We sat down with Amal Kapen, Owner of Huntington’s Amal Kapen Interiors and Decorations, which opened its doors in October of 2018 and recently had its Huntington Township Chamber of Commerce ribbon cutting. Here is some of what she had to say.
What’s in Store?
I have a uniquely curated shop, and I do not believe there are any unique design shops in Huntington. Most local merchants feel threatened by [the] Internet, and I am no exception. I think our store is special because it’s a wonderful experience. It’s a chance to get inspired and take in all the pretty design vignettes. I carry many current brands such as Made Goods, Currey and Company, Highland House, Bungalow 5, and Visual Comfort, but I also have many unique vintage and special antique pieces, both large and small. I also have quite a bit of new and vintage art: original, decorative, and reproductions. I have products in all price ranges including accessories and gifts for as little as $14. Lighting ranges from $275 to $4,200, art $110 to $5,000, furniture $65 to $5,500.
I travel to design events in Paris and High Point in order to spot current and future trends. Right now, three big trends I’ve noticed are rattan in all forms; ethnic and tribal movement in textiles, accessories, and art, as well a movement toward an Art Deco style in lighting and upholstery. Of course, bright colors such as coral and red are trending and these colors are great as accessories.
Her Interior Design Services:
The store is my side business. My main focus is designing attractive, layered, and livable interiors — a passion that I find richly rewarding. I’ve worked a long time to accumulate the knowledge that I have and to share it with others…. It’s a very worthwhile service if you want your space to look beautiful. And I am all about the pretty.
Her Interior Design Influences:
I am influenced both by designers in the past such as Albert Hadley and Billy Baldwin as well as inspired by current designers Tom Sheerer and Markham Roberts.
Her Biggest Client:
My biggest clients are always my repeat clients. There is no greater compliment than when happy clients return to you for additional projects.
A Satisfying Project:
The most satisfying interior design jobs are where clients are willing to trust you and step a little out of their comfort zone. People’s homes are a physical manifestation of their personality, and I strive to make each space the best possible version of my client’s taste and likes. The most satisfying jobs are when clients are willing to take small risks in creativity, the results of which are impactful and pleasing.
Some Decorating Advice:
Create a plan and stick to it, and measure everything twice! You can mix high and low. Your things should be of good quality, but not everything has to be uber-expensive. It’s very important to not be disposable, to buy things that last and to reuse things. [Things] don’t have to be new; they could be vintage.
Advice for Those Considering a Career Like Hers:
I would advise someone entering the field to go to school, then work for someone as an apprentice for at least five years before hanging out their shingle. As a former attorney, I can tell you it’s much more complicated than it looks on TV.
Amal Kapen Interiors and Decorations: 17 Green Street; (631) 282-8207; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Photos courtesy of Amal Kapen.