Ask a Designer: Amber Lewis

The Los Angeles designer talks tips, tricks, and updates.

By Madeleine Frank

When decorating, you should never skimp on …
AL: The pieces that you will use most often. Comfortable, well-constructed sofas are worth the splurge!

What are your tips for reupholstering furniture?
AL: If you're using a patterned fabric, lay it across the item first to make sure that the scale of the pattern will work on the piece and won't look too busy.

What are some clever storage solutions for houses short on closet space?
AL: Use dressers in place of slim consoles or other accent tables. I have a dresser in my entry at home, and it's where we keep little items like dog leashes and wrapping paper. It's also can give you the chance to showcase a cool, vintage piece. Coffee tables with drawers are great for storing remote controls.

How do you go about choosing textiles?
AL: I start with the rug, and then throw a bunch of different fabrics on top. I take out the ones that don't seem to work, and choose from what remains.

How can homeowners avoid design mishaps?
AL: Mark off furniture and art placement on the floor and walls with painter's tape to ensure the measurements will work as you imagined.

What's trending in coastal homes right now?
AL: Raw wood, such as unfinished oak floors, paired with clean, white, washable upholstery.

TAKE FIVE
Amber shares her seaside essentials!

  1. Cozy Throw (pictured): "The indigo on this cotton blanket is super vibrant, so it adds a lot to a room." Tensira Indigo Throw with Fringes, $110
  2. Simple Jewelry (pictured): "This necklace with my daughter's name on it is minimalist style with major sentiment." BaubleBar Asymmetrical Bar Nameplate in Sterling Silver, $120
  3. Statement Lighting: "This lamp has a great midcentury shape, and the color reminds me of the ocean." Caravan Pacific Vanderbilt Table Lamp in Blue Crackle & Maple, $450
  4. Laid-Back Getaway: "My favorite place to relax with my family is the Riviera Maya." Grand Velas Riviera Maya Resort rates start at $335 per person (all-inclusive with a $50 daily spa credit)
  5. Colorful Journal: "I can't leave home without my Moleskine notebook for jotting down ideas and taking measurements."
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