develop a detailed client profile in order to begin the planning and design phase of your project. Keep in mind that spatial relationships are extremely important when planning a successful layout. As you see your floor plan evolve, you want to aim for consistency, uniformity, and proportion from one space to another. For example: Don’t triple the size of your kitchen and expect that by leaving the adjacent family room the same quaint size, it will work in seamlessly with the new.  That old space will undoubtedly be incongruent with the scale and proportion of the new space. If you face design dilemmas with confidence and implement strong planning and design strategies, you’ll achieve the greatest results. Always remember to balance good design with practicality and follow solid theories and principles to get you through. Here are 10 valuable tips to consider when developing a good solid floor plan: Consider how your home is situated on its lot, particularly the orientation and view – and maximize the assets. Plan traffic flow to increase convenience from room to room. Notice the current circulation patterns in your home. You should be able to move about from space to space without obstacles blocking you. Older homes tend to be more compartmentalized where one room is isolated from the next—open that up in the renovation. Look for visual connection from space to space. Make sure the foyer is centrally situated and is easily accessible from all areas of the house. A closet near the entry is a great convenience. The path from the garage and/or laundry room to the kitchen should be short and direct, especially for unloading groceries. Having relationships between spaces creates a more inviting and workable environment. Keep traffic and circulation off to one side of the room and not through the space. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


A New Design And Decorating Magazine For Inspiration

Are you on a quest to come up with a design concept or idea for your home renovation or decorating project that inspires you in some way?   One that suits you and the way your family really lives?  Well, yesterday I came across and article in The New York Times that I found incredibly fascinating.  In a time when print magazines are folding left and right and design savvy homeowners are seeking affordable interior design and decorating inspirations – there is now a brilliant online magazine – Lonny.  www.Lonnymag.com. Founded by Michelle Adams a former market assistant at Domino and Patrick Cline a photographer, Lonny Magazine focuses on sourcing the most stylish yet cost effective design ideas and accessible products for its design savvy readers, with direct links to many of their favorite resources and products. This online magazine format replaces the print magazines that have folded over the past year – from Country Home, Metropolitan Home, House and Garden and Domino to name a few So grab your laptop or ipad and settle in with your morning coffee – and flip through, click on and zoom in on the pages of this magazine.  You’ll find accessible design ideas and affordable resources for all your home renovation and decorating projects – all at the tip of your fingers. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Top 5 Decorating Mistakes – And How To Avoid Them

Whether you’re ready to re-design your entire home or just intend to redecorate a single room, make sure you have a master plan.  Here are the top 5 decorating mistakes and how you can correct them. 1.  Poor Furniture Placement.  A bad furniture layout can set the tone for the room and is still one of the most common mistakes that many people make. Mistake: Don’t line up all your furniture and seating against the walls of a room, it’s almost impossible to carry on a decent conversation.  And no matter what you think it does not give the illusion of more space. Solution: Try moving the large sofa off the wall and position it in the center of the room facing the focal point whether it is the fireplace or entertainment unit.   Re-orient all the other furniture pieces to work off that sofa, creating a more intimate living space where great conversations can happen. 2.  Oversized Furniture. I can tell you that, contrary to popular belief, size does matter. Mistake:   Oversized furniture can be overpowering and chunky, eating up the space within the room by making it feel cluttered and smaller than it really is – particularly when those pieces are disproportionate to the space. Solution: Large-scaled furniture works best when fewer pieces are used.  In construction, there’s a saying: measure twice, cut once.  The same should apply to decorating.  Measure (your space) twice and purchase (the right pieces) once.. 3.  Unbalanced Room. This is where furniture placement and size come together to create balance.  It’s very important to be aware of the height, width and depth of all your major pieces. Mistake: If your bulky sofa, heavy wood cocktail table and your inherited bombe chest are gathered to one side of the room with a pair of club chairs, all of those “bottom heavy” pieces create an imbalance in the space, both physically and visually. Solution: Make sure your overall layout and conversation area is balanced. Then introduce some lighter pieces into the mix.  By all means use your sofa, but introduce glass, iron or metal combinations for cocktail tables and end tables.. If you have a very tall unit or hutch in your space, balance it out with a beautiful tall tree or an art arrangement. 4.  Poor Traffic Patterns: The ability to walk through each room in your house without navigating through a maze of furniture can be a challenge for some. Mistake:  You don’t want to walk into your family room and immediately be faced with an aisle just wide enough to squeeze through, then knock into the corner of that lethal weapon called an end table…. bruising your thigh again, in the exact same spot as you did yesterday!  Always keep the doorways at the top of your list when thinking about traffic patterns in every room of your home. Solution: If you have two openings into and out of your space, then move the traffic behind the seating, not through it.  If you have a sofa floating within your space and away from the wall make sure there is at least 30” to 36” of clear floor space to walk around between the wall and other furniture pieces. The ultimate solution is to arrange your furniture so that you direct traffic through the space. 5.  Identifying A Focal Point. Every space needs to have a focus or anchor for other design elements revolve around. This highlight is the glue that holds the room together, and creates a sense of interest. Mistake: Some people never really figure out what the focal point to their room is, while others try to highlight too many.  Not taking advantage of natural focal points, such as fireplaces, expansive windows with a killer view, or charming French doors onto the patio can dull the senses and be very uninviting. Solution: A good rule of thumb to follow is to look for the most dramatic element in the space.  In the family room or great room, the focal point is either the fireplace, windows to the view or the entertainment unit.  Make sure that your conversation area somehow faces the area or at least part of it.. If you lack a focal point – create one! I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


