Studio Speed Date: LQ SHOP Founders, Karen Quiana & Leslie Linksman


Karen Quiana and Leslie Linksman have been working together for 12 years. They met in a playground, bonded while chasing their toddler sons and a few months later were working on their first project together. As their friendship grew so did their business. LQ Design created a range of indoor, outdoor, industrial and residential projects throughout the tri-state area and in California too. Now, after designing countless beautiful spaces, they are sharing their sources and showcasing the work of artists and craftspeople they’ve met and worked with over the years.


So, why a shop? 

L&Q: It's been in our airwaves for awhile. Working in an artistic environment has given us the chance to connect with an unbelievable amount of talent. We constantly come across all these cool products that don't happen to work for our projects at the time. When you're constantly shopping for work, certain products and people begin to stand out. We see a lot of small scale makers and artists who don't get enough attention, and we wanted to create a marketplace for them. We want to celebrate them and their work...


Why Beacon?

L&Q: We never considered having the office anywhere else. It’s an incredibly beautiful, diverse artistic community, and it's convenient to NYC.

Around the corner from the LQ office in Beacon, NY


Most inspiring places you've traveled: 

L: Mexico, Greece, the Arab market in Israel

Q: Morocco, Joshua Tree, Ghana

L&Q: And, we never appreciated beige until we went to Paris 


Job you thought you'd have at this age: 

L: Actually, I never thought I'd make it past 35, but here I am....

Q: A marine biologist


Favorite parts of your own house: 

L: Artwork from friends, Woody Risk, Shepard Fairey, Dave Lefner, Todd Gray. And, my screened- in porch. 

Leslie's home in Newburgh, NY 




Q: The large abstract painting in the living room by Sam Jury, my gravel garden, and my peach tree. 


Karen's gravel garden and ping-pong table in early June


Ocean or Lake:

L&Q: Ocean 


Your eureka moment/entrance into the design world:

L: I was doing a hybrid of design work, painting and project managing in my 20's, and finally decided to just focus on painting. I had but no money but totally felt like a rockstar having my first art studio in the Venice Canals. After a month of being there, I received the best offer for a design job I ever had. I denied it twice and then finally said yes. It led to other jobs and after about 4 years of being passed between a group of people in L.A. realized this was a career. It was totally bare bone at the time, no bookkeeping or portfolios - just completely built on personal referrals. I thought I was a painter doing design on the side but a friend pointed out it was the other way around.  

Q: It was 1995, I was living in a loft in a gritty neighborhood San Francisco, working for a law firm, hating every minute of it, and about to go to law school. There wasn't a single tree in my neighborhood, but my apartment was filled with plants and there was this incredible flower market nearby that i went to religiously. One day I woke up, scrapped my law school applicaations and applied to landscape architecture programs instead. I wanted to stay in California but the deadline for UC Berkley passed, so I packed-up, left my live-in boyfriend, and moved back east to attend Cornell. Poor guy - it was very abrupt and out-of-the blue - just like a lighting bolt.


Worst job ever:

L: Diging irrigation ditches was no fun, although I only did it for a day, so that might not count....dishwashing in a restaurant...... I once had to paint a restaurant ceiling metallic copper by hand with no roller, I would go home looking like the copper Tinman every night. 

Q: That corporate law firm, it was soul sucking... we were always on the wrong side... 


Spirit Animal: 

L: Monkey or raven. I feel like a monkey, but I wish I was a bird

Q: Chipmunk, definitely.


Soundtrack to your life right now:

L: My son has been introducing me to a whole new world of indie. But maybe Beast of Burden by Rolling Stones or Arctic Monkeys or Jane's Addiction - it's really more the soundtrack of my hour. 

Q: Bossa nova - and I can't sit still...