TERRITORY HOME TOUR: AMANDA PAUL

Amanda Paul of Hamilton Distillers welcomes Territory into her endearing adobe. 

Five years ago, the desert beckoned Tucson native Amanda Paul home. After a decade in New York City—where she earned a bachelor’s degree focused on urban planning and architecture from NYU, then worked first as an urban planner for an architecture firm and later as an interior designer with her mother, Elaine Paul—Amanda was ready to slow down and get back to her roots. Amanda explains, “Living in Tucson is so much better. I don’t think I’ll ever leave again. There’s so much inspiration here and there are so many people doing amazing things.” Her little adobe is the perfect reflection of her relaxed yet refined southwestern lifestyle.

Here, she has time to follow her passions, of which she has many. When she is not busy directing marketing for Hamilton Distillers—founded by her father, Stephen Paul, and known for its mesquite smoked Whiskey del Bac—you can find her serving on the board of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, building vases at Romero House Potters, or hosting friends in her shaded and chic backyard oasis. 

One of the first things you notice in Amanda’s home is the abundance of her hand-built vases, each one unique and playful yet cohesive as a collection, with their streamlined silhouettes and matte white glaze. She finds inspiration for her ceramics from missiles, old cars with fins, and from simple objects, such as pottery ribs in the clay studio. Amanda got into ceramics immediately upon returning to Tucson 5 years ago. “It was a compulsive thing - more about the process of making them than the product,” she said. “Eventually I ended up with a lot of pieces at home, and Sam Ireland approached me about putting them in the MOCA Tucson shop and Sophie Albertsen wanted to have them at MAST. It was never really my intention to sell them, more just to hoard them and I was reluctant at first to send them off.”

Amanda’s home’s decor is dictated primarily by sentimentality, she says, and each object in her home holds personal significance. She rarely shops anymore, and has pared down her belongings to create a space that is comfortable, beautiful, and filled with memories. Her father, who owned Arroyo Designs furniture, built much of the furniture with mesquite. Photos of her grandparents, art by friends, family, and local artists, and, of course, many handmade vases create a grounded environment that is truly hers.

Her house itself is sentimental, too. Built as a stable in the late 1800s, it has a long history. Her parents purchased the adobe and surrounding property in 1978, long before its location in Barrio Viejo was desirable, then slowly and carefully restored it themselves. Both her parents and grandparent have lived in the little adobe. Amanda said, “Being the third generation to live here is really nice. I love looking at pictures of how my parents set it up and my grandparents set it up.”

 

LIVING ROOM / BEDROOM

A collection of Amanda’s most treasured hand-made ceramic vessels grace the fireplace mantel. 

A collection of Amanda’s most treasured hand-made ceramic vessels grace the fireplace mantel. 

Floral arrangement by Best Buds Botanicals. 

Floral arrangement by Best Buds Botanicals

The midcentury chair is the first “grown-up” piece of furniture Amanda purchased; she carried it several blocks down Bedford Avenue to her NYC residence. 

The midcentury chair is the first “grown-up” piece of furniture Amanda purchased; she carried it several blocks down Bedford Avenue to her NYC residence. 

More hands and favorite photos of Amanda’s grandparents create an intimate display on the bedside table. 

More hands and favorite photos of Amanda’s grandparents create an intimate display on the bedside table. 

Jo Malone perfume and Amanda’s vases reside in front of a photograph by Harold Jones, founding director of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. 

Jo Malone perfume and Amanda’s vases reside in front of a photograph by Harold Jones, founding director of the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona. 

 

KITCHEN / DINING ROOM

Vases made by Amanda and gifted hands accompany a rubber tree stretching towards the kitchen’s skylight. 

Vases made by Amanda and gifted hands accompany a rubber tree stretching towards the kitchen’s skylight. 

Amanda picked out the wooden skeleton from Colonial Frontiers when she was a child. She was drawn to its pink painted nails and articulated motion, and named it Priscilla. 

Amanda picked out the wooden skeleton from Colonial Frontiers when she was a child. She was drawn to its pink painted nails and articulated motion, and named it Priscilla. 

A sketch of Winnie the Pooh by her father’s stepfather, a task lamp from her father’s old office, and other sentimental treasures brighten a corner of Amanda’s adobe. 

A sketch of Winnie the Pooh by her father’s stepfather, a task lamp from her father’s old office, and other sentimental treasures brighten a corner of Amanda’s adobe. 

 

OUTSIDE

Afternoon light on greenery foraged and arranged by Best Buds provides drama in Amanda’s courtyard. Amanda enjoys listening to classical music on the radio while gardening out here. 

Afternoon light on greenery foraged and arranged by Best Buds provides drama in Amanda’s courtyard. Amanda enjoys listening to classical music on the radio while gardening out here. 

Amanda and Otis, her Australian Shepard, relax outside by a tile portrait of the Virgin Mary installed by her grandfather, who lived in the adobe before her. 

Amanda and Otis, her Australian Shepard, relax outside by a tile portrait of the Virgin Mary installed by her grandfather, who lived in the adobe before her. 

Q&A with Amanda

1. Coffee or tea in the morning? Coffee, and lots of it.
2. In a past life we may have found you where? Probably right here on Simpson Street.
3. Ocean breeze, desert sun, or northwest rain? Desert sun
4. Country roads or city life? Country Roads - open land and golden grasses.
5. What’s on the record player? Sam Cooke
6. Favorite flower? It's a toss up - Hollyhocks and Columbines.
7. Your main ingredient? Butter - salted
8. Marble or wood? Wood - mesquite
9. Treasured childhood meal? Guava paste straight from the tin.
10. Signature scent? Jo Malone - Roses
11. Sweet or savory? Savory
12. Prized family heirloom? A large wheel thrown bowl made by my grandmother.
13. What’s on the coffee table? A book on Robert Therrien recently gifted to me by my friend Sam.
14. Linen or silk? Linen, always.
15. Last supper? A bean and cheese burro - food's greatest invention.

 

photography: rebecca ranta | styling: sydney ballesteros + erin cox | floral arrangement: brittany péna of best buds botanical