5 Master Bedroom Essentials To Create Your Ultimate Retreat

Your master bedroom is the most private room in your home and creating that intimate retreat requires you to identify the essentials.  The master bedroom is your refuge and should be limited to the number of activities that take place here.  It’s a space dedicated to peace and romance – a refuge where we need to relax, restore and rejuvenate our body, mind and soul from the daily stresses of everyday life. Yet it seems that more and more of us are bringing our work and laptops into our bedrooms to catch up on those unanswered emails of the day or finish that report that’s due tomorrow.  So if you truly want to create that luxurious environment of rest, relaxation and de-compression then leave those piles of files, and computes out of the bedroom! Here are 5 bedroom essentials to help you create your utopia with comfort style and function. 1.  The Bed. If space allows buy a high quality king-sized bed.  It provides plenty of space for intimacy and a restful night of sleep. Create a focal point within the space and incorporate a custom upholstered or wooden headboard to add elegance and sophistication to your room. Invest in luxurious bed linens.  There’s nothing better than sinking into your sumptuous bed – dressed in finest Belgian linens or Egyptian cottons (from 300-1000 thread count) and cozying into your delectable duvet and perfectly plump pillows. AHHH! 2.    Seating. The master bedroom doubling as a luxurious hotel suite is becoming increasingly popular these days. A comfortable seating area could include anything from a designated sitting room complete with a fireplace, sofas, chairs and tables – a charming window seat or a cozy nook simply adorned with a classic chair, ottoman and side table. Delineate a space for watching television or reading. 3.  Storage. Maintain a calm and serene bedroom by eliminating clutter of any kind. If at all possible conceal your plasma television behind a remote controlled motorized piece of art – it slides horizontally or vertically over the television itself when not in use. Nightstands should provide you with ample surface area for fresh flowers, magazines and the book you’re currently reading.  Use side tables with drawers to organize and store any loose paperwork – keeping clutter out of site. If you have built-in bookshelves in your bedroom keep the books uniformed and consider including doors on the lower portion of the unit keeping the visual clutter free. If access to your closet is within the bedroom room itself, invest in a professional closet company to maximize and organize your storage. 4.  Lighting. Create a warm and relaxing atmosphere in your bedroom by overlapping several sources of light. For overall ambient lighting include some recessed halogen fixtures overhead, suspended reading lamps over each bedside table (to free up surface area), or table lamps and wall sconces for a reading light. Install individual light switches on each person’s bedside. Ensure that all lighting sources are on dimmers, which will provide you with a romantic ambiance – and the greatest flexibility. Don’t forget candlelight! 5.  Color. Sets the tone of your bedroom space. To achieve that calm and peaceful environment avoid using highly stimulating or overpowering colors. Colors like violets and lavenders bring a sense of calm to a space.  Blues, whites, greys creams and taupes can also contribute to the overall serenity of the bedroom, and work beautifully with rich wood furniture. Remember, the right combination of all these bedroom essentials contribute to the overall success of your space. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


What You Can Do – With Bamboo!

