Peter Shire’s Echo Park home
19 Images

In his sphere

Peter Shire designed and installed the patterned linoleum tile floor of the kitchen of his Echo Park home using only squares. “Cutting curves is a sucker’s game,” he says. A table of his design is flanked by two versions of his “Oh My Cats” chair made of enameled steel. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
In his open-plan refurbished lower level “granny flat,” Shire painted the walls in a vibrant sky-blue and mustard-yellow. The floors are polished concrete. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Shire is surrounded by the stars of his current show, “Chairs,” which runs through Nov. 24 at the Frank Lloyd Gallery in Santa Monica. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
“It’s off the hook,” Shire exclaims, referring to “Dandy (Modern Exercise Chair Revisited),” a Constructivist-influenced seat that uses steel cable as a structural support. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Even pedestrian hallways in Shire’s home make an artistic statement. Here, lime-green walls and inexpensive striped and circular rugs add a pop Bauhaus vibe to a space most people tend to ignore. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
“Plane-Air no. 1,” a chair that references the geometric abstraction of Piet Mondrian and Gerrit Rietveld, the Dutch designer who was part of the 1920s group De Stijl. Behind it, a bed covered in Ikea textiles. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
In his master bedroom, Shire’s homage to Elvis-era cars is called “El’s Tuck ‘n’ Roll at Speed. The window panels were added by his wife, Donna. “I don’t understand translucent colors,” Shire admits. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
In the Shire garden, “Right Weld No. 1" mixes hard-edged geometry with a gradient spatter paint surface and luxurious drapery tassels. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Shire designed this walk-in shower down to the very last grout line. The large tiles on the wall were all hand-built and painted by Shire according to his own drawings. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Family photos and a model boat sit on a Shire-customized dresser made from an industrial cabinet splashed with the colors of a flame. “I’m my own best client,” Shire says. “Who would pay me $4,000 to paint a $600 machine shop chest?” (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
On top of a post-Revolutionary War American dresser, Shire keeps a collection of hats on stands he fashioned in his Echo Park studio. The artwork on the wall is a reminder of the multicultural neighborhood where he lives and works. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
The front door of the Shire residence is marked by one of his sculptures, an example of the graphic and playful 1980s decorative arts style known as the Memphis Group. Centered in Milan under the guidance of architect Ettore Sottsass, Memphis was an international design coalition, and Shire remains one of its most celebrated American participants. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
Shire’s sculpture puts the funk into functional. At his former residence in Echo Park, the current tenant — Shire’s brother, Peter — retains the architectural installation of orange beams and corrugated metal that serves as a roof for the porch. The brushed-steel post box, far right, has a porthole for checking to see if the mail has been delivered. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)
Steel and glass portholes add a riveting sense of details to the garage door at the home of Billy Shire. His brother Peter, shown here, devised the vivid paint scheme. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
Tiki doesn’t have to be tacky. At the behest of his brother Billy, Shire created a Pop art installation of the type of sculptures usually plunked in front of Polynesian restaurants. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
Shire used wire cable to secure an Easter Island head and Polynesian faces made from powder coated steel in citrus colors. Of the palette he says, “My brother was a bachelor then, so I only had to convince one person.” (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
The front door of Billy Shire’s home, once occupied by his artist brother, welcomes visitors with an abstracted face that includes two peephole eyes. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
Portrait of the artist: Known for the striking shapes of his work, Peter Shire cuts an equally intriguing silhouette on his brother’s lime-green garage. (Stefano Paltera / For The Times)
Echo Park artist Peter Shire draws renderings on all kinds of surfaces including wrapping paper. In this gouache sketch he illustrates his former L.A. house, where his brother now lives. Details show the front door, an installation of Tiki sculptures and a birdhouse-style steel mailbox. (Rendering by Artist Peter Shire)
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