Designer Crush: Amy Sklar

1. How did you get your start in design?

I was an art major in college with a focus on sculpture, and each time I would start to sketch or build something I would look at it and think, oooh you could curl up on that!  So that led me to a semester abroad in the UK where I studied fine furniture building and construction.  After that I was hooked!  I not only wanted to design and build the furniture, I wanted to create the rooms to put them in!

2. You were raised nomadically across the U.S. —how did growing up in different homes influence your appreciation for a variety of design styles?

I believe the homes you are raised in leave a deep imprint on you. Because I grew up in so many homes with varied architectural and decorative styles, I have treasured memories from each of them, ranging from a Mid-Century Modern with 14-foot glass walls in the woods of Maryland to a hundred year clapboard home on the shore of Long Island - oh - and a few classic split-level ranch homes thrown in for good measure!

3. How do you define “California” design?

I believe there is a real freedom and playfulness in California design.  People are open to trying new things and are not afraid to take chances and mix up eras and styles.  I predict that we are going to see a resurgence of classic early American and English antiques mixed in with more modern settings - at least that's what I'm into!

4. As a mom of two young kids, you prioritize function and comfort in your designs—what are some ways you make sure those concepts are at the forefront in your projects?

I am very honest with clients about what fabrics can and can't do.  There is nothing that is bulletproof, but I definitely know my way around what will hold up, and what will make you want to stab me with your eyes the next time you see me.  Also, we are big cuddlers in our house, so I really understand what it feels like to want a sofa that everyone can get comfy on that does not look like a big blob - basically, something that will look as good as it feels.

5. What’s your process for getting to know a client?

Listen, ask questions, crack some jokes.  Believe it or not, the design process can get stressful.  There are a lot of decisions to be made, delays happen, things arrive broken, but there is nothing open communication and a sense of humor can't help.

6. Describe your ideal Sunday.

Sleeping in, making brunch for the family, a trip to the farmers’ market, early Sunday supper with friends – wow, I really like food!

7. Favorite musical album of all time and why?

Joni Mitchel, Hejira. It is a truly a perfect from beginning to end.  Each song is the most magnificent poem you've ever heard layered over Jaco Pastorius's fretless bass, its pure magic. PS - that's the album I'm listening to on my ideal Sunday...