Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Tucker.
Hi Amanda, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I have always had an interest in homes, art and design. As a child, I used to help my grandmother create floral arrangements and set beautiful tables at the holidays. As a young adult, I spent my free time on the weekends attending random open houses to check out different styles of architecture, and once I purchased my first home, I spent a lot of time and toil shopping for and decorating each room until it was exactly right. Maybe it’s in my blood…I’m even guilty of rearranging objects and furniture at friends’ home on occasion…! However, despite this interest, I ended up in the legal arena practicing family law for almost 15 years. It was only during COVID, when I had a break from the chaos of clients and court settings, that I returned to my original passion for interior design, renovating the 1970’s home my husband and I had bought just months earlier. COVID was the perfect opportunity to dedicate all my energy to this endeavor, and also a few residential projects we were managing in Santa Fe, New Mexico where we own short-term rentals.
I finally made the decision last year to transition out of law and into design full-time. Since then, I have been fortunate to build clients both in Houston and Santa Fe, and have also embarked on a huge commercial renovation of a 1950’s motel on the original Route 66. I love all the different designs I am able to create based on my diverse clients and their respective projects–from contemporary and sleek to vintage and eclectic, and almost everything in between. My own design style is what I term “dessert modern,” which comprises a more minimalist style, infused with earth tones, global textiles, art and organic materials to create a warn and inviting sanctuary.
Although I was born and raised in Houston, I lived on the Navajo Nation for 3 years while teaching in my 20s, and this experience really impacted the course of my life. I fell in love with the desert and also the culture, and found so much beauty in a land that some might find barren and dry. I know that this time in my life was essential to who I am and what I do today. My designs also incorporate a love of international travel, which I think is so essential not just to opening up our worlds, but also our minds and perspectives. In my own life, I have always traveled, and as a family we prioritize at least a few international adventures a year. It’s been great to see my daughter catching her own travel bug!
I love creating beauty, culture and a new sense of home for my clients, and look forward to even further growth and development with each new project I have the opportunity to design.
I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey has been a fairly smooth road?
As the saying goes, nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy…and I think this holds true for my own transition from law to interior design. It’s always hard to make the decision to change careers when you have a good amount of education, relationships and time invested, but I think being passionate and happy with what you do every day is paramount above all else. Some of the challenges I have faced along the way include creating professional relationships in a new field, building clients, and learning the tools of a new trade. I have been fortunate to lean on experienced designers who have been generous with their time and experience when needed. There have definitely been growing pains along the way, but all the road bumps have still been worth the trip.
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
As previously discussed, I am most proud of my choice to change careers and move into interior design. It is an arena I am incredibly passionate and excited about. What I used to do as a hobby I get to do as a job, and that is awesome! Within design, my niche is a modern desert style, which is more minimalist with earth tones, global art and textiles and organic materials. I love for a space to feel airy and clean, but also warm and inviting. I love using global-inspired items, such as handwoven rugs, indigenous folk art, including ceramics, basketry and textiles, and original artwork. I love transforming spaces so that my clients feel the connectivity to travel through the vehicle of design.
I also like to incorporate important objects or personal mementos my clients have, sometimes even designing the space around them. One of my clients had a beautiful, although distressed secretary desk from her grandfather that had been in her family for years. It had been stored in their attic and was in dire need of a refresh. We had it repaired, painted, and added new hardware. It was then used in their dining room as a beautiful piece to display other family heirlooms and photos. I love that their family can now enjoy the memories associated with this piece when they gather for meals and on special occasions.
I think my design style is what sets me apart from other designers, especially here in Houston. I definitely strive to create spaces that feel like a sanctuary at home.
Any big plans?
Currently, I am working on an extensive 24-room motel renovation project in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is SO exciting! I have loved older homes and buildings since I was a child and that interest has only grown over the years as new tends to replace the old. This project is personal for me since I also own the motel with my husband, Rick. There is a lot of thought that goes into each and every room, the communal spaces (lobby, bar and cafe), backyard event space, and exterior renovation–basically, the whole thing is getting a major facelift! So, while very time-consuming, it’s also been one of the most fun projects I have worked on, and we have a super talented team and support staff to help get it all done. I am hopeful this will all come to fruition by January 2023, and the waiting is really the hardest part.
Regarding my design firm, I hope to keep growing and expanding my reach to clients both in and out of Houston and Santa Fe. I would also really love to design a beach house in the future…this is definitely on my radar!