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Life & Work with Amalia Gal

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amalia Gal.

Amalia, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Merchandising. After working in the fashion industry for a few years as a wardrobe stylist, I went back to school to receive a degree in Interior and Environmental Design from UCLA. I started in the high-end residential sector, then found my way to commercial design, in which I remained for about 15 years. I was working at a small commercial firm in 2008 when the recession hit. The company I was working for limped along for a couple of years, but business was very difficult at the time. I thought it was the opportune moment to do something I had been thinking about for many years, so in 2010 I packed three suitcases and two cats and moved to Paris. I didn’t have a job, know anyone or speak the language. After some time there, I started longing to continue my interior design career and moved back to Los Angeles in 2012. I ruminated about my next career steps while taking on small design projects. Those small jobs multiplied, and in 2018 I officially launched Amalia Gal Interior Design. I work on residential and commercial projects; currently on the books are projects ranging in size from a 50 square foot bathroom to an 85,000 square foot office space. I collaborate with architects, homeowners, developers and contractors, and am always looking for new projects.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Starting a small business is challenging. Launching a business just before a pandemic is very challenging. Culling and maintaining a stream of work a lot of work on its own. I made it through that very difficult time, so I see a bright future ahead.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
Interior design is more than just decorating. There is a place for decorators (those that take items already designed and arrange them artfully in a space). I am a designer, meaning I can come up with new space plans, bespoke cabinetry and furniture, and critically think about how a space functions so as to give the client the best space possible. In my office, we measure and electronically draw an existing space, then re-design it to work better for the client. I love designing kitchens and bathrooms for residential projects and also enjoy space planning office spaces. We work with vendors to keep up on current product trends, work with the client to tweak the design so the end result is just right, and work with contractors during the construction phase of the project to address issues as they come up in the field.

While I am known for color and pattern, listening to the wants and needs of a client are paramount. If the client is looking for a serene space with flowing fabrics in twelve shades of white, I can do that. If the client is looking for something bold and maximalist or sleek and minimalist, I can do that too.

I am proud of all of my projects. It is thrilling to have an idea, put it on paper, watch it get built and know that it will be enjoyed for years to come. One of my proudest moments came years after I designed the Hillel Student Center at UCLA. I was at a party, speaking with a young lady I had just met. We were exchanging small talk when she told me she attended UCLA and utilizes that student center. When I told her I had designed it, she was amazed and told me how much she and her friends loved it.

Can you talk to us a bit about the role of luck?
Life is all about being in the right place at the right time, isn’t it? One could consider that the luck of the draw. I am lucky to have people in my life who support my journey. I don’t believe luck has played a part in my business; it’s been a lot of hard work and determination.

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Image Credits
Jess Isaac Amy Barnard

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