Amanda Hamilton and her eponymous studio, founded in 2009, offer more than interior design services. As an accomplished creative entrepreneur, and as Creative Director, she strives to forge an unorthodox path in the industry. Amanda leads her studio with authenticity and has developed an award-winning and diverse portfolio across Western Canada along the way. Projects range from custom homes all the way to retail design. Inspired by travel and reflecting global cultural and social influences such as literature, art, music, film, fashion and culinary pursuits, help develop the design narrative. In 2014 Amanda launched a self-titled lifestyle collection, comprising home accessories and custom furniture. In 2017, the studio launched a concept space, The Loft, a multi-use retail, event and design consultation environment in Victoria Park. The studio’s latest venture, Palette Archives, is an e-commerce business that provides accessible and attainable finish, material and specifications packages right to a client’s doorstep. Amanda also hopes to empower the next generation of change makers, and works closely with her Alma Mater, Mount Royal University, mentoring students in the Harry G. Schaefer Mentorship program. Amanda is also the chair for the World of Choices committee for Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta, which focuses on career mentorship for young women. These achievements, as well as her dedication to raising the standards of cultural excellence in her community, have earned her a position as one of Canada’s most sought after cultural curators. Today Amanda joins us for Friday Five!
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1. Vintage Everything
As an Interior Designer, I appreciate many diverse style influences. However, it has always been hard to define my own personal aesthetic. Perhaps I take pleasure in intentional disharmony and vintage pulled from many eras as it always achieves a quirky, clever and cool interior. My style is global, softened with Bohemian edges and punctuated with a heck of a lot of 1970s. A recent trip to JF Chen’s in L.A. was the most magical playground of found objects and I immediately fell in love with the 1964 designed Chiara Floor Lamp by Mario Bellini.
My love for Afrobeat is very likely directly correlated with my love for shaking my rump, often alone in my living room. Rooted in Jazz and Funk, it stylistically merges with the musical elements found in West Africa and makes for groovy, upbeat music that is frequently rooted in historical events and storytelling. Favorites include Ebo Taylor, William Onyeabor, Amanaz, Ofege, Fela Kuti and The Daktaris.
I recently googled “Self Help for the Book Obsessed” and there was no credible organization to assist me with my growing library of everything from Quantum Theory to Self-Help. I’m mostly neck-deep in business books, and of those few that have completely changed my approach to building meaningful morning rituals. The 5am Club by Robin Sharma and Mavericks at Work are two of my top reads.
It’s interesting to reflect on how the introduction of technology has impacted our lives, and almost impossible to know what the future will look like. As a creative entrepreneur running multiple businesses, the value of having information at my fingertips is something I can’t imagine living without. If you get it right, I’m “Pro” targeted ads which keep brands I love, like Anine Bing, top of mind. And I loved discovering my favorite washable silk pajamas from Lunya. I’m also a big fan of Dictionary.com’s Word of the Day that is delivered without fail to my inbox every morning. And Excel, I REALLY love a well programmed spreadsheet.
5. San Juan Islands
I grew up sailing, with my grandpa as the skipper (aka, the captain, the boss) and earned a lot of great nicknames like “stinky feet” the year I forgot socks and wore the soles out of my velcro Rebooks. The San Juan Islands are an archipelago off the state of Washington and border the equally beautiful Gulf Islands between Vancouver Island and the mainland of British Columbia. It’s a pretty magical, cathartic place and I always feel the most at home on the water.