Interior designer Amanda Malson has quite a roster of experience — she’s worked for Kelly Wearstler, The Gettys Group, and most recently with better shelter, the firm behind Orange County’s Lido Marina Village and LOT 579 at Pacific City. This year, the SoCal designer knew it was time for her own practice, and started Common Standard.

Her scope of work includes the Bungalows at Calistoga, The Eastside Mini-Mart, and the Lime Apartments in Long Beach — and she’s currently completing an A-frame residence in Mammoth, 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. Though her projects vary greatly, her California-cool style always blends vintage charm with sophisticated and modern elements. Today, she’s answering our famed #5MinutesWith Q&A, sharing everything from her morning routine to where she hopes to be in 5 years time. 

MY LIGHTBULB MOMENT:
The moment I started my own business this year, Common Standard, and knew that everything was going to be OK. That no matter what, people will want my expertise to create unique environments for their homes and businesses. 

I CAN’T START MY DAY UNTIL:
Coffee. I start most mornings at a past client of mine, the East Side Mini Mart in Costa Mesa, with a cup of Thunder King coffee. Then ten minutes of planning my day and five minutes of daily affirmations –  I like to get centered – it makes the hustle more gratifying and organized. 

SUCCESS IS:
The ability to create environments for others to enjoy with their family and friends. Then once a project wraps, I like visiting it and being a fly on the wall to see people experience it in real time. 

YOU’LL NEVER SEE ME WITHOUT:
Burt’s Bees lip products or at the moment – a pair of brightly colored Vans!! 

MY DREAM COLLABORATION:
Roman & Williams hands down. My favorite interiors are always created by them. 

THE ONLY PLACE BETTER THAN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA:
Austin,Texas. My sister and her family live there. I love visiting and spending time with my niece and nephew. I love the food and culture too. It’s laid back, relaxed and full of great people. 

WHEN I FEEL UNINSPIRED:
I call friends and colleagues who are entrepreneurs or in the business of design immediately!! Getting into communication and outside of my own head works every time. 

ADVICE I WISH I HAD 5 YEARS AGO:
Buy property! Also to hire an accountant, and let that accountant do their job!! Remove myself from anything and everything I’m not good at and focus on being creative and my passion for design and development. 

IN 5 YEARS FIND ME:
I will have created my own line of hotel experiences. Living part time in the mountains, part time in Austin. Living my best creative life, full of happiness and fulfillment. 

ABOVE ALL ELSE:
Family, friends, community and my many relationships will always be most important. Stay focused, stay humble, stay humorous about EVERYTHING!!