celeste korthase studio

THANK YOU for taking a moment to check out the blog entries and looking over photos of our work.
We work primarily in southern California, but would be open and willing to travel to work on your project.
We are happy to look at any jobsite within 50 miles of 90041 at no charge.
phone/text 323 707 3815
handpainted furniture
stained concrete
decorative wall finishes
venetian plaster
site specific art
artistic interiors

Monday, April 27, 2009

national park week

we painted these mural of national parks for racer's edge indoor karting track in santa clarita california. This is a 100,000sf  building redone. this shows many of the parks melting into each other shown from the track....scroll down 10 picturesa section of 6 national parks from the race track
redwood sequoia and kings canyon
bryce canyon melts into monument valley, arches national park into park lake, lake into east river and new york 
grand canyon, yosemite and lake powell from the race track at racer's edge in santa clarita california.
lake powell area section of the mural
el capitan and half dome about 22' high and 30' long

this is a secret rapa nui man stuck in a grand canyon muralmatthew hermstad and I on the scissor lift in front of the grand canyon mural
celeste in front of the grand canyon mural

Saturday, April 25, 2009

5 great new yogurt themes

i think pinkberry is fantastic. Innovative creative, beautifully planned, has stunning graphics, lighting and colors. Their product is delicious and everybody likes it.
Pinkberry is wonderful
enough already. 
to the other yogurt stores struggling to be chains. Find your own idea, your own colors and style and stop copying the pinkberry swedish light.
here are my five suggestions for your design and branded style
1 not pinkberry
2 not pinkberry
3 not pink berry
4 not pinkberry
5 not pinkberry

we have tons of ideas and finishes for yogurt stores.
I have several color palettes selected that will set you apart from all the other yogurt stores that are copying you know who. I have never seen anything like it. 

 i have one concept right now i want to do but i need the right client who is interested in a modern tech concept. it even has a hook to brand it. You just have to have a delicious product.
I can help you with finishes and surfaces that create the concept. We can interface with your kitchen planner.

Friday, April 24, 2009

twitter for restaurants

I don't have a restaurant or work in one...other than to work with fine restaurants as a decorative(faux)finisher, stained concrete and venetian plaster artisan and yes we do some quirky site specific art...but I actually do work in restaurants and since i've been on twitter i've encouraged some of my clients to give it a go.
here goes.
set up a twitter account and put the name on a blackboard, ask customers to follow.

1. tweet sport games that are on the everblasting flat screens.

2 have an american idol night tweet your favorites

3.specials kind of a no brainer. but it can increase traffic by listing local fresh ingrediants in a special salad, sandwich no no carb day...

4tweet changes in your restaurant or bar, remodel, new color, 

5.tweetups. you can make your space available to alumni groups,  after sports tweet ups, organized groups or misc groups, singles, and twitter about what you are doing.

If you have a dinner rush between 5-8..and quiet until when you close at 10 or 11 why not open up as a tweep up and use twitter to illuminate your big idea.
The photos taken at the top are from spitz. the traffic from an informal downtown la gathering was all social media.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

earthday special. ideas for restaurants to reduce reuse and recycle

what are some cost cutting ideas for new restaurants opening that are also eco friendly.

1. used chairs.
used chairs. seriously. chairs can be handpainted to look completely different.
see our site 
click on hand painted chairs. 
mostly we paint new chairs from gar products but now and then we come across used chairs. it's always astonished me that people are so quick to throw out chairs
even 50% new chairs...

2.paint a bar. rather than buy a new bar or counter. if it's wood it can be primed and painted.

3.cover a wall in used doors. cabinet shops throw out doors that they remove when refacing

4 create a collection of like minded items from thrift stores or yard sales... like jigsaw puzzles, sewing patterns, globes,picture frames all painted ONE color with nothing in them, a series of travel book covers, maps, vintage post cards,  or candleholders all painted brilliant metallic colors...I could go on

5.for an internet cafe a solid wall of web, computer and phone trash. cables, phone chargers, old obsolete phones, non operational computers as a solid piece of art. called a conversation piece

we have many many more ideas. we don't want to internet market, sell lists, hound strangers, we want to work and not the econami get in the way.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

5 new restaurant concepts

i 've got 5 new restaurant concepts completely designed utilizing our skills. if something sounds interesting give us a call and we will explain more to you. no obligation... just we hope to be considered for your restaurant creative work. stained concrete, faux finishing, decorative wall finishes, handpainted furniture or site specific art.

1 chinese restaurant. we have an amazing modern concept for a chinese restaurant that really showcases your fine dishes. stained concrete, venetian plaster walls and the piece de resistance art idea that will surely bring customers back.

2 thai restaurant. the idea comes from the chaing mai night markets a beautiful hip modern restaurant with street cooking artifacts used as a sculpture ...and think orchids.

3 lofty urban restaurant.  warm modern quirky ;like an artists loft, a great gathering place workable for many moderate price food concepts, stained floors, art, the best thing is we could put it in a stripmall in kalamazoo or kankakee.

