Sometimes it’s a small detail that gives you a glimpse into a person’s life; in the case of Lauren McIntosh, it was a loaf of brown bread displayed like a still life under an elegant glass cloche on her kitchen counter. Simple, thoughtful, and aesthetically compelling, it is symbolic of McIntosh's whole approach to living: creating beauty.
"I have these rules that everything has to be beautiful and to look good," she says. "You don't have to have plastic in your life." The third-generation Californian and longtime artist (see her work at Repetti in New York and Obsolete in LA) is also the co-owner of Berkeley’s legendary Tail of the Yak, where she and her partner, Alice Erb, sell carefully sourced traditional arts and crafts from around the globe. Read on to discover more about McIntosh's approach to the artful life.
Photography by Aya Brackett for Remodelista.
Above: McIntosh works in a loft-like studio in her Berkeley Hills home. She typically uses gouache on paper.
Above: McIntosh at her easel in her studio; French doors open to a lush English country style garden, where a tortoise roams. McIntosh picked up her eyeglasses on a recent trip to Venice: "They are made of horn and titanium and are really strong," she says.
Above: McIntosh wears rings made from amethyst with pearls and flat cut garnets on her left hand. She sources English and European antique jewelry for Tail of the Yak. "I prefer the Georgian era over Victorian, it's rustic and less fussy," she says.
Above: McIntosh wears a black John Paul Gaultier dress from the designer's archives (she traded it for a painting) paired with a black apron that was a gift from a friend. She's a fan of Dosa, which she picks up from Atomic Gardens in Oakland, and she also likes to wear some of the Ukranian and Mexican pieces on sale at her store. Her footwear of choice? Vegan Dr. Martens (she's vegetarian). In this photo, she holds a paper lantern, one of many she created for a recent fundraiser at Creative Growth, the Oakland-based organization that serves artists with developmental, physical, and mental disabilities; McIntosh and her husband are longtime supporters. Hanging above the dining table is a paper chandelier, another of her creations.
Above: The artist's studio, with a floral piece created by Louesa Roebuck for a recent Remodelista installation.
Above: McIntosh plaits her hair for the curl effect; her earrings were made in Chile from horse hair and are sold at Tail of the Yak for $85. Her lip color of choice? Yves Saint Laurent's 04 Rouge Vermillon; $32.