We want to express our support of the black community, now and always. We have been inspired by the strength of the movement #UnityThroughCommunity, a groundswell dedicated to uplifting the stories and talents of black leaders in our community, so we wanted to share the incredible work of some of the black interior designers, builders, and professionals in the interior world.
Our intent is to continue making Tile Club an inclusive resource, working hand in hand with designers, architects, builders, and DIY home improvers towards that goal.
With that in mind, the team at Tile Club is committed to the support and uplift of the black design community, and wanted to share some of the incredible creators who have inspired us for a long time, or have we have connected with recently to help expand the list of famous black interior designers!
Stunning Home Ideas from Black Interior Designers
Nicole White Interiors has a stunning portfolio that looks like a spread out of Elle Decor in every project. Her colorful Mom Cave office space is the room we wish we could claim as our private retreat, and she proves she can run for the Magnolia queen’s crown with a neutral farmhouse kitchen design that even Joanna Gaines would envy.
She was recently ranked among the Top 25 Interior Design Firms by the South Florida Luxury Guide, and among the Ten Emerging Designers to watch by the BID Network.
Photo credits via Nicole White Design Interiors
Laquita Tate is a Memphis, TN designer who creates stunning designs with the strategic use of color, greenery, and incorporating pieces already known and loved by her clients. She places emphasis on the power of styling to transform your living space, and shares key tips to revamp your home decor by styling accent pieces in fresh ways on her blog.
This year she was asked to participate in the Art by Design 2020 installation hosted by ArtMemphis. Her design skills are equally formidable with the use of dramatic color in this vibrant modern bedroom with African art influences as in her crisp white and gold kitchen design with potted plants on every surface.
Photo Credits via Laquita Tate Interior Styling and Designs
Donyea Tollie, owner and lead designer of Rejuvenation Home Studio, is a Florida-based designer who was Voted #1 Kitchen + Bath Designer by Lowe’s. Her priority is creating ‘chic, liveable spaces’ and her stunning portfolio delivers, like the vintage bohemian decor pieces that accent this living room, or the minimalist Scandinavian style of her bathroom design.
Listening to her clients’ lifestyles and needs are key to her incredible consultation process and dynamic moodboard designs.
Photo Credits via Rejuvenation Home Studio
Made by Carli started documenting the journey of rehabbing her 140-year old fixer upper, working to infuse modern design while staying true to the 1878 Victorian’s character and charm. She utilizes her expertise in interior design and staging to bring her beautiful blog content to life, like her plush outdoor patio living area below, and has taken part in amazing special community projects like Affordable Housing= Beautiful Housing at Amos House. Check out her blog post to see the Before of this incredible transformation that turned a refurbished Providence, RI, apartment into this cozy and colorful haven!
Photo Credits via Made by Carli
Atlanta, GA, decorators The Sisters and Company specialize in the kind of upscale Southern interiors that grace the cover of Better Homes and Gardens - luxurious, beautifully coordinated, and utterly welcoming from every angle. If there was some sort of portal that let you step through a computer screen, we would be relaxing in this gracious living room right now! Their use of rich color and opulent fabrics is key to creating aspirational living spaces that still feel like home.
Photo credits via The Sisters and Company
Southern California designer Nikki Klugh’s design philosophy is about ‘Everyday Luxurious Living’ and her stunning interiors represent that in every aspect of every room. Her design team specializes in creating ‘Sacred Spaces’ that allow your home to truly become a retreat and place to recharge. Her focus on creative and impassioned interior design springs from struggling to feel accepted during school and feeling that home was a place that should be nurturing and supportive - as well as beautiful! We love her modern country kitchen interpretation below - how amazing are the striped chairs and statement lights - as well as the accents of color she used to make a Grand Salon feel inviting and cozy!
