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Description

Product Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • The trendsetting designer known for her effortless style shares the secrets of the art of layering, with more than 250 gorgeous photographs of her signature interiors. 

“Livability is my true north. The materials I use time and again all change with age and wear. Not only is that okay, it’s how you achieve more than a re-creation of what you’ve already seen, or what somebody else has done. You can do this, too—I promise.”—from the introduction

Designing a room with all the vibes comes down to how you layer your décor. The more you can mix the elements of your room—your pillows, objects, patterns, and lighting—the more finished it’ll feel: not too new, not too old, but just right.

Known for her eclectic approach that stems from her California cool, Amber Lewis trains your eye in  Made for Living, offering friendly advice on everything from nailing that perfect shade of paint to mismatching patterns with wild abandon to choosing a stone finish for new countertops.  These pages will help you design a home that''s made to be lived in.

Review

Made for Living invites you into dreamy homes that are light, bright, and—key these days—comfortable.” Martha Stewart Living

“You’ll immediately want to buy this new book of [Amber Lewis’s] signature laid-back interiors for yourself and everyone you know.” The Zoe Report

“Made for Living unpacks Lewis’s process for those longing to make the look their own.” Magazine C
 

About the Author

Interior designer Amber Lewis is the principal and founder of Amber Interiors, a full-service firm that provides designs for everything from large-scale residences to extensive commercial projects. Amber and her team work with architects and contractors to bring to life the distinct visions seen in her work, on her blog, and in her retail shop. Amber lives with her husband and daughter in Calabasas, California.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

How do I get your look?

As an interior designer and a lifestyle blogger, I’m asked a lot of questions, and how to translate my style is the one I get asked most. By now, "my look" has become distinct enough that I like to think if you viewed a police lineup of five different homes you’d instantly identify the one I designed. That said, you might not be able to easily sum it up in a few words. Even I struggle with that, because my look isn’t about one thing or the other but rather it’s a specific mix that I’ve spent years developing.

I don’t believe in being monogamous to one design vibe. If you’re looking for a rule book and guide to the "right" way to design a home, Made for Living isn’t it. But if you want to develop a personal approach to interior style that feels as if it grew up out of the ground, rather than bought or prescribed—well, then, you’ve come to the right place. Get ready for spaces that feel both fresh and current but also layered and approachable, homes with finishes that are tactile and rooted in nature, and furniture that effortlessly mixes flea market finds and sleeker shapes in a blend that feels like it will last forever. My kind of elusive, laid-back California cool can be had anywhere—whether you live in a Manhattan apartment or in the middle of suburbia.

You can take the title of this book literally: Everything in these pages is really made for living. In the rooms I design, the sofas are matched with beautiful ottomans upholstered in tactile fabrics that, yes, you can actually put your feet up on (or, in my case, Converse). In my own kitchen, I used one of my favorite materials: beautiful, variegated Moroccan glazed terra-cotta tiles. They’re full of nicks and dings; no two pieces are alike. And that’s why I love them. "Perfect" is not my goal.

Livability is my true north. I don’t want you to worry about constantly fluffing your pillows. I gravitate toward things that look better with time, pieces that feel like they have stories of their own. I hoard vintage finds because I love a true patina that can’t be re-created in a factory. And the materials I use time and again—linens and leathers, brass fixtures, honed marble, white oak flooring—they all change over time. The way your sofa looks on the day it gets delivered is not the way it will look in a few years. Not only is that okay, that’s a good thing. That’s how you achieve more than a re-creation of what you’ve already seen, or what somebody else has. You can do this, too—I promise.

To those who ask me how to get my look, Made for Living is for you. Full of tips and tricks and know-how, the book breaks down the building blocks of my signature style and delves into my design thought process and the "rules" I’ve developed along the way (which is often by breaking tired, old-school conventions). More important, my goal is to inspire you to use my favorite elements to create a look that feels distinctly yours—and to show you how to apply them in your space, making it feel unique to you.

In every interior I design, I see different aspects of my own life coming together to form an aesthetic. This began when I was ten years old, the age when a person begins to become aware of their "happy place" in the world. I found mine when my family moved to Malibu, California. Now, I was no spoiled rich kid. Ours was not the stereotypical Malibu of cheesy TV shows. We didn’t drive fancy cars or live in a crazy mansion. On the contrary, my parents were California hippies before that was anointed "California chic," and our version of Malibu was a wonderfully intimate, low-key seaside community—one you rarely hear about these days.

