What makes your home a magical place

This fall, we asked three prominent figures in the design world to sketch and share a back-of-the-napkin idea of what makes their homes magical.

Below, meet Lisa Iwamoto and Craig Scott, founding partners of IwamotoScott Architecture in San Francisco.


Portrait by Roma Edwards

What makes your home a magical place

Sketch by Eames Demetrios

Even though we live in a tiny urban house, we have sun and sky on all four sides, with views of the street, ships on the Bay, hills in the distance, and our walk-out backyard.

Sketch by Eames Demetrios

Q&A with Lisa and Craig

What is the most magical item you remember from your childhood home?

Lisa: My mom’s jewelry box. She didn’t have anything expensive, but it seemed filled with sparkly magic at the time.

Craig: It would be a tie between two items I spent many hours with in the apartment of my grandparents in New York City, where I lived for some time: a working, wind-up scale model of a very old car (Stutz Bearcat), and a profusely illustrated encyclopedia set.

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What is the design theme of your own home?

Eclectic. Not purposefully, but we do like it. The house itself is a pared-down 1920s Edwardian that is just really simple and clean on the interior. Then we have a mixture of mid-century hand-me-downs from Lisa’s parents, like a Saarinen table and Jacobsen chairs, and other things ranging from thrift store and Ikea to contemporary modern pieces.

When you move, what is one item that you carry yourself instead of letting the movers handle, and why?

Our architectural models and prototypes. We have a window screen prototype we handmade out of paper. It’s really fragile, but we’ve had it a long time and it reminds us of that moment early in our practice when we were doing small projects just for ourselves.

Describe your design philosophy in three words.

Form and space.

Where do you find your inspiration?

Art. Architecture. Nature. Cities. Objects. Pretty much everywhere!