Q&A: Azadeh Shladovsky

(Shladovsky's Point de Vue mirrors (above left) and the designer in her favorite color. Photos by Jonn Coolidge and Stephen Busken)
NameAzadeh Shladovsky
Occupation: Furniture and interior designer
Resides in: Los Angeles
Best known for: Clean-lined sculptural furniture pieces (with visual texture for days) that lie at the intersection of art and design. Currently working on a line of fashion accessories made from upcycled materials and a collection of ceramic lighting sculptures with artist Ani Kasten.

1. Antique or modern?
Good design is timeless and I never limit myself to a single period or genre. The story a project will tell is dictated by the nature of the space and the client—I simply connect the dots.

2. City or country?
I am an urban girl. I love getting lost in cities, exploring streets and architecture, discovering local shops, and connecting with people.

3. Which colors do you use most?
In my mind, everything starts with white; it highlights design details in a
way no other color can achieve.

4. Favorite materials or textures?
Just about any wood species, steel, acrylic, and ceramic top the list right now. I’m a materials junkie and am always experimenting with unexpected combinations. 

5. What is your favorite interior design-related word or words?
Negative space. It’s not used enough.

(Torre side tables. Photos by Jonn Coolidge)
6. Does your current home look like the one you grew up in?
We traveled a lot and I never spent a significant amount of time in a single home while growing up. I designed our current home as an ode to my husband’s East Coast roots.

7. Does a room need a view?
A well-designed space or environment is more than a view, it’s an experience; it should be engaging, inviting, and make you want to linger and explore it.

8. Favorite designer or architect?
From my long list, notables include: Le Corbusier, Donald Judd, Jean Royère, and Andrée Putman.

9. Which design blog, website, TV show, or magazine would you be
lost without?
I love books; the way they look, the way they feel, the surprise they hold. I could spend hours lost in the three-volume edition of Sturgis's Illustrated Dictionary of Architecture and Building, Paul Rand's seminal text "Thoughts on Design," and The Eye's Mind by Bridget Riley; a collection of short stories that explores what it means to look, and our development as artists.

10. What qualities do you most admire in a room?
A room that appears effortless and doesn’t look “decorated.” I don’t like spaces that look staged and starchy.

(Diva seats. Photo by Jonn Coolidge)
11. What is a forbidden word or phrase in your house?
“I’ll do it later." I live in the NOW.

12. Design rule you love to break?
I stopped living life by the rule book a long time ago …

13. What is your favorite room in the house?
The kitchen. It brings people together [by appealing to] all of the senses. It’s a beautiful thing.

14. What is your most treasured possession?
The capacity to see beauty; possessions only have the value we are capable of placing on them.

15. What do you wish you could do without?
As much as I enjoy my car, I wish I could walk and bicycle everywhere. It would change my connection to the physical world and make it much more intimate.
(Alta Caixa and Charme tables. Photos by Jonn Coolidge.)
16. How does West Coast design differ from East Coast design? Does it?
Absolutely! Geography and environment is everything. You can try to replicate a mood or a feeling but it doesn’t compare to the power of place.

17. What is your favorite thing about the West Coast—design-related or
otherwise?
I love the physical landscape of LA and appreciate it more as I get older. The design lexicon of Los Angeles cannot be defined in a single word, and it’s that diversity that makes it so special.

17. If you could live in one historical figure’s house, whose would
it be?
I would live in any of Picasso's homes. Can you imagine existing amongst all that amazing art?

18. On what movie set would you like to live?
Any of Wes Anderson’s movies. His ability to capture details, color, and composition is unparalleled.

19. To which city or country would you move for the design?
Paris. It’s a visual feast like no other; an endless source of inspiration.

20. If you were reborn as a piece of furniture or an object, what
would it be?
A great pair of shoes. Think of the places I’d go!
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