Growing up in the Natural State, Amy Baker was always inspired by nature and her feeling of attachment to the outdoors influenced her design style as an adult. Raised in the construction business, she graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway with a bachelor’s degree in interior design.

 

She moved to Hot Springs more than a decade ago before launching her design studio in 2017. Today, she is happy to be surrounded by the natural beauty that has always been her muse. In addition to her growing clientele and list of projects. Baker is also a mother and is most at peace when spending time with her boys on Lake Hamilton or enjoying the many other things Hot Springs has to offer.

In the Trees in Hot Springs was one of the most recent projects by Amy Baker Designs.

AY About You: Where are you from, originally?

AMY BAKER: I am originally from Conway but have been in Hot Springs for 13 years now.

 

AY: What led you to want to go to school for interior design?

BAKER: My mom was an interior decorator, and my dad was a contractor as I was growing up. I loved and understood the construction process from being on job sites with my dad. I worked for my mom throughout my teenage years, and I knew it was what I was meant to do.

 

AY: What was it about interior design that was so intriguing to you and called you to follow it as a career path?

BAKER: I felt like it just came to me naturally. Colors and space planning was somewhat second nature. I wanted an outlet to use that creativity.

 

AY: What was the interior design program like at UCA? What are some memories of of your time in the program that you are most fond of?

BAKER: The interior design program was wonderful at UCA. It was small enough that you knew the instructors and students and formed great friendships along the way. There were many hands-on classes  like woodworking, art and sewing, so you got lots of variety.

 

AY: Was it always in the plan to start your own business? Were you looking to start your design studio immediately or work for someone else?

BAKER: Once I graduated, I started looking for my first job and I ended up getting a job with a designer in Hot Springs, which is why we moved from Conway. I ended up working for several designers along the way before I started my own business.

 

AY: How long have you had your own design studio in Hot Springs?

BAKER: I opened my own design studio, Amy Baker Designs, six years ago.

 

AY: Starting out, were you mostly working on residential projects or on the commercial side?

BAKER: Mostly residential, but there were also a few smaller commercial projects.

 

AY: How has the design landscape changed since you graduated from UCA to what it is today?

BAKER: When I graduated the only digital program we learned was AutoCAD. Shortly after I graduated, all of the digital design software exploded.

 

AY: How would you characterize your own design style or technique within your work?

BAKER: My personal style is rustic modern. More recently I have had the opportunity to do more of my own personal aesthetic, but I really just focus on what my clients want, and I do a lot of more transitional projects as well.

 

AY: What does your typical design process look like when working with a client from concept inception to completion?

BAKER: First, we have a phone conversation and discuss the scope of the project, then an onsite meeting to discuss the style, construction and overall look of the project. That’s when we typically meet with contractors or any tradesmen that will be on the project.

We then have a meeting to look over the presentation and place orders, and at last, we get to do the fun part, which is the installation of the project and the reveal.

 

AY: What are some of your favorite aspects of your line of work?

BAKER: Design is always changing and always challenging. No two projects are the same, and no two clients have the same needs and wants. We get a lot of variety in our line of work. Every project has its challenges and we, as designers, are always challenging contractors to execute new ideas.

Amy Baker, owner of Amy Baker Designs in Hot Springs, described her style as rustic modern.

AY: Tell me about your work with the In The Trees project in Hot Springs.

BAKER: The treehouse project was a dream to take on. When we first met and started discussing the concept, I knew this was going to be great. The modern aesthetic is my sweet spot, so I knew that this was going to be a fun project to be a part of. I love nature and being outdoors, so I could really visualize what they wanted this resort to be.

 

AY: What are some tips you could give a home owner in terms of decluttering or reorganizing, be it their whole house or a given room?

BAKER: Get rid of all the items you haven’t used in the past year. If it isn’t a family heirloom or something that brings meaning to your life, let it go! There is something so freeing about getting rid of clutter.

 

AY: What are your thoughts on a homeowner who wants to do projects themselves? What are areas that would be good starting points in terms of basic, small steps?

BAKER: Have a very clear plan of what your abilities are. My husband and I remodeled our first home ourselves and man, was it time consuming. A lot of times you get started and realize you need a professional. Easy small projects like painting are a good place to start.

 

AY: What’s the worst thing that a homeowner can do on their own when they look to redo their home?

BAKER: Anything electrical or having to do with plumbing. Those are things that should definitely be left to the professionals.

 

AY: Have you ever been called on to handle a job or project where the homeowner tried to do it themselves but were unsuccessful?

BAKER: Many, many times! It’s very common for a homeowner to start a project and get overwhelmed. There are a lot of materials to choose from and lots of decisions to make.

 

AY: What advice would you give to a young designer just starting out or one who wants to start their own studio?

BAKER: Go work for a few seasoned designers first. You will learn things about business that are great and maybe discover some things that you don’t want to do. Experiencing different avenues of design is the best way to know how you want to run your business. I learned many valuable skills in the first few years of my career.

 

AY: What are some things that you want AY readers to know about your work?

BAKER: I want my clients to love their homes. The spaces I design are beautiful but also very comfortable and practical for your stage of life. My work is always going to work for you and your family.

Amy Baker (Photo by Aber Noel)

AMY BAKER DESIGNS

1217 Malvern Ave., Suite D, Hot Springs

(501) 472-2710

amybakerdesigns.com

 

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