Known for creating multi-layered, worldly designs that ignite the imagination and create a sense of comfort and curiosity, interior designer Amy Kartheiser of Amy Kartheiser Design is constantly seeking pearls of beauty and wisdom that elevate her designs and enhance the lives of those around her. The pursuit has allowed her to bridge her passions — design, wellness, and travel — and taken her to every corner of the globe, from Chiang Mai and Athens to Buenos Aires and Jerusalem.
On her many adventures, Amy not only finds storied treasures that add visual interest and individuality to each of her client’s projects, but she uncovers layers of personal inspiration and global context that holistically shape the way she approaches her work. It’s a unique divergence from what might be considered typical interior design, but Amy’s well-traveled perspective intrinsically leads to an improved quality of living for her clients – both aesthetically and in terms of mental wellness.
To further her mission of creating awareness around mental health initiatives, Amy launched her charity, Under the Same Sky (UTSS), in 2019 to support suicide prevention awareness and survivor support. Through an online store, pop-up shops, an annual soirée, and year-round fundraising, all benefiting the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, UTSS melds Amy’s loves of design and service in a way that keeps growing and evolving. Keep reading to learn more from designer Amy Katheiser.
Meet the Designer
Where did your passion for design start?
Design has been in my life before I actually knew what that word meant. My mom was a designer, and I grew up around art, swatches, and textiles. It’s like it became part of my DNA.
I’ve always been drawn to beautiful things.
What sets you apart in the design industry?
I’m constantly inspired by my peers, and I love that we’re all unique and have such different points of view. My designs are probably more heavily influenced by my travels than most. I love nothing more than exploring a new destination and then finding talented artists and unique pieces that I can bring back to my clients. It’s really a win-win. My clients get one-of-a-kind, globally-sourced items in their homes, and I get to continue exploring the globe.
Supporting mental health and wellness is another huge driver in my life and in my designs. I’m constantly thinking about how design can elevate clients’ day to day lifestyles. What colors can promote serenity or inspire motivation? What functional elements can boost ease of living?
What are some of your favorite projects you’ve worked on?
Each new project becomes my favorite, but this recent lakeside home will forever be special to me. I played around with hues inspired by the sunset, art reminiscent of the waves, and silhouettes that mirror the curves of the shoreline. Lake Michigan is near and dear to me — literally and figuratively, as I live right by the water and it’s my daily walking path — so I loved the chance to use it as my design muse.
Outside of design, what are you passionate about?
My greatest passions all intertwine. I’ve built my life around mental health, travel, and great design. After suicide affected me very personally, I was motivated to create Under the Same Sky, a charity that works alongside the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention to support those who have been affected by suicide.
As designers, we have the power to affect our client’s mental health through improving their home lives — I’m so glad the wellness in design movement is gaining traction — but we also need to protect our own mental wellness. I’m passionate about destigmatizing these conversations and bringing them out in the open in the industry and the world in general.
Part of maintaining my own mental wellness definitely involves booking a flight and having a new adventure. My frequent travels always give me perspective, inspire gratitude, and make me feel more connected to the world. Travel is such a powerful thing.
Where does your creativity in designs come from?
I’m most inspired by the world around me — whether it’s from my daily walks along the lake or from a faraway country I’m visiting. Craftspeople and artists also spark my creativity. I love watching and learning from them, and it inspired me to start a video series on my Instagram called “Meet the Maker.” Through the series, I’ve been able to share so many moving and uplifting conversations with creative people here in Chicago and across the globe. It’s one of my absolute favorite things.
What keeps you motivated?
My kids, my family, my friends, my industry peers, my team, and my clients — I’m surrounded by incredible people. They keep me going through it all.
We are thrilled to welcome Amy Kartheiser Design to the RNDD community, you can follow her work at amykartheiserdesign.com.