In the Spotlight Now: Q&A with Interior Designer Amanda Nisbet

amanda 2 robins q 2010Interior designer Amanda Nisbet’s designs are anything but average. Her fresh take on color and scale breathes new life into classic lines and furniture.  “I practice what I preach,” she says. “My personal style definitely optimizes the tendency toward timeless feminine silhouettes, but in bright, new materials and fabrications. It’s a mix of the old and new with lots of bling — everything needs that one powerful piece of ‘jewelry.’”

It’s this reason, among others, that we’ve chosen to feature Amanda Nisbet this month. Keep reading to see her top Pottery Barn product picks, read about some of her favorite things and what inspires her stunning style.

See Amanda’s Top Picks from Pottery Barn.


Amanda’s Favorites

This month I can’t wait to …
Embrace the New Year.

Currently coveting …
Everything, it’s in my nature to love all good things.

My go-to color for painting a dining room is …
I prefer dark and cozy colors that envelope the dining party: indigo blue, boysenberries and chocolate brown. My own dining room is in a brown paper bag Venetian plaster.

Favorite vacation spot …

Favorite movie …
Auntie Mame. It is as current today as it was at the time of its original release in the late 1950s. I can watch it over and over again and be thoroughly entertained and uplifted.

I’m best known for …
My contagious laughter.

Most prized possession …
My children, as I consider them to be my greatest accomplishment.

My best entertaining tip …
To make sure everyone immediately feels comfortable and at home.

I collect …
Bags, jewelry, art. The list goes on! I’m a Taurus and I love the best of everything. It’s really a horrible burden!

My go-to cocktail to serve at a party is …
A margarita – so simple, yet delicious every time.


(Photo by Roger Davies)

Thoughts on Interior Design and Decorating

Q: What do you enjoy most about interior decorating?
A: Its transformative power — the ability to just completely reinvent a space and exercise my many tastes throughout a variety of projects.

Q: How would you describe your style?
A: Grounded in the traditional with an eye to the contemporary.  My style is always timeless with a bit of punch and dazzle.

Q: Which design trends are you most excited about in 2014?
A: The resurgence of the floral pattern in textiles and wall coverings — an ode to Colefax & Fowler.


Q: Where do you go to get new ideas and inspiration?
A: I always get inspired by field trips out of the office when I can freely wander, explore and find new and interesting items that spark ideas.

Q: What or who inspires you right now?
A: Holiday time in New York City is all about sparkle and shine with old-world magic at its foundation. My home, especially in the beginning of the New Year, always reinvigorates me; when one is fresh and ready to put the old away and embrace the new!

Q: What’s trending in NYC design?
A: In all honesty, and I know it’s not an exciting answer, but I often tell my clients this same thing: avoid the hot trends and steer toward the classics. Why spend inordinate amounts on a design filled with trends just to see the same trend disappear on a whim the next day?


Q: What are your tips for decorating with indigo or another bold color?
A: While some may think a saturation of dark color would be oppressive, in fact the opposite is true: it can be the most embracing, and therefore, the most welcoming. I am not timid about my color choices — and neither should you be!

PS: Don’t forget to check out Amanda Nisbet’s new book, Dazzling Design. This beautiful book is full of Nisbet’s stunning work, as well as incredibly useful decorating and design tips.

“I hope reading the book not only inspires, but also removes insecurity and fosters confidence in trusting oneself to try new things,” Nisbet says. “At the end of the day, if you hate the color you painted the walls, repaint them. It’s not permanent but always evolving, like my own home and my design aesthetic.”

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