Name: Russell Brown // Poke Acupuncture
Location: Los Angeles, CA
The last time we visited Russell's office at Poke Acupuncture, he was at his old location in West Hollywood. Just in the past couple months, he's moved to an actual storefront and brought his DIY talent to this incredibly curated new office space. Succulents, fine art, books and hand crafted furniture are just some of the truly awesome elements of this acupuncture office.
Russell is by far one of the most crafty people I know. His love of plants and handmade craftsmanship extends to all corners of his office. He's always looking for new solutions in designing his space and always has new creative ways to display his plants and succulents.
I knew that when we moved from his previous location in West Hollywood, which was a basement office- and into his new storefront- that this would be a very cool transition! " I wanted to move to a store front because I want to show people that Acupuncture can be designed and fun and not just hidden, creepy and in a skeevy strip mall."
Regardless of his location, he still maintains that the most essential aspect of his office is to create a calming yet different space for his clients to enjoy. To bring out the warmth of the space, while staying true to himself, he veered away from anything "clinical" or "medical" like. Much like his personal home, Poke is filled with a ton of artwork, books and personality!
Apartment Therapy Survey:
My Style: Rough, vibrant, textured, tranquil, clubhouse-y..
The Inspiration For My Office: For a space to be therapeutic or healing, it doesn't need to be bland or muted: on the contrary, it should remind people to be alive. I find that patients--especially those who suffer from chronic conditions who have been to more than their share of medical offices--really need whimsy, color and art as part of the healing process and thats what I want to give them here.
Favorite Element In Your Space: The plant life. Having a storefront is a chance for me to live out my fantasy of someday running a nursery. My latest obsessive project is kokedama--the Japanese string gardens which hang in my storefront windows.
Biggest Challenge In Designing My Space:The entire space needed a lot of work, particularly the bathroom which was flooded and featured half of a decrepit shower like it was from the set of the movie Saw. It was unsettling enough that Phyllis, my dear friend and devoted office painter, feared that paying customers "should not have to go in there alone."
What Friends Say: They seem to really like the "No she is not wearing two scrunchies" needlepoint by Stephanie Tillman.
Area where there is room for improvement/future projects: There is a hidden office that will some day be a workshop but currently looks like the room where I store the bodies.
Proudest DIY: I have a few favorites: I have a few favorites: my pipe desk, whose table top is an old door I found on the street; the oddly-secure wall of books installation; and the antique-phonograph-turned-bathroom-sink. This space was also my first foray into staining concrete floors and yes, I did stain myself into a corner, despite my carefully thought-out attack plan.
Biggest Indulgence:Nothing means more to me than the serenity of my patients so I doubled down on insulating and paneling the wood treatment rooms. For all of the stimulation outside of the rooms, inside my patients can feel safe, anchored and quiet, and transported away from their real lives.
Best Advice: Not every project works out. And I am well aware that I can fall prey to an expired Etsy trend or hipster cliche. But nine times out of ten, I gotta do it anyway (i.e. Edison lightbulbs, Mason jars, succulent garden). There is no fun in deathly editing yourself. Design should be fun. If it makes my patients laugh or makes them curious or chases away a little bit of darkness, that's a pretty good "thank you" for trusting me with their care--which is really what this studio is about.
Dream Sources: I typically dream of food not furniture, but Galerie Half is two doors down and it makes me drool every time I pass by on my way to my daily afternoon cookie break.
Resources of Note:
• Most everything is from Flea Markets, Garage Sales and
• Antiques at the Barn, Lancaster, CA
• Stuff SF
• Estate Sale, Palm Springs, CA
• Most Photographs by John Arsenault, ClampArt Gallery, NYC
• Other art by Allison Miller, Ali Gallagher, Eriq Madsen, Roman Udalov, and me
• Plants by Holly Flora, Kit Kan at Branch of Life, and me
• Sub(Urban) Home
• Warehouse LA
• Hemmingway and Pickett
POKE ACUPUNCTURE is located at 6917 Melrose Ave Los Angeles CA 90038
Images: Bethany Nauert
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