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Rising Stars of Design: meet Samantha Stathis Lynch, founder of Samantha Ware Designs

Effect Magazine presents Rising Stars of Design – the emerging talents who are shaking up the interior design scene. This week: the New Jersey-based founder of Samantha Ware Designs.

There was nothing linear or traditional about Samantha Stathis Lynch’s entry into interior design. Having fallen in love with all things art and architecture at a young age while travelling abroad, the New Jersey-based designer pursued a Master’s degree in fine and decorative art history before kicking off her career working in some of New York’s top galleries. “It taught me that while I loved art, I needed to do something with more creative freedom,” Lynch tells Effect. “Something that would allow me to get my hands dirty, so to speak.” 

That something would see her go on to work for the highly coveted wallpaper company de Gournay, creating one-of-a-kind hand-painted wallcoverings, and then as a curator for the antiques and vintage department at One Kings Lane, where she later moved into their interior design team. “In 2020, I decided to take the plunge and started my own design studio with a deep understanding that we’re surrounded by material goods that are influenced by history,” she adds. “It ultimately enabled me to bring a sense of timelessness to my work through layered familiarity and comfort.”

Signature design aesthetic

Newly married to a Brit, Lynch’s design style has English nuances, and she strives to create timeless and sophisticated spaces that feel relaxed, comforting and ultimately beautiful. “I love the contrast between something old and something new,” she explains. “So much of my work incorporates a mix of vintage pieces alongside contemporary counterparts. I don’t shy away from colour or pattern, but I do try to make sure that nothing feels too cluttered or over the top. I like to think that my work will stand the test of time.”

I love the contrast between something old and something new.

Samantha Stathis Lynch
Samantha Ware Designs created this loft apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey (Photo: Trevor Parker)

First major project

“My first big project was actually the first project I took on after founding my own company,” Lynch tells us. A 5,000-square-foot new-build waterfront home, it saw her involved in all phases of the project including meeting with the architect on the initial plans, which she says was extremely eye-opening. 

“It’s one thing to have good taste and be able to put furniture, textiles, and decor together, but it’s a whole other ball game when you’re dealing with designing a home from the ground up,” she adds. “Luckily, the clients were a lovely young family and we aligned on all of our goals and aesthetic tastes, which always makes any project a lot easier.”

Notable projects

Since then, Lynch has racked up several impressive projects to add to her portfolio and is currently wrapping up phase two of a multi-phase redesign of a large seven-bedroom Tudor-style home just outside of Manhattan. “There are some projects that are completed relatively quickly, while there are others where you build a long-standing relationship with the client and everything is done over an extended period of time,” she explains. “Our Tudor project is the latter.” Working her magic on a kitchen face-lift, redesign of the dining room, den, primary suite, third floor and office space, she plans to evoke a timeless and sophisticated feel perfect for the young family who calls it home.

Her biggest inspirations

“This is such a hard question because there are so many designers that inspire me for different reasons,” says Lynch. “I admire how Heidi Callier can combine the most unexpected patterns and colours and make it look effortless, while Mark Sikes’s ability to make the most classic and elegant spaces look and feel comfortable, is always in the back of my mind.”

Natural and neutral walls, and expansive use of height allows space for dashes of colour and pattern (Photo: Trevor Parker)

She also namechecks Sims-Hilditch, Nina Campbell and her daughter Rita Konig. “And not a designer per se, but any movie by Nancy Meyers. I just love a space that feels lived in, layered, and has a nod towards the English aesthetic.”

Her career-defining moment

“It’s hard to say what a single defining moment has been, but what I can say is that in the last year or so, I finally feel like I’m able to put my best work out there and have had the opportunity to work on some incredible projects that have allowed me to flex my creative muscle. I think a pivotal moment for any designer is when they finally feel like they’re given full creative freedom and trust.”

Read more: Interiors | Interior Design | Rising Stars | Design | Los Angeles | Samantha Ware Designs