First things first.
"Don't go for matchy matchy," local interior designer Amy Youngblood responded instantly when I requested decorating tips for folks who, like myself, never see their Pinterest projects turn out the way they should.
"That's where a designer can help," she continued. "I see it all the time -- people go to Pottery Barn and they buy the leather sofa and the leather chair that matches it. It's not interesting. That's my advice: Don't be afraid to mix colors, patterns, and textures."
The interior design aficionado is a Michigan native who's made Cincinnati her home for more than 20 years. In that time, Youngblood has worked for residential and commercial design firms, taught interior design at her alma mater (the College of Mount St. Joseph), and opened the doors of her own design firm, Amy Youngblood Interiors, in 2009.
"We're known for clean lines and sophisticated looks," Youngblood said of her firm's aesthetic. "People are going toward a simpler way of living. And we create that."
Youngblood's not afraid to take her own advice when it comes to interiors. "I like to throw eclecticism in my designs when I can. In my own home, I combined a post-modern-looking, simple cream sofa with a red Asian chair that has very Rococo [read: fancy!] lines."
(Psst: check out the photo gallery for a sneak peek of what Youngblood has done with her own home.)
Interior design became Youngblood's vocation after a stint in the insurance and cellular phone businesses, when the accomplished oil painter (she's done works of art for the Cincinnati Reds, btw) somewhat understandably decided she needed a 9-to-5 with a creative twist.
"I was yearning to be creative and combine my business sales experience, so interior design was a great fit. I love creating beautiful spaces my clients are happy to live in," she said.
Youngblood designs interiors for individuals as well as retail, hospitality, and other business ventures. In every project, she applies the same essential creed: "I make them love their space at the end of the day."
When I pressed Youngblood for other design tips (can you blame me?) she definitely delivered:
- "Never pick your paint color first," she cautioned. "Make your other design decisions (décor, furniture) first. Those are going to be more expensive than a couple buckets of paint."
- And don't forget to light your way. "Never underestimate the impact of good lighting," she said. "Ideally, choose lighting on different levels -- drop ceiling lights, chandeliers. There are so many wonderful projects out there now that can make a huge difference."
- Finally, as in all things worth doing, dreaming, and creating ... keep an open mind. And don't be afraid to call in the professionals when needed.
"Be open and committed to your space and to making it the best environment for you to live in. My job is just making sure you get it right the first time."
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Want to learn more about Amy Youngblood Interiors? Visit the website or call 513-807-8870.