Lynn Reiter met Wink Weinberg in 1969 at Ohio State University and it was as if two primary colors first blended. Taking talent to a new level, their dynamic, robust energy led to a treasure trove of her imagining and him constructing.
Now in their playful compound in East Cobb, Wink, an infectious disease physician, and Lynn, an artist, put their cheerful stamp on well maintained gardens and conversation pieces awash in vibrant enclaves of expanding living spaces. Lynn, with decades as a textile designer, recalled, “‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’ wore the jacket I designed for his TV series.”
At the end of the day, the couple goes off script by simply building what they want. After all, you have to know the rules, to imagine breaking them. When the couple got interested in ballroom dancing, Wink built an in-home dance and yoga room off the master bedroom. Lynn, on the other hand, is preparing for her 10th local artisan show, Gifts Galore and More.
Take the tour …
Marcia: Would you define yourselves as “crafts people”?
Lynn: I originally started by creating fiber art from spun wool and then painting on silk. I faux painted our kitchen with seven layers using sponges and one large feather, and then painted the dramatic malachite powder room cabinets. In that room is a geode sink, and the artwork came from a door we removed and mounted with basalt volcanic rocks we found from a trip to Iceland.
In the family room, my daughter and I carved the wood table in an ocean theme and then hand painted the images.
You never know when creativity comes in handy. The huge mirror in our master bath cracked, and I etched a branch motif to make it unique and camouflage the crack
Wink: I think of myself as a self-taught “do it yourself-er.” I wish I had taken more high school shop-related classes. Instead, I read a book, “Adding On,” and from there I took off. I built Lynn’s vast showroom in 1997 from the bottom up, even poured the foundation. She needed a separate entrance for shipping.
When I was in the Navy, I built this complex roll-top desk. Don’t think I would have the patience to do that now.
I also made the inlaid oak-walnut table, which took three months.
Marcia: You have a green thumb?
Lynn: I treat the garden like a painting. I like to have blooms all year round and we enjoy seeing the garden from the inside out. Wink is a birder, so I plant a lot of native plants, as well as perennials and shrubs. I grow the cockscomb from seed. The garden is always changing.
In the front garden, I built a teardrop-shaped mosaic on cinderblocks. Look closely and see our children’s artwork incorporated into the tiles.
Kathy Walton, local garden sculptor, made our bird bath from used bike parts.
Wink: I inherited the love for bonsai trees from my father. Some you see here are 25 years old. This is a Trident maple. Others I buy at auction. Then I have to keep them clipped; that is “the art” of bonsai.
Marcia: What works of others do you collect?
Lynn: We commissioned some specific originals: Annette Joseph did the large colorful painting in the living room.
Most sentimentally we had Regina Hunt (San Francisco) paint the vertical acrylic portrait of our daughter going down the spa entrance. It took her two years to complete.
The painting in the dining room is by Andrea Baetti.
“Circles” in the family room is by Rachel Faucett. You can tell we like bold colors!
We both selected an original painting wedding gift by artist Nat Reich from Brooklyn, “Oil in Aqua.” It evokes a baroque European church and is oil on wood.
We have works by local artist Judie Jacobs who teaches art at Holy Innocents’ [Episcopal] School and an outdoor kinetic sculpture by local Israeli artist Avi Moyal.
The gigantic hands in the living room are a conversation piece from [a Roswell] pottery show.
Marcia: How do you use the outdoors?
Lynn: The 75-foot pool is very serene and lined with 12-foot natural bamboo plants and steel sculptures like “Dog” from the Atlanta Merchandise Mart. Others, like the bird I designed, were welded in North Carolina.
The green roof planted with Indian hawthorns is from our last addition in 2008. We collect the excess water from the irrigation system with chains that drain into two pitchers. We “chill” by sitting in our red barrel chairs or in the hammock.
In 1998, Wink constructed the greenhouse. My flower pots rotate inside and out as seasons change and I have instant container gardens.
Marcia: Describe your upcoming sales event the first week in October.
Lynn: This will be the 10th year. There will be 18 artists dispersed throughout the house representing all kinds of mediums, including fiber, glass, jewelry, mosaics, sculptures and more, www.somersetgiftsgalore.com, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Marcia: You have a history of creating commercially?
Lynn: Now I am concentrating on Etsy and Amazon. In the past, my designs were sold at Nordstrom, Rich’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks and Coldwater Creek.
I am most well-known for hand painted original designs on both silk and cotton under the Silkscapes label. A Matisse-style framed painting is in my studio.
Marcia: Last word:
Wink: One of our favorite “couple projects” was the laundry room, of all places.
Lynn: Wink did not want the washer dryer to show, so they are totally camouflaged behind built-ins. A Frank Stella poster hangs above. I designed the mosaic floor to coordinate with the poster.