Name: Lisa Solomon
Size: 1800 sq. ft. total
Years lived in: 9 years
As most all y'all know 'round these parts, we here at AT:SF are enormous fans of local artist Lisa Solomon. And as fellow Oaklanders, we're especially proud that this crafty lady and her husband call the East Bay home. Their abode is a cozy collection of mix-and-match styles, unexpected art installations and good old-fashioned DIY projects.
Lisa sent us a lovely explanation of her home: "In putting this together I realized that my husband and I have set up little still-lives all over the house. We are big collectors of stuff (some may call it junk, but) -- and we are constantly figuring out where things should go...Part of me wishes we lived really minimally...or that we had all modern furniture...but the other part of me just loves collecting and peeling paint. I also realized that we have a lot of talented friends and we are lucky to surround ourselves with things they have given or made for us..."
My/Our Style: Hard to say... eclectic. Lots of peeling paint items - mix and match.
Inspiration: Dwell meets Country Living (although nothing in our house looks minimal enough for those magazines!).
Favorite Element: We have a nice size kitchen - and I like our open floor plan.
Biggest Challenge: We need need need to re-do the kitchen cabinets/ counter/ floor and our upstairs bathroom
What Friends Say: I have no idea.
Biggest Embarrassment: Upstairs bathroom (notice NO PICTURES of that!).
Proudest DIY: Stripping the paint off of our iron bed.
Biggest Indulgence: Our fridge was a pretty big indulgence.
Best Advice: If you like it, it's good. Try things out - you can always change them.
Dream Source: It's a tie between the flea market in Paris and Japanese house stores.
Furniture: Dining room and living room: I really love our long farm table found via Porch-Light Antiques. The chairs are Heywood Wakefield school chairs that my studio mate cleaned up for us. The pie-case houses our stereo equipment...we inherited the old craftsman chair from my husband's stepdad.
There are MANY things we'd like to change about the kitchen -- the cabinets, the countertop -- so I won't show you the whole thing, I'll show you little snippets. Another vintage piece from Porch-Light Antiques houses our dishware.
Our French iron bed is one of my favorite finds. I scored it at Interieur Perdu in San Francisco. It was covered with so many layers of red and brown paint which I painstakingly cleaned off. I had another friend add to it so we could continue to use it when we upgraded to a queen bed. I don't ever want to give up that bed frame!
Artwork: As you enter the house, in the stairwell: On the shelf is a collection of ceramic pieces that I made in college. On the floor is a vintage shoe-making set. I see it as sculpture.
In the dining room: a very old painting of mine and a very old LM cigarette sign is something my husband garnered on eBay. (Above the pie case next to the skull) is a painting by Katherine Sherwood, a former professor of mine.
The patchwork pillow on the craftsman chair is by Lisa Congdon.
On the mantle is our collection of glass stuff (with sea urchins and coral). A glove from my friend Andrea, a collage by our friend Jason Escabedo, a French iron cross piece, two tiny vintage oil cans and some Heath ceramics.
In the stairwell you'll see our shelf of robot/ car paraphernalia, a robot quilt piece of art I did in grad school, and a piece by my husband.
Top of stairs: collage by Grace Munakata. And that's one of our dogs -- Garbo.
Bedroom: Above the bed is the vintage Czech beaded headdress I wore at our wedding. Also more art by Kimberly Austin. Over the red chair is art by Alyson Fox. On the wardrobe is...a felted purse given to me by my friend Gwen/bugheart. She made the purse for me with a silhouette of our dog Tonka.