Bamboo is a tremendously versatile, highly sustainable and renewable resource – and the perfect alternative to hardwoods.  It can be harvested every 3 to 5 years compared to 10 to 25 years for most other soft and hard woods – and never needs replanting as it continues to grow from the same root system.   It’s innate characteristics and strength rivals maple and oak and due to its water resistant properties won’t shrink or swell like most hardwoods. This unique species of grass can be implemented into any home renovation project from cabinetry to flooring and everything in between Here are some perfect bamboo applications for your next home remodeling project. Exterior Decking and Deck Tile Interior Flooring Carpets and Rugs Outdoor Fencing and Garden Edging Gazebos Interior/Exterior Doors Cabinetry Shelving Furniture Wall paneling Wallpapers and wall tiles Bedroom headboards Butcher Block Kitchenware Home accessories Window coverings Screens/Room dividers Light fixtures I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Design Style #3 – Contemporary Cool

In the last two posts I spoke about the “typical” interior design styles of both Country Casual and Traditional Elegance.  If the unfettered colorful look of Country Casual, or the more ornate style of Traditional Elegance doesn’t speak to your personality – maybe this interior design will. Do these design characteristics and interior details appeal to you? Your design style is nothing short of sleek and chic.  Slightly warmer than “modern” this style allows for greater personal interpretation the modern theme. You enjoy the subtle sophistication and uncluttered atmosphere that is now your signature style. Your overall architectural space is the true highlight – rather than objects and things. The unadorned architectural details such as high ceilings, vast windows, exposed air ducts or the natural brick of the building is the primary focus of your home. You adore the open floor plan and the linear simplicity in all design.  In your world less is more and this is why you like to keep clutter to a minimum. When it comes to dressing your sleek suite, your wall colors remain neutral and act as the perfect back- drop, which offsets your simple yet elegant furniture and bold geometric accessories. You love texture such as tile and stone, and are partial to natural fibers such as cotton, wool, linen, and silk.  All of these elements compliment the dark rich natural woods and concrete you’ll find scattered throughout your home. Your streamlined and highly functional kitchen may even include some stainless appliances and fittings for contrast and shine. If this sounds familiar or resonates with your personality then consider your design style – Contemporary Cool. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Design Style #2 – Traditional Elegance

This week we are continuing on with our focus on identifying your own personal design style.  This really is an important element in guiding you down the right design path when you begin to plan any home improvement project or renovation. If you’re a little confused and at all unsure about committing to a design style, do a google search on interior design quizzes and take a few! They’re fun, interactive and very insightful.  Learning your results will ultimately steer you in a direction where you can begin to do a little more research on that particular design style and spin it with an infusion of your own personality. Do these design characteristics and interior details appeal to you? Your home exudes both tranquility and elegance all the while taking great pride in the understated look that you have pulled together. The floor plan tends to be more compartmentalized in that rooms tend to be separated from each other and slightly more private. Your furnishings brandish classic lines and restrained details, while complimenting the glossy white architectural trims, chair rails and moldings throughout your home. Ceilings tend to be painted white, and at times may incorporate simple beams. You favor symmetry and balance, from your placement of furniture to the pairs of accessories you display. You tend to prefer a calm and predictable living environment. Your love of subtle fabrics, textures and accessories create the overall warmth of your home and invite everyone in. You are drawn to the bold historic color tones such as caramel browns, golds, auburn reds, and creams. Combining classic overhead light fixtures, wall sconces and silk shaded lamps highlight all the beautiful collections and family photos you love to display. If this sounds at all familiar or appealing to you then consider your design style – Traditional Elegance. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Design With Personal Style!

