Meet Miami Tastemaker Samuel Amoia

Designer Samuel Amoia brings his vision of experiential interiors to Miami

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Samuel Amoia first arrived in Miami as a teenager in the 1990s, when his family relocated from upstate New York to a brand-new world of sun, sand, and surf.

“My first job was as a bellman at The Delano, and I really enjoyed it,” says the 41-year-old interior designer who hesitates to call any single place his home base. Amoia has spent recent years traveling between projects in New York City and Los Angeles, as well as the Caribbean, and frequently jets off to the United Kingdom and South America to source materials, art, and inspiration. A new studio in Miami has now re-established him as a local—or as much of one as a designer with his international workload can be. 

“I’ll never say I live in any one place,” he explains. “I don’t have the liberty to be chained anywhere 365 days a year, and even if I wanted to, my jobs take me everywhere.” 

From his early vantage point in the Miami hospitality industry, Amoia made influential connections that piqued his interest in the business and raised his awareness of how spaces influence the way people live. He spent some time modeling with Ford Models—a distant memory he dismisses, saying it’s not his thing, as he prefers “art, history, and things that are real and relevant in today’s society.” 

Working for hotelier André Balazs, Amoia took his first steps into the world of interior design when, in 2009, he met interior designer Stephen Sills who offered him a design job, even though he held no degree in the field. Amoia later enrolled in design courses at Barry University and New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, but he honed the art and business of design under Sills’ mentorship, working on an array of residential and commercial projects.  

“I learned that the connection between how you live and move through a space is very important,” says Amoia. “Design translates to experiences.” 

In Miami, Amoia expects to be working on residential projects. As for his aesthetic? “It’s based on modernism and twentieth-century design, especially 1920s and 1930s Paris,” he says. “Modern, soft interiors with an edge.” 

Amoia prefers creating spaces that are minimalistic and livable, leaning into “sumptuous and natural materials,” he says. Each project is guided by the architecture and site where the space is located. “What you’re doing on the beach is not the same as what you’re doing in the sky in a high-rise,” he explains. “I focus on what clients want, how they plan to live in a space. It’s a dream scenario.” 

Amoia is also looking to how his clients travel and socialize, planning to expand his commercial business, forging ahead with hotels and bars—both for clients and himself. On a 130-acre site in the Catskills, Amoia has a wellness-focused hotel, The Aurum, in the works. Additionally, this year, he plans to open “a sexy cocktail lounge” called Saint Neri after the patron saint of joy, in Buffalo, New York, where he was born. “I’d like to open a Saint Neri in Miami too. Why not?” 

In the meantime, the designer is looking forward to soaking up the local environment. “I’m going to go swimming, ride my bike, meet friends for lunch, and hang out with my dogs,” he says. “I’m going to take in the best Miami has to offer.” 

Story Credits: 

Text by Kelley Marcellus 

Photos courtesy of Samuel Amoia

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