Not too long ago, the world of home decor and interior design was shaped by strict rules and standards for what was tasteful and what wasn’t—and those rules were laid by an exclusive (and exclusionary) group of white designers and tastemakers. Over the last few decades, though, what qualifies as interior design has expanded to include a wide range of styles, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) interior designers are steadily becoming bigger stars in the space.
While people of color are not new to the design world, the celebration of the work of people of color still lags behind that of traditionally mainstream (and often white) interior designers. To that end—and in honor of Black History Month in the U.S.—we’re recognizing the work of some of our favorite Black interior designers: Industry stars whose impact on the design and decor world is worth following and celebrating year-round. While this list is by no means exhaustive, we’ve pulled together some absolute must-follows.
Whether they’re new to you or you already know and love their work, these Black designers are definitely ones to watch.
As the founder of the interior design firm ATI, Tshiama has spent the last three years sharing her distinct aesthetic. Along with her design projects, Tshiama also launched a global course called Learning with Aurelie Tshiama, where she teaches aspiring designers how to design computer-generated visualizations for their own prospective clients. Tshiama has also designed a 360-store experience for Leomie Anderson’s sportswear brand Lapp and influencer and lifestyle vlogger Lydia Dinga’s first home. Along with ATI, Tshiama is the co-founder and creative director for Clamp Agency, which focuses on developing e-commerce businesses, and has been featured in Forbes and Net-a-Porter. You can follow Tshiama at @ati.uk and @aurelietshiama.
Based in Memphis, Carmeon Hamilton wears many hats behind the scenes for her brand Nubi Interiors. Along with being a self-proclaimed modern bohemian, Hamilton is also an environmental curator, interior designer, merchandising consultant, blogger, and content creator. With her background in healthcare design, Hamilton combines intuition with analytics, creating spaces that focus on beauty and elevate everyday living. You can follow Hamilton at @carmeonhamilton.
Tanya Willock and Temidra Willock-Morsch
It’s no secret that we’re big fans of Tanya Willock and Temidra Willock-Morsch here at The Spruce. The sisters are the force behind Hidden Gem, a home design and gift store based in Southhampton, New York, that focuses on handmade pieces individually made both locally and abroad. With a combined passion for the Hamptons and Antigua, the duo has created a style that’s uniquely their own. You can follow them at @hiddengemny.
If you’re looking for nursery and kids’ room inspiration, look no further than Toks Aruoture. Aruoture is the founder of London-based luxury brand The Baby Cot Shop, which specializes in baby and children’s furniture. Drawing inspiration from the world around her, Aruoture is passionate about “helping busy parents design the perfect, memorable space for their little one.” You can follow her at @toksaruoture and @thebabycotshop.
Beth Diana Smith
Thanks to her background in corporate accounting and finance, Beth Diana Smith approaches her role as CEO and principal designer for her eponymous interior design firm from the perspectives of both a designer and a project manager. This makes for a truly client-focused experience, with Smith centering the aesthetics of her clients’ homes, as well as their functionality. You can tour Smith’s own home in our Designer Digs feature, and follow her at @bethdianasmith.
Rayman Boozer, principal Designer for Apartment 48, has a passion for turning every project into a space that tells a story. Whether it’s commercial or residential, Boozer approaches his designs in a way that’s nothing short of playful. Thanks to his particular focus on color consulting, Boozer and his team are known for creating spaces that he describes as optimistic, relaxed, and effortless. You can follow him at @raymanboozer.
Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters
As the co-founders and principal designers of Forbes + Masters, Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters share both a passion and a skill for creating luxury spaces. With Forbes’s personal love for craftsmanship, historical references, and clean, modern lines and Masters’s approach to create balanced, positive spaces, the duo are a true force. You can follow them at @forbesmasters.
Interior designer Saudah Saleem follows one design rule: that they’re made to be broken. With a love for dark colors in small spaces and mixing antiques with modern art, Saleem has a keen eye for creating unique spaces that are perfectly reflective of their inhabitants. Her bold use of patterns, colors, and eclectic mix of aesthetics all lead to a style that she describes as sophisticated yet approachable. You can follow her at @saudahsaleeminteriors.
There’s no denying that Sheila Bridges is an industry heavy-hitter. Named by both Time magazine and CNN as America’s Best Interior Designer, Bridges’s work has been seen everywhere from Bill Clinton’s Harlem offices to museums displays around the world—including The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C. But most recently, Bridges is working on an exclusive collection with The Shade Store, bringing her acclaimed Harlem Toile de Jouy design to the brand. You can follow Bridges at @harlemtoilegirl.