Everyone has a unique interior design style – and that particular style directly reflects our personalities. Getting a handle on your unique style before you begin your home renovation, addition or decorating project is all it takes to save you valuable time, money and stress down the road.  Arming yourself with this knowledge will ensure your home reflects the “true” you, and will provide every inch of your home with an underlying sense of cohesiveness that reflects your particular style and the way your family really lives. There are many different design styles and over the next few days I want to zero in on YOUR design style. Does this describe you? Your casual, relaxed and friendly personality is reflected in the warm and comfortable lived in look that you’ve created in your family home.  Whether your particular style of country is French, English or American rustic, you have a true connection to nature and the outside world.  You are drawn to all things natural, both in color and texture that embodies the overall philosophy of country living. You may like a variety of fabrics, leathers and hides intermixed throughout your home, which look fantastic against bold splashes of color.  The fabrics you love range from brightly colored floral prints, stripes and plaids and are often combined with various leathers. If this sounds familiar then consider your design style – Country Casual. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Finding Some Extra Space – Is Looking Up!

Last weekend I walked into the home improvement store to pick up a few things and I could not believe how long the lines were!  It’s spring and by all accounts it seems people are starting to work on their homes again.  More importantly homeowners are willing to invest a little more time and money into improving their quality of life. Remodeling Magazine’s 2010 “Cost vs. Value Report” shows that adding an attic bedroom has a return on investment of 83% here on the west coast.  It’s proof that increasing the amount of livable space is still important to homeowners and potential buyers – and repurposing existing space is the most cost effective way to achieve that. Whether you plan on developing this space for an additional bedroom, library, playroom or home office here are a few things to consider before you begin: Always check with your local building codes before you begin the planning. Make sure you have the space for an adequate and legal staircase from below to access this new space. Typically most building codes require a finished clearance of 7’ - 6 “ above 50% of the floor area.  If you’re shy this height, adding some dormers and skylights will not only alleviate that situation, it will add more natural light and architectural detail to your space. If this is a bedroom conversion, most codes will require an egress window of a minimum of 5.7 sq. ft.  Typically the window is your escape route in case of an emergency and must be at least 20”w x 24” high. If you include a bath to the attic stack the plumbing wall with existing plumbing below. Floor joists may need to be reinforced to support the weight of the furniture, fixtures (if a bath is added) and people. By developing this space and building it to code, it will be included in your overall square footage when you go to sell and increase the value of your home. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


More of My Favorite Things

Last week I shared a few of my favorite products, materials and design trends with you.  There are so many beautiful and creative ways to solve design dilemmas and many fabulous products are available to you.  You just need to know where to find them. Doors Inside And Out. Whether you’re looking for interior doors, closet doors or space dividers for your home the Sliding Door Co. offers beautiful contemporary and space saving solutions available in multiple finishes and designs.  Choose from frosted, laminated, clear or linen glass to create a clean, sophisticated and multi-functional atmosphere. www.slidingdoorco.com. For a striking exterior door visit www.neoporte.com.  Neoporte fabricates stunning exterior stainless steel doors customized to fit your home’s architecture and style at the same time providing you with extra home security.  This first impression will distinguish your home from the rest.  Neoporte is also a certified member of the U.S. Green Building Council. Countertops. I love to specify Quartz surfaces for many of my kitchen renovations.  Why?  They are a highly durable, practical, cleaner and safer product compared to other natural stone materials.  Quartz fabricates beautifully – is stain, scratch and heat resistant and is available in exquisite colors and finishes making it perfect surface for any home renovation project – traditional or contemporary.  www.caesarstoneus.com. Screen Saver. As I wandered through the shops and galleries on Friday enjoying “The Legends of La Cienega” – Celebrate Hollywood I fell in love with an exquisite set of Moroccan Screens that were included in a vignette designed by Amy Wells, the set decorator of Madmen.  Find your inspiration at www.1stdibs.com. Beautify Your Bath. Infuse instant glamour and sophistication to your bath with these unique and striking Indian cotton shower curtains.  Choose from five different exquisite colors and patterns to compliment your style. www.johnrobshaw.com.  The Stone shower curtain is my favorite. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


These Are a Few of My Favorite Things!

