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Behind The Scenes

Project Room Does a Restaurant Makeover in Under Two Weeks

We’re not the only ones who think Project Room’s line of home goods and furniture is 10 kinds of awesome: Some of Los Angeles’s coolest restaurant owners have tapped Isaac Resnikoff and Lizz Wasserman to help amp up their spaces. And, in the case of Jessica Koslow’s popular cafe Sqirl, they did it in a jaw-dropping 11 days. Lizz gives us the scoop. —anthonia akitunde “Sqirl’s one of our favorite restaurants in L.A.; the visionary behind it, Jessica, is fantastic. We went there for the first time for Isaac’s birthday breakfast on a rainy day. The food and vibe were awesome, but the space wasn’t totally conducive to sitting and enjoying how great the food was. The very slim shape of the room inspired the long (but skinny) communal table, the long marble bar against the bar, and the wood and metal stools we designed: The shape fits a bunch of people, but it’s simple and not too busy for the space.” “Sqirl kinda exploded in a way I don’t think anyone was expecting, and it all grew out of this space that was originally Jessica’s jam kitchen. As more people came to try the food—and as it became more of a restaurant—it became necessary to rethink the entire space. We really wanted to focus on simplicity of materials. There are only a few materials used: carrera marble, alder wood, and steel. The hand-turned lamps use a little bit of color from hacked climbing rope that we disassembled and then restrung.” “While the big reveal might have seemed like it only took 11 days, it was really a huge job. Our contractor worked around the clock to get everything together, and there’s still a little more to do. But it’s felt great to walk in and have that big, clean, open feeling to the space and to know that the changes to the space are helping to support all that Jessica and her team are doing. And selfishly, it’s really awesome to have my favorite dish—toast with kale and egg—at the marble table we designed and built, under the lamps we designed!” Grab a drink and get ready to have some serious fun with Project Room’s Tangram Coaster set!
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Meet the Creative Couples Who Inspire the Project Room Duo

Lizz Wasserman and Isaac Resnikoff are spouses and co-workers—they masterminded the stellar, unfussy L.A.-based home line Project Room. Sound like a tricky relationship to navigate? Well, they have surrounded themselves with some really impressive twosomes who also seem to have it down. Lizz shares their stories. —anthonia akitunde Samantha and Brendan Greaves“Samantha has a gorgeous handmade leather accessories line, Map of Days. She and Brendan, a folklorist, also work together on Paradise of Bachelors, the record label he founded with the musician Chris Smith in 2010. We are all friends from right after college, when we all lived in Philly and everyone went out all the time. They both have such a can-do attitude—it’s really awesome. Right now, as they are expecting their first child, they are also organizing a free, day party concert at the Hopscotch Music Festival in Raleigh, North Carolina.” Kristin Dickson Okuda and Shin Okuda“Kristin is the designer of the women’s line Rowena Sartin, and Shin is the designer of the furniture line Waka Waka. They also collaborate on one of the best stores in L.A., Iko Iko, which Kristin founded. We all try to do delicious late-dinners about once a month. Because we have so many interests in common, it’s where we differ that I think we learn the most about—and are the most encouraged by—each other.” Zinzi Edmundson and Jesse Kivel“Zinzi is an editor and fashion/culture/food writer who also has her own blog, Treehouse. Jesse is a musician and DJ about town. Together, they also are the band Kisses, which is kinda-dreamy, drunk-disco-dance background music that is lovely. The fact that Zinzi and Jesse get to tour the world together, while building off of their other interests, is really cool and really romantic!” Alex Segade and Malik Gaines“Alex and Malik are two-thirds of performance group My Barbarian and have been together since they met freshman year of college. Isaac and Alex were in UCLA’s MFA program together. It’s inspiring to be friends with a couple who has worked together for so long—they’re committed to making their own work and moving forward together.” Louie Wasserman and Caren Connolly“My parents really made a creative home for me and my younger brothers while we growing up: Challenging each other after dinner to design competitions and creating whole worlds out of blocks was the norm. Their relationship made the concept of true partnership very clear to me while I was growing up. Isaac and I have been working with them recently as they design our future house—Louie is an architect, and Caren a landscape architect. Seeing how they work together as well as challenge each other creatively and professionally has been really, really awesome.” Kristin and Shin photo courtesy of Nancy Neil; Zinzi and Jesse photo courtesy of Force Field PR. Check out the metallic leather coasters this duo whipped up for us! 
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