There’s something special, even magical, about master designer Lori Morris and the homes she designs. Her work is flawless and exquisite — it’s very couture, very high-end and the sheer magnitude of her projects is so impressive, it’s difficult to truly describe their grandeur. This house is no exception — it’s dazzling. It’s everything the House of LMD is defined by: It’s bold, sexy and sophisticated, and it utterly reflects the true artist that is Lori Morris, and the incomparable work she’s been doing for 30 years. “I’m a full artist to the core. I can do any style you want, any genre you want, any colour you want. It doesn’t matter to me — whatever makes you happy is what we’ll work toward, but what we’ll do is we’ll infuse my expertise in how to make something exciting and sophisticated all at the same time in whatever colour palette or genre you want,” Morris says.
The essence of this home in Boca Raton, Florida, is Old World extravagance with new rocker beat — it’s a style Morris excels at. “I’m so in love with Old World French and English European architecture, it just makes my heart sing. And I can’t begin to tell you how much I resonate with that feeling and how much it just sits at home and at peace with me in terms of my understanding of beauty,” she explains. But she’s also quite drawn to modern art and modern design, so she effortlessly infuses the two genres together to find a balanced synergy between them. “I created my own style that I’ve named ‘Sexy French’ and in doing so, with this particular project, it was the same kind of feel — an Old World, colonial, Spanish, beautiful stucco and stone house right on the ocean with the breeze in the palm trees blowing from the Intracoastal Waterway at one end and the ocean at the other. That’s the authenticity of the project — that’s the genre that this house exudes in terms of its history and its magnitude and its presence.”
Inside, Morris just wanted to play. “We don’t want to have an older feel of an interior, we want it to be sexy and alive and exciting with the beautiful pastel colour palette, but then add some sex appeal with navy blue and just put it all together and it’s one big party of textures and different styles.” Add the bold lighting and furniture, and the home is brought to another level — it sings. “And that’s what I wanted to create because the house
had its own magic and authenticity and it’s always going to be elegant, it’s just about what slant it has — does it have a more modern slant? Does it have a more French slant? And it’s about how much sex appeal we want to put in to bring the excitement. That’s what this was all about to me.” The house, of course, functions beautifully for the family and how they entertain and live, and once their wishes and the details were incorporated, Morris “coloured in the project,” bringing it to life, and giving it the effervescent personality that makes her shine.
When Morris talks about injecting colour into her design, you can hear the deep passion and delight in her voice. “I’ve been doing this for a long time, and I have a lot of confidence in how to exude colour palettes. What I do is I will work within the colour palette that you like and the way I exude colour into a space is I figure out a way to move the colour throughout the house ever so gently so that you don’t even really notice what’s happening, but there’s colour everywhere. It may be bold but it’s actually very subtle at the same time. It doesn’t take over; it adds the smile and personality to the space,” she says. Morris’s work is almost a contradiction: She’ll do very classic, European architecture with very modern finishes, yet they might have an ornate detail to them. What she gets is a beautiful, harmonious balance. “It’s just something that when coloured in, it adds that extra spark and that big personality, but at the same time, it doesn’t take over.”
In this case, in this stunning and immaculate 12,500-square-foot beachfront property, Morris opted for a pastel paradise. “I brought in the colours of the ocean that reflects on the water from the sky, onto the grass and into the house, and those rays of sunshine and colour palettes really do just stream into the house. All of a sudden, the colour palette inside is matching the colour palette outside, and you have a complete cohesive blend of beautiful dancing pastels colours with some boldness of navy blues and blacks and whites to give it the strength that a house always needs. I infuse colour as a feeling, not just as a specific colour.”
The feeling throughout the estate is one of happiness, and that’s no coincidence — Morris is a happy soul with a joie de vivre who chooses happiness in her work and her lifestyle. “I feel that colour is something that can make you very happy. You can walk into a room and see a beautiful colour palette and it just makes you smile. And again, that’s not to say that a neutral background or a white house is not happy, it’s just that colour brings in another dimension that when done properly, it can really change the dynamic and the feeling of the house.”
But it’s not just about colour — it’s about her unrivalled design prowess. It quite simply boils down to this: She has no rules when
it comes to design. “I don’t have to stop and think, ‘is this right? Is this wrong? Is this supposed to be here?’ Because to me, there are no rules. If it works and it’s in proportion and it feels right and it doesn’t take over then it’s good. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a certain style or genre. When my brain works that way, I have no restrictions in anything I do, so it makes it easier for me because I don’t have to think about it. If I think it works, it works.”
There’s obviously an intense sophistication behind how she works. She says it’s challenging and exciting to design in the way she does. “I’m pretty seasoned at this at this stage of my career, but at the same time, I find it exciting to always do a house differently and add that massive amount of design and pure creativity into the spaces that make it so original and so exciting. I have a very strong understand- ing of design and how proportion works and how colour balance works and how the different genres can be infused into one room.”