4 sandwich restaurant. amazing sandwiches, delicious healthy healthy healthy, not rolls or hard bread. custom made with delicious ingredients. the restaurant has a retro hippie feel cleaned up. to go and catering options. would make a good little spot near an industrial workplace concept. 

5 yogurt concept. we have a concept for a yogurt shop. modern hip, with a high tech twist...
tech twist??? oopps (trademark) all details a call away. it's an amazing idea and not a clone of you know who.

none of these are franchaises. we have worked out details of new concepts that are missing in the market place. we know design marketing and branding. from an artist perspective. this is not a chain. they arte designs ready to go... we just want to work.
323 707 3815

Monday, April 20, 2009

strip mall opportunities

While so much real estate is available it's an amazing time to rethink some pretty awful designs. Without demolition, a new idea can rise from the ashes with hardscape , landscape, and some unusual building materials
Bulldozing, demolation, and rebuilding just can't be the answer during these times.
It just puts more crap in landfills and ignores the best thinking of architects and designers. Real estate developers and property owners may want to consider some of the following ideas.

1. reduce reuse recycle. a small 10-12 unit strip mall from the late 60's or 70's can be made to appear 21st century modern with metal  refacing. a look at different disposed materials make the choices unlimited. Large metal sheets from salvage cars left in their original colors and resealed would fit the bill. All concrete walkways stained 

2painted and refaced. a small strip mall would have each unit painted a different color with two contrast trims. Each unit has it's own color but the whole center stands out. rust charturce, plum, orange brick, willow green all work together. gives the whole unit a sense of place.

3lofty look.
 take out drop ceilings in a unit that is old and paint all the ceilings a solid brown. canvas color walls and stained concrete floors. The drop ceilings removed gives the height and loft feeling.
Unless the property is in a very cold area and it's unwise to have heat rise this is a great move.

These are just a couple ideas to update a mall and make a property stand out and be n more rentable. On Melrose in los angeles, one of the most desirable retaiul streets in the world, a five block stretch between fairfax and gardner has 29 places for lease. some stand out.


Friday, April 17, 2009

big ideas for big boxes

I can't help but notice the empty circuit city stores. I was out prospecting for work; my normal type of business is a less than 3000c  storefront. I'm especially good at helping a client with a space from hell; turning it into a restaurant retail space or a salon.
I keep seeing these huge circuit city stores... all over the big-box landscape. I really don't think there is any chain that could come in and refit all these stores and put them back in service as something else. some maybe but not chain wide.
I came up with this list as  possible uses for the spaces.....

1.  work space and small light industrial. divided into 1200 to 2000sf spaces independantely lockable.  one loading  dock for all spaces. indoor door and exterior door for each.
2nd floor added. offices upstairs and an interior open space in the center shared.
a place for people to make money rather than spend it.

2 school  why build a new school at huge prevailing wage when a circuit city can be a school?
two  story  interior open space.

3 auxilerary building for a school. an offsite music, art, theater, center for a high school.

4 a mega church

5.sports complex....comprised of several businesses, bowling alley , video game arcade,  classes for martial arts ,dance, after school learning centers, gym, family center, but designed that all the businesses are independantely owned. health conscious restaurants, snacks in the center.

6. design center. divided into 8 stores, or showrooms. 4 up 4 down. wallcoverings ,carpet, lighting,  imports , upholstery,  outdoor furniture, and 4 spaces for small design firms. parking can use utilized at different times. designers are busy earlier and furniture stores later.

7 university auxillery space. a university nearby could use the space in lieu of building another5 building.

8 catering center divided into 2 floors. elevators large enough for carts and loading equipment and leased out to different catering firms probably 20 firms. this would be an ideal use of the burbank california circut city. different caterers could rent a corp kitchen and prepare kraft service for movies and film. general catering. interior shared seating for people who come in. when catering firms prepare more specials could be sold and consumed in the center.
also in this center would be a kitchen store.

9 restaurant suppy house. again divided. this time in 6. 3 up 3 down, restaurant furnishings, equipment supplies, janitorial supplies, all different owners. even room for some interior restaurant designers in the complex. 1/3 of downstairs is a produce supplier for restaurants

10 immediate use. furniture that's being dumped into dumpsters because homes are going into foreclosure can be displayed and sold. a huge thrift store. this might be a temporary use. but riverside california might want to comsider this use for their circuit city.

these are the musings of an artist and designer ...I look at the difficulities of these times and am desperately trying to see hope, solution and the positive. 
I would be willing to work on any store remodel with stained concrete, paint finishes ideas handpainted furniture...you get the drift.
 i would love to dialoge with anyone who has ideas about what i'm talking about.
i think this is a very green solution.
I  know the amount of red tape to do any of this would be so overwhelming it would almost be impossible. but nothing happens with out and idea. the reason to inspect a building is to make is safe not to protect the inspectors job.
lets talk
323 707 3815

