Designer Crush: Lisa Bakamis


1. Who is your biggest role model?

I would have to say that my husband is my biggest role model.  He is the hardest working person I have ever met—coming from a very humble upbringing, everything he has achieved thus far in his life has been without assistance from anyone.  I strongly value that trait in him, and in myself, as he has really taught me that if you work hard for what you want, “the juice is always worth the squeeze.” His patience is admirable, and something that I am constantly striving towards. Finally, he is always challenging himself, and is never satisfied with mediocrity.

2. Which movie or play do you wish you could have designed the set for?

The 2013 film version of The Great Gatsby. I am obsessed with the décor and fashion of the early 20’s, and this movie captured everything that I love about that period of history. The Art Deco & Art Nouveau styles are about as bold & glamorous as it gets, and I am always incorporating both styles into everything I do—my new shop in Fairfax, Lisa Bakamis at Home, has a pretty strong Art Deco & Art Nouveau influence!

3. What is the best way to gauge a client’s personality before starting a project?

I like to use either Houzz or Pinterest, whichever my client is more comfortable with (or sometimes both!).  I create a board for their residence, of which both parties can “pin” to. Then, we basically use these images & the comment sections below each image as a source for our own dialog.  It is the most efficient way to determine aesthetic—a picture is truly worth 1,000 words!

4. What new design trends are you excited to integrate into your work?

I’m not really certain this is a “trend,” but I love incorporating hand painted murals lately. Ian Ross is my go-to muralist—he is brilliant! I also always love bringing bold & unique wallcoverings into my designs. Wallpaper is kind of my thing—I have a bit of an obsession with it, and I don’t know if I have completed a project yet without it being incorporated! My new shop/design studio features both a spectacular store-front mural by Ian Ross, and a super glamorous wallpaper by Christian Lacroix. 

5. How do you completely unwind?

I try to do as much power yoga as possible (Marin Power Yoga—truly the best studio I have been to yet!)! I also love riding bikes with my family, paddle boarding (in Maui sans wetsuit!), and rock climbing with my husband at Lovers Leap in Lake Tahoe. We are a pretty active bunch! 

6. If you hadn’t become a designer, which career would you have pursued?

I would have become an event planner. I LOVE to throw a great party! 

7. What’s the worst pre-designer job you’ve ever had and why?

I worked in Disney World in Florida for a semester in college, as part of the Disney World College Program Internship—I was a hostess at Trails End, a restaurant at the Fort Wilderness Resort, and was forced to wear (as my daily uniform) what I can only describe as an American Frontier-style smocked gown, which closely resembled a red and white checkered table cloth. In addition to that job, I also had the pleasure of occasionally having to sell turkey legs in the Magic Kingdom, which is quite possibly the worst job for any 19-year-old woman. Needless to say, I did not know this is what I would be doing when I signed up for that “internship.”

8. What’s your favorite recipe?

Honestly, I am terrible in the kitchen!  My husband is the chef in our household; however, I do love to bake and have been really into “trying” to make vegan desserts lately.  Recently, I made a cookie dough dip made mainly from potatoes & maple syrup—DELISH!…

9. Create your perfect playlist for us.

Definitely the hardest question on the list!   I have so many favorites, so this is going to be a random list of songs that remind me of special times in my life, in no particular order: 

Lightning round!

10. Would you rather shop new or vintage?

I prefer a mix of both! A great vintage chair with a stunning new upholstery fabric rocks my world!

11. First celebrity crush?

Zack Morris on Saved By the Bell (Mark-Paul Gosselaar).

12 What’s your hidden talent?

Growing up, I was a competitive gymnast for about 12 years. While I am years out of practice, I am sure my body remembers the basics! I also love to sing in the shower (truly a hidden talent).

13. Best restaurant in your area? Where is it?

L’Appart Resto in San Anselmo—AMAZING French Cuisine, spectacular wine list!

14. SF or LA?

SF all day! I am a sucker for the Bay Area—primarily Marin County, where I live!

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