My mother was a stay-at-home mom, always cooking or crafting, organizing our schedules, and keeping us busy learning and creating, pushing us to draw or play outside instead of plopping us in front of screens. My dad is a contractor who prides himself on "putting on his bags" and getting to work—his "bags" being the battered leather tool belt he wore with trashed skate shoes and shorts, no matter the weather. Even though he owns his business, he loves the feeling of tools in his hands, actually doing the work. Manual labor was never beneath him, and that tireless work ethic—and respect for the integrity of craftsmanship—has been ingrained in me.

My brother, sister, and I grew up walking on the beach collecting shells and white, heart-shaped rocks while our dad surfed the waves. But for me, the beach was less about the sand and the shells than it was about the view—I needed an open end. Our house had unobstructed views of the Pacific; from the balcony, you could see the whole coast, from sand to horizon, and the occasional whale surfacing in the distance. Growing up surrounded by the colors and textures of nature, noticing the way the light danced on the water and changed with the seasons, and how this affected my mood—all of this played a huge role in who I am as a person. I felt happiest when I had horizons, a never-ending blue abyss in front of me. I got attached to nature from that perspective. Today, that sense of unobstructed light and air is my foundation.

In the earthy rugs and textiles I source for every project, I see myself in my teens and twenties, beginning to explore the world. Truth: I hated school. I started working at fifteen, and though I stayed in high school till I graduated at seventeen, I had an itch to see more. So the moment I got my driver’s license, at age sixteen, I did what you do when you grow up in LA: I hit the Pacific Coast Highway (a.k.a. the PCH). In California, I’ve always been transfixed by how you can fly an hour in one direction, or drive five hours in another, and find yourself in completely different worlds. I love that I can jump from snowy mountains to forested lakes and rivers to some of the most beautiful beaches on Earth, yet somehow I always know I’m in California. This notion—consistency without uniformity—is the cornerstone of how I approach putting rooms together.

At seventeen, I lit out, traveling all over Europe, desperate to see what lay outside my small, beloved Malibu bubble. At twenty-two, I met my husband, a musician, and with him I toured the world, hitting almost every country in Europe, as well as Japan, and beyond. Everywhere we went, I was collecting mental images. I was fascinated by the local design—whether it was the ancient materials and craftsmanship in a French antiques market or the minimal, streamlined timelessness of Scandinavian design. It all stuck with me.

As you might be gathering by now, design is not something I was taught or learned in school. I am a grade-A dropout, friends. When I was twenty-three and about a year into a well-known interior design program, the universe offered up a mini miracle: a job as a design assistant at a small firm. I’m rarely one to take the sensible, linear path. By the time this opportunity came knocking, I’d already been on a somewhat bumpy and randomly plotted trajectory, working as a personal assistant, a salesperson, a window-display designer, an event planner, a florist. Hell, I’ve even dabbled in creating murals and painted a few houses.

At the time, my design training had just begun in earnest. Leaving school was risky. But I believed that I had a real eye. And the job seemed like a fast track to actually doing the work I loved. So I decided to wing it. Working in interior design without formal training isn’t easy—in fact, it’s something I rarely recommend to up-and-comers. I had to work extra hard, learning on my feet to make up for the formal skills I lacked. But as an interior design assistant, I was a sponge, devouring design magazines and books and studying fabric samples. Even as I sourced items that aligned with my boss’s aesthetic, I was beginning to curate my own, daydreaming about how I’d have designed each house myself.

It was not exactly smooth sailing to get to where I am now. The seed for what is now Amber Interiors was planted the day I got fired from that assistant job. Around the same time, my daughter, Gwyneth, was born, and my husband’s career as a touring musician was coming to an end. We’d just bought our first house, in LA, and I decided to start a blog documenting our home renovation and DIY projects. Soon I had plunged full steam ahead into my own interior design business.

Starting a business is hard. Starting a business when you are also caring for an eighteen-month-old is really hard. Starting a business when you are caring for an eighteen-month-old, experiencing postpartum depression, and have a husband who is transitioning out of the job that provides your family’s monthly income feels so hard you are convinced you will die of stress-induced injuries.

