Amanda Lindroth on Island Time

Drawing from her charmed Florida childhood and her appreciation of local color, Amanda Lindroth designs luxe, low-key rooms that are the epitome of tropical chic
Amanda Lindroff sitting in her Palm Beach shop

Photo by Carmel Brantley

Amanda Lindroff in her Palm Beach shop

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 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.

Amanda Lindroth designed room with coral chair

Photo by Tria Giovan

A pecky cypress–paneled dining room was designed around a set of early 19th-century Dufour wallpaper panels depicting Captain Cook’s voyages to the South Seas.

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.

Amanda Lindroth designed room

Photo by Tria Giovan

Pastel-colored walls and vibrant green accents offset the formality and masculinity of a collection of antique nautical paintings.

Amanda Lindroth dining room with Biedermeier chairs

Photo by Tria Giovan

A two-tiered antique chandelier hangs above a table draped with a custom awning-striped cloth and encircled by a set of Biedermeier chairs.

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 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.

Amanda Lindroth designed loggia with fanciful bench and ornate mirror with coral-colored frame.

Photo by Tria Giovan

A fancifully carved mirror painted eye-popping coral reflects the view of the mature tropical landscape.

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.

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.

Amanda Lindroth designed loggia with yellow walls.

Photo by Tria Giovan

Tall Corallina wainscoting lends warmth to the loggia. Lindroth designed the open-air space to feel like an interior room, with comfortable seating and custom furnishings such as the hand-carved consoles and mirrored planters made in India.

A suite of shell watercolors hangs above a Kentian carved console. The stuffed peacock adds playfulness to the space.

Photo by Tria Giovan

A suite of shell watercolors hangs above a Kentian carved console. The stuffed peacock adds playfulness to the space.

A faux-tortoiseshell French armoire houses prints, shells, and other curiosities.

Photo by Tria Giovan

A faux-tortoiseshell French armoire houses prints, shells, and other curiosities.

Amanda Lindroth

Photo by Tria Giovan

Bullion fringe ups the ante on the tufted corner banquette.

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