Maker Monday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Lily Lanahan

Inspired by pure celebration and lively spaces, Elizabeth Lake Table Linens was established just this past year. Lily Lanahan, founder and designer, wanted to create tabletop accessories that coincided with memorable gatherings around the dinner table. Not only is each piece remarkably handcrafted, but the linens used are sourced from mills in Belgium, Italy, and Ireland, then hand-stitched by artisans on the tiny Portuguese island of Madeira. Elizabeth Lake’s pieces are sustainable, effortless, and festive. Introducing this week’s Maker Monday, Lily Lanahan of Elizabeth Lake Table Linens.

Andrew Joseph: Who do you want to write your obituary?
Lily Lanahan: I would pick Tina Fey. A little known quirk about my career is that I actually spent my first job out of school reading obituaries every single day for Sotheby’s auction house in New York. After a year and a half of this, it’s safe to say I know what makes a good obituary…a touch of humor goes a long way.

Andrew: What’s inspiring you in life (in the industry) right now?
Lily: It’s been so inspiring to see so many tastemakers get creative at home and put a little extra effort into setting the table. Our business is built around the idea of bringing the celebration home, and with these uncertain times we’ve really loved seeing how our customers have brought their nearest and dearest together around the dinner table. We’re moving away from formality and there’s really no one way to do things anymore. We’re constantly inspired by how our friends and clients are mixing and matching our linens, layering old and new, high and low.

Andrew: Are you a good cook? If so, what’s your specialty?
Lily: I’m not a great cook, but I’ve learned that you don’t necessarily have to be in order to have a great dinner party. The nights with the simplest menus, whether it be a favorite pasta or takeout dish, can be just as memorable – so long as the table is festive, the bar is stocked and the company is fabulous.

Andrew: A book that everyone should read?
Lily: “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. This book is for any kind of creative, from designers and painters to writers and musicians, who want to expand their creative capacity, find inspiration and work through creative blocks. It’s a game-changer.

Andrew: What are some of the podcasts you listen to and why?
Lily: I love Paloma Contrera’s podcast ‘The Style Files’ as there are always interesting designers and creatives featured. My other favorites are the Goop podcast and Second Life, which profiles entrepreneurs who have pivoted in their careers.

Andrew: Most adventurous thing you’ve done in your life?
Lily: Launching a Texas-based business with a European supply chain from Australia in the middle of a global pandemic. Cheers!

About The Maker | A Texan who found a home in Sydney, Australia, Lily has spent her career immersing herself in the world of antique textiles, porcelain, fine art, and furniture. After completing a decorative arts master in London, Lily went on to work in interiors and in the auction world in New York. A love for old and beautiful things – and what some might call a passion for flea markets – propelled her to design a tabletop collection that would honor centuries-old techniques while speaking to the modern host. Elizabeth Lake was launched in 2020 to inspire celebration at home.

Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is seeker and storyteller of the sublime in living. It is a global guide to in-depth and varied views of beauty and shelter that stirs imagination; that delights and inspires homeowners as well as art and design doyens. Collaborating with emergent and eminent architects, artisans, designers, developers and tastemakers, ASPIRE creates captivating content that savors the subjects and transports with stunning imagery and clever, thought-provoking writing. Through lush and unique visuals and a fresh editorial lens, ASPIRE explores what is new and undiscovered in art, interiors, design, culture, real estate, travel and more. ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME is an international narrative and resource for all seeking the sublime.