LB Team Design Inspiration through Travel 2017

Our travels are so integral to who we are at Lotus Bleu. They invigorate and inform our always evolving creative approach. With each visit, we solidify existing partnerships with specialized vendors and artisans and foster exciting new ones to keep our sources fresh and original.

Our team has traveled to many destinations over 2017, from which we've culled design inspiration. Here are some of our highlights, from coast to coast and around the world.













  " let's stay till the stars fade out, "  2015

" let's stay till the stars fade out, " 2015

We recently had the privilege to collaborate with Los Angeles- based artist, Yoskay Yamamoto, on a local private commission project.  With a wide repertoire of materials and subject matter, his work is whimsical, graphic and fantastical.  His pop-style artwork takes us into his imaginary world, to a happy destination.  Born and raised in Japan, he moved to California for high school and never looked back: he has since called CA his home. We interviewed him about his inspirations and his creative journey.

1. You work in many different mediums, from painting, sculpture, murals and toys.  From which medium did you start?  Does one particular medium speak to you the most?  Why?

Originally, I started working on my art in sketchbooks, drawing some characters and copying other artists’ work that I admired.  Then I picked up painting when I was in college and eventually moved on to sculptures which led to designing toys.

At the moment, I really enjoy creating installations.  I like that I can incorporate all the different mediums into a single art work.  Also I enjoy that installation can take over a space and the audience can engage physically with my art. 

  "wish you were here..."  2016

"wish you were here..." 2016

  "hope it would reach you eventually"  2016

"hope it would reach you eventually" 2016

2. At which gallery are you represented in CA?  

I work with Giant Robot on Sawtelle Blvd in Japantown in West Los Angeles; that’s my home gallery and my happy place.  I have a solo exhibition coming up on 11th of November. I’m still playing with the title and so far I came up with “ Homebound, “ but not sure if that’s gonna stick.  I like the idea of people in search of their place to call home.  Being part of the immigrant culture in the US, I feel that’s an appropriate title for my next show.

3. You mentioned that you used to live in San Francisco.  How did living in the Bay Area shape your artistic vision/growth?

I lived in San Francisco 12 years ago, first by Candlestick stadium and then relocated to the Mission district afterwards.  I moved to the city to pursue art; at the time, it felt very exciting and a lot of the artists that admired lived there.

I always carried my portfolio with me and went to a lot of galleries to see if they would give me a show. In the end I wasn't able to exhibit my work in the galleries I had hoped for, but it definitely taught me how to handle rejection and work harder to create my art.  I ended up dropping out of school to spend more time painting.

Another good experience for me was meeting the local artists and having a chance to talk to them about art.  People like David Choong Lee, Sam Flores, and Mario Martinez were very inspiring to talk to and had a very genuine way of talking to a young artist like me.  It wasn’t much of a technical growth period as an artist, but living in the city definitely fueled my creative soul and helped me to commit to my art on a deeper level.

4. Which artists inspire you?  Who do you respect and admire?  One artist from the past and one contemporary.

I have too many artist on my list to just name one, but people that inspire me the most are my artists friends and others artists in our art community.  A lot of Giant Robot artists inspire me greatly and I feel lucky to live near the city where great exhibitions take place constantly at different galleries and museums.

5. What is the single most important message you want to relay through your art, to the viewer?

Currently, I’m focusing on creating art work that sends or creates positive energy or a good vibe when the viewers see them.  If I can uplift people’s sprit or make them smile, I feel that I have done my job as an artist. :)

  "pale blue present moon"  2015

"pale blue present moon" 2015

 Kaoru, Yoskay & Sara @ Izakaya Rintaro, SF, summer 2017

Kaoru, Yoskay & Sara @ Izakaya Rintaro, SF, summer 2017

  "wish upon me"  2014

"wish upon me" 2014

Los Patios: Danish Design in Granada

For the last five years, our family has ventured to Central America during our children's winter break. It's a time for us to soak up plenty of sunshine and warm weather, while seeking out unique facets of local design and culture. Nicaragua left a lasting impression on us and we found ourselves in awe of the radiance of the city of Granada.

After a stay at a remote beach resort, we made our way into the city. Outdoor cafes were bustling and the energy of this artistic community was thriving. We absorbed stretches of colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and brightly painted dwellings with lush internal courtyards. The ornate metalwork on doors and gates was a sight to behold.  

We chose to hang our proverbial hat at the stunning Los Patios Hotel, owned and operated by a husband & wife team who came to Granada in 2007 with the intent to establish a hotel that spoke to the colorful local landscape and their native Scandinavian aesthetic.  

The design of Los Patios hinges on the incorporation of bold black and white graphics, as shown in the cement floor tiles. From the patterned floors, simple yet richly colored walls rise up to meet timber-beamed roofs. Cool white stucco grounds these powerful design elements and open shelving keeps the storage elements accessible and light.

Custom architectural elements make the space look anything but ordinary, such as the positive/negative construction of the stairwell which was achieved by highlighting the simple interaction of stairs and walls with stucco and wool paneling. Cabinetry is given a modern, minimal approach through the use of concrete and weathered wood faces.

Lofty ceilings provide plenty of vertical space for adventurous, eye-catching pendants to dangle, such as this corner feature in our guest room. Like the rest of the hotel, our room brings together South American artistic traditions, like embroidered textiles made into pillows, and marries them with contemporary touches such as quilts made by hay from Denmark.

At the heart of Los Patios are eight sun-soaked patios that blur the boundary between indoors and out. You can chose to sway in a darling hammock or soak in the pool, get lost in a book on a lounge chair or cozy up for a nap on the shaded couch. 

Every nook of Los Patios oozes with visual and textural intrigue and the sight of bright sun dancing on it's colorful walls is a memory I'll happily revisit on a chilly San Francisco day.