We had the good fortune of connecting with Paiman and Sormeh Salimpour and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paiman and Sormeh, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Our focus on the creative rather than commercial has been crucial, seeking beauty and storytelling through our creative process. The boundaries between our work and our lives can get blurred, because we are so passionate about what we do. Our work is very much an extension of the way we live, embracing the art of slow living. Turning our mistakes into lessons, history has been our mentor and nature our muse.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
WE ARE A FAMILY OF DESIGNERS, CREATORS AND ARCHITECTS.
The multidisciplinary design studio is a creative fountainhead whose work extends far beyond the conventional. Drawing from a variety of cultural and aesthetic traditions, Sormeh Lifestyle has successfully carved out a distinct perspective on design in the interior, landscape, branding, strategy, fashion, product design, and overall experiential sensations. And although they may be best known for their work with San Francisco Bay Area and tech clients, Sormeh Lifestyle’s expansive portfolio includes an array of projects for prominent figures in the worlds of retail, hospitality, fashion, and lifestyle.
Paiman’s extensive travel greatly influences her work. Culturally steeped locations like Italy’s Villa D’Este in the Lake Como region, Japan’s Kyoto and Spain’s Moorish Gardens, the Paris Opera House, Versailles, and the sheer metropolitan flair of Hong Kong are all drawn upon to produce some of the most intriguing and unique results. It’s not uncommon for Paiman to see an antique, 18th century French chandelier and imagine a matching set of elegant earrings, or using a necklace to decorate a simple coffee table. The unconventional application and merging of the old with the new are part of Paiman’s trademark. “I get inspired by street life,” she states, “I love taking the ordinary and making it extraordinary.”
“WE KEEP THE SOUL AND MODERNIZE THE REST!”
Watching her mom live and breath the craft, Sormeh grew up utterly engulfed in the world of design. Her own career began as an intern at fashion PR firm People’s Revolution, and then as an assistant to celebrity stylist Monica Rose where she worked closely with such celebrity clients as Kourtney, Khloe and Kim Kardashian, Keri Hilson, and Mindy Kaling. With fashion still playing a large part of her life today, Sormeh draws design inspiration from the likes of Diane von Furstenberg and Saint Laurent. “Although I am completely and unquestionably feminine,” she says, “I also have a rough and somewhat playful side to me.”
With Paiman’s more edgy style and extensive experience, and Sormeh’s fresh and modern outlook, the two find the perfect balance in their design style, which could best be described as Modernized Ancient. Utilizing local, artisan sources, attention to detail, and a soulful design approach, Sormeh Lifestyle’s work always results in an effortless, lived-in look with a surprisingly undecorated feel. Together they create beautiful, mindful spaces that help their visionary clients capture their commercial and cultural ambitions. “We believe that life is too invaluable to spend it in bland spaces – and that well-designed surroundings are the secret recipe to people living happy and productive lives.”
Sormeh Lifestyle has offices in San Francisco and Los Angeles. And Paiman and Sormeh pride themselves on the extraordinary sense of imagination they bring to every environment they encounter.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
BROAD MUSEUM LACMA
GETTY MUSEUM AND GETTY VILLA
MALIBU BEACHES FOR SUNSET
ZINC CAFE DTLA HAS A GREAT COURTYARD WITH STUNNING OLIVE TREES
BESTIA FOR GREAT ITALIAN FOOD
HOWLIN’ RAYS FOR UNBEATABLE FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH
PIE HOLE FOR DESSERT
LAST BOOK STORE
NOMAD HOTEL FOR A DRINK
CAFE STELLA FOR DATE NIGHT
SIT FOR HOURS AT CHATEAU MARMONT
VISIT TO WALT DISNEY CONCERT HALL FOR DELICIOUS ARCHITECTURE
MURAL HUNTING AROUND DTLA
SANTA MONICA FARMERS MARKET
SANTA MARIA NOVELLA FOR AMAZING CANDLES SOAPS ETC
JOANS ON THIRD FOR LIGHT LUNCH
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We would love to dedicate our shoutout to all of the artisans. Nothing brings us more joy than to support locals who’re living and breathing their craft.
Photographers: Martina Tolot Moroder and Jean Bai