Our latest Designer Spotlight opens a door into the world of Amy Berry Design, the boutique firm of Dallas-based interior designer Amy Berry; serving a variety of clients, with a distinct concentration on crafting singular designs that reflect the specific lifestyles of each one.
Embracing the cultures of the world through design
Amy was lucky enough to be able to study design in London in a uniquely small program composed of only 12 other students, only two of whom were American. She described the experience as a very interesting one due to the non-subjective design courses. Essentially, they were given the tools to work with, but the freedom to explore how to employ them on their own. As a result, the projects each individual student would come up with were completely different, which Amy attributes to the cultural divide.
“Platforms like Pinterest have globalized design, so it was good to have the combination of over 10 different cultures in one room.”
Although it was a short program, Amy learned a great deal during her time there. She was able to further hone her design skills overseas while working for French furnishings company Pierre Frey. But forging her own path as an interior designer ultimately brought her back home to the United States, where she set up shop in Dallas and has been building her firm ever since.
The style of happy spaces
Although Amy doesn’t have a stated “signature look,” she recognizes a common theme across her many designs: “happy spaces,” which she describes as comfortable and functional, but sophisticated and happy all at once. While she enjoys spaces that are clean and fresh, she also loves the trimmings of the traditional style. In short, she tends to mix crisp, contemporary American style with the timeless elegance of European design elements.
“I don’t like things that look separated. A house should feel like a home, which is not something out of a catalog. It evolves with the people who live in it.”
Amy also enjoys designing for houses with open floor plans, which she sees as a current trend for many new homes, especially in Texas. “There’s something to be said for having room, even though bigger spaces are probably more of a challenge than smaller ones,” Amy added.
Design tricks with curtains and paint
Every designer brings their own unique sense of style to a space, which tends to include certain techniques unique to that designer or firm. Amy graciously let us in on one of the tricks her firm frequently employs: “Always hang curtains higher to the ceiling because it makes rooms feel taller.”
Paint is another important component to how Amy designs. She is a self-described freak about colors, yet often has to argue in favor of painting to her clients. “People often get a little timid about painting,” she explained. “But it’s probably the quickest and biggest impact you can make on your house.”
Each room’s unique beginning
Amy is quick to point to the physical and literal space in a house as, in many ways, the initial indication of what can happen – not only in each specific room, but with the design as a whole. Every client brings a different situation to the table.
“Everyone has an opinion and I like it that way.”
The client may have fallen in love with a particular fabric, in which case they’ll design around the fabric. Other times, Amy is presented with a total blank slate. They will choose the rug for the room together, and then the color scheme will come from the rug. For other clients, the same process is done with art. It relates back to getting to know the client; as Amy puts it, “It goes hand-in-hand with knowing who you’re helping. I have yet to run into anyone who’s walked into a room and said do whatever you want.”
Finding fitting flooring at STARK
Amy considers the flooring to be what completely finishes a room; however, due to its importance, it must be chosen close to the beginning of the design phase. What Amy enjoys about working with STARK to find the perfect flooring for the spaces she designs is the flexibility. “There’s always something for everyone,” she added.
In addition to the service, Amy also has high praise for the quality and the variety of flooring she can get from STARK. Only a rug can function as both the anchor and foundation of a space, but also be the cherry on top. So the perfect selection for each space is crucial. In Amy’s view, a room never really feels complete without a rug or carpet.
“I never worry that anyone is going to get sick of anything I use from STARK. That’s huge.”
“In terms of designing, there’s always a mix of high and low, but a good rug is something you just can’t fake.”
With regard to her own design with STARK, Amy elaborated, “The thing about STARK is that the rugs bring everything together. Some are subtle in the background, others are bold showstoppers. It just depends.”
One of Amy’s favorite STARK offerings is the Antelope Ax, about which she stated, “I can’t count the number of times I’ve used it. It goes everywhere, big rooms or small, and the scale is so good.” In fact, she and her team recently finished a library featuring the Antelope Ax, which turned out very well.
“We’re so happy with it. The Antelope Ax is everything.”
STARK serves a wide audience of interior designers around the country, from Kati Curtis in New York to Rebecca Johnston in Los Angeles and Steven G. in South Florida. Read more in our Design Showcase, and if you’re also a member of the trade, but don’t have an account with STARK, find out the benefits of our trade programs and apply for an account today.