Mad Maximalist: Londubh Studio

By: Morgan Young

Londubh Studio

Londubh Studio (pronounced {Lon-dove}– rhymes with love) was founded in 2011 by Lisa Donohoe and Brynn Gelbard, two women dedicated to living life on the edge in full color and shimmer, and whose art and surface designs are an unapologetic love letter to maximalism and glam.

What inspired you to open your studio?

I (Lisa) started working for a decorative painting studio in San Francisco almost 20 years ago. I didn’t even know what decorative painting was, but I was working in bars and restaurants at the time and I wanted a career change. I’ve always been an artist, so I started working for the studio.

I loved it because every project was different. One week we’d be working on painting a ceiling, another week we’d be working on walls, and then it’d be painting a floor or gold-leafing a ceiling. It was a lot of traditional design. I appreciated learning all the skills and how to do the different processes and work with designers, but I wasn’t a big fan of traditional interior design.

When we moved to LA and started Londubh, I knew it had to be something more inspiring, modern, and graphic. That’s our voice and creative aesthetic. In the beginning, we said yes to every job that was offered to us. As we’ve progressed, we’ve been able to hone our own voices and really only do projects and create things that are our voice.

We just wanted to make the world more colorful, bright, and fun. We feel like there’s a lot of positivity in our work. We love being around designs, graphics, and colors because they improve our lives. When I’m in a room with cool wallpaper, I feel like it’s giving me something—it’s fueling my soul. Our clients tell us all the time that they love being around our work.

Peacock Nouveau By Londubh Studio
Peacock Nouveau by Londubh Studio
Star Guitar By Londubh Studio
Star Guitar by Londubh Studio

What kind of distinctive style or aesthetic do clients seek you out for?

Because we’re, as we call it, “mad maximalists,” our work is not for everybody. But the people that it is for love it. It’s just about finding that audience and getting your work in front of them.

It’s interesting to see a switch happening now where people are moving away from minimalism. There’s been such a minimalist hype/trend where people want their place to look sparse, but so often this ends up feeling impersonal and unfinished. We’re mindful of the fact that there are not a ton of people working with color, and we get sought out for that.

We are always trying to emphasize to people that color is magic. There’s truth to the fact that color elevates vibrations. It really does affect emotions. 

Sometimes we use bold colors and shimmer, but we’re always thinking of balance, proportions, and scale within the space. People love color and shine in nature, and that is our main inspiration for how we use then. You can push the boundaries of what you’re doing as long as it’s still well-designed within the space. Now people know what we do and they seek us out for intelligent execution of color and pattern.

Neowise by Londubh Studio
Neowise by Londubh Studio

What is the process like for doing a custom project?

It’s different for every project. When you go into a creative relationship, sometimes things happen really quickly, and sometimes there’s more back-and-forth. 

We normally start off with a conversation with the client or the designer. If we’re working with a designer, they’ll give us a rough idea of what they’re looking for. They’ll say, “We have this wall, ceiling, or room. Here’s what’s going on in the rest of the space. Here are our mood boards. Here’s the style of architecture.” 

We’ll go to the space, check it out, meet the client, and get a feel for the surroundings. We get to know who’s going to be interacting with the space and what they want it to feel like, not just how they want it to look. We take all that information, blend it up, and filter it through our aesthetic. 


When we’re presenting ideas, we start with loose sketches. We’ll give you a couple of options. Then as we move along, we become more defined. It gives the client or the designer time and space to give their feedback.

The hardest thing is when people want something special, but they don’t know what. One of our superpowers as creatives is being able to meet with someone, talk to them, and pull out little bits of what we think they want.

We call ourselves “art design shapeshifters” because we work with different aesthetics, architectural settings, designers, and clients. We adjust what we do to fit and suit those applications and site-specific installations. We’ll customize like nobody else. We’re going to give you the best thought-out concept that fits your space using materials that are built to last.

Customized Neowise by Londubh Studio
Customized Neowise by Londubh Studio
Peacock Nouveau by Londubh Studio
Peacock Nouveau by Londubh Studio

What has been the most fulfilling part of running your company?

The most fulfilling thing is getting to work with other people who have had the courage to run their own companies, follow their hearts, and honor their voices. When you come together with other people who have that courage, there’s a magic there that is unlike anything else.

We have really amazing relationships in the industry—whether it’s someone like Nicole Hollis on the AD100 side of things, or someone like House of Meeshie who’s a few years in and a poetic maximalist with knowledge beyond many more experienced designers. When you bump into those people and you smile from your heart together, that’s the most amazing thing. 

Connecting with people who have such a deep knowledge of what goes into doing things, making things, and creating things is so special. I know how fortunate we are to have one another on the days when we feel really down and question ourselves. 

With our wallcoverings, including the line we will drop in Spring, we’re just excited to make our work more readily available to people around the world who love well crafted bold design and how it empowers them to go out and make the most of life.

Thank you to Londubh Studio for telling your story, and dedication to not only Wescover, but the future of authentically designed art.

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