Meet & Greet – Eliza

Eliza Lamb and I met during my time at Columbia University’s graduate program in Arts Administration. She and I share the same birthday, January 28th, and are both crazy Aquarians. No, seriously, we are the weirdest of all the zodiac signs. Aside from being intelligent and beautiful (and naturally skinny), Eliza is also an extremely talented photographer. I would be jealous and envy the girl if I weren’t so proud of her. She has the innate ability to make any gathering familiar, special, and intimate. She always brings positivity, clarity and humor to a situation and finally – the reason why I am featuring her in my blog – she has KILLER style (fashion, artistic, interior, et. al.).

Eliza is a native of Richmond, Virginia. Before Eliza began her doctoral studies at Columbia University she received her BFA in Photography from Savannah College of Art & Design. She is a photographer that believes in the art of finding the images that surround her. She uses a manual medium format film camera and shoots exclusively with found light. Her photographs have been exhibited on the local and national levels through several media outlets and galleries. She has also worked as a curator for the Children’s Museum of the Arts.


Did I mention she has a wondrous daughter named Maddie? Maddie and I recently bonded in McCarren Park, Brooklyn over a game of “Baby in the Air” and hula-hooping.


Photo of Eliza Lamb by Colleen Katana.

Name: Eliza Lamb

Job: Photographer & Doctoral Student

Age: 29

Eat: I live in Astoria so we really don’t mess around when it comes to Greek food, and Taverna Kyclades is the top of the top here. Their feta cheese will change your life.  The usual: 1/2 carafe of house white, large Greek salad, grilled calamari with lemon potatoes and broiled scallops with beets. And if they didn’t have you up to that point – they’ll get you when you realize dessert is included. The wait is a downer though – expect 1-2 hours on nights and weekends. Insider secret: Avoid the rush and go for lunch M-Sa, special lunch prices too!

You know those friends who can slap on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and TOMS and somehow LOOK like the hippest person in the room? Yea, that’s Eliza. I mean even her NAME IS COOL. She also somehow finds days to travel the world in her spare time – Australia, Guatemala, Nova Scotia, London, Egypt, Switzerland, Austria – where hasn’t she been? 

The devil (or the buddha) is in the details.  

This Virgin Mary Statue reminds me of a photo series Eliza did called Astoria Series: Streetside Religion, which can be seen HERE.

See (favorite building, person, place, or neighborhood to SEE): 

  • MoMA. No words necessary. Insert iconic, goose bump inspiring image below.  Despite the high price tag – it is always worth it.
  • Coney Island. One of my favorite places in NYC. It hurts so good. Leave plenty of room for a chili cheese dogs and cotton candy and never, NEVER take your shoes off in the sand. Here’s an observation and photo of the fantastical and historic Coney Island ala Eliza Lamb:
  • Mets Games. Our neighborhood team. We believe in rooting for the underdog. Maddie is in fact an official Mets Fan Club Member and I just love that helmet full of ice cream.

I spy Eliza’s photography. A glossy red well can actually be a neutral when paired with glossy black, and basic materials such as woods, ceramics, metals, and leather. 

“An unwatched pot boils immediately.”

 Tea for two and two for tea. 

I extol the benefits of decorating with Mason Jars on an almost daily basis. Something about me also loved the exposed and crooked electrical socket. 

Recipe: two parts water, one part soil, a teaspoon of seed, and a sprinkling of sunlight.

The intermingling of the primary colors is so sunny! 

The colors of a sunny English garden with the personality of a quirky diner – look at that retro clock.

Shop (this can be one’s favorite place to shop for clothing, home goods, or food):

  • Food: Astoria produce stands. Growing up in rural Virginia, with a 30 min to drive to the nearest grocery store, I used to dream about living in a city where I could walk to get my groceries. I relish carrying home the bag full of ingredients to be used for dinner that night, and if I can throw in a paper wrapped bouquet of flowers and a baguette in the crux of my arm too, well, I am in 12-year-old-Eliza heaven.
  • Clothes and things for the house: Daffy’s, HomeGoods and Marshalls. I like to feel like a winner while I shop.
  • Other favorites Clothes: Anthropologie, JCrew (student discount!), Gap and Target.

Please do not disturb, we are now entering the inner sanctum, the bedroom. 

Yes this is IS where the magic happens, mostly because it is a studio too! 

Pattern play requires a skilled eye and a working knowledge of color theory – or sometimes it just takes throwing fabrics together and choosing a reoccurring hue. Either way, it rocks. 

An apple a day keeps the doctor away, but brushing doesn’t hurt either. 

Do (what activity do you absolutely love? rowing a boat? knitting? walking the Brooklyn Bridge? Visiting the Franklin Institute? Reading a magazine?):

  • Broadway shows on the cheap. I started life as an actress and it will always own a big part of my heart. Student rush, standing room, lottery… oh, there are ways.
  • Traveling! Learning what places look, smell and feel like all on my own. I love to take pictures and decorate with little things I collect on my journeys. I try to use my passport at least once a year!
  • Making things. I am an artist through and through. I used to get butterflies in my tummy during arts and crafts as a kid… and I still do.
  • Gardening while Maddie plays in the sprinkler. One of the greatest things about living outside of Manhattan is having all those things that feel like real life to me – a yard, a vegetable garden, birds chirping outside my window and a hammock.
And that, in a blogging nutshell is Mary had a little one, I have an Eliza Lamb. What sorts of friends do YOU have? How does their home inspire you?
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Panel Discussion

Avocado Stoves are probably my absolute favorite interior designing dinosaur left over from the 1970’s.  Close seconds include a fully wallpapered kitchen and orange formica countertops. Something about the aforementioned items will always feel trapped in a time warp. However, there has been an item from the seventies that is having an evolutionary  and fashionable resurgence – Wood Panelling.

(From Elmira Stove Works by Northstar.)

(Photo by Adrian on Flickr)

(This gaudy and match match interior was found in a 1971 Better Homes & Gardens via HERE.)

Panelling includes  any wall covering constructed from rigid or semi-rigid components. These are traditionally interlocking wood, but could be plastic or other materials. There are even specific names for the locking components: Tongue and Groove (which sounds like a great band name). In antiquity, wood panelling was first used to make cold stone walls more comfortable and inviting. The wood also served as insulation from the chilly castle walls or stone interiors. In more modern buildings, that did not need environmental insulations, the technique is mostly used for decoration – showing off ornate engraving, beveling, wainscoting (usually on oak), and as a way to show off contemporary artists of the day. The most intricate form of paneling is known as boiserie. As a note, and a fun future trivial pursuit or jeopardy answer, the word “wainscot” is from [wageschot, Dutch] and means the inner wooden covering of a wall (To wainscot [waegenschotten, Dutch], to line the walls with boards) – found here.

(Perhaps I should begin getting all of my fashion and interior design cues from – which has not been updated in years. This is an image from the set of Freaks and Geeks , meant to take place in 1980, Michigan.)

(Note the wainscoting – from the set of That 70’s Show, meant to the place in 1976-1979 ,Wisconsin. Found Here.)

OK, now let us hop into the DeLeorean and reach speeds of 88 Miles Per Hour so that we can travel to the year 2012 where panelling has actually been reinvented. (How do I spell “panelling?” or “paneling” because neither is being corrected by autocorrect!? Are both right!? Interrobang!?) Modern panels often feature unfinished, untreated wood for a sleek, clean, and light wall.

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