AMA designs

High-end Interiors without the High Price

I lust for luxurious fabrics, sparkling accessories, and jaw-dropping designs that are showcased in Hotels or high-end interiors. I admire streamlined and serene design or high-contrast color interiors. So how do you achieve a luxe look without the high-end budget? I will tell you how!

How to Get the Look:

Faux Custom Curtains - I am a big believer in window treatments. Custom designed curtains are like the scarf that ties your entire outfit together. By adding a decorative trim or tape to store-bought curtains, it will take your curtains from standard to extraordinary! It will also create a more high-end and custom designed look.

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(Photo from Style at Home)

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(Photo from chinoiseriechic.blogspot.com)

High Contrast Doors - If your wall color permits, painting your doors a semi-gloss black will take your bedroom or hallway up a notch. There is something oh so sexy about high-contrast interiors. Black and white hues scream "chic". I have also seen really dark walls, depending on where the application is, it can really look drop-dead gorgeous, if you dare!

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(Photo from Apartment Therapy)

Flowers - Something about fresh flowers can make a home feel so welcoming. Maybe because we often use fresh flowers for special occasions? I am all about the flowers, but not about the maintenance. Girl, nobody's got time for that! Polyvore, Michael's Craft Store, and Nearly Natural, have some great faux alternatives. You can even thrift vases and spray them white or gold. My personal favorite right now is mercury glass vases - so glam.

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Fluffy Pillows - You might be thinking, "What is this girl talking about?" The softer, the plumper, the better. Add pillow inserts that are larger than the actual pillow size for a more volumized look. I love the down inserts. If you have allergies, there are some great hyperallergenic alternatives that are available in the market.

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(Photo from emilyaclark.blogspot.com)

Hotel Style Bedding - Crisp, clean, white linens just ooze luxurary. I love the Restoration Hardware bedding or the Matouk Bedding from Bloomingdales.

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Chunky Crown Moulding - Thick crown moulding adds architectural detail to your space and also draws your eyes upward to give the illusion of a higher ceiling. I must admit, the beautiful and thick molding can add up in price. I did find on pinterest an amazing trick if you need a more budget-friendly option. Check out how to cheat when it comes to creating thick moulding (the tutorial is for base moulding but the same concept can be applied to the crown).

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(Photo from sheknows.com)

Details, Details, Details - Accessories are the jewelry of your room. I'm all about the details. I love touches of gold or polished silver. If your room has more warm tones, choose gold or bronze accents. If your room has cooler tones, pick silver, nickel, or even lucite accessories. Add stylish coffee table books and a tray to your cocktail table, or even a few bone-framed picture frames. Add the details where necessary, but don't over do it! Too many accessories will make your room feel cluttered. Check out this coffee table vignette from The Glitter Guide.

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(Photo from the Glitter Guide)

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(Photo from Style at Home)Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 10.32.21 AM

 

(Photo from Lauren Conrad)

Random Thought: Did you know that H&M came out with a home decor line? Say what?!! I am the last person to find out? I'm not sure when this happened but I am happy. The items are super cute and affordable! I'm loving the vases with the polka-dot relief detail. I saw clear vases too but I thought this ombre color glass was different! What do you think?

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Not your #Basic Nighstand

Welcome to the No Basic Zone! Say Goodbye to the ordinary nightstand and Hello to unique! Here are 10 unconventional nightstands that add a little extra character and charm to your bedroom. 1. LADDER

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2. NESTING TABLES

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3. SHELF

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4. STEP STOOL

step ladder

5. SWINGswing

6. TRUNK

trunk - yes

7. CONSOLE TABLEnightstand

8. RECLAIMED WOOD

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9. CHEST OF DRAWERS

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10. CINDER BLOCK (Why not?)cinder block

Stray away from standard. Are you willing to be daring with your next nighstand? Which nightstand style was your favorite? Share your comment below, I would love to know! My favorite is the vintage trunk. Love the extra storage that it can pack - great for seasonal items.

Nightstand DIY Tutorial

IMG_9133 I love finding great pieces of furniture that need some TLC ! This month I found a few new pieces of furniture that needed some love. Here is one of the pieces I updated. It was a time consuming process but it was definitely worth putting in the hard work!

I used this nightstand for a teenage girl's bedroom that I just redesigned (see the room here).

HOW I DID IT

1) Clean the furniture and prep for painting

2) Remove drawers and knobs before painting

3) Prime it ! For the base coat I used Krylon Spray Paint Primer in white.

4) Paint it! I sprayed the drawers and nightstand with Krylon White Semi-gloss spray paint. I chose a semi-gloss finish for this nightstand because I wanted a satin-looking finish.

5) Add cool Hardware. I gave this nightstand a face-list with super cool purple lucite hardware.

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Yay! What do you think of my fab nightstand?

