Sarah Alexandra would love for you to meet Julia Amory, the woman behind the dreamy lifestyle brand, India Amory. Julia’s home collections and delightful social media presence provide abundant inspiration, making her one of our favorite tastemakers to follow (check out her Instagram @indiaamory) Plus, we love that she’s a go-getter—the idea for her business (named for the Indian block printing technique) came from being unable to find the right textiles for her wedding and deciding to design her own. Bright and playful, yet sophisticated and timeless, Julia’s designs are perfect for stylish holiday gatherings. Below, we ask Julia about tablescape rules and holiday traditions, and share some examples from her collection to help energize your own gathering preparations:
Q: What inspires your tablescape décor?
A: I generally build a tablescape around the print—not the other way around. I use the colors of the pattern and the amount of white space to help me select flowers, plates and accessories. I’m drawn to bright and clean palates and am never afraid to experiment; it’s just a table and it’s meant to be fun! Try something new. Worst case, you don’t like it and move on. Life is too short to always play it safe.
Q: Sarah’s business was sparked by the idea of a ready-to-wear design version of her mother’s beautiful shirts. Likewise, how have the women in your family influenced your style and design aesthetic?
A: I’ve been greatly influenced in my life by the women in my family. My grandparents taught us to always “dress”—that meant bringing an element of elegance to every aspect of life. Living beautifully is about being graceful in every way—not just the aesthetics. Sending a thank you note is as important as picking out a beautiful outfit or setting the perfect table. On a more visual note, the women in my family love color; they have a flair for Pucci and Shanghai Tang. My husband’s aunt was Chessy Rayner and, while I never knew Chessy, her ethos of mixing high and low style, couture with Gap, is something I embody in my own approach to style. Good taste is not measured by cost.
Q: The holidays are right around the corner. How do you typically spend them and what’s a favorite tradition in your family?
A: This will be a transitional holiday. My entire life, holidays were spent at my family’s farm in the Hudson Valley—which we sadly sold last summer—and for the first time we’ll all be together in Southampton, followed by Palm Beach after Christmas for New Years. It’s an important lesson in recognizing that new traditions can be just as fun as old ones. One tradition that we’ll stick with, however, is planting hundreds of paperwhites, which my mother is in charge of, and smell divine! We also always have clementines all over the house, which will always remind me of the holidays and adds such a nice burst of color, as well. Lastly, my father is from Germany and we’ve upheld the tradition of opening one small gift on Christmas Eve, usually in black tie attire.
Q: What’s a quintessential rule to live by when hosting a holiday family gathering?
A: Prep! I try to get as much of the work—in terms of meal prep and decorating—out of the way before there is a sudden full house. I’ve also become far more adept in delegating responsibility so that everyone has a role and feels involved.