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What To Do… Lisa Congdon

Lisa Congdon, a San Francisco-based artist, illustrator, and shop owner has a few words of wisdom to share with us for our What To Do… series.

How do you think a person can find their spot in the world of design — you know, your true calling?

* Do what makes you happy at least once a day. If you don?t have time, change how you live your life so you do have time.

* Share what you create or your creative aspirations with as many people as you can for feedback, for support and to combat isolation.

* Surround yourself with people who treat you with respect and support your efforts to find your calling.

* Work really, really hard.

Do you feel that you found your calling and if so, how did you get there?

I worked in a field completely unrelated to art and design for eighteen years. I have no formal training in art or design. I used to fantasize while I was at my 9-5 job about living the artist?s life, about owning a design store, about getting to do all the things I do now. I didn?t really ever think it would happen! I just kept working hard at making art and learning as much as I could about the latest in design. I believe that when you immerse yourself in what you love everyday, things fall into place. Before I knew it, I was showing and selling my work?enough so that I could go down to part time at my job. That?s how I met Rena, with whom I now own Rare Device San Francisco. She followed my artwork via my blog and asked me to do an installation at the original Rare Device in New York. We became instant friends. Seven months after meeting in person for the first time, we opened a Rare Device together in San Francisco. Recently, I left my 9-5 job. Now it?s art and design everyday (and a bit of bookkeeping and shipping)?and it?s just as amazing as I thought it might be.

(image top: altered by me, original photo by Ez at Creature Comforts.)

Posted in what to do on April 16, 2008

Thom Felicia Interiors – W San Diego Redux

I was sent over some renderings from Thom Felicia Interiors (of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy fame and current host of Dress My Nest – which I love) that I thought you’d like to take a peek at since I know so many of you, like me, are Thom fans. He is currently working on the upcoming redesign of the W Hotel in San Diego, California. I was at this hotel in June 2005 for my anniversary and thought their current lounge areas were lovely, but it really did need to be freshened up a bit. I really liked the bar area so I’m glad to see that they’re leaving it in the same position as before near the stairs. I think it’s quite exciting that the redesign will be complete in June, perhaps I will have to fly out and stay there this summer for our wedding anniversary all over again.


I love all the bold prints and was told that they are going with organic materials and interior cabanas lined with rich wood louver paneling. Sounds very luxurious and sophisticated. The new lounge areas will also feature one-of-a-kind art installations inspired by the culture of southern California, an eye-in-the-sky DJ booth, and a redesigned poolside bar and sundeck. I can’t wait to see the finished photos in June, I’ll make sure to post them here on decor8 and hopefully even get an interview with Thom himself if he’d be interested in visiting design blog land to hang with us. :)

What do you think? Would you stay at a hotel that looks like this? I hope that this is a new trend, for hotel chains to start commissioning high end ‘celeb’ designers to update their look. So many need major help. I think the color palettes and furnishings in most hotels I stay at feel so cut n paste boring. I’d also like to see more hotels work with local artists to pull together unique one-of-a-kind rooms that feel a bit more quirky, like Hotel Fox in Copenhagen or the Arte Luise Kunsthotel in Berlin.

(images from TFI)

Posted in designers on April 15, 2008

Emily Barletta

Enchanting… I stumbled upon the work of Emily Barletta for the first time yesterday as I roamed the web clicking from one blogroll to the next and ultimately landing on her blog and then her website. Wow. It was worth the journey. I’m still trying to recover from the explosion of beauty…


I know some of you will think this stuff is pretty ‘out there’ but I love contemporary art (esp. fiber art) and have to share Emily’s work with you just because. These crochet and embroidered pieces are not only stunning, but are obviously designed from the heart as I can’t even imagine the level of skill and time it would take to construct them. You have to love what you’re doing to create art so captivating and detailed.


Emily lives and works in Brooklyn and seems to have a lot going on this year if you’d like to catch her work live here’s her schedule. These creations remind me of sea life, the materials and organic shapes, it’s all so interesting to view up close on her site. I’d love to frame a smaller work of hers, I like three dimensional art and think it adds an unexpected twist to the walls, especially since most of the work currently on display in the average home consists of prints and paintings.

If you’d like to know more about her, My Love For You interviewed her recently right here. Please take a moment to read it, it’s quite fascinating. And Emily if you’re reading this, your work touched me today and I’m sure many decor8 readers will enjoy seeing it as well, thank you for putting yourself and your art out there for all to see, what you’re doing really does matter though you may at times doubt it or find blogging a chore it really does make a difference so keep pressing forward! (Yes, I read your rant about blogging.)

(images from emily barletta)

Posted in Arts + Crafts on April 15, 2008

Bonjour Mon Coussin

Leave it up to the French to consistently produce the most creative products… Claire Eglizeaud and Paul Moreau are stylists and graphic designers who formed the company Bonjour Mon Coussin in 2007 creating pillows and things for the home. Everything from nesting dolls to stilettos, toys, tickets, and the eiffel tower has a part in their pillow collection. These really fit that whole boho modern look that’s so hot right now.


An English version of their website is soon to come so for now you’ll have to practice your French, however if you would like details or to make a purchase you can contact them directly (contact AT bonjourmoncoussin.com). I’m sure Claire and Paul would be more than happy to assist you. {via Design Milk}.

(images from bonjour mon coussin)

Posted in textiles on April 15, 2008

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