Designer Shanna Shryne creates spaces to elevate everyday exuberance.
Witten By Constance Dunn
Cruise into Shanna Shryne’s design center on Pier Avenue and you’re guaranteed to bump into a positive message or two. They’re everywhere, from an oversized print declaring “Adventure May Hurt You But Monotony Will Kill You” to a cluster of canvas totes sitting in a striped ceramic bowl urging you to “Kiss Your Life.” Optimism is a persistent theme for this South Bay designer, whose aesthetic veers Modernist, practical and streaked with uplifting color.
Shryne’s tutelage began as a young artist who turned to business when it came time for college. “In my first economics class I discovered that business was not for me at all,” she recalls with a grin. “I decided to get my degree in interior design, plus a minor in construction management.”
She cut her chops at a national design firm for a decade before moving to the South Bay. “Bryce at Curious [a Hermosa Beach home decor shop] hired me, because I didn’t know what I wanted to do when I first moved here,” Shryne says as we chat away on the store’s sunny deck, adorned with a vivid blue lounging bed and pair of strappy, mustard-hued Acapulco chairs.
Soon, with the owner’s blessing, Shryne was running her own design business from Curious, and in late-2014, staked out her own space up the street. “Now I have a dedicated retail space and a design space,” Shryne says. “And I’m focusing on offering the beach towns a more unique design sensibility.”
“Beach style, with soft colors and all of that, is gorgeous,” she muses. “But I just have, intellectually, a more fun, playful and different take on it.” Therein lies this designer’s distinction. Shryne injects residential and commercial spaces with surprising bolts of color and a sculpted joie de vivre—specialties that take skillful design acumen to pull off, lest they come off looking clumsy or contrived.
Her retail-slash-showroom is riddled with ripe island shades of citrus, fuchsia and blue, often juxtaposed against pure white. Mid-Century Modern pieces dominate, from a hanging pod chair to a lacquered bar cabinet stocked with vintage candle holders. There are playful notes, too, like highball glasses with “Stay Fancy” scrawled on them, a glowing ship’s anchor and throw pillows etched with local ZIP codes.
Shryne acknowledges that running both a design firm and retail store is no easy feat (“They’re two different animals,” she says), but wants to inspire people with the gifts and home items she stocks, plus use the space to showcase her design work, which includes the fabrication of custom drapery, bedding and furniture.
“Items in the store are different than what you see all the time,” says Maggie Serkes, store manager. “I think that’s what people love about us the most. Coming into the store gives a person ideas on how to turn their place into a home just by adding a little color. Or a pillow, or a candle.”
“I’m always drawn to something that’s a little free spirited,” adds Shryne. “I want it pragmatic, and to make sense and be usable. But—what can we do that’s fun?
How can we take it up a notch so you enjoy it a little more? So you smile each time you see it.”
Shanna Shryne Design
205 Pier Avenue, Suite 100
Hermosa Beach, CA 90254