California native Lou Shafran thought she was headed for a career in law, until design intervened. She established a successful design business in L.A. before heading to the opposite coast to open Pacifica Interior Design.
CHADDOCK: Your work is amazing, but what’s your personal style?
LOU: My own personal style is simple and understated with an artful balance of shape, color – mostly neutrals – and texture. Now of course, I work with clients on a broad style and color spectrum. Every client is unique. Therein lies the challenge and the fun. My goal is for everyone to feel at home and at ease in a space. I think this is “comfort” at the highest level. It’s also the true definition of luxury.
CHADDOCK: You use the term “transformative” design. Intriguing. Can you explain?
LOU: Transformative design feels like it is “meant to be.” It describes interiors that are neither overdone or underdone. We all feel comfortable in such a space, often without knowing exactly why. That’s because it’s not one thing. It’s a full experience. Transformative design evolves over time. New items and ideas can certainly be layered in, but the essential design is timeless.
CHADDOCK: Any advice for clients to help them make good decisions and enjoy the decorating process?
LOU: I am a fan of simplicity. I really encourage clients not overcomplicate design. Today, we are all inundated with decorating ideas from books, magazines and the Internet. But this myriad of ideas don’t all belong in one room or home. Too much color, pattern and fabric can be discordant. That said, I love eclectic style and the combination of different periods. Variety needs to be artfully managed.
CHADDOCK: So tell us what is basic or essential to all great design?
LOU: Proportion. Keeping things in proportion. This means furniture and accessories are scaled properly and in harmony with the space. It’s fundamental to great rooms and one of the reasons I love Chaddock. Chaddock customizes. It’s not one size fits all proposition!
CHADDOCK: A little birdie told us you’re a fan of Larry Laslo. Describe Larry in three adjectives.
LOU: Well, fabulous for one, but that’s so evident. Larry Laslo is brilliant, charming and focused. A powerful trio!
CHADDOCK: Can you tell us what pieces from Larry Laslo for Chaddock you most covet?
LOU: I’m glad you made that plural. Let me give you a few favorites I’ve placed in client homes. The La Baron Platform bed (there’s a great dresser too), the Dawson Chair, the Crestwood Dining Table and the Nordic Dresser. All exceptional.
CHADDOCK: Let’s pretend you’re training a new designer on your team. What would you tell this young talent about Chaddock?
LOU: I’m a Californian. I would want a new designer to know that Chaddock is the legacy of the amazing Guy Chaddock, a renowned California maker who opened his studio in the 1950s. Experience matters. That ability to manage scale, for example – that’s mastered over time.