unexpected guests: lisa solomon.
by victoria comment



oh indeed, this is one great unexpected guest, if i do say so myself! i’ve been in love with bay area artist lisa solomon’s work since i discovered her back in 2007, so it’s an honor to share lisa’s beautiful home, and refreshing and inspiring outlook on life with you today. Lisa is wonderfully tactile artist, and you can find many of her pieces available at the beholder, and view more of her lovely work on her website.


so, today we’re heading just across the bay bridge to visit lisa’s eclectic and vintage-inspired home in North Oakland, just on the boarder of Berkeley and Emeryville, which is just 20 minutes from San Francisco. Lisa likes to think of Oakland as the Brooklyn to SF’s Manhattan, and I would have to agree. let’s go!


What is your idea of a perfect day in oakland?
There are a couple of possibilities. There’s always going to museums [both here in the East Bay or in SF], there’s parks — Tilden Park and Lake Temescal are a couple of favs. There’s good eating — so many cute cafes and up and coming restaurants. Plus farmer’s markets. And there’s good shopping too! These last few weeks it’s been lovely just walking around and seeing all the spring blooms.



What’s your favorite feature in your home?
I love the mantle over our fake coal burning stove. That was a GREAT find from porch light antiques before she moved to portland. I also love the archways between our living room/dining room/office. The rooms aren’t very big, but the archways make them feel bigger than they are.


What don’t you leave home without?
These days diapers and crackers :). But in general — My iphone — especially since it doubles as a camera.



What are a few of your favorite local shops?
Tale of the Yak, Berkeley Bowl, and I just discovered Pretty Penny vintage clothing.


What’s on your wish list?
Japanese Sugar cake molds; A stash messenger bag, and the entire set of petite pattern books [I have two].



What’s your favorite bargain find or product?
I don’t have one particular favorite. I’m all about the hunt – finding the perfect thing at the perfect price; trolling flea markets, thrift stores, etc. is fun for me. If I can find something for a great deal? That only makes it better!!



What is your biggest interior design nightmare?
Clutter. How to hide it, prevent it, organize it.



Who are some of your favorite artists?
This is SUCH a hard question for me. I have so many favorites and art crushes. People I’ve admired FOREVER [eva hesse, agnes martin] and people who I discover and get added to the favorites list [lauren dicioccio, victoria may]. I try to document them on my blog under the label artists. You can take a gander to see who I’m looking at and inspired by.


Where do you find inspiration?
where do I NOT find inspiration. Seriously. I will often trip over my own feet because I’m looking up at some piece of string hanging from a tree thinking it’s beautiful. I think our lives are filled with so many small inspiration moments. You just have to allow yourself to see/smell/taste/feel them.



Do you collect anything?
Too many things. Glass beakers, vintage fans, bento boxes, sewing machines, vintage office accouterments. If it’s old and colorful and or useful or well designed I probably want it.



Who would you like to sit down to drinks with?
Audrey Hepburn.


Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Lately I’ve been allowing myself apple croissants and morning buns from La Farine about once a week.


What is your most treasured belonging?
This is a hard one too. I have a lot of things I treasure. Art from friends and people I admire. Things that are from my grandmother’s home. I have an antique locket that holds the photos of all the pets and loved ones I’ve lost — that’s a pretty special item.


What souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
My last big trip was to Japan, so I brought back a LOT of good stuff. But one of my favorite things is this little buddha with a red cap from nihon-jibuddha daibutsu, the biggest buddha in japan. People buy them and leave them as offerings there. There are thousands of them piled around. Mine sits in my office.


What are some of your favorites websites and blogs?
Besides yours? :) soooo many. How bout I list five places that always inspire me: poppytalk, habit [full disclosure : I’m a guest on habit this month — but I’ve loved this blog since it’s inception], of paper and things, dear ada, and the clutter.

23 responses to “unexpected guests: lisa solomon.”

  1. Her artwork is amazing and I love her house so much, it looks so comfy and cozy and as if it accumulated over time with things of sentimental value, these are truly my favorite spaces to look at! Great interview, always fun to learn about artists and how they live and come up with their inspirations!

  2. oh how wonderful to see Lisa’s house! As a huge fan of both modern and vintage, and that careful mix of the two, I want to move in. I would babysit!!

  3. I thought the same thing (Oakland is to SF as Brooklyn is to Manhattan) when I moved from New York to the Bay Area, but I quickly learned that the comparison doesn’t hold much water. I think SF is the Brooklyn of the Bay Area…there really is no Manhattan.

  4. Beautiful post… it’s always nice to see where other people find inspiration. I would love for you to stop by my blog and participate on my new giveaway… have a nice one!

  5. aw – delightfully surprised. thanks for the peek into lisa’s cosy home. such a special person out there. and thanks lisa for the mention – i’m honoured.

  6. I’m a big fan of Lisa’s work so it’s a real treat to get a peek inside her home! It’s so charming, I love it. (love her red stitched embrodiery :)!

  7. thank you all for all your kind words about my home and work… it’s really touching to read…

    [and jan – duh ! of course you are mentioned]

    john… i think that it’s true that SF is no manhattan, but i do think oakland is like it’s brooklyn. here’s why: oakland has lived in SF’s shadow for so long, people have really weird misconceptions about oakland [similar to some misconceptions i’ve heard about brooklyn], people in SF often have a prejudice about oakland [like manhattanites do to brooklyn – although honestly manhattanites often snub ANY other area], and oakland is FULL of artists and local community with great galleries, eateries, etc.- like brooklyn. in fact it’s thriving so much that it’s burgeoning on becoming too hipster [thankfully oakland doesn’t have a williamsburgh – at least not yet].

  8. So enjoyable to see Lisa’s gorgeous home. The collections are impressive indeed. While reading and enjoying the photos I thought I particularly love the staircase area but most of all Lisa’s work… of course.

  9. i agree… so nice to see this peek into lisa’s house & world. her artwork is endlessly inspiring, i could look at her prints for hours…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.