 

The Inner Struggle

As you may now, I have been participating in Alex Beadon's "Feel Good Blogging Challenge" this week. I am approaching the end stretch with today being DAY 6. UNDERVALUE

In middle school, I never really felt comfortable being who I was. Middle school was definitely the worst stage for me growing up. Think about it - you are going through that "awkward stage", you have no idea how to apply makeup or style your hair, and boys suddenly don't have "cooties" anymore. On top of that, you have the evil "cliques" that you have to deal with.

I was very outgoing and friendly in school. Regardless of the amount of people that I seemingly got along with, I was still bullied. When a group of kids are calling you names, of course you will question if is true. You start to question who you are and then you become insecure. The voice inside my head was worse then the voice of those girls.

But I broke free ..

One day, I woke up a NEW person. It was the day I found my voice. Surprisingly, my voice was so strong that it stopped all the bullying. It was that day that I realized who I was. It was the same year that I ran for Student Council President and won!

I managed to master middle school, but I haven't mastered self-doubt. Tell me if you can relate to some of these --- "Am I good enough? Can I handle it? Do I deserve this? I'm not smart enough. I'm not creative enough. I'm not skinny enough. Why aren't I more successful?"

It is time to start mastering the negative voice inside. I feel that we can be our worse critique! Our mind makes up excuses and reasons for not doing something and we end up holding ourself back. We skip out on opportunities to grow because of the voice of fear. It's time to listen to your "inner cheerleader" and start believing in yourself. If you don't believe in you, WHO will?

I have realized that these negative thoughts and feelings no longer serve me and they are NOT who I am. Sometimes it is best to do things in spite of our mind. I recently was in a "funk" and lacked passion and creativity. I was torturing myself inside. One day, I said "THAT'S ENOUGH." I took all my paint brushes, all of my drawing tools, all of my sketch pads, and got to work!! That day I surrounded myself with creativity and all the things that make me happy. I proved to myself, "Hey, I really am creative. I can do this".

A few months back, I was preparing to film an episode on how to create a home office. The night before I began to psych myself out. You're not confident enough. You're not exciting enough. You don't know what your talking about. You don't have enough experience. You aren't talented enough.

What did I do? I kept repeating in my mind the opposite: You ARE confident. You ARE talented. You ARE enough. You ARE creative. You ARE exciting! You ARE awesome and you can handle anything that is thrown at you !!

It was these affirmations that validated who I was. Not to mention, it helped me tremendously with my stage presence, performance, and confidence.

This is still a learning process for me. It is all about acknowledging your thoughts when they come in and letting them go if they do not serve you. I can tell you that bringing out your inner-cheerleader truly does help! Start looking at yourself in the mirror and say how wonderful you are. Start to appreciate and embrace everything about yourself!

If you haven't heard it today, I want to tell you that you ARE awesome and hope your day is as bright as you are.

Much love,

Amanda

5 Ways to Get Organized

organized Organization may not be your favorite thing to do but you can't live without it. I have created 5 easy tips that you can implement today!

1. Find a Home for Everything - The main reason why things pile up is because they don't have a place! Find a home for everything. Have a place to put your mail. Have a place to put your keys so you know where to find them later (I always lose mine). If everything has a home, you will know where to look!

2. Sort - Sort through the piles that have accumulated and create two smaller piles: 1) Recycle/Toss 2) File (if you want to break down the File pile even more you can separate it by kids, home, and personal).

3. Create Simple Solutions - Find what works for you. Create a simple organizing solution that you can follow on a daily basis. If you create a complicated solution, you are less likely to stick to routine. Organizing your work can be as easy as purchasing a few bins that are labeled: Do Now, Do Later, File.

4. Home Kits - I love this tip personally. Buy clear shoe boxes and create Task Kits. Think about all the tasks or projects you do. Group all the tools you need for that task in one bin. For example, I have a "Paint kit" with all of my paint supplies and brushes. Label the outside of the box so it is easy to pull off the shelf when you are ready to use it.

5. Schedule It - Some areas need more help than others. If you know an area that needs to be frequently decluttered, schedule a day to focus on that one space. For me, I clean my room at the end of each week and my office at the end of each day so I can go back to work the next day on a clean slate.

Looking for my organization tips? Check out my Pinterest board, "Organization Nation."

http://www.pinterest.com/byamadesigns/organization-nation/

10 Fun Facts About Me

1. Surprisingly, I don't have a favorite color. As a designer, I LOVE every color. My color changes upon my mood and the season. Right now, I am totally loving all shades of purple, especially deep eggplant tones. 2. I have an obsession with animal print. I own way too much leopard clothing and accessories than I can count. Typical jersey girl stereotype? mmm maybe.

3. I am pretty athletic. I was on the Varsity Field Hockey team in High School. I was a left wing most of the time but I played every forward position. I was also a member of the track team. I ran all the sprinting events, 100, 200, 400 and sometimes 800. As a member of the Top 5, I competed in Regional and State events. During my childhood I was a competitive figure skater. I also like to snowboard in the winter and have taught all my friends how to snowboard as well.

