Amy grew up in a “magazine-like home” with everything in its place and admirably beautiful. Ironically, this was the catalyst to her passion, but not how she lives her life today. “I revel in meaning and experiences, loving the hunt and search for the perfect item that seamlessly melds into a home, but doesn’t look staged or too perfect.” This is why families from the East to West Coast seek out her services.
Known for her preppy style infused with a dose of California casual, Amy Peltier procures interiors that are a little classic, a little modern and always fresh.
With offices in both Pasadena and Northern Virginia, Amy and her team stay incredibly busy but we had a chance to catch up with her to talk about her 16 years of design experience.
Amy and her design team focus on creating family-friendly residential spaces and with a unique design perspective, assisting clients with a variety of projects, ranging from furnishings to entire remodels, additions and new construction.
1. Joy: How is it different designing for clients in California and Virginia?
Peltier: The biggest difference is the scale of homes! California homes are much more compact, with standard ceiling heights and floor plans can be more compartmentalized. Virginia homes have wide open floor plans with high ceilings and lots of big windows. Both are fun to design, but require two very different design approaches.
2. Joy: Your Peltier Home Store reflects East Coast roots with a laid-back California edge. What are your favorite items?
Peltier: Whether you’re on the east or west coast every room needs these three things: beautiful accent pillows, a soft throw, and your favorite coffee table book.
3. Joy: What is your signature style, why clients choose Peltier Interiors?
Peltier: We refer to our style as east coast preppy with a dose of California casual. Our clients love our ability to blend traditional roots while creating a fresh modern home. We love to use color and contrast, and at our very core we believe that you never have to sacrifice function for design (or the other way around!). In fact, balancing those two elements is what defines our signature style.
4. Joy: What are some common mistakes you save clients from making?
Peltier: Where do I start! Designing a home is an expensive venture and full of decisions, so the likelihood of making a mistake is pretty high. We believe in ‘Design In Completion’ where we select EVERYTHING up front so our clients can see the big picture and the end result before they even begin to purchase. I also think one of the hardest things for clients to choose on their own are light fixtures. Lighting can push the design of a space in many directions and it’s also a very three-dimensional decision, making it much harder to visualize or select the appropriate scale.
5. Joy: We love your Pasadena Showcase Nursery Suite. Tell us how you approached this charmingly unique project.
Peltier: This is still one of my favorite projects to date! I approach every project with a floor plan first. It acts as my roadmap. The bathroom was TINY so we had to get extremely creative and design a space that, of course, had all of the necessary bathroom components but also a place to wash a baby (a small shower just wasn’t going to cut it). So we created a walk-in shower without a threshold and a single piece of glass to separate it and keep the space feeling as open as possible. We then added a farmhouse kitchen sink for more functionality, so you could literally wash a baby in it. At the beginning, I got a ton of funny looks from my construction team and trade showrooms, but I’m glad I stuck to my vision. I also like to pick a fabric, piece of art, or wallpaper that sets the tone for the rest of the design elements and the fish wallpaper did just that. Once we had that selected the remaining pieces just fell into place. Ironically I happened to be pregnant with my second child during this project, so maybe I was subconsciously designing my own nursery!
6. Joy: What are the biggest challenges in remodeling a kitchen in an older home?
Peltier: When you have an older home, you never know what you’ll find when you open up the walls. There’s always hiccups when undergoing a remodel, so the best advice I can give is to add an amount to your budget that will help offset any unexpected expenses. If there aren’t any surprises along the way, then “surprise” you came in under budget! (also hard to do on a remodel…)
7. Joy: With new construction projects, how do you ensure that the project runs smoothly for your clients?
Peltier: A well run project has two things in common:
A PLAN – that involves enough time for the design process to be completed before construction starts. This allows the client the necessary time to make all of the decisions while having a big picture of costs. There are many hidden costs associated with every design decision and planning those selections in advance can save lots of money while making the best design choices.
Great communication on a weekly basis between the client, the designer and the contractor/builder. I like to do this with weekly site visits and Friday recaps.
8. Joy: What design accommodations do families most often request for their children?
Peltier: Most people need some sort of backpack and shoe organization system in their mudroom and the second biggest request is cleanable furniture. Of course there are many other requests, but those are the two we see on almost every project.
9. Joy: What’s the most important element when designing a home office?
Peltier: Organization and hiding the actual stuff in the office. Home offices can be absolutely beautiful, you just have to get creative with storage and function, so all of the ‘work’ is hidden.
10. Joy: When doing a partial home remodel or a single room, how do you create harmony with client’s existing furnishings and style?
Peltier: I think you have to consider the big picture or end goal. Know which spaces will eventually be updated, and more importantly which spaces or things will not. That way if it won’t be part of a remodel or update, you can be sure to work around it and plan for it to seamlessly blend with the new.