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March 9th, 2020

Happy Birthday, Emily Wong!

This month's Birthday Girl is Emily Wong, the owner and designer of Habita wallpaper. Each month, we celebrate a local business owner on her special day.

Habita is a collection of designer wallpaper featuring hand-painted, sustainably printed patterns. Which designs do you have in your own home?
Flock in Blush Sand in my powder room, Rincon in Agave in my dining room and a new design, Tassel, in my guest room. 

How will you celebrate your birthday this year?
I am headed to the beach in Riviera Maya with family and friends. On my actual birthday, I am going out to dinner with my husband and two daughters. They’ve hinted about a homemade lemon cake.

Do you identify with your sign, Pisces?
For sure—creativity and imagination have always been a big part of my life—painting, writing, designing, cooking. With age though, I have tuned in more to the aspects of empathy and sensitivity to the world around me. 

Best place for a celebratory meal in Austin.
I love Comedor. I don’t eat much meat,  but when there is something as delicious as the bone marrow tacos, I am in! 

Interesting ways you've seen your wallpapers installed.
I collaborated with designer Karine Dessenne to take a small portion of my Sunrise design and enlarge it mega-size for an office in San Antonio. It looked great—a bold graphic statement that retains the brush strokes and blush color palette and from the original artwork. 

When decorating a space, wallpaper adds...
Energy, polish, rhythm and an artistic dimension.

Wht neighborhood do you call home?
Balcones Edgemont—it is nestled between Tarrytown and Balcones in a quiet and wooded area. We are surrounded by nature, yet can hop on Mopac in just a couple of minutes. We can walk to Laguna Gloria, Mayfield Park, and Mount Bonnell—three of the loveliest spots in the city.  

Where you always take out-of-town visitors. 
Kemuri Tatsu-ya and the Rowing Dock. Kayaking on the lake is such a great way to show the balance of city and nature here, and to appreciate how much Austinites enjoy being active outdoors.

Podcasts you're addicted to.
I’m a heavy podcast listener! Table Manners with Jessie Ware, The High Low, The Daily, Slate Culture Gabfest, That’s So Retrograde, Radio Cherry Bombe, and Today, Explained.

Best book you've read lately.
Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino. Culture and news are moving so fast, and it is an excellent collection of essays that reflect on what it all means to us as women in the 21st century.

Daily uniform?
This winter I have been all about the Free People corduroy flare with a fitted sweater or comfy t-shirt. When the weather warms, I’ll throw on a shift dress or a jumpsuit. I am very petite, so it is best to keep things simple.

Favorite designers.
Callahan, COS, Rachel Comey.

Readers would be surprised to learn this about you.
I am a huge sci-fi reader. 

What's on your birthday wish list? 
Ana Luisa recycled gold hoops and an all-clad saute pan.

How many candles are you blowing out this year?
Enough for a VERY glow-y cake. 

Want to be the next Tidbits Birthday Girl? Tell us why at submissions-austin@gotidbits.com.

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