The Design and Commission

The Artists

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Cristie, Scott, Raisen, Laney

Scott Lindberg :: Cristie Thomas
Aptos, CA
Phone: 831.728.
contact: postmaster@LMNOarts.com

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Cristie and Scott

There are several things that set LMNO Arts apart from the run-of-the-mill landscape or art business. Exclusivity is one of them. Scott Lindberg and Cristie Thomas, the artistic power couple who are LMNO, run their company more like a private art club than a public business-relying mostly on word of mouth for business, and then scrupulously screening clients before working with them.

They aren't open to the public; rather their large gallery of architectural and sculptural home and garden ornaments, which is also the backyard of their Aptos home, is viewable by appointment only for potential clients. Lindberg and Thomas require that these visitors come prepared. "We give them some homework to do to make sure they are actually ready to sit down and design," says Thomas. "We ask them to bring photographs of the site from all directions, and any photographs or ideas of other things they like, to give us an idea of who they are and of their style." This preliminary process may seem arduous at first, but it is the special ingredient to LMNO's success: working with clients who are "the right fit" allows the artists to create a truly customized, perfect piece.

The two have become experts at determining people's styles in order to achieve this. They use the photographs the client brings in (of anything from their personal art collection or interior decorating to quilts or magazine cut-outs) and take in their style of dress, the car they drive, and whatever other things they can. After drawing a plan with the client, they then ask for complete trust and go from there-using metal, wood, concrete, and glass to create a one-of-a-kind bench, arbor, railing, awning, birdbath, or any number of items from their repertoire. "We want to make something that fits their lifestyle and also the architecture of their surroundings," says Lindberg.

Though they say they have never made the same thing twice (even with fences and gates, which are their most frequent requests), some jobs are more adventurous than others. Their last project was a 50-by-2-foot 'House Necklace' for a woman who wanted a decorative, exterior piece to go between the first and second stories of her home. Not only was it an unconventional artistic endeavor, but the woman was also a perfect client to work with, helping Lindberg and Thomas to reach the best outcome. "The House Necklace client was ideal: adventuresome, creative, trusting," says Lindberg. "She had no problem telling us 'I don't like that, I like that.'"

"Trusting, that was huge," adds Thomas, finishing her partner's thought. "She was also really positive and excited about everything." Lindberg and Thomas consider themselves artists first, and a business second. They started out as artists working in separate mediums, and moved into pottery after meeting. They operated in in the realm of ceramics from the '70s until the early '90s, when the itch for a career change became an inescapable pull, leading to the formation of LMNO Arts.

Although the physical intensity of working with metal (and sometimes large-scale structures) can be wearing, they have found happiness in working on a personal level with clients on a project-to-project basis. “It’s fun to give people something special, and help them realize a dream they’ve had, sometimes, for a long time,” says Thomas. “It personalizes the home, and takes it to a whole other level of interest.”

LMNO Arts will be participating in Open Studios this fall, open to the public for the only time this year. For more information on the company, visit lmnoarts.com.


For all those interested in adding something special to their gardenscape or home, Lindberg and Thomas have a few important tips:

1   BE REALISTIC about your budget.

"THE PAIN OF THE UPFRONT PRICE-not just to work with us, but in all of life - is over way more quickly than the regret of not getting what you really want", says Thomas. Lindberg adds that, "if you spend a little bit more, you get exactly what you want."

SPEND ALL YOUR MONEY IN ONE PLACE (something you don't hear too often!). Thomas says the key with landscaping is to focus: "Focus in on one big monumental effect, and keep everything else quiet. Spend all your money on something you will love and treasure forever and that will really raise the reverence of the place."


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