Sunday, April 12, 2009

looking for work 3

I almost lost it.
 i just thought this work, prospecting recreating a client list business was not going to work but i am have some success and breakthroughs when i least except it.
I've had a speciality painting and finishing business for many years. i've had long running design clients whjose work I've always done and have been busier than i could handle.
many of our designers have slowed down and even have had jobs cancel or delay.
so late last summer I began reassembling a client list.
It's been almost impossible to even get a meeting with a design firm. although most of them are painfully slow. the premium on their time is more because the company's income is less.
I start by sending a hello intro email, then phone with a hello and ask if they would be willing to check out our website and if they had any interest save it to favorites for future use, i'm then calling back to see if I may have a brief appointment to present my portfollio.
Tomorrow we hav e a luncheon at a major la architectural firm, i met a contractor downtown LA who is doing garment district tenant improvements, i met a developer who is considering us for a sales office interior, we are quoting an exterior faux aged finish on an italina restaurant and yesterday i successfully pitched a yogurt store interior....to a guy i met while walking in his store.
it's the same thing. i can phone email, send make post cards... but showing up is 80%

Friday, April 10, 2009

wow new e news stained concrete


323 707 3815 cell text

It?s the time of year for exterior stained concrete.

Below are a few examples of our stained concrete work in both residential and commercial applications. The inimitable techniques from the artisans of celeste korthase studio are certainly worth considering.
For homes, pools, patio dining rooms?stained concrete really contributes to creating an extra room with a whole different vibe.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

fred waldemer korthase and 2600 trees

today my dad would have been 92.
He made 86 years on this earth, michigan
Happy birthday dad. what a world .
My dad grew up in a farmhouse with no indoor plumbing or electricity. He wound up with a cell phone. he lived during the most amazing advanced in human history.
He fought in wwII. and was so proud of his service.
He raised 4 amazing kids. we are all "kinda different" as they would say in the midwest. blazingly secure in our lives.
My dad was a 4-H leader and pioneer. he raised 4 4-H kids and helped so many more at at his funeral there were no more seats.
He ran the roller rink in the basement of the catholic church. and taught an army of kids to skate and work...by offering every boy who wanted to work a job as a skateboy.
He was an electrician...he loved to work more than anything.
He planted 2600 trees in the last rtwo years of hbis life.
He needed to get the trees in. people are discovering them all the time.
He planted fruit trees that were suppose to take at least 15 years to bear fruit when he was 80.
and got the fruit anyway. I guess he either was optimistic or giving.
I'm going to borrow some of dad's optisism today to keep going forward during this econami. where it seems impossible at every turn, i just have to get those 2600 trees in...
or phone calls or drop off a flyer because I love to work too.
more than anything.
happy birthday dad.
and don't fall down laughing at all the green stuff you hear about. you were green when...
well you get it.
celeste korthase
daughter of fred korthase

Thursday, April 2, 2009


oh boy! today we are going to berbere to the recession pot luck.
It should be fun.
Berbere is a huge warehouse of world furniture...imports from 17+ countries.
designers and architects use it as an amazing in stock warehouse for furniture and accessories.
Today they are having a big open house and recession pot luck every one is bringing a dish.
we made cookies
oatmeal cookies with pineapple, coconut and macademia nuts
oatmeal cookies with cranberries,pomegranete ,cherries,and berries
oatmeal cookies with simi and white swirl chips...
a plate piled high
I went with something oldfashioned with a unique twist.
It seems that everyone is bringing world food every ethnic possibility.
we are looking forward to a good time fun and some meet and greet
and not alergic to new business possibilities.
If you are a designer on the westside of LA...it's an open house stop by and enjoy

showing up is 80%

man...I decided to suit up and show up today. I had an appointment with a salon owner for some work but the appointment was cancelled. i was already dressed and ready to do something so i went out prospecting.
it's easier to hide behind the old, and i mean old, mac, sending out emails and some snail mail but nothing works like showing up. 
"showing up is 80%" woody allen
so out we go, my husband and i. he had an appointment with an apartment owner to see his stained concrete, we got there and the guy couldn't be less interested in my husbands beautiful work. the guy only wanted price, Jeremy gave him and quote and we went on our way but no appointments in mind.
I saw a new building yesterday with a empty sales office in the fashion district. a lightbulb went off in my head that they would like the sales office to sell the rental untils by being beautiful. i found out from  a security guard where the corp office was and just showed up, I had my portfollio books with me and told the guy i was making him the deal of a lifetime.
He sat down with me listened and he considering my proposal.
so that's something
and then we handed out somewhere around 75 flyers in for rent store fronts on melrose, beverly blvd, san vicente and la brea.
I've been doing this work for 30 years and i'm reduced to walking the streets hat  in hand almost begging for work. and we are REALLY good. last year this time i had 5 restaurants at once.
I have emailed, i have called, I have sent out post cards showing our work but I have to believe that showing up at a building that is for rent will ultamatey get a tenant and perhaps if they know about us they will consider us.
I also believe that if there is any work to be had being out there will give me a better chance than the artist sitting home smoking dope.
I'm not accepting this econami, I refuse to participate in the recession.
I will get work