Photo Credits via Nikki Klugh Design
Every creation by Dwell By Cheryl is essentially a dream Pinterest board come to life! This highly-decorated Southern designer has accolades from Southern Homes, the Best of Houzz Award for Design and Customer Satisfaction, and was named one of the BID Network African American Top 20 Designers. Her portfolio is an invitation into luxurious Southern style, and her blog posts are a wonderful journey through the pieces that went into making each design feel cohesive - she details her choices in colors, furniture, and accent pieces in wonderful features that allow you to see the room take shape in stages and details her design process and creativity. Our writer is ready to move into the serene blue and tan living room below!
Photo Credit via Dwell by Cheryl
Corey Damen Jenkins manages to find the sweet spot between a magazine spread and a house that you can step into and relax. He balances opulent details, color, and texture with liveable designs that welcome you home. He draws inspiration from fashion runways to create sumptuous interiors that feel fresh - and it has worked well, given the long list of publications, awards, and TV shows that feature his incredible work. The New York-based designer is also an avid philanthropist and dedicates time and energy to Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, March of Dimes, Housing Works and The Detroit Symphony Orchestra. His style ranges from a waterfall kitchen island in stunning marble to the strategic use of brocade patterned chairs to liven up a chic gray dining room.
Photo Credit via Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates
Interiors by Kelly Finley, founder of Oakland Joy Street Designs, lives up to her company name in every room - they are celebrations of joy, color, and cozy interior style! She excels at showcasing her clients’ personalities to make each room feel truly personal and welcoming. In addition to her stunning and creative design portfolio, she also heads the Joy Street Initiative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming spaces for other local Bay Area nonprofit organizations. She isn’t afraid of utilizing pattern or texture to stunning effect, like the printed wallpaper she tied into the rest of the kitchen by keeping the color story consistent and unified. How magical is the child’s bedroom she designed with star wall paper and fairy tale decor accents!
Photo Credits via Joy Street Designs
The experiences of Black Interior Designers
Part of doing the work to acknowledge and uplift our collaborators in the black design community is by acknowledging their stories and the disproportionate struggle they have faced throughout their lives and careers.
House Beautiful interviewed influential black designers in the interior community to give them a space to share their experiences within the design industry. They spoke with celebrated design icons who have shaped decades of interior inspiration alongside relative newcomers who created some of the hottest trends in recent years - their shared experiences all have common threads of discrimination and judgement based on the color of their skin.
On the Importance of Representation:
“I think it’s important not only for the general public to see our work but also for young people of color to see opportunities for themselves and to see that this is an industry that would embrace them." - Laura Hodges Studio
"I would like people to know that I have passionately worked in the design industry for the past thirty years, but my tenure has not always been easy. I hope that my design work has inspired your readers (regardless of race) but more importantly, I believe my work has helped to open the doors for other Black designers who saw me on your pages early on and decided that they too, could become an interior designer and that perhaps, things might be easier for them. For me, it is an important legacy to leave behind." - Icon Sheila Bridges, named “America’s Best Interior Designer” by CNN and Time Magazine.
On Diversifying Inspiration and Design:
"I believe good design is universal. I believe different and diverse perspectives are necessary and should be showcased. It gives me great pleasure to be able to share my perspective of Jamaican culture in a tangible form. I love when it connects with people all over the world and brings joy to their lives.” - Dana M. Baugh of BAUGHaus Design Studio
“Yes, I am an American designer of primarily African descent, but it does not mean my work or the projects I do for all of my clients (whose tastes range), only speak to the African or African-American aesthetic or experience.” Keita Turner
Elle Decor also shared a list of 55 Black Designers and their Instagram Accounts to Follow to offer even more inspiration for talented creatives to follow and inspire your feed.
Black Artists and Designers Guild includes an incredible directory of industry-leading creatives who have long been making waves in the world. They encompass a multitude of design mediums, from architecture to interior styling to textile design.
The Black Interior Designers Network is another great resource to find talented industry professionals for upcoming projects, panels, and collaborations.
We hope you will join us in expanding your awareness of creative, talented, and driven black interior industry leaders with some of these resources and recommendations! If you would like to share the work of black builders, designers, and creatives that inspire you, we’d love to hear in the comments!