Every day I receive emails about product trends, trade sources, designers, and artisans of every kind.  They keeping me abreast of the current design trends and styles and I wanted to share my top 5 with you. 1. Paint. No matter how large or small the project, I always specify Benjamin Moore paints. Their quality and color selections are ideal for any interior or exterior home renovation project.  One of their best interior paint products is their low VOC Aura paint.  It’s washable in any sheen due to its color lock technology, never needs more than two coats even with the darkest colors and best of all it’s eco-friendly!  www.benjaminmoore.com/Aura. 2.  Bathroom Innovation. I love the idea of this highly practical, sleek and innovative sink and water closet combination (W+W). It’s sophisticated design incorporates both a sink and toilet into one integral unit, saves both water and space, and filters the grey water from the basin and re-uses it in the toilet system.  If the tank doesn’t have enough water – it will add more!  How smart is that?  www.roca.com.es/w+w/w+w/en/index.html. 3.  Kitchen Brilliance. What would you say if you could refrigerate and cook your dinner remotely – from your cell phone or internet – from anywhere, and have your meal cooked to perfection the moment you walked through the door? www.tmio.com.  These state-of the-art stainless steel wall ovens provide all the Jetson-like conveniences along with exceptional design and performance. 4.  Glass Walls. Architecturally laminated glass panels (straight or curved) are inspired by the colors and textures of nature, and embedded with everything from leaves to bamboo and flowers, creating a unique panel every time.  Yet another green and eco-chic product that can be fabricated for walls, glass floors or even your kitchen table.  The sky is the limit with these spectacular architectural glass panels.  www.livinglass.com. 5.  A Respectable Lamp. This solar powered lamp from IKEA is effective, inexpensive and a colorful addition to any kids’ rooms.  It charges the LED lamp during the day and will provide 3 hours of light at night.  Choose from red, orange, yellow, green and blue – for $20 you can’t go wrong! I’m ordering a green one for my daughter’s room.  www.ikea.com/en/catalogue/products/90154371. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


What’s The Best Kitchen Layout For You?

The kitchen remains the most popular home renovation project. On average a kitchen remodel will yield a return on investment of 75 to 100 %.  So as you plan, begin by generating a design concept, one that fits the new or existing space and your family’s personality. Typically, most kitchen plans tend to be categorized into 5 basic layouts with a lot of creativity in between. 1.  Galley Kitchen. This kitchen layout is typically designed in homes where space is at a premium. It’s an efficient use of space and consists of two opposing walls with a floor area of approximately 3 ft. between countertops. A great way to maximize the space would be to open up one wall to the neighboring dining room or family room with a pony wall (stub wall) and introduce a cantilevered countertop with barstools on the other side. 2.  L-Shaped Kitchen The L-shaped kitchen is probably the most popular of kitchen designs for many reasons. This particular layout utilizes two adjacent walls and is best suited for the classic kitchen triangle. This kitchen design offers great flexibility when it comes to locating your workstations, and as a result makes prepping, cooking, and clean up a lot easier. Make sure to provide ample counter space between each appliance for work surfaces. 3.  U-Shaped Kitchen The U-shaped kitchen is the most efficient layout. This plan utilizes three walls and provides a great workflow by keeping within the classic kitchen work triangle. In other words, placing one major appliance per side allows the cook to move and work effortlessly between the sink, stove, and refrigerator. This configuration also allows you designate one side of the U as the eat-in bar area with bar stools on the opposite side, or in the best-case scenario, if space allows, perhaps you can introduce an island within the overall kitchen space. 4.  G-Shaped Kitchen The G–shaped kitchen plan is a similar to the U–shaped kitchen layout, with an additional peninsula or fourth wall of cabinetry. You need a larger space to accommodate this type of kitchen design. It ultimately provides more space for food preparation, additional state of the art appliances, and dining. It’s ideal for multiple cooks, but would function best by incorporating a second work triangle. This is easily achieved by simply adding a second sink (in the peninsula perhaps), and both cooks use the other appliances. 5.  Island Kitchen Islands work best in L-shaped or U–shaped kitchens that are typically open to another area. If you have the luxury of space, an island would be a welcome addition to any kitchen. This free-floating piece of furniture allows you to socialize with your guest while you’re cooking without feeling ostracized. An ideal island size ranges from 36”+ wide by 72 to 96”+ long. Allow for at least 42” from the edge of the counter to any adjacent work surface, and preferably another 42” for aisles and traffic. Islands can be designed at counter height (36”), table height (29”), or a combination of both. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Your Onsite Meeting Toolkit

