Amber Lewis’s Biggest Design Pet Peeve Is Easy Enough to Avoid
And how she really feels about 2024’s color of the year.
Published Dec 20, 2023 1:05 AM
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Amber Lewis’s projects have become synonymous with California design, but what does that actually look like? Ask the interior designer yourself, and she’ll tell you it just comes down to an embrace of the outdoors. “I was born in Hawaii and grew up in Malibu, so I’m very much a nature, beach kind of gal,” says Lewis. “Our vacations were camping, so I was always that kid who was digging around in the dirt—I think that color palette has always been what I’m drawn to.” Her love of earthy hues never wavers, but that doesn’t mean Lewis doesn’t get excited about the thought of change. Here’s what she’s hoping to see more (and less!) of in 2024.
My Current Rug Obsession
If you look at traditional rugs that we see all the time, it really is just a mixture of shape and color. I like that some of my newer rugs are a deconstructed, neutral version of that—this collection with Loloi especially.
My Biggest Design Pet Peeve
I hate it when a home that’s clearly a spec house is made to look really traditional, like someone walked in and went, “We’re going to do plaster and wabi-sabi.” I love plaster, I love marble—those are classic design elements—but I think it’s how people are applying it. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people have added three arches in a room or beams, and there’s no other place in the house where that’s happening. That’s not a well-thought-out design, that’s just one designed room. What does the rest of the house look like? There has to be a story.
My Favorite Vintage Sofa Style
I always refer back to more classic, traditional lines, like the George Smith sofas of the world. Those always resonate. Then you can modernize. Unstuffy it with little details such as using a beautiful linen slipcover or adding a skirt. Or if you’re going to do piping, do it in a baseball stitch so that it’s not so fancy. Make it more casual.
The Easiest Way to Refresh Your Space
You might have bought a table lamp you’ve seen 100 times, but doing a really beautiful gathered fabric shade is a little tweak that will elevate it.
The New Style I’m Leaning Into
We bought a lake house in 2020. It’s from 1937 and has all these beautiful, natural, original details (hand-painted bunks, scallops, paneling). I filled the house with a lot of very cozy, warm upholstery pieces but added pattern…so much pattern, which is not unlike me, but I did it in a bit more chintzy, kind of granny way. It feels like it could have been done 100 years ago or redone this year.
How I Feel About 2024’s Color of the Year, Peach Fuzz
I’m not down with peach. I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but it feels close to millennial pink, which I’m really scared of. But that doesn’t mean anything! I respect and appreciate the color of the year team and how they come up with it.
The Colors I Am Planning to Use Soon
Cream Wave, Dunn-Edwards
I think I’m gravitating toward whites with a lot of yellow in them. Instead of pulling more grayish tones, I’m pulling more brown and yellow tones in the white. I just painted my kitchen at the lake house a color called Cream Wave from Dunn-Edwards, and it reads quite warm and pretty.