Steal These Design Secrets: What Real Estate Developer Amalia Graziani Swears By

Amalia Graziani is a residential real estate developer with a passion for creating spaces that inspire a sense of calm. Her style is serene and simple, yet packed with character.

“I’m really inspired by spaces that create visual interest without art or heavy décor. My ideal is a space where the walls, the beams and the light tell a story, and you can throw in some clean neutral furniture and call it a day.” Exhibit A: this sophisticated, airy dream in Amagansett.

Amalia’s love of design started at an early age. “My dad was always renovating something, and in high school, we moved into an old farm-style house in San Francisco. It had incredible period details and we did a ton of the restoration ourselves. Changing the space to bring out beauty that wasn’t there before was incredibly satisfying.”

Today, Amalia spends her days between a development site and the classroom, as she’s pursuing her MBA at NYU Stern. “After studying something quantitative and dry, I love the creative contrast of piecing together custom moldings or playing with different ways to open up a space.”

In 2020, we’re taking a blueprint from Amalia and resolving to take more risks and push ourselves out of those comfort zones. “I’ve had some amazing mentors, and by saying yes to smart, kind people, I’ve ended up doing something that lights me up.” And of course, we had to ask Amalia for some design advice. She’s compiled a list of design accents that she Swears by, straight from her professional toolkit, to give you the premium-designer-on-retainer look (without the fee).

Arteriors Roxanne Flush Mount

“Lighting can make or break a space. Ambiance shapes the success of parties, dates, and whether the room feels like ‘home’. I love this fixture from Arteriors.”

CB2 Moda Large Cement Planter

“These planters look great in every room I’ve seen them in. I usually send one with a plant when a close friend moves into a new space.”

Posteritati Movie Poster Gallery

“I like to find uncommon vintage posters for rooms that are more casual or don’t quite merit an art investment. Posteriati has a huge selection. I like their art deco posters from Europe. I bought a 70’s Jaws poster from the Czech Republic from them ages ago and it’s still one of my favorite pieces. This one is also great.”

Steel Framed Glass Doors

“Custom bookshelves keep everything looking so clean. I love these prefabricated steel and glass doors in an apartment, which give a custom look at a lower price. If your space can accommodate it, the materials and installation can cost less than buying a statement bookshelf.”

Airbnb Vacation Rentals, Homes, Experiences & Places

“I love to find quirky, unusual spaces when I travel. Staying in a space that has the stylistic elements that you’re drawn to is a great way to test-drive before committing. Photos are great, but there’s something to be said about finding a space you like and really studying why the dimensions work in person. I left this Airbnb in Rome with so many ideas.”

Circular Alabaster Bowl

“This summer I had the chance to learn from Italian artisans about the process of making alabaster pottery in Volterra, Italy. The stone is iridescent so it plays with light beautifully and doesn’t look heavy the way marble can. I hauled mine through the airport, but this links to a similar option you can buy.”

Insight Timer Meditation App

“In development, it’s nearly guaranteed that things will not go as planned. I always turn to this app on roadblock days. It has the widest selection of guided meditations.”

Photo credit: Photos of Amalia by Michelle Rose Photo

Atlantis Tavoli Bassi - Glass Coffee Table

“I can’t resist a floating table and I love this glass coffee table from Jan George in Sag Harbor. Everything they have is stunning.”

We think you deserve to buy only awesome things. We've asked the most discerning women out there to share what they honestly, truly swear by so you can get on with life and find your next favorite product, faster. What do you SwearBy?