This summer as you’re in the throes of your home renovation project it's a great idea to be as prepared as possible for all your pending meetings.  You need to put together your own Onsite Meeting Toolkit that organizes your various pieces of disorder into an orderly state. Some of the items you’ll want in your Onsite Meeting Toolkit are: A calendar or date book – Use your electronic calendar or paper one. Here you’ll schedule all activities and meetings involving you, the contractor, and any others on the renovation team. A camera – Use your cell phone or digital camera to record the renovation process during all phases of construction.  You’ll be glad you did as you look back over the process. A tape measure – You may want to verify some measurements as areas of the renovation are completed or materials arrive to be installed. A calculator – Changes happen, supplies are out of stock, decisions have to be made. You’ll need to do some recalculating if these things happen. A notebook or pad – Keep notes of meetings in whatever format works for you; your laptop, blackberry, ipad or even pen and paper will do the job. A copy of all documents – Have copies of permits, contracts, floor plans, wish list, supplies list, budget, notes from previous meetings, and any other forms you’ve generated. You can keep these in a binder. Samples of all materials – Keep all samples of what you’ve purchased in a bag in your car so that you are able to refer to them as they arrive to your job site.  Cross reference the order making sure the shipment arrived correlates with your samples. If you’re living on your property during the renovation, you might want to think through a few rules and guidelines in dealing with the dozens of workers filtering through your home on a daily basis—and let everyone know what they are. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Your Retreat, Your Sanctuary, Your Home (Part2)

Since we only have one chance to make a good first impression, it’s very important that the front entrance of your home be welcoming, open and exude positive energy – all in an effort to provide you with balance and harmony the minute you enter your home, Welcome to your sanctuary. This isn’t meant to be a lesson in Feng Shui, however incorporating some basic Feng Shui principles into the design of your entry, will direct the flow of good energy into your home and set the stage for what’s to come.  This 3000-year old Chinese discipline believes that all elements within the home – when appointed in a certain way –will create a well-balanced, healthy and prosperous life. So, welcome the good energy in and re-new your spirit by introducing some of these inviting elements into your main entry foyer.  It’s makes good design sense and supports a positive energy flow. A Clear Path. Clearly define a path to your door, which leads into your home.  Line the path with beautiful natural elements that will draw the energy in. The Front Door. The front door sets a tone for what lies inside.  Make sure it compliments your home’s architecture and if at all possible introduce some glass to allow in natural light.  Consider painting out your front entry door black or red.  A red door will naturally draw the positive energy into your home, and a black door will draw in wealth. Focal Point. Create a landing station or focal point somewhere in your foyer.  A console table with your favorite piece of art above will evoke a positive feeling every time you walk through the door.  Add some fresh flowers for that special touch. Storage. To maintain a calm atmosphere, remove any clutter and provide a closet to store coats, jackets, backpacks and anything else to keep your entry clean and well organized. Lighting. Beautiful wall sconces and garden lights lining the pathway will create a warm welcoming atmosphere leading into your home.  For interior lighting either recessed lighting on dimmers or a central fixture will provide flexibility in ambience.  Add a sophisticated table lamp on your entry console table to highlight that favorite piece of art. Sound and Reflection. The water element is not only soothing to hear, but attracts positive energy into your space.  Tabletop fountains with the sound of water trickling over the stones, soothes the soul and energizes the spirit.  A large mirror positioned on a wall perpendicular to the front door, will expand your space and reflect a neighboring room.  (Never place a mirror directly in front of entry door – as the good energy will be repelled back out). The main foyer not only welcomes you and your guests into your home, it also sends them off – back out to the world, so it’s important to provide a smooth transition from the exterior to the interior and vice versa.  Consider extending similar flooring material from the entry porch into the home, so why not paint the interior of the main entry door the same color as the exterior color. (Even if it’s not the same color as all the other doors). Setting your entry door apart from all others lets everyone know the direction they’re headed. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Design Your Home With a Touch of Glass

