Ciao World

A first blog post is a rather daunting task:  Where to start? What to write? I'll start by thanking you for listening.  And by telling you a little bit of my story, since who I am as a designer has EVERY bit to do with who I am as a person.

I come from a long line of Scandinavian carpenters and builders on my dad's side, and thank his Viking genes for my never give up, dig in and get it done, mentality and craftsmanship.  My Mom, on the other hand, is the tastemaker, and I was fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by pretty things: wool flannel sofas, distressed leather chesterfields, framed Hermes scarves and Audubon prints, perfectly edited rooms and ever-changing floor plans.  Mom always threw the best parties, wrapped the most gorgeous presents, cooked the most wonderful meals, and was (is) the best dressed, most beautiful woman in the room. She is my biggest role model. Most of what I know about good design, I learned living and breathing it.

La classe non e' acqua. 

One of my fondest memories from early childhood is of visiting restaurant bathrooms.  I was always so excited to see what surprise wallpaper, soaps, tissue boxes, lighting and mirrors were hidden in the "ladies lounge". (Fast forward twenty years, and boy was I surprised to find Turkish toilets in Italy and France!) (BTW, on my last trip to Italy, the public restrooms were to DIE for.  I was so happy about this revelation on the part of Italian designers and architects....I promise to do a post someday...)
Mozzarella Bar Bagno-Firenze

...Enough digression.

Ever since third grade it had been my dream to become a designer.  Never mind that it took me thirty-some years and careers in fashion to finally come full circle.

My path through San Francisco to study Art History...

Mills College 1987

...gave me my first platform to try my hand at design...
Olney Hall Suite '87
...led me to Florence, Italy to study Renaissance Art...

Il Duomo

...and straight to the love of my life.
Lorenzo and I in Ostuni, Italia. 1989


July 7, 1996

Castiglion della Pescaia-2002
Starting a company...
piccola b. children's clothing

Landing my first paid interior design job...

La Fornella-Paterno, Italy

We had 17 wonderful years living LA DOLCE VITA in the hills of Tuscany.

But all good things come to an end. The economy started to tank in Italy, and we thought we would try Atlanta for a stab at The American Dream.  That was mid-2006. Crap. Not a good time to move to the States.  Or buy a house.  Or start a new career.  In a new country. Knowing NO ONE.

BUT WE DID  IT!!!! It was a difficult transition, but when I finally realized that I could not compare Florence to Atlanta, and I had to look at the positive sides of both places, I started living. And thriving.  I began teaching Italian cooking classes out of the home to willing neighbors, but that was like throwing a party several times a week...too hard.
Signature schiacciata con prosciutto e rucola.

 Then I opened an antique booth at the Queen of Hearts in Alpharetta.

 I finally found my calling, and my passion. I couldn't get enough of the hunt, the merchandising, the decorating and the selling.  My business grew on my time, and at my own pace and I soon added design clients to the mix.  Today, my work is primarily interior design. Thank you to all of you who have believed in my talent, and welcomed me into your homes.  The very best part about doing what I do is getting to know my clients as friends. Thank you.

Sono fortunata.

I am lucky.



Dayka Robinson said...

Loved reading this, Lisa! All this time and I didn't know you lived in Italy for I'm sure you must have the best stories as your life sounds like quite the adventure! Looking forward to following your new blog, website & hearing the great news of your thriving business.


Unknown said...

What a wonderful story! I wish you the best and look forward to following your journey. You have a beautiful family.
xo Nancy


Lisa....such a wonderful life you have had...that is what makes you special! Congratulations on getting the blog up and running :)

Lisa Gabrielson said...

Your comments mean so much to me. Thank you for your support!
Best, Lisa

Kelly said...

Hi! I'm so glad that you started a blog! I know you through QOH. I discovered your blog through Sherry Hart's blog post about your luncheon. Your home is beautiful. Just love reading about your past too. My nephew's wife grew up in Italy and her parents still live there. Seems like cooking is very popular there. I bet your food is delicious. Looking forward to following your blog. Have a very Merry Christmas with your family.

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