Defining Design with Allison Hamilton of Better Weathered
Design is a concept without a singular definition. What it means to one person likely isn’t what it means to the next. So we decided to ask some of our favorite creatives to explain what it means to them. First up is Allison Hamilton, a seaside-dwelling, vintage lover on an infinite hunt for her passion project, Better Weathered.
How did you become interested in vintage shopping?
When I was young, my mom would take me along on weekend trips to yard sales, estate sales, flea markets, and antique shops. Finding treasures with a story is always what drew me in. At age five, I was asking for an antique mannequin... Let’s just say, the birthday lists got bigger and more peculiar as the years went on.
When I attended college in NYC, I started frequenting flea markets in Chelsea every weekend. I would dig through massive piles of clothing, sprawled out on a dirty tarp. Most items would cost between one and five dollars apiece. Of course, I would keep the best things for myself, but I would wash the rest in our dorm laundry machines and sell them at Buffalo Exchange. That’s when I began to realize I could make money off of my hobby and potentially turn it into a business.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
I would say my aesthetic is soft and natural, with touches of femininity— not overly fussy or perfect, though. I’m very drawn to neutrals: all shades of white, cream, ivory, and sand. They’re super beautiful when layered and create calm moments. I also really like incorporating natural elements, such as florals, shells, branches, rocks, and even bird or wasp nests.
How does design help you express yourself?
I consider myself to be a very visual and creative-minded person. However, my full-time job doesn’t allow me to exercise my love for design every day, so I’ve found other ways to do so. Whether I’m hunting for antiques, styling my home, setting the table for dinner, or visiting my friend’s farm to create floral arrangements, I’m always seeking ways to make everyday life more beautiful.
Instagram and Pinterest are huge sources of inspiration for me; I’m addicted. With so many pretty photos at your fingertips, it’s just an easy way to escape. Outside of social media, I find myself most inspired when I’m traveling, out in nature, flipping through coffee table books, visiting museums, shopping at flea markets and antique stores, and collaborating with artistic people.
What are some of your favorite places to shop?
I try my best to buy as many things secondhand as I possibly can. To keep within my budget, I mostly purchase furniture and accessories at nearby antique shops and flea markets. Facebook Marketplace is another favorite! I’ve found so many hidden gems by setting alerts for terms like “French”, “Antique Pine”, and “Slipcovered Furniture”. And I never forget to check their Outdoor/Garden section!
When I’m not buying vintage, I enjoy supporting local boutiques and artisans. Fashion wise, I’m ALWAYS on the hunt for the perfect t-shirt. I really like the brand Le Bon Shoppe which I found while shopping in Rockland, ME at a super cool boutique called Daughters. For gifts, I frequent Folk in Kittery, ME and Wish Basket in Newburyport, MA. When it comes to homewares, I am so in love with Red Chair in Hudson, NY. The owner’s selection of French antiques is swoon worthy.
Who are some designers you admire?
I really admire John Derian’s aesthetic. He’s been one of my favorites ever since visiting his shops in the East Village 10 or so years ago. I love the way he mixes old with new, layers of color, and texture. He truly nails the balance of eclecticism and ease. Leanne Ford is up there too. She shares my obsession with the color white, and I appreciate her ability to honor historic homes and all their quirks. I’m also fully obsessed with Willow Crossley, a florist and stylist. Her Instagram videos and floral course on Create Academy have been a source of endless inspiration for me. I swear I could watch her videos 100 times each.
Most recently, I’ve been entranced by a handful of Swedish Instagram accounts: @babes_in_boyland, @annacate, @jeufori, and @annakubel. Their aesthetics are clean, yet sweet. Their homes feel thoughtful and collected, with charming gardens and fresh flowers. The added bonus? Their adorable Swedish children.