Flower: Your parents were from Philadelphia, but you were born and raised in Boca Raton. Tell us about your upbringing.
Amanda Lindroth: My mother likes to joke that my father kidnapped her and kept her in South Florida after they honeymooned there in the 1960s. The area is magical for anyone of any age but especially for young families. I have three siblings, and we grew up swimming and boating. Given our close proximity to the Caribbean, we were able to bounce around Key West, Bimini, and Nassau over the holidays.
Tell us more about your mother, whom you credit for informing your sense of style. Was she a designer?
No, but she had great taste and was very passionate about architecture. My parents couldn’t afford an iconic Palm Beach–style mansion, so my mother hired a Danish modernist architect to transform a typical ranch house into something more Frank Lloyd Wright– or Le Corbusier-esque. Growing up, I didn’t appreciate her vision. I remember crying as I got off the school bus one afternoon because a classmate made fun of our “house with no roof.” Why couldn’t we have a normal roof ? And normal carpeting? We were among the first to have wall-to-wall Belgian coir. She called it chic, but we called it scratchy.
She sounds like a lady before her time. A maverick!
She and a few of her friends split from the Junior League and established the first Boca Raton Historical Society.
What did she teach you about design?
My mother had an innate understanding of scale and, to me, that’s the cornerstone for good design. Some interior designers use fabrics or colors as starting points, but I go straight to a room plan to create a design based on proportion. She also taught me the importance of staying true to your individual style. When I was 10, she let me decorate my bedroom on my own. I chose vintage white wicker furniture and bold Marimekko florals.
That’s a big job for a little girl! Was that the moment you knew you were destined to be an interior designer?
If it was, it took me a while to get there. After graduating from Wellesley, I moved to Paris to get a job. My objective wasn’t to get a job in fashion but rather a job that would pay for me to stay there! After all, I was 21 and thought I could do anything. I started as a reporter covering parties for Women’s Wear Daily and W, which gave me access to some of the biggest names in fashion. Working late nights and weekends got tiresome, so I eventually landed PR positions with Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
Does fashion influence your designs?
No, my designs are more influenced by lifestyles than fashion styles.
What role does lifestyle play?
I do a lot of work in seaside locations, as you can see in my new book, Island Hopping (Vendome, 2018). The island lifestyle is one of simplicity and leisure, so island interiors should convey a sense of ease and be conducive to relaxation and rejuvenation. Most importantly, they should be place-appropriate.
Define “place-appropriate” for us.
Don’t try to make a coastal cottage a Park Avenue penthouse. Create layers of luxury with indigenous materials like seagrass, rattan, linen, canvas, and batik. I love to use cotton hand-printed floral fabrics, especially from China Seas. They add a touch of charm and history to any interior.
“Fresh flowers or vases of fresh-cut leaves, which we use so often, are everything to a room. Rooms appear incomplete without them.” — Amanda Lindroth
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I see. Let’s go back to your new book. Tell us about the houses you chose to highlight.
The homes are all over the map—literally and figuratively. We hop from Maine to Palm Beach to Lyford Cay to Belize, exploring grand manses, funky cabanas, and even a handsome Hinckley boat. The random sampling really divulges my design schizophrenia! That said, there are common threads among them. They’re all comfortable and colorful with gauzy fabrics and operable shutters to filter incoming breezes, and saturated colors evocative of seashells, sandy beaches, sea glass, and sunsets.
Besides the book, you also have a bustling design business and a thriving line of tabletop and decorative accessories. What’s next?
Right now, we’re busy expanding our product line to include new offerings like picnic ware and small furnishings, so it’s hard to think about what comes next. But I’ve got an imaginary project that’s always been in the back of my head: I would love to develop and curate a brand of luxury boutique hotels in the Bahamas. I’m always dreaming up dreamy spaces.
By Margaret Zainey Roux | Photography by Tria Giovan