Being able to travel and find new inspiration is something that never gets old. However, between taking care of an always-on-the-go 3-year-old boy and being the new steward of Nell Hill’s, my travel schedule as of late has been nonexistent.

That is why when I heard my friend and talented local designer Will Brown had just gotten back from a gorgeous trip to the Amalfi Coast, I couldn’t wait to see him and hear all about the wonderful things he got to experience. With my mind full of pastel-colored fishing villages, sprawling vineyards and cliffside lemon groves, I begged Brown to bring a bit of the Amalfi Coast to me.

I  invited Brown over to not only tell me all about his fabulous vacation, but also to set up an Amalfi Coast-inspired design so all of us could enjoy a little bit of the oasis before we head into fall. We had so much fun setting up a living room and dining area in his Amalfi-inspired aesthetic. What I really loved about seeing his inspiration photos was the juxtaposition between the traditional, earthy stone buildings and pops of vibrant color. From the turquoise of the sea to the bright lemon groves and back to the pastel villages nestled on rocky cliffs, the accents of color give the easy coastal vibe that truly brings the design to life.

We grabbed greens, blues, corals and yellows to fill our rooms with the whimsy and energy Brown felt on his vacation. No detail went unnoticed! From the lush lemon trees displayed around the space to bring in memories of the groves he explored and a freshly chilled bar cart — hey, it’s not a vacation without a cold drink in your hand — to the delicate shell details on the chargers, the coast was brought to the Midwest.

While hearing about his adventures, I was struck by his mealtime experiences. Being right by the sea, everything was colorful, fresh and most importantly, made to be enjoyed by many.

The social aspect of dining is something I hold near and dear (as do many of my fellow hosts and hostesses, I’m sure). Using a meal to express your passions, not only with food but with design, is something you can tell was a big part of his trip. We wanted to make sure that translated to our tablescape with sharable plates located throughout the table instead of a traditional setup.

To incorporate the simplistic but beautiful atmosphere of the outdoor oasis, we added topiaries and more lemon accents to the table to re-create the feeling of nature at your fingertips.

There are many ways to get inspired by different locations, and I am so happy Brown was able to come play with us and bring you this beautiful display. Until next time, happy decorating!

Adapted from Katie Laughridge is the owner of Kansas City interior design destination Nell Hill’s. For more information, contact Katie at

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