Five Lessons in Interior Design as Taught by Paris Photo Los Angeles 2015

When it comes to taking on the challenge of designing one's own personal environment, following the rules can transform the experience from a journey of self enlightenment into a mind boggling personal hell.  Trust us, even as professionals, keeping in mind guidelines dictating scale, proportion, color theory, and human ergonomics while developing a creative and personal interior environment has resulted in an unfathomable number of sleepless nights.  We can imagine that it goes doubly so for those who live in the real world.  You know, the one not overrun with silk tassels, cut pile carpet samples, and carved marble mosaics.  And that's just drawer number one!

At the beginning of May, DCoopMedia had the great pleasure of attending this year's Paris Photo Los Angeles, one of the world's most unique art fairs and the stateside relative to November's Parisian soiree of the same name.  Eschewing the traditional gallery setting, Paris Photo Los Angeles transforms the New York back-lot at Hollywood's Paramount Pictures Studios into a lively street-scape of temporary art installations featuring some of the best, the brightest, the most talented photographers currently embracing the art of photography.  Some 79 art galleries representing 17 countries fill the scenery's normally empty windows bringing unscripted life to the quiet brownstones, tenements, and skyscrapers scattered amongst the studio's sound stages and production theaters.

Photo copyright DCoopMedia

Photo copyright DCoopMedia

But, where were we?  Oh yes, rules.  If there were one artistic medium where rules and fundamental limitations exist, it would be photography, especially when eschewing modern digital methods in favor of film.  (Film, for those who don't know, is....) But it is in the breaking of these rules, the examination of the "What If...", the leaving behind of traditional limitations, that great works, seminal collections come to life.  It is no different in interior design.

Ignoring traditional boundaries can have amazing results.

With that in mind, forget the rules.  Instead, embrace these five lessons in interior design gleaned from the innovative artworks on display during this year's Paris Photo Los Angeles.

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- Interior Design Lesson No. 1 -

Interior Design is One Part Fantasy.  Be inventive and bring to life your own world.

Technicolor artwork by Boris Mikhailov, represented by Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve (Paris) | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

Technicolor artwork by Boris Mikhailov, represented by Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve (Paris) | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

As in Art and Politics, Interior Design is highly subjective - what may be in bad taste to one is de rigueur to another.  Let your imagination run wild.  Have a bit of fun.  Fantasy and Function CAN coexist if you let it.  And please remember this, a cardinal D'Scoop rule, don't be afraid of color (or coloring outside of the lines for that matter!).  It won't bite... we promise. 
Boris Mickhailov | Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve

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- Interior Design Lesson No. 2 -

Run of the Mill objects gain greater importance when grouped together en masse.

"Watertowers, New York" by Bernd & Hilla Becher, in the JP Morgan Chase Art Collection | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

"Watertowers, New York" by Bernd & Hilla Becher, in the JP Morgan Chase Art Collection | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

Don't let collections, especially sentimental collections, become a barrier.  Even the basic, the run of the mill, the primitive, can become something greater.  Be it 100 match books, a grouping of Victorian baby pictures, or WWII bayonets, group together objects which share a common thread and tell a visual story.  Side note: this is a great way to make great impact on a tight budget...a few trips to the flea market could result in an instant collection.
JP Morgan Chase Art Collection

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- Interior Design Lesson No. 3 -

The secret to a great design aesthetic?  Scale.

"Tiny Pretty Things: Roxane Glineur" by Julien Levy, represented by Garis & Hahn (New York) | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

"Tiny Pretty Things: Roxane Glineur" by Julien Levy, represented by Garis & Hahn (New York) | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

Would you like to know the basic problem with tall ceilings?  Short furniture.  Pay attention to scale when curating the elements of your design scheme.  Trust your instinct; if your eye thinks something is off, it probably is.  But, as they say, rules exist to be broken.  And in the case of scale, experimentation can have unexpected yet pleasant results.
Julien Levy | Garis & Hahn

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- Interior Design Lesson No. 4 -

It isn't the subject matter but, instead, what you do with it that matters.

Part of the "Out the Window (LAX)" Series  by Zoe Crosher, represented by LAM Gallery (Los Angeles) | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

Part of the "Out the Window (LAX)" Series  by Zoe Crosher, represented by LAM Gallery (Los Angeles) | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

D'Scoop always loves to be a bit cheeky which is why, when it comes to the parts that make up a great interior design aesthetic, it's not what you have but how you use it.  Grandma's Old Rocker?  Children's Art Work? That Odd Bit of Macrame from your first apartment? All can blend effortlessly in the same space with the right bit of imagination, forethought, and planning.  And maybe, just maybe, a little help from a professional.
Zoe Crosher | LAM Gallery

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- Interior Design Lesson No. 5 -

Above all else, the only thing that matters is that it makes you happy.

A piece by Cole Sternberg, represented by MAMA Gallery (Los Angeles) | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

A piece by Cole Sternberg, represented by MAMA Gallery (Los Angeles) | Photo copyright DCoopMedia

Listen, you can follow all the rules, listen to all of the experts, and read every shelter magazine but at the end of the day there is only one opinion that matters - Yours. Make certain that, at the end of the day, your completed project makes you happy.  And if it doesn't?  Keep at it until it does! Remember, Rome wasn't completed in a day.  Neither will your kitchen.
Cole Sternberg | MAMA Gallery


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