As an Architectural Interior Designer keeping abreast of the new trends, materials and products entering the marketplace, keeps me inspired on a daily basis. One of my favorite materials to incorporate into my designs is glass.  The reflective features of glass will expand your space, refract light, and blurs the line between your home and its natural environment. On large renovation projects, I love to expand the existing space by adding window-walled rooms.  Glass doors (French, retractable or pockets), floor to ceiling windows and skylights integrate the interior with the exterior, flood these spaces with natural light and heal the senses.  It immediately transforms a space and changes your relationship with the natural world. If you’re in the midst of redesigning your kitchen or bath, rather than specifying the usual “builder special” granite or stone countertops, why not combine function with beauty and design a unique and stunning glass countertop.  Like any other material, you can customize the piece to suit your needs by selecting the texture, color and finish and edging to provide you with a one of a kind art piece. Glass countertops are: As durable as common natural stone. Non-porous and impermeable, which makes it the most hygienic countertop material available for kitchens. Are naturally heat resistant and can withstand high heat without cracking or scorching the material. Stain proof. When textured on the underside will camouflage fingerprints and any fine scratches. Very simple to maintain and keep clean. Can be lit at the edges to create a floating sensation and are spectacular in powder rooms. If a glass countertop isn’t for you, consider introducing a glass backsplash in your kitchen or bath – available in tiles, sheets or custom panels.  And to complete your project install hand-blown art glass door knobs and pulls for that extra touch of glass. Set your home apart from the rest. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Calculating How Much Paint to Buy

Whether you’re painting the interior of your home yourself or hiring a professional to help, estimating how much paint to buy in advance will save you valuable time and money.  It’s an easy process involving 3rd grade math skills – which I’m sure many of you have brushed up on over the years while helping your kids with their homework. To find out how much paint you’ll need for your specific room, you first need to determine the overall square footage of the area you intend to paint – which can include everything from walls – ceilings – windows – doors and trims. Paint Tips To Consider Typically a gallon of paint will cover a surface area of 350 - 400 square feet. (Check the manufacturer’s recommendation on the label) A standard size door occupies 20 square feet of space. A single average sized window typically occupies approx.15 square feet and an average of 7.5 square feet of paint to cover the trims and sashes. New drywall and unfinished materials will require a primer and at least one finished coat– as un-prepared surfaces are porous and will absorb most of the first coat. To ensure a quality job always specify a primer plus two coats. When painting over a dark color factor in two coats of paint. Buy more paint than you think you’ll need.  It will help with dye lot consistency and leave you with extra material for those invariable touch ups. How To Measure Measure the length of all walls you intend to paint (from end to end) and multiply them by their overall height (from floor to ceiling) to determine the wall’s square footage. Subtract the square footage of any doors and windows in the space from the room total. Now that you’ve determined the paint-able wall surfaces, divide that wall area by 400 (the square foot coverage from each gallon) to determine the number of gallons you’ll need to paint your walls. Remember to double the amount for two coats. Do the same exercise for the ceiling (tip: your floor area is the same measurement as your ceiling area). Measure the length of all trims, baseboards, coves and moldings in linear feet – and multiply it by .5 for a safe (6”) measurement of coverage. (Paint goes a long way here). Now you just need to decide what finish, brand and color to buy. Paint Finishes Flat Finish. Absorbs light and is very forgiving in hiding small wall imperfections. Suitable for low traffic interior spaces. Poor choice in kitchens, baths playrooms and children’s bedrooms as it doesn’t wipe down well. Eggshell Finish. Similar to matt with a slight sheen as it dries. Great choice for interiors and washes down much better than flat. Can show slight imperfections in the walls. A better option for kids rooms. Satin Finish. Has a smooth shine and is very bright and reflective. Wonderful in contemporary homes with perfect wall construction. Shows every imperfection. Works well for trims, baseboards and moldings. Semi-Gloss Finish. Quite glossy and are used mostly in kitchens, baths since they cleans very easily. The higher the sheen the more wipe-able and durable the material. Typically used on all trims, doors, baseboards and moldings. Glossy Finish. Used in high contemporary interiors and on modern cabinetry and furniture. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


