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Article: Darien Stokes’ Artist, designer, collector. Discover his creative Approach to Interior Design

Darien Stokes Black & White Portrait

Darien Stokes’ Artist, designer, collector. Discover his creative Approach to Interior Design

I love architecture and interior design as I feels our personal spaces are a direct reflection of our personalities. I incorporate feng shui into my home design as it brings balance and a harmonious flow. Design to me is an art form in itself that is constantly changing and evolving, like ourselves.

I sat down with friend and interior designer, Darien Stokes. He has a background in architectural design and has been practicing for over ten years. Currently residing in Los Angeles, he has worked with some of the most elite professionals and celebrities.

We discussed some of his design philosophies as well as his tips & tricks of his trade including his approach to coffee table styling. A majority of the objects that he uses are available to the public for purchase, you can find them on his own Curiosity Shop which are collectibles that he has curate through his travels and antique markets.

Who are you?

Darien Stokes - Artist, designer, collector.

How long have you been working in interior design?

10+ years

How did you get into it?

I became obsessed with interior design magazines in jr. high and high school which lead me towards my degree in Architecture but my passion for interiors was never lost. Now I do interior design with a deep understanding and appreciation for the architecture of a space.

What small & effective tips do you have for anyone who is doing their own home design?

Don’t buy filler decor and furniture. Collect things you love to fill your space. A space doesn’t have to be “completed” in a one stop shop. I’d rather have an sparsely designed home with pieces I love than outfit a design with novelty items I care nothing about.

What should we look for when shopping and where should we buy?

When it come to furniture and decor I look for things that are unique, one of a kind or handmade. Most of my decorative items come from traveling, antique shops, estate sales and flea markets. I engage in some DIY as well when it comes to art and refinishing furniture.

How does one find their aesthetic?

One can find their aesthetic from anywhere that inspires them creatively. Mine came early on in my teen years from television! I grew up obsessed with Will’s apartment in the tv show Will & Grace. I’m still inspired by that set design. I have recreated a few of those moments in my own home. Today it is easier than ever to find inspiration as it is infused into everything we experience most notably in restaurants hotels and retail design. I find a lot of inspiration in those spaces, especially when I travel. 

Do you incorporate any ancient practices in to your design?

I don’t have any specific ancient practices I incorporate into my designs but I take a lot of time to study the projects space plan. I want to ensure it is balanced, harmonious and fitting for my clients lifestyle.

I know you're very big into lighting. What tips do you have?

I try to eliminate overhead lighting whenever possible. I prefer to use lamps, picture lights and candles to emphasize ambient lighting. It creates a more romantic mood.

You can learn more about Darien Stokes and shop his unique market on his website. WWW.DARIENSTOKES.COM

Key ingredients to coffee table styling:

Coffee tables come in all shapes and sizes but these staples are meant for any style design.

⁃ Fresh flowers
⁃ A Scent (candle/incense or both)
⁃ Art books (specific to a subject that reflects your lifestyle, career or your own general interest)
⁃ Decorative objects or one of a kind items.

Start with a small spray of fresh flowers that you can refresh weekly. Branches or leafy stems work too and tend to last longer but they should not be too tall. Think 6”-12”H.

A sharp scent goes a long way and is perfect for ambient lighting and a staple when entertaining.

Stack a few art books that are visually and intellectually interesting. Note: an art book should focus on visual imagery over text. Think about it this way, a book that looks good in both the closed or open position.

The final step is to add a few decorative objects which to me should not only be interesting to look at but also tells a story. For example an object or artifact you found while traveling or an heirloom passed down to you. I tend to like objects that are visually interesting but also serve a purpose. For example an oversized magnifying glass or a box that you can use to store other things in like playing cards for game night or matches and extra incense sticks. I like to layer multiple objects around the table on top of art books or in a tray that can be moved when extra space is needed.

Your coffee table should be a space where form and function meet but also gives someone a window into your personality and design aesthetic.

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