One of the most rewarding aspects of working for At West End is seeing the many creative ways that our customers style AWE products. It’s always exciting to see the new perspective a fresh pair of eyes can bring to a piece that we’re so used to seeing. We recently had the pleasure of doing a fun little collaboration with the talented Mississippi interior designer, Amy Ellis McNeil. We invited Amy to the At West End flagship store in Ridgeland, MS and asked her to pick out a few items that she’d like to showcase in a living room setting. After selecting several favorites, Amy styled a room based around a few key At West End pieces. The result is a comfy living area that utilizes a tasteful mix of classic furniture pieces dressed with a few rustic AWE accessories. You can shop a few of Amy’s selections below…
Amy Ellis McNeil is a designer who lives in Madison, Mississippi. A Jackson native, McNeil received her degree in Interior Design from Mississippi State University. Design has always been a part of her life, from managing a local interior fabric store, teaching interior design courses at Antonelli College, to managing her own interior design business, Amy McNeil Interiors. An artist at heart, McNeil also specializes in printmaking, from gravestone rubbings to the traditional Japanese fish prints known as Gyotaku. From 2004 to 2009, she served as an artist on the Artists Roster for the Mississippi Arts Commission for her printmaking, while also teaching at schools across the state with the Mississippi Whole Schools Initiative. Amy practices residential and commercial design through her company Amy McNeil Interiors. Special thanks to Sophie Wolf for the photos.
Click “Read More” for a quick Q&A with Amy…
How would you describe your style as an interior designer?
I like to think of myself as a conduit for helping my clients achieve the look they want. My job is to create a space that is comfortable and original within their own style.
How long have you been doing interior design?
Oh come on now. Must I reveal that I was designing in the dark ages? I’ve actually been a designer for 30 plus years, with a few years taken off to devote to mommyhood.
When you begin working with a client what is your process?
I consider that first meeting to be about 85% psychologist session and 15% design planning. Letting the client talk about their hopes and goals is the key to getting on the right track. The next steps involve narrowing down choices so the client does not get overwhelmed yet still feels in control of their decisions.
What would you consider to be some of your creative influences?
I have always been in love with old things. Digging for unusual finds in antique shops and flea markets can yield a wealth of components that give a look that is unique to your design.
What is it that draws you to the AWE style?
I absolutely love the aspect of repurposing elements into newly designed furniture and accessories. The rich old feel that comes across in these pieces fits right in with antique and modern looks.
For this project what were you aiming for? What was your concept?
For this project I was trying to pull together a comfortable relaxed mixture of old and new elements. The background is a great living area in a house built in 1950. So the good bones were already there with great hardwood floors and a cool window wall. I started with a funky old art deco chair with well-loved navy velvet. Art Deco is one of my favorite styles. It was the first foray into the modern style and walked the transitional line. That makes it pair well with traditional and contemporary styles. Next a great console from AWE continued the look with great mid-century lines. The color scheme of blues, greens and grays were inspired by some great multicolored pieces. The side table, fan chair and fabulous repurposed green fabric lamp brought this all together. Two little chest side tables are snugged together to create a silver coffee table which is echoed in the loving cup trophy on the sideboard. The textures of the rug and world pouf look great as the base. And the fish paintings? I always love a fish print and these were so bright and distinctive. The look is finished off with some local pottery and accessories from AWE.
If you had to pick one favorite AWE product, what would it be?
I am sort crazy in love with the molded plywood stools and chairs. They would be at home in a contemporary or vintage setting. There curved seats are comfy too.
What would be your dream project as an interior designer?
I have always been interested in making good design available to everyone regardless of financial status. My dream project would be affordable, sustainable housing that had good design. I’ve long been an admirer of architect Sam Mockbee and his Rural Housing projects that did just that. I was honored to renovate and update a building he designed in Jackson.