Pasadena and Virginia-based interior designer Amy Peltier’s unique style fuses California casual with Midwestern traditional and East Coast preppy. It’s this distinct look that drew me to her designs. I love how this bi-coastal designer unites East and West Coast aesthetics to create an original look that is simultaneously fresh, elegant, fun, and family-friendly. In addition to interior design services, she also has a decor shop in Pasadena, Peltier Home, that houses an array of gorgeous accessories and art. I just had to get to know Amy and her work more intimately.
The thing that intrigued me most about her work was how her design language has won praise from people from both coasts. Amy manages to do this by listening to her clients and allowing their taste to inspire each project. What’s more, she feels that with “the rise in popularity of Instagram and designers like Studio McGee, Joanna Gaines, and Amber Lewis, interior design is becoming more visible and accessible to everyone, no matter where you live. So the idea of regions having specific design styles is starting to fade somewhat.” It’s a great insight into the future of design.
So without further ado, please welcome Amy.
Q: Your signature design aesthetic is a unique fusion of California-cool with hints of Midwestern traditional and East Coast preppy. Tell us more about this look?
Amy: It’s a fusion of not only what I like, but also of what I’ve been exposed to! I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity to live in many places and therefore experienced different types of architecture, seasons, culture — all of the elements that can influence design.
Q: I love how you juxtapose fresh, natural palettes with brightly colored and patterned upholstery, linen, and accessories. How do you decide the palette for an interior design project, and does the method you apply differ from East to West Coast?
Amy: First and foremost, we always take our cues from the client. We spend a lot of time getting to know the client, their lifestyle, and preferences. Every project is unique, and it is our job to create a design that speaks to both the aesthetics and layout of the home while also listening to the circumstances and desires of the homeowner. Sometimes, the client already has a piece of furniture or a work of art he or she wants to incorporate into the new design, so that can also drive choices.
We have a well-polished design process that we use regardless of the location of our project. Generally speaking, though, I find the East Coast to be more traditional in style and the West Coast to be more laid back and casual.
Q: In addition to interior design services, you also have a home decor store in South Pasadena. Tell us about Peltier Home and what inspired it?
Amy: Peltier Home is a curated selection of items that we not only love (some of them I have in my own home!) but make the design process that much more enjoyable for our clients. Our showroom allows you to sit on furniture, see finishes in person, and gives access to thousands of fabrics and wallpapers at our fingertips. Instead of lengthy trips across town to pull samples, we can dive right into our own library, which is one of the largest in the Pasadena area. Plus, it isn't just accessible to our clients, but we have beautiful accessories, pillows, and even pieces of furniture that other designers and retail clients can shop as well.
Q: What recent or upcoming design projects are you excited about and why?
Amy: I get excited about all my projects! I’m not involved in the day-to-day details out in Pasadena (my stellar CA team does that), but I often come in at a high level to review the big picture. In VA, I currently have a great blend of projects; about half is focused entirely on interior furnishings and the other half is designing custom homes. Both are equally challenging, and both offer the same reward as we watch the vision come to life.
Q: Do you have a signature style? If not, do you have any go-to approaches to designing a space?
Amy: My signature design style is a unique fusion of California-cool with hints of Midwestern traditional and East Coast preppy. I design interiors that are comfortable and family-focused but also a little modern and always fresh. I want to create beautiful dwellings with an understated and subtle pop-of-style while keeping my client’s personality and tastes ever-present. The ultimate goal is to work in collaboration with my clients, listening to their needs and desires, and implementing their dreams.
I like to say that we design for “busy people!” We have such a well-crafted design process, that our clients get to focus on all the fun parts of interior design while trusting us to do the rest.
Q: Tell us about the challenges and rewards of having a bi-coastal interior design business?
Amy: Fortunately, by the time I moved to Virginia, the California studio was running like a well-oiled machine. I pride myself on having proven processes in place, so everyone is always on the same page and knows what the next step is. Obviously, COVID threw a bit of a wrench into the business as we had to close the storefront for a while and work from home exclusively (and I couldn’t fly out to Pasadena!), but things are moving full steam ahead now, and we’ve never been busier.
There are so many rewards to having a bi-coastal business, but I would have to say my favorite part has been getting to explore the design aesthetic and architecture of a new part of the country.
Q: How receptive is Northern Virginia to your fresh, contemporary designs? Has the market shifted in NoVa to embrace more modern styles?
Amy: This is a great question because I’m actually working with a client right now in Virginia whose design preferences are completely in-line with my own! In addition, with the rise in popularity of Instagram and designers like Studio McGee, Joanna Gaines, and Amber Lewis, interior design is becoming more visible and accessible to everyone, no matter where you live. So the idea of regions having specific design styles is starting to fade somewhat.