Ask a Designer: Amy Meier

The style expert shares her coastal design secrets, from go-to centerpieces to must-try trends.

By Madeleine Frank

San Diego-based designer Amy Meier is known for classic interiors with a twist. She shared design advice and five things she's loving now.

No beach house is complete without:
AM: Quilts in every room. They're cozy and timeless, and they look and feel even better with age.

Do you have a go-to centerpiece?
AM: You want something that brings warmth to the table. I like to use cuttings from the local vegetation—lilac is a favorite.

What are you dying to try right now?
AM: I have always been drawn to faux bois looks—artistic interpretations of wood's natural graining and texture. I would love to design a faux bois headboard. Generally you see the style used outside, so bringing it into the bedroom would create a magical sense of escape.

How do you incorporate custom elements into a home?
AM: I work with independent fabric companies to create patterned fabric that picks up on clients' favorite designs. Right now we're making a pattern based off a client's antique Portuguese plate. It can be very personal.

What's an important design lesson you've learned along the way?
AM: I always used to bring in art last, but it can't be an afterthought. Now I make it part of the first layer of design; it helps shape the whole space.


  1. Sure Footing (pictured left): "These shoes are classic, with a twist." The Office of Angela Scott Mr. Hampton Shoes in Seersucker, $460;
  2. Flower Power (pictured left): "These blooms have a beautiful, sculptural nature." Tommy Mitchell Gilded Studio Primula, $1,065;
  3. Nifty Necklace (pictured left): "I am a fool for Peter Pan collars." Masterpeace Malachite Bead Czar Collar Necklace, $345;
  4. Getaway Spot: "Martha's Vineyard is a special place for my family. I got married there, and we still go every summer and fall."
  5. Luxe Letters: "Number Four Eleven has a bountiful collection of linens and monograms." Sferra Festival 6" by 9" Cocktail Napkins in Poppy, $20 ($60-$75 with monograms) for a set of four;