Under the Influence: Pamela Shamshiri

Born in Iran and raised in Los Angeles, Pamela Shamshiri began her career in production design. With a never-ending love for the relationship people have with their surroundings, she dreams of influencing people's lives for the better with a holistic approach to selecting quality furnishings and finishes that have low to no impact on interior air pollution and leave a feel-good vibe. After first meeting her in New Orleans for the opening of Maison de la Luz and Bar Marilou, I instantly fell in love for her ability to captivate a nostalgic feeling deep in the soul blending a variety of vintage pieces with new to create a timeless design. Now she owns Studio Shamshiri transforming a variety of commercial and residential interiors. 

1. What is your favorite part of the creative process? 

I like the concept phase.  We do a ton of research and come up with the elements that we want to hit to create the experience.  It’s almost like a recipe.  We figure out the ingredients in this phase and then move on to how to put it together.  We ask a lot of questions.  For example, Puerto Rico, is a melting pot of influences.  What are those key elements that make up this culture in particular? Key events that changed the course of history there, the colors, why the way of life, trade, etc.  From these answers, we develop a narrative and then we have our road map!  There are so many people to manage and keep on track during the design process.  I find it really helps to have a narrative that you can all go back to.  The more absurd and bizarre it is, the more fun we have in the process.


2. What is your favorite creation that you have brought to existence? 

I had a hand in the Ace Hotel & Swim Club in Palm Springs.  It was such a moment in time and was done before people were using words like: organic, hand crafted, artist collaborations, even ceramics were not used that much.  It brought a new demographic back to Palm Springs, a more urban and younger one.  By turning our backs in the rat pack look that was prevalent at that time and looking at Joshua Tree, hippie camping, nomads, communes, we came up with a very urban “ace” way of being in Palm Springs.


3. What aesthetic are you most drawn to? 

We recently worked on a concept for a silent space and we looked at meditation spaces throughout time and across cultures. I’m really drawn to ancient right now.  Ancient wisdom, ancient geometry, ruins of sacred spaces, even Marcus Aurelius.  That’s not an aesthetic but perhaps its leading to one.  I’m ready to be more precise with our references and communication.  The crumbling simplicity of ruins and sacred spaces- that is the aesthetic I’m into right now.  Clearly circling back to Rome days.

4. What is your favorite room in the home? 

It used to be the kitchen and the closet.  Now for sure its the master bathroom.  We are living in a time where well being and recovery, and a home that inspires and nurtures is a gift and can greatly impact how we cope and manage the amount of information that comes our way in life now.  My bathroom, the steam room, the Hinoki tub, it gives back.  Not just because its a place of self care, but I rest and wash away the outside world.  It’s a place to go inward and prepare for what’s to come.  I want to give that to other people.

5. What is your favorite design from Sunny’s Pop? 

It’s a tie!   A tie between the beautiful bedding with the strip of floral embroidery on it and the Japanese rocking chair that Ive always wanted ! I would take both items on a camping trip, have them on a deck/ outdoor sleeping porch situation or in a master bathroom.  They are joyful/ light hearted, well designed, and unassuming... all qualities I’m after...and that Sunny’s Pop seems to achieve with ease.

Portrait taken by Dewey Nicks
West village apartment image taken by Shade Degges
Maison De la luz photograph taken by Stephen Kent Johnson