To say that things were crazy? That would be an understatement.

Only now can I see the luck in this series of events. Hardship fueled my fire. It’s what triggered the course of my life, the kick in the pants I needed to turn what could have been a sob story into a life I’m proud of and feel compelled to share with others daily. If you’d told me ten years ago that what started as a modest blog would mushroom into a multifaceted business that now includes a thriving design firm and retail stores, I’d never have believed you. And if you’d told me that by 2020, I’d be publishing a book about my "signature style," I would literally have laughed out loud. But I couldn’t be more thrilled to share what I’ve learned with you in these pages.

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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
1,587 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

Ella
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
All White E’eryrhing
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2020
This is a great book if you only like white walls. The chapter labeled “The power of color” includes 26 white rooms and one child’s room with tan wallpaper and neutral toys. I’m bummed that this is so full of the same look over and over and over. While I adore the staples... See more
This is a great book if you only like white walls. The chapter labeled “The power of color” includes 26 white rooms and one child’s room with tan wallpaper and neutral toys. I’m bummed that this is so full of the same look over and over and over. While I adore the staples on each page of this book: Caramel leather. Navy couch. Baskets. Wood. Vintage rugs. Brass. Bent wood. Neutral textures. White bricks. Touch of black. All of these are great, but a little variety is missed. I would hope that there would be some striking variations or, as the book promises, collected interiors for all sorts of styles. This is a book for only one style: white painted houses. Lovely, but not a stunner.
145 people found this helpful
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Magda
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
BLAH,
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2020
Although I adore Amber on Instagram, having a collection of all her designs in one single volume suddenly seems booooooooring! All those rooms lack personality because they all look so similar... Also, this is not a book for somebody who looks to have a stylish abode on a... See more
Although I adore Amber on Instagram, having a collection of all her designs in one single volume suddenly seems booooooooring! All those rooms lack personality because they all look so similar... Also, this is not a book for somebody who looks to have a stylish abode on a budget especially if a pillow from Amber Lewis'' Shoppe cost about $300.
80 people found this helpful
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Bethany P.
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A great collection of her work but written content does little to unlock her secret sauce
Reviewed in the United States on November 8, 2020
If you are looking for a book that explains how Amber Interiors creates her incredible look and you don’t know much about interior design already, this is unfortunately a disappointment. The images of her insanely amazing and expert designs speak volumes alone along with... See more
If you are looking for a book that explains how Amber Interiors creates her incredible look and you don’t know much about interior design already, this is unfortunately a disappointment. The images of her insanely amazing and expert designs speak volumes alone along with her advice on paint, which is the best I have ever seen. To the trained eye and detailed design nerd this is worth the price of the book alone. Apart from that, if you want to know how to understand why her designs look so good so you can recreate it, this is not very helpful. Most descriptions in the book are general and unhelpful. They go something along the lines of, “I added pillows and throws to create a layered and cozy look in this room.” Compared to highlighting a specific lesson we could learn from each image. I was really hoping she would equip her fans with a verbal definition in addition to the visual definition she gives us with the images. Amber interiors is one of my all time favorite current designers and I will always love her distinctive work, but I hope next time she writes a book the descriptive writing has as much meat as the imagery.
44 people found this helpful
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Lauren Durazo
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
There''s a New Book in Town...
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2020
Aspiration meets education. This book is a masterclass on layering: textiles, color, light, lines, old, new. Whoever said that this is a collection of photos with white walls isn''t looking closely. The use of arches, corners, glass, and yes, COLOR (there''s a whole section... See more
Aspiration meets education. This book is a masterclass on layering: textiles, color, light, lines, old, new. Whoever said that this is a collection of photos with white walls isn''t looking closely. The use of arches, corners, glass, and yes, COLOR (there''s a whole section that is an ode to dark paint!), plaster, mouldings, beams - it''s a genius collection of cohesion and I loved every page. It has a story arc, as all of her rooms and projects seem to have, and I can''t wait to reference the tips and tricks that she''s been generous enough to share with those looking to attempt these slices of heaven in their own homes!
23 people found this helpful
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Proxy
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful but damaged
Reviewed in the United States on November 14, 2020
The book and content is absolutely stunning BUT they really need to figure out a solution for the exterior condition of the book upon delivery. The corners were all bent and the cover had dings all over. I’m giving this as a gift and now it looks like a second hand book.... See more
The book and content is absolutely stunning BUT they really need to figure out a solution for the exterior condition of the book upon delivery. The corners were all bent and the cover had dings all over. I’m giving this as a gift and now it looks like a second hand book. Pretty bummed about that. But if that weren’t the case I would give 5 stars. Beautiful pictures. Can’t wait to give it to my friend so that I can have a more thorough look through!
13 people found this helpful
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Shanelle
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Amazing design book for soulful decorating!
Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2020
I absolutely love Amber''s book! I''m building a house and all the options have me overwhelmed. Amber''s unique style and how she creates homes to be lived in has really helped me. I have loved reading all her tips and how she explains how to add warmth, layer patterns, use... See more
I absolutely love Amber''s book! I''m building a house and all the options have me overwhelmed. Amber''s unique style and how she creates homes to be lived in has really helped me. I have loved reading all her tips and how she explains how to add warmth, layer patterns, use neutrals and add texture with marble and vintage finds. She adds soul and spirit to a place.. i''m so thankful she is sharing her secret sauce.
16 people found this helpful
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Jay
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great decor piece and great read
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2020
Very nice design and decor book . Just what I needed for my coffee table and because I’m a designer myself I actually look through my books and this one is great ! I love the mixing of subtle textures and modern rustic feels.
12 people found this helpful
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Kerry
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful Book
Reviewed in the United States on October 28, 2020
This book is filled with inspiring interiors and helpful design tips. It''s a nice thick book and almost every page has something pretty to look at. I also appreciate Amber''s writing style. My only complaint is that the cover doesn''t do the inside justice. It looks a little... See more
This book is filled with inspiring interiors and helpful design tips. It''s a nice thick book and almost every page has something pretty to look at. I also appreciate Amber''s writing style. My only complaint is that the cover doesn''t do the inside justice. It looks a little cheap and has no dust jacket. Mine came a little dinged up. But otherwise I definitely recommend!
12 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

