Inspiration

Amy Pigliacampo Loves Neon Signs, Secret Staircases + More

Interior designer Amy Pigliacampo creates modern, warm, and inviting spaces with an emphasis on playful colors, contrast, muted tones, and organic shapes. She describes her approach as subtractive, peeling back the layers of a space to find the soul of every home. Amy’s resulting modern rebuilds use thoughtful materials to enhance – not overwhelm – the space underneath.

Amy’s appreciation for textiles runs deep, and she names her collection of vintage Indian cotton dresses as her most treasured possession. “A stylist that I worked for years ago introduced me to these gorgeous things, and I’ve hunted and purchased them obsessively,” she said. “The fabrics are so soft and thin that it’s like wearing gauze; you sneeze the wrong way or pass too closely to a lever door knob and you can rip them in half. I had to stop wearing them for a while when my children were babies because they would grab onto me and pull. They are so fragile and beautiful and difficult to find in the wild, most of them have been gobbled up and are being sold at crazy prices. Every once in a while I will still go down a rabbit hole on eBay and find a special one.”

Amy Pigliacampo

That love began early on, when Amy first saw the Marc Jacobs collection for Perry Ellis Spring 1993. “I had had my Vogue subscription for maybe a year at that point in middle school and still remember the Steven Meisel shoot with Naomi Campbell and Kristen McMenamy,” she recalls. “It was so wildly casual and different than anything I had ever seen before. I wanted combat boots so badly and I was so young at that point that I didn’t even understand how to find them.”

After spending many years living in New York City and Los Angeles, Amy traded it in for a big yard to raise her kids in Boulder, Colorado, where she designed projects from Denver to Aspen, while also working remotely with clients from Brooklyn to Los Angeles. Recently, Amy and her husband, Corey, purchased their forever home on a couple of acres in Topanga Canyon, California.

As a mother herself, Amy also focuses on beautiful yet functional design for growing families and everyday life. When she’s not emailing herself or leaving voice notes of future ideas, she can be found watching dollhouse furniture tutorials with her kids. “We are obsessed with this incredible woman, Cath, and her channel The Square to Spare on YouTube,” Amy said. “They are the most mesmerizing and inspiring videos, we love them and we have made a few of her more simple designs. Her voice is so soothing and what she creates is next level.”

This week, Amy Pigliacampo is joining us for Friday Five!

1. Neon Sign Graveyard

One of my favorite places on earth, I saw it in a Saks Fifth Avenue catalog maybe 20 years ago and had no idea what it was. I figured it out around 2008 and wanted to get married there, but it wasn’t allowed in 2010. We got over it and came back to visit three more times, and on a whim looked into renewing our vows there over Christmas 2022. They had one opening that coincided with passing through Vegas – so I got my wish. The vintage fonts and the fallen grandeur of these creations move me every time. I love the bits and pieces of different time periods and eras in Las Vegas, but also the faded colors and innovative fonts and type treatments bring me so much joy. My husband was first a graphic designer, so we have a shared love of typography.

a small figure balances on a fallen log in a forest of green

Photo: Amy Pigliacampo

2. Olympic Peninsula

I visited this area on a road trip with my husband before we had children and then again this past summer with them. It was magical the first time and extraordinary to re-experience it with them. I adore Port Townsend, Lake Crescent, the Log Cabin Resort, and the Hoh Rainforest – the vibe there is so specific and the colors are practically fluorescent.

looking down an outdoor cement staircase with green bushes on the right side and fencing on the left

Photo: Amy Pigliacampo

3. Secret Stairs

I bought a book many years ago called Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles by Charles Flemming, a writer for the LA Times that documented urban hikes around many neighborhoods in the city. Completely fascinating and filled with curious and beautiful architecture and bits of neighborhoods you could never experience in a car, these staircases are my favorite thing about the city and filled with inspiration.

amusement park

Photo: Amy Pigliacampo

4. Coney Island

My husband took me out to Coney Island early on in our relationship and then he proposed there in front of the Wonder Wheel. It was a part of New York that I didn’t know until I met him and I fell completely in love with the history, the colors, the kitsch, the mermaids, and of course, HIM. Makes me so happy to think about the time we spent there and I always find something new to appreciate each time we visit.

two children play outside of an airstream with palm trees and mountains in the background

Photo: Amy Pigliacampo

5. Airstream

I have always been fascinated with these classic metal campers. I’m not one for tent camping, but I love road trips and wondered if I could ever become a person that loves to travel this way (my parents had a camper for a while when I was a kid, some of my earliest memories). We bought one almost on a whim in 2021 and we became a family that caravans. I learned a lot about myself during these trips and wouldn’t trade them for the world. Best investment ever.

 

 

Work by Amy Pigliacampo:

the interior of a styled A-frame with white walls

Camp Altezza / A 1970s Rocky Mountain Cabin with my take on a modern Swiss chalet at 11,000 feet. \ Photo: David Lauer

exterior of a two-story building with dark facade and large patio

Nobo Net Zero A dilapidated foreclosure in Boulder CO that we turned into a modern family home in spite of multiple setbacks, including a fire. \ Photo: David Lauer

interior with floral wallpaper

Ironic Meets Iconic We brought bold personality to a remodeled brownstone in Brooklyn. \ Photo: Corey Szopinski

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Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she’s likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.

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