Amanda Sanchioni sowed a love of interior design through an uncommon byway: psychology. While attending Wentworth Institution of Technology in Boston, she researched how humans interact with their environments — specifically, how a calming, pleasingly designed hospital could affect a patient’s healing time versus a disorganized and uncomfortable-looking one.
“[Design] has a huge, huge impact on mood and emotion,” Sanchioni tells Chronogram. “I’m not saying the [2019 Kingston] Design [Connection] Showhouse is a hospital, I’m just saying it’s crazy how much impact a well-designed interior can have.”
Sanchioni curated the door color for the showhouse and designed the front facade, which includes the doors and all trimwork. She got her foot in the door through a working relationship with showhouse developer Maryline Damour, who she met at the showhouse’s 2018 iteration. “It’s such a great mentorship / networking opportunity as a young designer who just entered the field,” Sanchioni says.
Sanchioni was initially hired on a marketing business, but when Damour learned she worked for the Vocon Design firm, the younger designer got a huge opportunity — designing the front facade of the historic building. “I work primarily in corporate interiors [with Vocon Design],” she says. “So, the key is to design a workplace our clients can grow in for many years.”
Sanchioni decided to apply this principle to the showhouse exterior. For inspiration, she strolled Warren Street, the main drag in Hudson, New York, which boasts myriad antique stores and boutiques. There are many 19th century Italianate buildings along the Hudson River — and the Kingston Showhouse is one of them.
“I think that’s where I drew my overall color inspiration, just seeing buildings of that [Italianate] style,” she says. “They all have these crazy pops of color.” Far be it from Sanchioni to pick something gaudy or flashy, though — for the front door, she went with Benjamin Moore’s Bermuda Turquoise, a soft and refreshing shade that contrasts the building’s earth tones.
“From the beginning, it was important to me that I introduced a cool color juxtaposed against those soft warm brick tones,” she says. “[It invites] visitors in while also not [feeling] too modern or out of place, given that this is on the National Register of Modern Places.”
That honor—the showhouse being deemed worthy of preservation by the federal government—also proved to be a major challenge when it came to designing the facade. “There are so many regulations about the door color,” she says. “My design intent was to create a sophisticated yet bold entrance while also respecting the historic nature of this building.”
Despite any legal and aesthetic hurdles, Sanchioni designed a tasteful exterior for the showhouse, and an eye-pleasing first impression for showhouse guests. Her work displays her talent for modest, inviting color schemes, rather than succumbing to mile-a-minute design trends of 2019.
“Honestly, it can transform your whole day to visit a space that is well-designed,” Sanchioni says. “I think the key is to take these tools and emulate a feeling rather than displaying too many competing design elements.”