Two Christmases ago, my husband bought me a copy of Amber Lewis’s Made for Living. Hubs made this purchase intentionally, not intending for the book to be just another coffee table decoration. He knew it would stir something special inside of me.
I scoured through the book for hours, getting lost in the beautiful images of her interior and exterior designs and styling. I can’t say that I was much of a design fan in my twenties, but when we bought our new home in 2019, something changed inside me. I wanted to create a space that felt like home and was beautiful. I wanted to create a work of art to stop me in my tracks each time I walked into a room.
Maybe I felt that way because I loved our house so much when we considered making it our own. Maybe I felt that way because I’ve been a stay at home mom for so many years and home is where my heart is. But there’s something magical about making a house feel unique and special that gave me the energy to follow through.
Enter: Amber Lewis
This book has changed the way I think about design. It has changed the way I think about color. Lewis spends so much time considering the tones and hughes and variations of white that gave me a whole new outlook. She plays with textiles like pillows made from old rugs (there is a fancy name for this) that is so unique and fun I had to try for myself (enter: Etsy, I found many incredible pillows from Turkey!).
I think the tendency is for people to get inspired by an artists work and want to replicate it. And there is truth in that. I would gladly live inside any of Amber Lewis’s designs. But her work does more for me than that. She inspires me to try this for myself, to play with space and textiles and furniture placement and exciting pieces of art and furniture. She is so awesome that I want to feel awesome about what I can learn to do, too.
This weekend, Hubs and I found ourselves with a quiet house. This meant time for two cups of tea and sitting (for more than three minutes straight) on our cozy living room sofa, complete with a fleece throw I found online last year. And what did I reach for to complete this perfect snowy morning?
Made for Living.
The book lives on a sweet little stand next to the sofa. Even though I’ve been through it a dozen times, I reached for it to consider new possibilities. What changes can I make to the house? What slight alterations will add even more depth to what feels like a dramatically wonderful space?
Today I noticed how Lewis always varies throw pillows so that she doesn’t repeat any patterns on living room sofas. I noticed where she hung a mirror, slightly right over top of a armoire, not centering it on the wall, but then drawing the eye left with a vase of yellow flowers. I noticed how incredible black can look in a kitchen, especially as a base for a center island.
Now, I’ve shopped on Lewis’s website, and it is incredible. Her furniture has signature leather straps that are unique and fabulous. Her throw pillows are somehow all the right colors (how is that even possible?). I haven’t purchased anything from her site. I’m not there yet, financially. With three kiddos under age 8 there are other things that take precedence over a $400 throw pillow. But I love the pillows. I appreciate them. And I love how fantastically they were designed. And I work hard so that one day, I can get that pillow if I want it.
All of this is to say that absorbing incredible designs brought me peace. I read through her book again, gathered more and more inspiration, and felt totally and utterly grateful. She is clearly doing something that makes her heart sing. And that makes mine sing, too. But most importantly, it brings me peace.
What brought you peace this week? Share the peace!