Wednesday, January 14

Unexpected Guests: Lisa Coris.

Today's visit is close to home, the fabulously cool and very eclectic San Francisco flat belonging to a good friend of mine, designer and artist Lisa Coris. Lisa is a bit of a Renaissance woman, balancing her career as an advertising industry recruiter, world traveler, painter, collector and jewelry designer, and her apartment reflects her varied interests and some amazing collections from her travels. Lisa lives in a wonderful old Victorian atop San Francisco's Russian Hill, right along the Cable Car line, and you can even hear the clanging of them as they glide by. Let's take a look at Lisa Coris' wonderfully authentic, original and amazing apartment.

What is your idea of a perfect day in San Francisco?
Great weather, being with friends, and just doing something that leaves a little impression on me that lingers for weeks or months later.

What don't you leave home without?
The other part of my brain: my Treo. It has everything I know in there.

What's your favorite local shop?
One of them is Zinc Details. They're so nice - I've been shopping there for 12 years. I've also filled half my home with finds from Harmony - she runs a makeshift "garage sale" every day of the week on Howard Street between 10th and 11th Streets.

What's on your wish list?
A vintage velvet club chair or two, to replace my big clunky brushed cotton chair in the living room. I need something old in conjunction with my newer Room & Board couch, which would be a better balance.

What's your favorite bargain find or product?
So, so many! First, is my place. I found it over 12 years ago and so glad I did! And love my dining room ensemble - the vintage rug was $55 at the flea market, the Danish dining table was a few hundred a la craigslist, and each chair was about 5 bucks from Harmony (the woman who runs the daily garage sale).

If you could be any other nationality, which would you choose to be?
Again, so many! I would love to be Dutch - they have such a great eye for design, and speak so many languages so well.

How would you describe your sense of style?
Eclectic! Mid century modern + regular vintage + artsy + splashes of modern. A mish mash of the things I love, with an attempt to not be too cluttered!

What is your biggest interior design nightmare?
Just not being able to get a room to flow - it's not easy. I need to take a class in Feng Shui.

Who are some of your favorite artists?
Jennifer Garrido is one, Rebeca Bollinger, Katja Ollendorff, Roxanne Worthington, and Kelly Defayette.

Where do you find inspiration?
Friends with great taste. Magazines like Elle Decor and Domino. Just walking around and observing all the time.

Who do you admire and why?
So cliche, but really anyone out there making a difference and helping make the world a better place. On a huge superstar scale, people like Bono. And I am also pleased with the folks who founded Kiva (loans to entrepreneurs in developing world countries - check it out!).

What's the last great book you read?
Girls in Trucks by Katie Crouch, my friend's first book. A fun, fast read. I also love my New York Times Sunday newspaper!

What's your favorite film?
One of my recent favorites (very recent) is Slumdog Millionaire. Moving, beautiful. and gritty.

Who would you like to sit down to drinks with?
My grandfather because I never met him.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Of course! Chocolate, salt & vinegar "crisps", handbags, chairs (I love chairs) and art. I can't stop buying it even though I have no room left.

What is your most treasured belonging?
All of my photographs.

What's souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
I was in Buenos Aires (a great stylish city), and brought back a little art from the markets, some dulce de leche, a few leather purses and a little bit of locally made jewelry.

What is your greatest indulgence?
All of my trips - they totally enrich me! This year was, and will be, Mexico City, Buenos Aires and Cairo.

What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
My favorites are craigslist, Apartment Therapy, sfgirlbybay, Desire to Inspire, Quality First Estate Sales and 20x200.