Franklin Report Report Card for Shapiro Joyal Studio in Los Angeles
★ Franklin Report Card
Shapiro Joyal Studio
409 South Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 525-1718
Main Contact: Leslie Shapiro Joyal
Interior Design

Services & Specialties
Minimal and edited, yet warm and natural modern interior and custom furniture design; furniture showroom

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FR Review:
While most artists begin with a blank canvas, Leslie Shapiro Joyal prefers the challenge of beautifying what already exists. Playing with proportion and layering materials, she exfoliates decorated interiors until all that remains is unique and useful. Many clients begin as customers in her furniture store; drawn to her deft handling of natural wood and simplistic yet sophisticated aesthetic, they trust the designer will work within the same modern, masculine context, but on a larger scale. Collaborating with local artisans, Shapiro Joyal more than delivers on these expectations. Color and warmth reveal themselves organically in the materials and finishes she selects: ebonized wood, brass hardware, painted tiles. When asked, the charming, humble designer will compare her method to "cooking with what’s in the fridge”—but we hear her clients can expect a gourmet meal.

Raised by a family of avant garde artists and Freudian psychiatrists, Shapiro Joyal was encouraged early on to give in to her creative nature; by age five she was enrolled in oil painting classes. Her first formal run-in with interiors was a fluke; the art class she wanted to take at Santa Monica College filled up and she was forced to enter Design 101. There she found interior work was sterile, void of creativity, too structured and easily manipulated. However, she considered architecture, much like painting, to be a discipline with a vision, with purpose. While enrolled in UCLA’s graduate program and then working under Frank Israel and Kerry Joyce, Shapiro Joyal continued to explore the bridge between architectural bones and design materials that qualified home interiors as art. Today, considered an artist by those she works alongside, Shapiro Joyal continues to conquer that medium through the three-person firm she founded in 1998.

In addition to her architect colleagues, clients of Shapiro Joyal are typically mature, cultured members of Hollywood. Projects generally include one if not several of her custom pieces (but never the whole home, as Kerry Joyce would call that “classless”) paired with designer products of similar caliber (Shapiro Joyal’s range from $3,500-$12,000+). However she has no reservations about mixing in some pieces from Room and Board, even IKEA, if the vision calls for it; it’s all part of elevating and tying together the situation at hand. While we hear Shapiro Joyal completes her masterpieces at an artist’s pace, her affordable hourly rate and markup more than make up for the lengthy creative process. For those finally ready to leave their comfort zone and surrender themselves to an artist’s palette, Leslie Shapiro Joyal has the capabilities to deliver something tailor-made.

Representative Client Comments:
"Working with Leslie is like embarking on an artistic journey together." "I love that she values local artisanship and supports her local vendor, it really speaks to her strong ethics." "We hired her because we saw her portfolio and knew it was our chance to finally push ourselves, to not be so safe." "Leslie is upfront about time and budget and you know when you are working with her its not just anything off the shelf, it's a process...which is also not cheap. But we would regulate it together. Still, we did spend more money and time than originally planned…" "I was passing by her studio, looked in the window, and had to go in. If you know anything about natural wood you'll notice the quality in her work right away. I was so impressed by her handling of the materials." "Leslie has a huge palette and so many capabilities; she will turn your project into something that's never been done before." "She is very much about planning, taking the time to perfect, thinking on it; she goes through many phases before showing you the final piece but at that point it is ready. That's the artist's process."

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