Design For All Seasons
Amber Lewis brings the sunshine wherever she goes.
While Amber Lewis’s adoring fans obsess over every project and Instagram post, nailing down a name for her signature aesthetic – which manages to be simultaneously warm and Cali-cool – proves to be a bit more polarizing. “How about ‘approachable chic’?” Lewis offers, and like the rooms she masterfully composes to a great unstudied effect … it just works.
Despite the pared-back palette and soulful materials she favors, to hear Lewis tell it, she’s anything but a minimalist. For starters, consider her schedule. With design clients worldwide, four Shoppe Amber Interiors stores and counting, a line of bespoke-inspired furniture, and blockbuster collaborations (including a namesake line with Visual Comfort & Co.), Lewis is busier than ever. Still, rather than rinse and repeat her celebrated style, she’s committed to creating deeply authentic spaces that inspire connection and pieces built to last.
“I love to make things that feel like they could work in any space or home, nothing too trendy or specific,” she says. “My rule of thumb is to look back and consider whether I liked something five years ago, which means I’ll probably still like it in 10 or 15 years. We can’t predict the future, but there’s a lot of context with classic elements, finishes, and shapes, and those things can always translate.”
Case in point: the Lyndsie Sconce “The goal was to design a sconce that would look beautiful in a living room, bathroom, or kitchen,” she says, “and it turned out to be my favorite piece in the whole collection.” Another personal favorite, the Bernard Pendant, was inspired by a vintage piece Lewis kept for years and recreated at a much larger scale.
Lewis is a dream collaborator – decisive, articulate, and down-to-earth – and her partnership with Visual Comfort & Co. was a win-win. “Visual Comfort is a mainstay in my designs, and such a recognizable brand without feeling oversaturated,” she says. “Just as I do with a design client, I came in with ideas about how I wanted a piece to look and feel, and they were open to making sure my aesthetic came through.”
Amber Interiors may be synonymous with West Coast wonderful, but Lewis quickly points out that 75% of her current projects are outside the Sunshine State. “The fact I’m so linked to California is more about my personality than anything else,” she says. “Whether it’s a summer home on Martha’s Vineyard or a 16,000 square foot house in Beverly Hills, I approach it with a comfortable aesthetic in mind.”
In Lewis’s world, nothing is too precious, yet striking the perfect balance of beauty, integrity, and versatility takes time. “We’re building so many homes from the ground up, or remodeling them to the point of unrecognizability,” she says. “We like to come up with a plan, but we always leave space for evolution as the years go by. The creative process necessitates flexibility.”
Even after her design projects comes to an end, Lewis views her clients’ homes as a work in progress, and lighting is one of her go-to vibe shifts. “I love ambient lighting and gorgeous fixtures, but I also love table lamps, so the light isn’t always coming from a fixed source overhead. When it’s time for a change, swapping out lighting is an easy switch that can have a massive impact on how a space feels.”
Though her dance card is a bit full these days, Lewis’s easy, generous way of seeing and being helps cultivate an atmosphere of attainability. In fact, her forays into product design are a sympathetic response. Shopping for clients over the years, Lewis found the downside to one-of-a-kind pieces: once she placed them in a client’s house, she’d likely never be able to find them again. The best way to share her work with her ever-expanding audience, she says, is to make sure that every piece she designs passes the ultimate gut check – would she use it in her home? “I always design stuff I want to use. If the answer is yes, then I’m designing it,” she says. “And then I just cross my fingers that everyone else will love it, too.”
Interested in working with the Amber Lewis Interiors Design Studio Team?
About the Designer
As principal at Amber Interior Design and founder of the blog, All Sorts Of, she has garnered clients and followers from around the world. As a pioneer of the white-wall, laid-back California aesthetic, Amber’s eclectic design approach and affinity for found objects have made her a household name.
Amber imbues a bit of California eclectic in all of her projects but craves a design challenge and opportunities to show off her ever-evolving style. No matter what style she is asked to create, each space designed by Amber feels cozy, eclectic, and unique.
Today, Amber Interior Design, Inc. provides designs for large-scale residences. Amber and her team work with architects and contractors to bring the distinct visions seen in her work, on her blog, and in her retail Shoppe, to life. Light-filled rooms, colorful textiles, natural elements, earthy textures, and brushed metals, are the elements that define and can always distinguish an Amber Interiors designed home.