Interior designer Jessica Amaral started out as an artist. When connecting with designers to sell her work, she became enamoured with the way they would treat an interior as a blank canvas—creating something for others to live in by turning that blank canvas into an entirely new interactive experience. Twenty-five years later, she looks to her background in art, both formally and intuitively, as a foundation for how she approaches design at Brown, whether it’s the art history she studied, the college art classes she taught, or the sensory experience created through installation art that she tries to emulate through everyday living environments.
Inspired by the way color and form work so well together when it comes to Mother Nature—sequoia trees in the mountains of California, the cliffs meeting the ocean in Portugal—Jessica is drawn to textured, natural materials and neutral tones punctuated by bold hues. But her clients give her the most informative cues, as she not only listens to their needs and wants but also observes what they’re wearing and what their mannerisms tell her without even speaking. This results in a design that marries aesthetics, feels personalized to the client, and never goes out of style. Kind of like a good painting.