Good Design is Story Driven
We are excited to have Amy Devers as one of our Guest Speakers at Color Marketing Group®’s 2018 International Summit this November in Philadelphia. Amy is a Furniture Designer, to name a few of her talents, and she shared that good design is powered by compassion, strength, and a story.
What was one of the most memorable moments on Home Made Simple?
On Home Made Simple we found people who were maxed out at home but giving their all to their communities and tried to make their lives a little easier with makeovers and recipes. It’s a powerful feeling to help the helpers of the world. On one episode, in particular, we worked with an after-school center for at-risk youth to makeover their recreation room. I was so moved by the compassion and strength of the people who were there to serve and help the children. When the children saw their new space and freaked with joy I was completely overcome with emotion. It was such a raw, transparent, and honest reflection of the power of love, good design, and what can happen when you put the two together. It changed me forever.
Who are your mentors and favorite designers?
To be honest with you, I fall in love a little bit with every guest we have on Clever. It’s impossible not to feel overwhelming appreciation for their work and the energy they’re putting into the world after you’ve had an intimate conversation with them, learned their life story and felt their passion in their own voice. Aside from Clever, two women, in particular, have been earth-moving mentors of mine: Wendy Maruyama, the then-head of the Furniture Design Department at SDSU where I did my undergrad, and Rosanne Somerson, the then-head of Furniture Design during my MFA, now President of RISD. I watched them nurture, grow and support the best that each student had to offer, all while being complete badasses in their own rights as artists and professionals. I’ve benefited enormously from their example and from their direct influence.
What is your favorite design style…that you would put in your own home?
Well, my own home is a bit of a test kitchen or design lab. I don’t really subscribe to many style rules except that it has to feel like me, and it has to have a story. Otherwise, I get bored and if I don’t have a connection to it, then it’s just clutter. I have an eclectic mix of vintage, modern, and one-of-a-kind furniture that I lovingly refer to as “sexy grandma” style – it’s one part Mrs. Robinson (The Graduate), one part punk little sister, and one part optimistic podcaster. Original art and design from people I know (including myself) is where I feel the magic.
COLOR OF GROWTH
Knowing everything you know…what is your favorite COLOR?
Ah, my favorite color, for reasons I can’t quite explain, has always been spring green. Maybe because it’s the color of new growth? I’m not sure, I just know that even as my tastes and palette preferences change with the times, spring green always resonates with me most profoundly. It’s been that way since I can remember, and now it just feels like part of my DNA.
What’s your number one piece of advice when someone says they can’t use power tools?
You’re already using them! The blender, blow dryer and electric shaver that are part of your daily routine are also “power tools.” So is the vacuum cleaner, food processor, curling iron and garage door opener. You’re more comfortable with them than you think you are. All you need to do to ease into using a new tool is to arm yourself with a bit of information – that may come in the form of youtube videos, a handy friend, or This Old House – get comfortable with its capabilities and the safety recommendations and then just go slow and be cautious until you get the hang of it. A cordless drill/driver is a great gateway tool. You’ll be addicted in no time, once you start to feel all the possibilities open up.
CMG International Summit, November 9 – 11, Philadelphia
Amy Devers is an artist, designer, maker, podcaster and Emmy Award-winning television personality. A book smarts + street smarts double threat; Devers is armed with both formal education and practical hands-on experience. She’s earned an MFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design, done a major stint as a chief prototype fabricator and machine shop foreman, and has spent years as an independent designer/builder of furniture, art, and interiors. A fine artist as well as a designer, she has exhibited internationally in galleries and museums. She’s also made a name for herself on the small screen, demonstrating her skills and know-how as the host of several television series dealing with topics ranging from home improvement to high-end international design and architecture. She has been seen constructing her original furniture designs on DIY’s Freeform Furniture, building a viewer-spec’d log cabin on DIY’s Blog Cabin, carpenter-ing outrageous makeovers on TLC’s hit Trading Spaces, and traveling the world profiling the world’s leading designers and architects on Ovation’s Designer People.