Photo courtesy of House of Lori Morris Design.
The House of Lori Morris, headed by one of Toronto’s most decorated interior designers, is inspired by Lori Morris’ innate senses and external influences. Morris believes true artistry should never have rules. The nature of interior design speaks to her personality, her thrill of creation coming from the ability to take on any kind of interior design. Celebrating her company’s 35th year in business, Morris offered Elixuer a glimpse into life as an interior designer.
What was your journey to establishing the House of Lori Morris Design?
I started young and went to university for design. After finishing a Bachelor of Arts degree, I never looked back. [I] really had found my calling when I was in design school. It’s a passion-driven, artistic, and creative business. It’s just been a very exciting path with a whole bunch of turmoil, slip holes, and mountains to climb, fall down, then climb again. It’s been very exhilarating and extremely challenging… but extremely rewarding.
Your designs carry a very refined and sophisticated aesthetic, reminiscent of palatial settings. Tell me more about this.
I don’t necessarily know where it comes from. From a geographical standpoint, I am Czech. I’m not sure whether that played a conscious or subconscious role as I was brought up in Canada. But, for me, it’s just a matter of [loving] design, architecture, and fashion. To me, they’re all intertwined and cohesively blended to create a synergy of opulence and excitement.
At the same time, being an artist, there are so many genres and different palettes of design that I love, from modern to classic French, to classic English, and anything in between. Anything that would bring interest and personality to the space is what I enjoy. But something clean, modern, stark, and white, we can also do as well because that’s another beautiful genre of design.
What are some of your favorite materials or colours for interior design that you would think serve as the epitome of luxury for you?
There are no rules, and that is my pure philosophy of design: if you understand the fundamentals of design in terms of proportion, scale, and function — which are the criteria to make it all happen. I love the shine that a metal brings, whether it be a dull or shiny finish, a polished nickel, brass, or antique brass. I love black as a grounding palette. I believe that every house should have black in it because it creates a sense of strength and power — it can complement any of its surroundings, whether it’s simple as a black-and-white palette, or it’s black that’s added to any other colour palette.
I love pastels. We also love the classic, always beautiful black-and-white look. To be honest with you, you can name any colour in the palette, and I like them all. And finishes — I do like them all as well. I love leathers and skins, and different textures of wood. I like everything! Put it all together and shake up the cocktail and see what happens.
What inspired you to create the furniture line?
At this point in time, you can buy anything you want, anywhere you want for what you need in your house. But, specifically speaking, there’s a different sort of availability when you get into couture design. It’s not like everybody wants to have a baby pink coffee table. But if you were to want one, they don’t exist. So, we just sort of added a little bit of our whimsical colours into our product line, understanding that the majority of people like neutrals — the blacks, creams, grays, and beiges (which is always a high point-seller for us) — but knowing that there’s an opportunity to buy something in baby blue or baby pink, just as a fun or interesting piece.
What advice do you have for people looking to add a little luxe at home for the first time?
I would just say that if you want to add some luxe in your house, it’s a matter of picking the appropriate room and understanding what area you want to shine. If anything takes over your room or your house, then it’s not right because everything should be a very cohesive blend. Your eye should be able to travel through a space and not be stopped. I also think elegance is [based on] everybody’s own personal idea. It could be a colour palette of elegance. Maybe some people just refer to cream as elegant, and some people refer to black. It’s just a matter of adding some sparkle and adding some really important, beautiful vintage pieces that add authenticity and elegance.
Tashon Daley | Contributing Writer