We had the good fortune of connecting with Amanda Tucker and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amanda, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I have always leaned towards the creative, ever since I was a child. My mom was an artist and I used to hang out in her home studio and watch her draw and paint. I always loved being creative and artistic myself, and initially wanted to work in a career that allowed me to use my talents in this area. As I got older, I was convinced that I had to have a “professional” job and ended up in law school. Then, after 14 years in the legal arena, I realized that my creativity had been severely stifled and I wanted to get back to what I am much more passionate about. At the time I decided to make the change from lawyer to interior designer, I had much more experience and wisdom behind me to understand that you can find success in any field, you just have to feel dedicated in what you do and be good at it. I love what I do now, and how much I get to use my creativity everyday. I am inspired by all the amazing things other designers are out there doing, and excited by the endless possibilities being a designer offers. I no longer feel boxed in or stifled, and that freedom is something that gives me the greatest feeling of success.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I opened my design shop in January of this year. It was a huge decision, and totally new terrain for me coming out of law. I knew I wanted to set myself apart in my style and stay true to what had inspired me to get into this arena in the first place. After designing our own home and multiple properties in Santa Fe, New Mexico, I knew that my style was what I would term “desert modern design”: a blend of white and neutral tones, minimal furnishings, and warm, authentic art, materials and textiles to create a livable and light space. For me, this style is inspired by years of travel to some exotic and remote locations where the architecture is more organic and the furnishings are more utilitarian. In my 20’s I lived and worked on the Navajo Indian reservation in northwestern New Mexico desert for three years. It was the experience of a lifetime with many good life lessons and relationships made along the way. I often find that my style in interior design took root during those years, although unconsciously. Light-filled spaces, plaster walls and bright, tribal textiles are a staple in any of my own design projects–all elements I discovered and became enamored with during my early years in the desert.
Sometimes I face the challenge of incorporating my style into client’s urban spaces. I know my modern desert design can work anywhere, but having a client share that vision with confidence can take time. I am working on growing my brand, which includes being able to design homes in a variety of styles, while staying true to the unique foundation which brought me into this arena. I would love to reach a place where I am known for the modern desert design I fell in love with over 20 years ago, and will keep building and challenging myself in the meantime to create all kinds of interesting spaces.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I would mix up the indoor and outdoor activities…hoping they come in a decent weather month! I think Memorial Park–especially the new Eastern Glades–makes for a really beautiful walk in the morning. It almost feels like you have been transported to another place that is not the city. I also think the Bear Creek area is some great nature to stroll through. One of my favorite stretches to drive in Houston is actually north on N. Eldridge between I-10 up to Clay Rd–I don’t feel like I’m in the city anymore and I love it! I would definitely take my bestie out for some amazing cuisine, which is probably Houston’s best asset. The best breakfast tacos are at Las Locas Fajitas in northern Spring Branch, where there is also some of the best Korean BBQ and Thai at Vieng Thai on Long Point. I am a huge fan and supporter of Spring Branch and love exposing friends who don’t know much about our little area to all the amazing gems over here! I think, fair enough, The Galleria would also be a stop, as any bestie of mine would love to shop. And, at the end of our days, I would take them to some of the great dive bars around my area, like the Blue Lagoon, for some karaoke and people watching at its best!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My husband, Rick, is my biggest supporter and source of inspiration. He has been my co-pilot on this journey of change and my loudest cheerleader along the way. He is also very creative and the best person to bounce all my ideas off, good and bad, without judgment. I know he is always in my corner and there to help in any way needed. I love him to the furthest moon and back.
My other amazing supporter is my daughter, Sosie. While only 11, she has wisdom and insight beyond her young years. She is always there with a kind word and big hug. I am very proud to model being a successful working woman, while balancing all the demands of parenting, for her. I saw this in my mom and know it undoubtedly impacted my decision to also pursue a career while raising a child.