Lawyer-turned-hotelier Liz Lambert ushered in a retail and restaurant renaissance on Austin’s South Congress Avenue when she transformed the Hotel San José from a pimp-and-pusher paradise to a chic bungalow-style retreat. The 45-year-old Midland native (who also owns the hipster coffee hangout Jo’s) has become the authority on Texas cool: Her newest venture, the Hotel Saint Cecilia, also in Austin, is a sanctuary for aesthetes, with its Hästens beds, Italian linens, and library of vintage vinyl records. Her home office, just around the corner, is a catchall repository for her myriad interests. “It’s my anthill I bring everything back to, where I organize my stuff,” says Lambert. She answers e-mails here while listening to her partner Amy Cook’s latest album. Next to her desk, a corkboard wall covered in magazine tear sheets, pictures, and notes serves as an open-book collage of her life.
To hear Amy Cook’s latest recordings, visit amycook.com. Also find tour dates and a gallery of pictures, some taken by photographer Allison V. Smith.
• Artist Noel Waggener has made several of Amy’s posters.
• This is my house. I paid the Rivers of Living Water Church $1 for it and had it moved here from South Congress.
• I keep beads and string for wrapping presents. I always wanted to have a business called Strings and Things.
Iomoi.com has a small selection of colorful vintage wrapping twine and other David Hicks—inspired gifts and stationery.
• That’s my brother Louis with Martha Stewart in Marfa. Chef Grady Spears is on the other side of her.
• I was Pi Beta Phi pledge class president at Texas Christian University. I was secretly in love with my big sis.
• I make guitar straps using leather and old sari fabric. I don’t sell them; I just give them to friends.
Guitarcenter.com has hundreds of guitar straps to choose from, while moodyleather.com specializes in leather and suede versions. Want to make your own? Ehow.com has easy step-by-step instructions.
• I love this SX-70 Polaroid camera, but I can’t use it. I can’t find film for it.
The Polaroid SX-70 polaroid.com/global/ garnered buzz as the first camera to use self-developing film and to have a compact folding design. Although it has been discontinued, dozens of highly collectible SX70’s can be found on eBay.
• That’s Garuda, the god of El Cosmico, the West Texas kibbutz I’m working on in Marfa.
• Every morning I have a double Americano with cream, no sugar, from Jo’s.