4. I'm not the best dancer however I like to go out and enjoy myself. Who cares what anyone thinks of my moves? I feel good and that's all that matters :)

5. I love the outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking. Although, I wouldn't go camping again.

6. I am very good at giving advice but not that good at taking my own. I'm working on it!

7. I am a foodie <3 For the most part, I eat healthy but I do believe in indulging here and there :)

8. I am very organized EVERYWHERE but my room. For some reason, I just can't keep up with my clothes/laundry. I have a tiny bedroom, so if something is left out, it looks sloppy.

9. My favorite season is Fall. I love the colors of the leaves changing. I love the warmth during the day and the brisk cold nights. I love baking during this time of year.

10. I am at a stage in my life where I finally feel comfortable being myself. Middle school was the worst age for me. I lacked confidence and really felt uncomfortable with who I was. Girls were mean! As I grew up, I realized that my happiness is much more important than other peoples opinions. I learned to let go of everything and started to believe in myself. I know who I am as a person and I am digging it :)

I hope you enjoyed this post which was inspired by Alex Beadon's "Feel Good Blogging Challenge: Day 4".

Let's Be friends

Here's the Story behind AMA Designs

I have always had the dream of helping people growing up. Instead of being a nurse or a therapist, I chose the creative route which came natural to me. As a child, my perspective was very different than the rest of the kids in my class. During playdates, I would walk into my friends rooms, open up their toy closet and say, "Oh no, this should go here. This should go there....." Until I began to fully reorganize their entire closet. My mother would receive phone calls after playdates, "Amanda can come over anytime! She completely redid my living room and it looks great."

It wasn't until that moment that I realized what I was doing was actually changing how people felt and functioned on a day-to-day. It clicked - I really was helping people!

I always knew I wanted to be an Interior Designer at a very young age. It's weird to think that my decision has not changed since I was six years old. My friends were dreaming of becoming a Princess and I was too busy designing Barbie's Dream House. I never really cared for dolls. I loved playing with blocks and making forts with all the blankets and chairs we owned in the house.

Today, I continue to help people with their interiors both aesthetically and functionally. Sometimes I feel like the creative-version of a therapist. There has been plenty of times where I would walk into a bedroom and it just feels lifeless. Although, the owner was so *energetic* and *bold*. I believe your home should be a reflection of yourself. Bring your personality into your space and let it shine! My job is to help people define their space by bringing out reflections of their personality and also making their house feel like a home <3. You are unique and your home should have as much character as you do!

If you want to see some of my work, feel free to check out my portfolio. I am also very active on social media. Visit the Follow page for direct links to all my pages. Let's be friends :)

Let's Be friends

This post was inspired by Alex Beadon's Feel Good Blogging Challenge Day #2.

Not-So Shabby, Shabby Chic

Distressed furniture, antique decor, and linen fabrics OOZE Shabby Chic style. Shabby chic is the sister-style to coastal chic, cottage decor, and french country. It is the blend of furnishings that are chosen for their aged appearance, elegant antiques and a soft color palette. My personal style is totally chic/stylish/glam than it is Shabby. Hence why I am sharing how to create a NOT-SO Shabby Chic Interior with my 5 Easy decorating tips:

1) COLOR - The color palette in a shabby chic interior is generally neutral. Colors tend to be pure white, ecrus, and faded out hues such as blush pink, soft blues, and pale green. The soft color scheme provides a neutral background to allow your vintage pieces speak for themselves. (Yes, furniture speaks to me :P )

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2) PATTERN - When I think of "Shabby Chic," instantly what comes to my mind is vintage florals and a classic ticking stripe pattern. You can also add toile or chinoiserie patterns (two-tone cotton or line fabric with a scenic pattern: toile is French/chinoiserie is Chinese).

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3) TEXTURE - I love playing with texture when it comes to fabric. To recreate the feel of shabby chic decor, incorporate cotton and linen fabrics. Since both these fabrics have a flat texture, I would personally add quilted fabrics and crocheted blankets that are soft to touch and make you want to snuggle! :) For storage, add wicker baskets or a wicker storage ottoman.

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4) LIGHTING - Add vintage chandeliers or period inspired candlesticks on a bedside table. If you are feeling crafty, I would spray paint a vintage chandelier in a soft pink or mint for a pop of color.

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5) DECOR - Now for the fun part; accessories! Go thrifting and find antique picture frames, a fabulous antique mirror, a gold side chair, distressed accent tables, old books, and trinkets to take your space to the next level.

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This weeks blog post was HIGHLY requested! Do you LOVE a certain style but don't know how to achieve it? Drop a comment below or email byamadesigns@gmail.com on what topics you want to read next. Ask and you shall receive! I would love to hear from you. :)

Hope your day is as AWESOME as you are!

Much love,

AMA DESIGNS

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