The Glam Pad discovered Amal Kapen Interiors last year via Instagram, and when we reposted one of her images, it became one of our most liked posts of 2022. We couldn’t wait to learn more about this talented interior designer!
Known for cheerful, colorful and layered spaces that are both functional and beautiful, Amal Kapen Interiors’ philosophy is that a home is the tangible reflection of a homeowner’s personality and that each space should bring joy and happiness to their inhabitants. Born in South Africa and raised in Garden City, New York, Amal attended Amherst College and Vanderbilt University School of Law. Before launching her firm, Amal attended CW Post and trained with interior designer Meg Braff.
In 2018, Amal opened her design and antique shop, Amal Kapen Interiors & Decorations in Huntington, NY. The store is store filled to the brim with curated vintage and new accessories, lighting, and furnishings and has become a destination for design enthusiasts in the know. Let’s get to know more about Amal!
Q: Tell us a bit about your career path. Did you take a traditional path to becoming an interior designer?
A: I have had a long standing love affair with the arts and interiors, but I never imagined I would make it my profession. After University, I practiced law for several years before I decided to take some time off to devote myself to my children. Being a type A personality I knew I eventually wanted to go back to work. I felt the pull towards decorating and decided to try my hand at interior design. I was lucky enough to land an internship early in my studies with a wonderful designer that turned into a full time position and that set me on my current path.
Q: How do you define your style?
A: Many of my interiors incorporate new and antique or vintage furnishings and are infused cheerful color, art and natural elements to create a youthful and colorful twist. I do appreciate many styles and occasionally purchase a few modern pieces that I sell through my little store in Huntington, NY, but I tend to gravitate toward classic decor. I often tag myself with the “Grandmillennial” moniker because my love of mid-century regency style, but my end goal is to create pretty and pleasing spaces which ultimately makes me a traditionalist at heart.
Q: Where do you source inspiration and/or mentorship?
A: While there are some pitfalls to living in our digital age, I think we are blessed to have an abundance of inspiration delivered to us on a daily basis through Instagram. There are so many talented people: designers, creators and curators that share their perspectives and inspire us all. I also love history and art and in addition to @theglampad, a few of my guilty pleasures are @paintingsdaily and @archeologyart. I am also constantly buying design books, as there is noting more enjoyable than pouring over a new book with a cup of tea!
Q: Do you have any favorite go-to paints, wallpapers, linens, artists, etc.?
A: I often start looking for colors with Fine Paints of Europe and use Benjamin Moore paints. For wallpaper, Gracie and Iksel Decorative Arts are always inspiring. As for favorite textile houses, I mix things up and order from many different places: I pair pretty plain linens and velvets from Pindler with patterns from Cowtan & Tout, Brunschwig, F. Schumacher plus a slew of smaller companies such as Peter Dunham or my newest find, Botanica Trading.
Q: Where do you enjoy sourcing antiques and art?
A: I have a little decorating store in Huntington, NY, so I am constantly sourcing for the store as well as my design projects. While I’d love to say I source from Paris and England, most of my sourcing comes from estate sales, Esty and other antique dealers in New York, New England and Florida. In my down time, I scour antique markets and shops with the occasional trip to West Palm Beach where I visit Show Pony, Meg Braff Designs and Devonshire.
Q: What are your goals for Amal Kapen Interiors over the next five years?
A: I have recently started taking jobs outside of the New York area and over the next few years I would like to focus on more geographically diverse projects, especially in Florida.
Q: What are you currently working on that we can look forward to in the coming months?
A: My current projects run the gamut from a French style chateau and cottage on the North Shore of Long Island to a Regency style home in Baltimore and a winter pied-a-terre in Florida. Luckily, the styles and projects are varied enough to keep me excited and inspired.
Q: What is one fail-safe design element that every room should have?
A: Good lighting is so important! Almost every room should have attractive and multiple or varied sources of lighting (chandelier, sconces and table and/or lamps) and all should be on a dimmer, if possible. Good lighting goes a long way to make your room appealing and attractive.
Q: What do you consider the most exciting part of your work, and how do you stay energized on a project?
A: Like every designer, I love fabric scheming and the final reveal, but I stay energized throughout the project as I’m obsessed with the smallest details and continually tweak things throughout the process. Focusing on the nitty gritty might have some pitfalls, but it keeps me jazzed and engaged all the way through my projects.
Q: What is your favorite design or coffee table book?
A: This is an almost impossible question for me to answer — I collect design books and have so many! I will give you my top three: Meg Braff Designs “A Decorated Home”, Katie Ridder “Rooms” because she is a color and decorating genius; and finally, Elise DeWolf, The House In Good Taste — always a classic and very interesting.
Thank you so much, Amal, for joining us today. Such a gorgeous portfolio! To learn more, please visit amalkapeninteriors.com and follow @amalkapeninteriors on Instagram.
Her firm’s work has been published in The Wall Street Journal, HGTV, NYC &G, Hamptons Cottages & Gardens, Hamptons Homes, Traditional Home, Coastal Living, Cottages and Bungalows Magazine, Newsday and numerous blogs. Amal lives in Huntington area with her husband, boys and dog, Theo.
Just my kind of taste… so beautiful decorating. Would love to see more!
Totally gorgeous interiors!
I love her style and her use of color. Her style is polished and sophisticated, yet very comfortable and livable.
A few years ago, I toured the Hampton Designer Showhouse where she designed a room. I just fell in love with her work and have been following her IG ever since. Such a talent!
Kips Bay Palm Beach next year!