Adi Goodrich designs surrealist Los Angeles store Dreams

Spatial designer and artist Adi Goodrich has filled the Dreams lifestyle store in Los Angeles‘ Atwater Village with colourful surrealist details, including a lobster phone and a “glowing” blue rock.


Goodrich created the store together with her creative partner and Dreams‘ owner, Monica Navarro, with whom she’d previously worked on the Wine + Eggs grocery store in the same neighbourhood.

The lifestyle store is located in Atwater Village, Los Angeles

The Dreams interior was informed by daydreams and the surrealist aspect of dreams, with in-store accessories such as a lobster phone that nods to artist Salvador Dalí’s 1938 artwork.

“The store was inspired by the spirit of the surrealists who embraced irrationality, adventure and dreaming,” Goodrich told Dezeen.

Blue rock inside Los Angeles store
Dreams features warm terracotta hues and a contrasting blue sculpture

“The owners wanted me to design a concept store around this theme,” she added.

“I aimed to design a space that felt like a journey. Not one idea, but many. To do this, it also needed to feel calm and directed so colour was used to evoke various feelings as a visitor passes through the space.”

Undulating wooden counter in lifestyle store
Undulating, curved shapes were used throughout the store

Dreams will sell homeware and clothing by both local artists and bigger brands, and was divided into various departments such as home, apothecary, books, children, apparel, and accessories.

When entering the store, which measures just 12 by 72 feet (3.6 by 21 metres), visitors are welcomed by warm peach and terracotta colours that give way to calmer blues and greens at the back.

At its very end, a large Klein-blue ‘rock’ adds another dreamlike feel to the interior.

Blue rock at the end of Dreams store
Designer Adi Goodrich added a blue-painted rock to “ground” the store

“I wanted the rock to be a literal grounding point of the store,” Goodrich explained.

“The rock is the main subject in the composition and embraces the irrational juxtaposition that the surrealists embraced. Anything goes, and I wanted to add a strange sort of natural element to the store.”

The rock was painted in Blue Screen paint, which is completely matte and normally used to set out key backgrounds when working with computer-generated imagery.

“With such a bright blue paint which does not reflect any light, it really commands your attention,” Goodrich said. “The blue rock was custom carved from foam and hard-coated, it’s basically a zoo rock.”

Blue rock in Atwater Village shop
The ceiling in the back has a sky print

The store also features a ceiling decorated with hand-cut medium-density fibreboard (MDF) shapes that symbolise events in the owner’s life, an archway clad in Japanese tiles and a plexiglass-ceiling covered in floating clouds.

“The ceiling in the back of the store is a custom sky print on plexiglass we created with a printer I’ve worked with in my career as a set designer for the past 10 years,” Goodrich said. “It took many printer samples to get the right color, ink opacity and sheen.”

Lobster phone informed by Salvador Dali
A lobster phone was informed by Salvador Dalí’s art. The photo is by Adi Goodrich

The surrealist concept behind the interior also informed the shapes used on the custom-made furniture and lighting.

“I wanted a visitor to feel as if they were entering a shop that the surrealist artists would have not only created but visited,” Goodrich explained.

Stripey sofa in Los Angeles lifestyle store
A striped sofa in spring colours sits in the kids’ section of the store

“I had recently read about Henry Van der Velde’s Havana Tobacco Company cigar shop which used curvilinear lines on ceilings, doorways and furniture inspired by cigar smoke,” she added.

“I was inspired to create a similar shop in which every corner was intentionally designed around a dreamy surrealist feeling. I used repetition in the round forms on both the counter and the soffit above the counter to refer to designs that were popular in the era of surrealism.”

Terracotta walls in Los Angeles store
Dreams will sell goods by local designers and larger brands

Other notable store interiors in Los Angeles include the latest Apple Store, located in The Grove and designed by British studio Foster + Partners with indoor trees and a mirrored ceiling, and British-Ghanaian architect David Adjaye’s pink concrete design for fashion retailer The Webster.

The photography is by Ye Rin Mok unless stated otherwise.

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