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artist profile: karl lohnes

Where was your favorite place to live?
I’ve lived in Toronto for 25 years and spend about one week each month in New York—my brain is in Toronto and my heart is in NYC.

What is your favorite room in your home?
My kitchen is the place I like to spend the most time. I cook and bake a lot—I use it as a form of relaxation and experimentation.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
The wing-back chair; modern or traditional it’s cocooning, inviting and shelters us from life’s noises and drafts.

Form vs. function?
Function—without it there’s no need to have a form.

What one item do you wish you owned?
Simple, plastic ice cube trays that make big ice cubes. I drink iced lattes year round and keep running out of ice in the freezer.

What do you drive?
I don’t drive a vehicle; never have, never will.

What are your sources of inspiration?
Watching vintage movies for the exaggerated costumes and sets; famed interior designer Barbara Barry for her utmost restraint and perfection in a room.

What’s your personal decorating style?
Sloppy Parisian Writer and very room I decorate uses the equation: 70% traditional, 30% modern. Everything I bring into my place has a story so every room has far too many stories to tell.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
My collection of silk ties. I haven’t worn one in 15 years; thats the beauty of being a creative type.

Do you have one low budget decorating tip?
When everything is off the floor you will have a tidy, clean and organized space. Picking up newspapers, sweatshirts and shoes costs nothing.

What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received/given?
Choose a job that challenges and teaches something everyday—and when that stops, find another.


artist profile: eric rosner

Where was your favorite place to live?
There is no other place like New York which has chaos, intensity, incredible culture and people. I love it! It inspires me everyday with its rich history of diverse backgrounds.

In your opinion, what is the best designed item of all time?
I think a modern bicycle combines beauty and elegance together with strength and sheer power of a human to push it—that symbiosis is just amazing.

What are your sources of inspiration?
I walk the streets of NYC and try to find the hidden gems of a time long ago. I look for small relics of the past that are intact and have ridden out the years. I love to find glimpses of the elegance covered up and shut away whether it’s a building, a sign or a manhole cover. They have survived through time and have so many stories to tell.

What are your interests outside of design?
I love spending time with my family, reading about New York history and finding the perfect sushi restaurant.

Who are you design icons?
Winsor McCay. He was an icon of design and innovation in the early 20th century and I am a huge fan. Also, Johnathon Ives—in my opinion he has no contemporary as he has created the future over and over again. And no one can compete with Mr. Steve Jobs.

Form vs. function?
If not both then what’s the point?

What’s your signature?
My signature style is my acute attention to details and intricate line work. I like to create dimension out of nothing.

What’s your favorite element/possession?
When I was about 9 my father bought a very old Asian horse hair whip at a Flea Market. It had two little tokens hanging on leather ropes. One of the tokens was an Asian Dragon made out of silver. It’s a finely detailed piece of art that I really fell in love with. I imagined the amazing history that this treasure must have been carried through—it’s one of my most valued treasures.

What was/is your biggest indulgence?
Anything made by Apple. I love Apple. I love computers and technology. When the first iPhone came out, it simply blew me away. I felt like I was touching the future. This company never seizes to amaze me with their new inventions.

What’s the best career advice you ever received? Ever gave?
The best pieces of advice came from my all time favorite idol, Mr. Steve Jobs. “Stay hungry, stay foolish” and “The journey is the reward”. These mottoes have helped me balance the good times and the harder times—and never give up on my dreams.


meet us: robert and cortney novogratz

How did you meet?
We met at a party in Charlotte NC.
Love at first sight.

You both come from families very similar to your own-big and design oriented-do you see your kids becoming a third generation?
Def. we hope it will become a family business. Since we are so hands on with our kids, and work out of our homes, the kids are definitely exposed to our fun, creative and crazy world.

With a large, active family and a growing business, how do you stay organized?
It’s organized chaos but organized. We are doers and get things done.

What’s your favorite room in your house?
The kitchen.

Where is your favorite place in the world and are there any destinations on your wish list?
Paris. We love big urban cities…would love to go to Capetown. and Tokyo.

Do you have an absolute favorite find from your world travels or local treasure hunts?
And which one do you most regret NOT purchasing?
A vintage foosball table from Italy. Few regrets as we enjoy the hunt.

What inspires you?
Our children.

Which has more influence on a project—the architecture or the people who live there?
People—every home should be a direct reflection of the people who live there. From their personalities to the way they live—a project is most influenced by its inhabitants.

Do you have a favorite architect?
Frank Gehry—we love his work because he balances art, sculpture and architecture in a way nobody else has. The second you lay eyes on a Gehry building, you know he designed it.

If you could Novogratz absolutely anyone’s home—whose would it be?
The White House. We love the history of the home and all of the amazing people who have lived there before, but we would love to make it more fun and better reflect the Obama family.

What are your favorite and least favorite colors?
Love all colors. Don’t like tones like beige.

Why did you want to work with CB2?
The people—it’s a big family too!

Do you have one low-budget decorating tip?
Paint can transform a space.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t take your success—or your failures—too seriously.

To see all of the Novogratz’s current designs for CB2, go here.


artist profile: thanh diep

Thanh Diep was born in Vietnam in 1977 and since 1998 she’s been creating art at the Creativity Explored studio in San Francisco—
a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art.

An accomplished artist in traditional media—as well as film and animation—Diep captures dramatic impact in a charcoal scene of ascending evergreens that grow stark in the secluded forest of the foggy landscape pillow.

Although she speaks with the assistance of an augmentative and alternative communication device due to cerebral palsy, she has created soundtracks for animated films and written a book, Thanh.

The first graduate of The Bridge School in Hillsborough, and is the first Bridge School alumna to graduate from college, Diep received her BA in 2005 from San Francisco State University where she majored in Liberal Studies.

Media works include short films and—along with her artwork—have been featured at MadCat Women’s International Film Festival, Artists Television Access, The Mission Cultural Center, Noh Space/Theater of Yugen, Brava Theater as well as at the Picture This Festival in Calgary, BC.

To spend one minute with Thanh Diep in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.


artist profile: james miles

At the Creativity Explored studio in San Francisco—a nonprofit visual arts center where artists with developmental disabilities create, exhibit and sell art—artist James Miles’ imagery blurs the limits of perspective.

If James were to tell you a story, it would include silent spaces for he’s soft-spoken. His visual stories—often ink drawings of miniature scenes—reveal our shared love of simple pleasures.

Their composition of ‘unusual combinations of perspectives’ blur the limits of inside/outside, near/far, small/large, male/female, and past/present to entice the viewer/listener into the paradoxically immense spaces of his diminutive artwork.

They are spaces that use the logic of dreams and fairytales and—like every great universally told story—his reveal our shared love of simple pleasures enjoyed with one another, on a gorgeous day that we hope will never end.

Perhaps the orange bird pillow—featuring James’ extra-large and orange bird—in reality signals the coming of an early spring even though the groundhog predicted six more weeks of winter.

To spend one minute with James Miles in the Creativity Explored studio, go here.

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