Raised by two creatives — in Chanute, Kansas, Amanda Malson knew early on that she wanted to create environments for people to enjoy. As a kid, she loved to construct tents and would elaborately design and space plan houses out of refrigerator boxes her mother brought home for her to play with. In junior high, she was the only girl to enroll in construction class because she wanted to participate in the year-end project: making houses from Styrofoam. It was no surprise to her parents, friends and teachers when Amanda graduated with a bachelors of Fine Arts design in interior design from North Texas University and moved to the California Bay Area to pursue her career.
Beginning in 1998, Amanda was on the forefront of working in high-end residential design for tech giants during the dot com boom. In 2004, Kelly Wearstler came calling, and Amanda moved to Los Angeles to work for the renowned global lifestyle designer. Over the next two years, Amanda worked with Wearstler on high-profile residential and commercial projects, including the Viceroy Anguilla and L.A.’s iconic Art Deco Eastern Columbia Building and the Broadway Hollywood building. She was then recruited by the eminent hotel design firm, The Gettys Group, and was part of the team who designed Hard Rock China.
In 2013, Amanda partnered with Steve Jones of bettershelter to form the residential and commercial design division of bettershelter. In her role as design partner, she served as the client contact and contributed her vision to marquee projects such as the Instagram-worthy Lido Marina Village in Newport Beach and Pacific City’s LOT 579 in Huntington Beach. She also worked with Jones to reimagine the decor for some favorite SoCal restaurants, including Bear Flag, Jan’s Health Bar, Bake n’ Broil, and more.
In late 2017, Amanda formed her own design firm, Common Standard. At her new company, she’s completed projects including the Bungalows at Calistoga, The Eastside Mini-Mart, and the Lime Apartments In Long Beach — and is currently working on completing an A-frame residence in Mammoth belonging to Michael McFadin of Ubiquity Records and founder of Groove Merchant SF. Her other upcoming projects include a redux of Memphis Cafe in Costa Mesa and reinventing the look and feel of several boutique apartment communities for Waterford Residential in both Newport Beach and Long Beach. Her work is ever-changing, but can perhaps best be described as California cool mixed with vintage and a touch of sophisticated modern.
Amanda has been named as a tastemaker by Traditional Home Magazine and also won a team competition on HGTV’s Design Wars.