Meet the black designers who are changing the world of interior design

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Interior design is a strong part of our daily life. How we design and create our surroundings, especially our home, can impact the way we work, relax and navigate each day. This is why interior designers can play such an important role when it comes to curating our spaces: they are professionals at adding style and function to the decor of your home, bringing joy to every corner.

But while the world of interior design is inspirational, it’s also competitive — and sadly, it lacks diversity. Many black interior designers are all too often overlooked, despite their significant achievements in the field. Despite this, many veterans of the profession continue to pave the way for the next generation of creatives, while also leaving a large footprint for others to admire and respect.

In light of Black History Month, we celebrate some black designers who are changing the world of interior design. From Maryline Damour and Malene Barnett to Mikel Welch and Beth Diana Smith, these are some of the talented black interior designers we think are worth keeping on your radar – now & Forever.

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Courtney McLeod, New York designer and founder of Right Meets Left Interior Design, is originally from New Orleans. In her work you will find vibrant and cheerful colors inspired by her travels in Asia and Europe, along with her Creole background.

Learn more about Right Meets Left Interior Design

While not an interior designer, Malene Barnett is an outspoken force in the industry. With her passion for African heritage, Malene creates sculptural ceramic tiles, handwoven rugs and other home products inspired by traditional cultural experiences. Through her global platform, the Black Artists + Designers Guild, she offers black creatives support and safe spaces to be seen and heard.

Learn more about Malene Barnett

Inspired by her grandmother, who shares her first name, Delia Kenza designs homes with bold and clean lines, neutral accents and a modern approach – adding character and dimension to every space she touches. The perfect example? Your own home with ornate moldings and herringbone floors.

Find out more about Delia Kenza Interiors

TV personality and interior designer Nicole Gibbons founded her online paint company Clare in 2018. Originally from Michigan, Nicole later relocated to Harlem where she designed spaces with a timeless yet modern aesthetic. With Clare, she strives to simplify the paint shopping experience – where you get designer-curated colors and expert advice to help you choose the perfect shade for your space.

Find out more about Nicole Gibbons

Saudah Saleem’s design style is sophisticated yet accessible. A native of New York, Saudah finds inspiration in the hustle and bustle of the city. Her work features unexpected color combinations, eclectic patterns and design elements full of color and energy.

Learn more about Saudah Saleem

Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters

Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters are an Atlanta-based design duo whose collaboration dates back to 2012. It was only in 2014 that they decided to start Forbes + Masters, a full-service interior design company for residential and commercial spaces. Her projects feature statement pieces along with layers of texture.

Learn more about Forbes + Masters

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Keita Turner has a strong background in fashion and interior design. In 2007 she was named a runner-up at the International Design Awards (IDA) for Residential Interior Design and was one of the designers invited to unveil the new space vignettes at Macy’s Herald Square in 2014. Her goal: to ensure a fashion-forward classic style by blending natural subtle tones and vibrant accents.

Learn more about Keita Turner Design

If you’re looking for elegance and modern comfort, Los Angeles-based designer Breegan Jane can bring this design to life. Previously featured on Hallmark’s home & family and HGTV’s Extreme Makeover Home EditionBreegan is capable of creating just about any mood you want in your home (with customization being her favorite part of the process).

Learn more about Breegan Jane

With an extensive entertainment and fashion background, Linda Hayslett founded LH. Drafts. After years of living and working in New York City, Linda moved to Los Angeles, where she styled celebrities like Hilary Swank, Sandra Oh and Charlize Theron. While her work varies, she once mentioned her appreciation for neoclassical design, where she fell in love with the traditional elements and rich wood of the spaces.

Learn more about LH. drafts

Layered textures, curated art and a diverse array of cultural influences inform the work of New Jersey-based designer Beth Diana Smith. Beth started her interior design company after years of working in accounting and finance. Since her career transition, she has completed a range of residential and commercial projects with a focus on luxurious finishes, inspirational color palettes and eye-catching patterns.

Learn more about Beth Diana Smith

As the owner and lead designer of Laura Hodges Studio, Laura Hodges is known for her globally inspired interiors. Influenced by her diverse cultural background – including her Norwegian grandmother and Jamaican father – Laura curates a clean and eclectic ambience while adding vintage finds and natural elements.

Find out more about Laura Hodges

Maryline Damour and her partner Fred Drake are co-founders of Damour Drake, an interior design and construction company based in Kingston, NY. Maryline’s work displays a unique cultural flair, with her designs ranging from a breezy Brooklyn loft to a cathedral in her native Haiti.

Learn more about Damour Drake

Michel Smith Boyd is the founder of Atlanta-based Smith Boyd Interiors. You’ll find him on the hit shows Luxury for less and blind buy, where his work encompasses a lush and soulful atmosphere. He is a master at weaving masculine and feminine accents perfectly into a design scheme. He’s also brilliant at incorporating natural materials into interiors.

Find out more about Michel Smith Boyd

Southern California-based designer Nikki Klugh has over 19 years of interior design experience. Her education includes formal training at the Art Institute in Albuquerque, NM. She is also a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA).

When asked about success in the industry, Nikki credits her imagination and creativity where she takes on each challenge eagerly for the next.

Find out more about the Nikki Klugh Design Group

Atlanta-based designer Justin Q. Williams founded his interior design company Trademark Design Co. at the age of 21. Originally from Alabama, Justin has appeared on HGTV, among others Draft Star: Next generation His The design aesthetic offers a seamless combination of modern and traditional style, which he describes as a “penthouse pinash”.

Learn more about Justin Q Williams

Florida-based designer Nicole White’s work is inspired by her Jamaican heritage. She loves nothing more than infusing the bold colors and textures of the Caribbean into her designs while letting her client’s personal style guide her.

In addition to her passion for design, Nicole loves writing. This prompted her to launch Live Laugh Decorate, where you can see behind-the-scenes details of her latest design projects.

Find out more about Nicole White Designs

As the founder of Reidy Creative, Tiffanni Reidy helps her clients create a modern yet colorful space while adding a vintage aesthetic with clean architectural lines. Before founding her design company in 2018, she was the founder and creative director of domicile Magazine, where she showcased the handmade products of local small businesses in the DC metro area.

Learn more about Reidy Creative

If you look at Justina Blakeney’s work, you’ll notice the vibrant combination of colour, texture and greenery – or as she likes to call it, the Jungalow style of decoration. Justina is not only an interior designer, but also the author of several design books and the founder and creative director of the interior brand Jungalow.

Find out more about Justina Blakeney

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