What is Your Color Instinct

Invigorate your outdated family room and energize your dreary bedroom with one of the new color trends of the season.  A fresh coat or two of paint can instantly change the mood and energy of a room. For the past few weeks we’ve been doing some remodeling around our house and have finally completed my tween daughter’s new bedroom.  In her mind, selecting the right paint color was the most important design element of her new space. Color speaks to all of us differently and instinctively evokes the many moods within us.  For my daughter – green  “shades of spring” is the color that resonates with her and creates a sense of harmony and balance in her life. When selecting paint colors for your home its imperative to know what mood you are trying to achieve, how you intend to use the space and more importantly what colors you really love. For thousands of years China, India and Egypt have studied the philosophies and relationships between color and energy – in order to strike a spiritual balance in their lives. So before you head down to the paint store, here is some insight into the mood provoking colors of the rainbow and the energies they emit. Red Has a stimulating and exciting effect. Is a warm and seductive color that exudes power and confidence. Wonderful in elegant dining rooms and as bedroom accent colors. Orange Is an energizing and an invigorating warm color. Evokes enthusiasm, self-confidence and creativity. Use as accents pillows and accessories in living areas. Yellow Rejuvenates and stimulates your mind, body and soul. Sparks imagination and innovation. Epitomizes warmth and a sunny outlook to the future and is a perfect kitchen color. Green Creates a sense of balance and harmony. A cool nurturing color that promotes healing and re-growth. Beautiful for bedrooms and baths, which blends into the natural elements. Blue Represents communication, reliability, peace, tranquility and truth. Is an expansive color and tends to visually enlarge a space. Is a wonderful bedroom accent color – due to its calming effect. Indigo/Violet Color of spirituality and intuition. Defines elegance and refined luxury. Represents a sense of power and royalty. Perfect color for studies, libraries and bedrooms. Works beautifully with rich woods and metallics. Naturals Brown, gold and grey are easy on the mind’s eye and sooth the spirit. Brown used in moderation inspires elegance and richness. White and Black White represents simplicity, cleanliness and vibrancy when in perfect balance. Black is an absorbing color and is best used as a stabilizer and anchor. Consider the mood and energy you want to create in your space when selecting your colors! I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “15 Money Saving Strategies When Planning Your Home Renovation” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


Your Retreat, Your Sanctuary, Your Home (Part 1.)

When I design a home, it’s my desired goal to create a personal experience, inspired atmosphere and enhance my client’s quality of life. Developing a plan that integrates the interior with the exterior and invigorates a daily renewal of mind, body and spirit is more important now than ever.  Not only should your home reflect your personality, it should envelop you, calm you and make you say “Ahhh” the moment you walk through the door. Does your home do that for you? If you have a crazy busy schedule like I do, you undoubtedly yearn for a sense of calm, order and serenity at the end of your day – a place that neutralizes the daily chaos of life and allows you to unplug from the external stresses. Like any design project transforming your home into a retreat and sanctuary requires some homework on your part. In order to create a home that is more comfortable, more satisfying and more balanced, you need to take good look at how you currently live, and then visualize the way you want to live. The more thought and consideration you give to your home now, the more pleased and satisfied you’ll be with the end result. So ask yourself these questions. Is your home welcoming and inviting? Does it make you happy and bring you joy? Is your home comfortable? Is it uncluttered, organized and visually restful? Does your home feel balanced and congruent with who you really are? Have you incorporated natural elements such as wood, stone, water and plants throughout your home? Do you hear soothing sounds to relax you? Are you welcomed by a familiar scent as you open your door? Tactfully combining the five natural (feng shui) elements of earth, fire, water, wood and metal along with the five senses of sight, hearing, taste, touch and smell will ultimately create a soothing and tranquil home environment. Creating this unparalleled home experience will re-energize your spirit and repair your sense of well-being. I encourage you leave questions or comments below this post, and fill out the form on the right hand side of this page to receive your free copy of my special report: “How to Avoid the 15 Most Common Decorating Mistakes” Article by Lori Gilder, Architectural Interior Designer, Los Angeles, Ca. © 2010 Lori Gilder. Interior Makeovers Inc.


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Lori Gilder is an award-winning Architectural Interior Designer known for her clean, architectural lines and comfortable California Modern style.
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