Lulu’s Art-Filled Dogtown Digs

updated Jul 16, 2020
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(Image credit: Souris Hong-Porretta)

Name: Lulu (2)
Location: Santa Monica, CA (Ocean Park)
Room Size: 11′ x 11′

Souris Hong-Porretta’s home is infused with personality, art and a sense of time and place. Her daughter Lulu’s room is no different. It’s charmingly hip and playful and mature enough to last for years (take out the crib and this room can take Lulu through her teen years). Souris has covered the walls in art (both framed and…in the form of skateboards) – grouping them so harmoniously I’d say is an art in itself.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)
(Image credit: Souris Hong-Porretta)

What was your inspiration in designing this room?
We live in a beachside community called Dogtown; made famous by its influential surf and skate roots and wanted to honor our neighborhood by creating an environment that echoed the outdoors and our community, indoors.

We love art, so it was important for that to be reflected in Lulu’s room as well. Our incredibly talented creative cabal gifted her daydream-worthy work that became the foundation of the room.

What was your biggest challenge?
Hanging all the art on the main wall made me crazy because I’m an instant gratification kind-of-person and wanted to see the project done in a day. It took about a year from beginning to end, as we properly framed pieces that trickled in from friends.

I wondered whether the wall was going to be too busy or too much. And how everything was going to look together. With slow planning, a lot of patience, measuring tape, leveler, ladder, hammer and nails, we filled the wall with Tetris-like precision. I’m stoked with the outcome.

What is your favorite part of the room?
It would be obvious to say, the big “oh-wow” wall of art. But the truth is, I really love the 12.5 foot vaulted ceiling with hanging mobiles, kamifusen, Jeff Koons’ish inflatable toys, and dream catchers. I love that these pieces move and make the room feel alive and warm.

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

What is your proudest DIY project?
We turned the storage boxes in the shelving unit into art canvases for Lulu. She naturally took to drawing on them and when her scribbles get too crazy, we turn the box around so she has a clean workspace to draw on again. While this didn’t take any real DIY effort on our part, we were able to make Lulu’s storage unit work double duty as a fun activity center too.

I like that we redefined traditional toys (inflatable toys and paper balloons) into something else purposeful. Some of the mobile art wasn’t meant for the ceiling, but works well hanging from there.

Do you have any advice for other parents who are just starting on the nursery design process?
It’s important that the nursery is functional and not too precious. We chose to fill Lulu’s room with items she can grow with and convert as needed.

I recommend mixing high and low for the furniture and mixing adult with kid-friendly art. Pretty much all the artwork Lulu has now can grow with her, for decades to come. And lastly, don’t be afraid of color — lots of it!

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)


• Adam Wallacavage “Alyona”
• Adrian Tomine “Shortcomings”
•Albert Reyes “She’s Gone”
• Alexander Girard “Love Heart” panel
•Amanda Vissell “We Are All Kings”
• Christy Thomas Untitled “Kittens”
• Dave Kinsey “Headspace”
• Deanne Cheuk “Mushroom Girls Virus”
• Edwin Ushiro Untitled “Lizard Man”
• Enjoi Jerry Hsu Cat Collage
• Gary Baseman “Giggle and Pop!” Serigraph
• Gary Baseman “Hint Mint”
• Gary Baseman “La Noche De La Fusion” Letter Press Poster
• Gary Baseman “Lulu”
• Gary Baseman “Pink HotChaChaCha”
• Geoff McFetridge “Fang Frame Pack”
• Hanna-Barbera Studio “Wilma Flinstone” Cel
• James Mattison “A B Sea”
• Jane Mount “Ideal Bookshelf 1, JMM”
• Jim Houser “Stormfront”
• Kozyndan “Atari Godzuki”
• Kozyndan “Fishy Greetings”
• Little Ballerinas (Gift from Souris’ Childhood)
• LostArt Untitled “Boy” Photograph
• Mike + Doug Starn “alleverythingthatisyou sno7.1_003”
• Nikki McClure “Surrender”
• Os Gemeos Nike Brazil Invitation
• Paper Culture “Counting Sea Creatures 1 – 9”
• Penny People 13 x 19 Alphabet Print
• Punta Cometa Print (Gift from Mexico)
• Rostarr “Mothers Milk (5,4,3,2,1)”
• Ryan McGinness “Growing Handplants” Skateboard
• Ryan McGinness “Pathetic Lucky Ryan Charms of the Hipster Doofus”
• Sharon Rubin Untitled “Sand Wave”
• Super Rural “For Like Ever”
• Tiffany Bozic “Key”
• Todd St. John “Wave Fade”
• Tony Hawk’s Birdhouse Skateboard
• Uglydolls (Handsewn by Sun-Min)
• Uglydolls x Giant Robot – Uglycon II Skate Deck

• Buddha Buddha Love Light
• Pigeon Light by Ed Carpenter for Thorsten van Elten
• Sticky Lamp by Chris Kabel for Droog
• Sun Jar by Tobias Wong for Suck UK
•The Panto Beam by Verner Panton

• Flensted Mobile Cheese Mice
• Flensted Mobile Shoal of Fish
• Flor Metadoodle (Sassy Silver) Carpet Tiles
• George Nelson Omar the Owl Clock for Vitra
• Hysteric Glamour Pillow
• “Jeff Koons” inflatable toys
• Kamifusen
• KleinReid vase
• Les Dames (Gift from France)

• Lourdes Sanchez Coral Pillow
• Lourdes Sanchez Whales Pillow
• Momeni Lil Mo Hipster in Surf
• Mongolian Dream Catcher (Gift from Mongolia)
• Native American Dream Catcher (Gift from Arizona)
• Tokion x Bathing Ape Pillow
• Upper Playground Joystick Pillow

• DwellStudio Storage Bins
• Eames Elephant
• Eames Molded Plywood Children’s Chair
• Ecotot Book Shelf
• Educo Gourmet Chef Kitchen
• Ikea Expedit Shelving Unit
• Itso Full Size Fabric Bin
• Kalon Studios Hut-Hut Resin Rocker
• Kalon Studios Stump
• Oeuf Sparrow Crib

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Thanks Souris and Lulu! Readers, visit them at Tiny Iron Fists (“Because little ones rule.”)