KMFP
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Pretentious book with no Wow factor!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 8, 2020
She is a great designer, but the book is just a bunch of beautiful photos and small paragraphs to reinforce the fact that she is a good designer that “has has strongly worded debates with installers showing me a curtain rod is level when it clearly is not”. Give me a...See more
She is a great designer, but the book is just a bunch of beautiful photos and small paragraphs to reinforce the fact that she is a good designer that “has has strongly worded debates with installers showing me a curtain rod is level when it clearly is not”. Give me a break!! If you want to read an interesting book, plenty of tips and passion about interior design, buy “Styled: Secrets for arranging rooms, from tabletops to bookshelves” by Emily Henderson
6 people found this helpful
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ClaireD
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Stunning Images
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 2, 2021
This is a beautiful book, stuffed full of lovely photographs. The author''s design style is clearly lovely and there is some useful information in here, though mainly illustrated by huge, expensive houses. 4 rather than 5* for me because I found the author''s writing style...See more
This is a beautiful book, stuffed full of lovely photographs. The author''s design style is clearly lovely and there is some useful information in here, though mainly illustrated by huge, expensive houses. 4 rather than 5* for me because I found the author''s writing style fairly self-absorbed and irritating I''m afraid.
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Debra Hughes
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The best interior design book I have ever read.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 23, 2021
This is the most informative interiors book I have read. It is written in an easy, relaxed style. The author has a real passion for interiors and she shares her tips and styling with you. It is beautifully photographed with practical advice for you to adapt. I read every...See more
This is the most informative interiors book I have read. It is written in an easy, relaxed style. The author has a real passion for interiors and she shares her tips and styling with you. It is beautifully photographed with practical advice for you to adapt. I read every page. Even looked to see if the author had released any other books but disappointed to find she has only written one. A must buy.
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alexandra c pinches
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Beautiful - worth every penny
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 28, 2020
Beautiful book really helping me design my house build and interiors. Thoroughly recommend
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V Moreton
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Full of design secrets ❤️
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 1, 2020
I am a huge Amber fan and love the detail in this book. Full of secrets and hidden gems for all budgets! Highly recommend!
One person found this helpful
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