Amy Butler is a creative designer known for her sophisticated, yet relaxed modern approach to printed fabrics and products for home, fashion, and craft. Through her books, website, and patterns for sewing, Amy has helped to inspire a new generation of young women to “find their own style.”
Her uniquely fresh print-on-print design approach is apparent in all of the products under her brand, and a personal commitment to quality, creativity, and sustainability keep her international business blooming!
Amy works from her studio in Central Ohio with her husband, cats, and a small staff of amazing friends.
Tell us about your business, Amy Butler Designs.
I have a design business with my husband David, we work from our home studio in Central Ohio. I create textile designs for sewing and home decor fabrics, and I have a full collection of fun sewing patterns focused on fashion and accessories for you and your home.
Over the past four years I have slowly expanded my product mix to include wall art, organic bedding and towels, hand made rugs, stationery, craft and how-to books, home office and fashion bags. It’s been a journey, learning and growing through all of the changes in the business and I am so thankful I get to work alongside my amazing studio mates, without them, this would not be possible. One of the best parts about our business is watching everyone grow, it’s incredible, I’m so blessed.
What inspired you to pursue this business?
I’ve always been creative, I knew from a very young age that I wanted to be an artist. I learned a lot from my mom and grandmother and I have always received support from family and friends. After I met my husband, David, at design school we knew that we wanted to make our love for art and design into our livelihood. I am so grateful that I have had all of the opportunities that have come my way. Now with a full fledged business the thrill to create something new, and by hand that will touch people’s lives is very exciting.
We’re not motivated by money, it’s a hunger to stay innovative and keep making and creating. My personal creative time and business creative time are one in the same. There is a wonderful overlap in how I feel fulfilled, all of my personal interests feed into my creativity in the studio and vice a versa. I never live the same day twice so I feel fresh and alive every time I approach a new project. I know that makes a big difference and explains why I feel so satisfied with what I’m making.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
My inspirations continue to evolve; it’s interesting to see what excites me next. I’m fortunate to live with another artist who shares similar passions. I love working on my home and garden and antiquing and hunting for special finds always lights a creative fire for me. I fill my wardrobe with odd bits of clothing from vintage to affordable designer… I love looking at fashion and experimenting with my own pieces.
Nature is my never-ending resource for color and design inspiration. I love spending time in my garden in every season. I’m a plant collector and I love the intricate designs in flowers and foliage as well as the amazing color combinations.
Travel also jump starts a lot of ideas for me. I have traveled all over the world in the past few years, to many places that have been Mecca locations for me such as India and Indonesia. I’ve always been inspired by ethnic textiles, culture and colors and to actually visit places I’ve researched and dreamed about has completely enriched my life.
Tell us about a favorite decorating or remodeling project.
Ahhhh, my new kitchen! We just finished it ( well almost, we still have to add tile to the back splash ) but for the most part it’s been up and running for eight months now. The kitchen is the most important room in my house, especially now since we opened up the space so everyone can hang out with me while I’m cooking.
David designed the entire project so the room is extra special. He created gorgeous natural wood finishes and warm stone surfaces and loads of space to spread out, and put my friends to work at the cutting boards. He thought of all the little extras and used every inch of space for storage and ease of use. He also had to accommodate my ever growing dish collection.A girl can’t control her love for entertaining with fun dishes right? He’s sweet, he lets me get away with it as long as I keep cooking for him.
What’s your personal design style? Has it evolved over time?
Casual, warm, eclectic and vintage modern. It’s evolved and has also stayed the same. My heart of heart passions and visual loves never change, but the places I’ve lived, people I meet and places I’ve travelled have all influenced my creative eye and tastes.
Describe your dream room.
I’m ready to do this tomorrow! Really most homes and spaces you’d find in Australian Vogue or British Elle Decor magazine where folks combine vintage modern pieces with eclectic textiles and antiques. I totally relate to the lifestyle in Australia ( and England ); I love their perspective and wanton use of color, print and texture.. all in a very warm and sophisticated way. Right now I’m in between deep cozy violet or navy blue and or tropical greens. I’ve got a thing for Kelly green these days…. orange and hot pink too but I don’t think I can talk David into it.
Many of us have a product we bought for our home-that now makes us think-”what was I thinking” – do you have one?
Oh, many. Who doesn’t ? Ya know, most of these purchases tend to happen at IKEA. I think I get hypnotized by the fun Danish names and find myself bringing home something because it’s cute. We tend to “repurpose” these items as quickly as possible.
What’s your favorite color or paint swatch?
