Amanda has an incredible story. She was a marketing professional for 10 years and then when she had her first son she got a chance to re-discover her passion for home decor. So she used her incredible marketing experience to start a fantastic Etsy store (check it out), a following on Instagram, and a beautiful blog. In short, she fell in love with the world of home decor and has remodeled her home with incredible results. Let’s hear it in her own words:
1. How many years have you been doing interior design?
I have had a passion for decor and home design since I was five years old (you can use your imagination as to how long it has been). I would rearrange the furniture in my great grandma’s house. It was in my blood! I then received my master’s degree in business and marketing and went into the corporate world for 5 years before having my son. When I had my son, life changes and so did my passion. I feel like my son helped me find myself and I started my Etsy shop, Living with Amanda. My love for interior design grew stronger when I bought my first home and grew a following on Instagram. I found an entire community that shared my passion for home decor. I didn’t know this world existed and it was exhilarating. I was not only learning from this community but sharing my own ideas as well.
2. What is your favorite Interior Design project that you’ve ever done?
When we purchased our home in 2014, we gutted the kitchen and dining room. I designed the entire layout from the cabinets to the backsplash and choosing the granite. The heart of the home has always been the kitchen for me, so it was my focal point. To this day we are always congregating in the kitchen sharing our events of the day. It’s funny, just the other day I was looking at family photos most of them were taken in the kitchen: the kids and I baking or cooking. Needless to say, our kitchen was one of my favorites.
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Thursday marked 26 weeks pregnant. What brings a bigger smile to my face is how much my son is helping me as life gets a little more challenging with a bigger belly. He tells me to not do too much and to rest. Did I tell you he’s 4? This tablescape you see here he helped me with…. and now the hormones kick in and the waterworks happen because of how proud I am of him. He tells me every day that he can’t wait for the warmer weather to come because that’s when the baby is arriving. He lets me know that he can’t wait to hold the baby. Nothing makes me more prouder in these moments. 💕 . . 🍋“Our” lemon tabletop decor (Table Napkins and Table runner) can be found in the shop. . . . #tabletop #tabledecor #lemons #spring #motherwood #pregnant #26weeks #mommyshelper #livingwithamanda #tablescape #napkins #tablerunner #shopsale #etsy #etsyshop #joannagaines #farmhouse #diningroom #homedecor
3. Which project are you most proud of?
My gallery wall. I have always loved photographs. We have at least two to three family photo sessions a year. There has been quite the transition of how I have displayed photos— from frames in a variation of sizes and colors displayed on console tables to laying down a piece of Kraft paper and outlining the frames to perfection to them be placed on a wall. There has definitely been an evolution of design through my home over the years. I am continuously learning and changing decor. If that stopped, then I would be bored! I am most proud of my gallery wall because of my son’s appreciation for it. He shows everyone the wall and takes them through the memory of each photo. He helps me in all my projects and really respects everything I do— that’s what makes it worthwhile.
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🍃 When my son was little, he would lay in our bed and just stare at all the photos of our family. It has always been important to me to not just take photos but have them on display. My son has a lot of me in him- he really appreciates everything I do in our home and at only 4 years old he shares the importance of the pictures in our home. When someone comes over he shares the photos with them and tells them the story behind each picture. . When I received our new frames in the mail from @frameiteasy, he was very familiar with the company as he helped me with the project in the past. . 🍃 The first thing he noticed was the made in the USA. He was so excited to take each frame out of the box. His job is to peel the plastic off of each frame and put the photos inside. He loves to help and I equally love his help! We then aligned the frames on the paper to see how we wanted to position them on the wall. . . 🍃 The transformation was amazing. We went from our wall of multi-colored frames to our @frameiteasy wall with two colored tones of white and tan frames. It flows so nicely with our new living room. We could not be happy with the outcome and smooth process with @frameiteasy. Thank you again for your beautiful frames. My son is proud to show everyone that comes through our door our updates photos and newest project. . . . . . . . #frameiteasy #photographs #familyphotos #motherhood #diy #homeprojects #bhg #betterhomesandgardens #diydecor #entryway #livingroomdecor #livingwithamansa #sahm #familytime #frames #photography #ctphotography #usamade #ctmagazine #farmhouseliving #housebeautifulmagazine #homeanddesign #designandhome #simpledecor #wallart #staircase #gallery #gallerywall #transformation #americanfarmhousestyle
4. What kind of lighting do you have set up for your work?
For the majority of my work, I use natural light. When I take photos in my home, I know the best time of day to take photos in each area of the home and I work around it.
5. What is your favorite lamp or string lights that you’ve used for a project?
I love using string lights outdoors on my patio. String lights give for the perfect ambiance at night. I also love floor lamps. I incorporated a new floor lamp into my recent living room refresh project.
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If you know me, my style is not “scary” Halloween. But when your 4 year old beams with excitement seeing all the Halloween decor, you buy him all the scary Halloween decor.! . . 🕷 AND… When @ohsweetskye sends you an amazingly awesome sign, you create the best Halloween scene in your living room. . 🕷 My poor daughter though keeps saying “It’s scary for my eyes momma”. Mind you, she also grabs the skull and carries it around the house kissing it and pretending it’s her baby! 🤦🏼♀️
6. What is the greatest tip that you could give to our readers?
If you have a passion, go for it and don’t second guess yourself. As Albert Einstein once said, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”. Don’t be afraid to be different and go against the grain. Go out of your comfort zone and do things that challenge you.
7. What is the hardest thing about interior design?
That projects take time. I am a person that likes things finished immediately. I love to see the end result, but design done right takes patience and time. Sometimes it takes a while for the concept or ideas to come together. Interior design also takes time. I have had a lot of jobs that required around the clock dedication which meant sleepless nights. It didn’t bother me at all because I absolutely love what I do- that’s the difference. One of my more recent projects was a refresh to my living room for a brand collaboration with Raymour and Flanigan. I went from a Farmhouse feel to a very modern living room. I definitely went out of my comfort zone using gold, black and cream tones, but the finishing result was beyond my expectations.
8. If you had to do it all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have been more confident in myself to pursue my dreams sooner. With that said, I do value the education I have behind me and the tools I learned in my corporate job. It was a very hard decision to quit my job and take a leap of faith in a company that could sink or swim. I had a family to think about and needed to hold my own weight financially. The business has had a lot of obstacles along the way, but you have to remain positive and creative. You will always be presented with challenges, but it’s the people that make the most of them that persevere.
We hope that you enjoyed this awesome interview. If you want to read about other really cool interior designers check out our interview with Michele that bought and renovated her own farmhouse and Christina’s dream of becoming an interior designer.