That changes daily! I love color and obsess about it constantly. Currently, my favorite wall color ( or one I’m toying with painting in my family room ) is a luscious deep navy-esque blue by Ralph Lauren; number: RL IB96 called “Arcadia Blue”. It reminds me of the background color in my “Midnight Water Bouquet” fabric.
What are your five favorite pieces of home décor from your home or elsewhere?
Ooooh, fun question.
- My new Artaissance Wall art (Art That Fits). I had the artwork placed all over my house for a photo shoot, and I love living with it.
- My Room and Board couches. I just recently placed them in our family room the ” tree house room ” and they are the perfect conversational couches. Great for hanging out with friends, watching TV and the cats love napping on them. Everyone wins.
- My Eames rocking chair. I’ve always loved rocking chairs since I was a little kid. This rocker is comfy and smooth. I love turning out all the lights at night, putting on my headphones and mellowing out to music with my IPod. I usually fall asleep in the rocker, so that means it’s working…
- My two new IKEA wicker rocking chairs. Because when it comes to rockers more is more. These rockers are a design masterpiece, and at $138 each you can’t believe the price and value. They are gorgeous. We have them placed at our big picture window wall in our tree house room where we are currently staring at wild birds and our pretty Christmas tree. We call this area the “time waster” or “procrastination alley” It’s dangerous, I find myself there every morning wanting to sip away cup after cup of coffee. It’s beautiful.
- Our nature collection. Dave and I have a huge collection of bits and bobs from nature. Pretty shells, stones and feathers from vacations or our backyard. We circulate them throughout the house and change them out constantly in our feature vignettes.
What’s your favorite room at home? Why is it your favorite?
It’s the room at that time with the most people and cats. I love my house. It’s my home for life. It’s just perfect for Dave and me, and the way we live. With an open floor plan, the entire top floor feels connected and that’s where we spend most of our time. All the key living spaces are here; the kitchen, tree house room and living room with entry.
Who’s your favorite designer?
David Butler of Art of the Midwest. He also happens to be an incredible songwriter,singer, and drummer in his rock band the Black Owls. Of course, he designs all the cool band logos and graphics! Check them out at Black Owls on MySpace. You’ll be smitten too!
Do you have a decorating design or remodeling tip you’d like to share with thedecoratingdiva.com readers?
Yes. I have to tell you about my best friend Kevin Reiner who is an incredible designer. Oh my, you have to check out his website, Firmly Planted, it’s gorgeous! He’s such a massive talent, I’m so proud to know him. I’ve witnessed Kevin renovate and lovingly design homes for himself and clients.
The biggest tip I can offer up is one of Kevin’s. He’s so smart and organized. When he is preparing to renovate and demolish or deconstruct a home or room,he packs everything. I mean everything up and stores all of the art,home decor, kitchen and bath items in clear plastic tubs and places them in storage until the renovation is complete.
He only keeps the necessities on hand and moves out all of “life’s clutter” to both protect it and keep your living space sane while all of the construction is going on. This way you’re not on top of all your belongings that you don’t need right away and it helps you manage the dirt and stress that’s involved in this process.
The other beautiful thing that happens is that in the end, you realize you don’t need so much stuff, and you end up not missing all of the pieces and moving them on to someone else who needs them or will love them. Dave and I are saving money to finish the renovation on our home. We want to complete our bathrooms, bedroom and guest room. Our goal is to use the “Kevin technique” and make our transition a sane one.
What are your favorite blogs or home design/improvement websites- and why?
- Design Sponge – Incredible design for life can be found here, from great interiors to amazing recipes.
- Decor8 – Holly is a creative fire and I love her point of view and resources for craft and home.
- SFgirlbybay – I love Victoria’s style and beautiful photographs, plus personally, she has great taste in music.
- Ecosalon – great style with sustainability in mind.
- Enjoyco.net – An amazing new web site and blog created by my very talented friend Monique Keegan. Monique also has a beautiful shop just down the street from my house ( dangerous! ) her style is vintage. natural, earthy, modern and sophisticated… she has gorgeous taste and a personality plus to boot!
What are your favorite books?
There are too many! Here’s a few.
- Isle Crawford’s Sensual Home
- Bohemian Modern / Living in Silver Lake
- The Greater Perfection, the story of the Gardens at Les Quatre Vents
- Garden & Cosmos, The Royal Paintings of Jodhpur
- India in Words & Image
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The Decorating Diva LLC would like to thank Amy Butler for sharing her inspirational, joyful, creative nature, her richly patterned and beautifully colored designs from textiles to printed artwork, and her wonderful design recommendations and decorating tips.