Black-Owned Home Design Businesses to Support

Black-Owned Home Design Businesses to Support

Decoration and Design
By Ani Mouradian April 29, 2021

We live in a world that is rich with history and culture and yet design trends can often be boiled down to a list of 10. It’s easy to think that everything revolves around the monotonous but pretty schemes of white-marble-everything, but with diversity in makers and creators, we also have diversity in creations. We have inherited a society that is rich with diversity in culture but also one in which, if we don’t consciously intend to discover that diversity, its talents may not always get the recognition they deserve. It is no different in the world of home design and architecture

Interior design is the intersection of architecture and design, and an extension of contemporary art. It is a form of expression, that, as with food and music, soaks in the individuality of the minds behind the making. As our times continue to reveal, if we’re not actively trying not to, we tend to stay within our individual circles of familiarity - hiring professionals that your friends or relatives recommend who were, in turn, recommended to them by family and friends. This often leads to overlooking a large segment, filled with minority gems we may never learn of. 

In order to remedy potential oversights of interior design talent, here is a list of successful, talented, and unique Black architects, professionals and their home design businesses you should be aware of and support.

Interior Designers

KD Reid Interiors

A newly established company, KD Reid Interiors is just two years old. But the talent behind it has been brewing for a while. Reid has come to be known as a truly visual storyteller in his craft and it shows. The firm will give you an approach focused on you, and Reid will give you touches that make any space unmatched. If you are looking to remodel and implement a design that is far from templated, KD Reid is a great choice. It is evident in his designs and style, filled with reminders of culture and personality, that there is a deep passion for design, art, and architecture behind the firm which has developed a reputation for creating beautiful yet functional spaces.

Treehouse Modern by KD Reid. Photographer: Ariel Camilo

Treehouse Modern by KD Reid. Photographer: Ariel Camilo

Kingston Design Connection

After a career switch from marketing and business development to design, Marilyne Damour founded her design and build firm with called Damour Drake Fred Drake. They have a beautiful goal in working on client’s design and construction projects to create a sanctuary, a place that soothes and inspires. Beyond this successful business, Marilyne is perhaps more known for Kingston Design Connection, a reputable showcase awaited nationwide that brings together rising talents, designers and makers, particularly in the Hudson Valley.

Laura Hodges Studio

Can’t have enough powerhouse women of color, and Laura Hodges is no exception. Located in Baltimore, Washington, Laura’s Domain (the name of her home decor shop) brings its community a collection of fair trade and sustainable decor, art, and one-of-a-kind pieces. The projects put out by her boutique interior design studio have landed her distinctions such as the House Beautiful Next Wave Designer, Traditional Home New Trad, and Sotheby’s Home 20 Designers for 2020 awards. Laura is also an ambassador for the Sustainable Furnishings Council which strives for a sustainable interior design industry as a whole.

Sheila Bridges Design

“Thoughtfully designed interiors” and not only. Sheila Bridges founded her interior design firm in 1994 and has since been named “America’s Best Interior Designer” by CNN and Time Magazine. Her builds get featured on the cover of Elle Decor, House Beautiful, The New York Times and more. In exploring Sheila portfolio, your eyes quench a thirst you didn’t know you had; a thirst for comfort dressed in a colorful and thoughtful selection of art, decor and design solutions, with subtle but clear touches of ethnic. Perhaps most exciting is how she’s brought individuality and pristine taste to places of celebrity, prestige, and most importantly, culture, across the country and further.

Study by Sheila Bridges. Photographer: Frank Frances

Study by Sheila Bridges. Photographer: Frank Frances

Ash Interiors and Design

Founded and owned by designer Andrea Hysmith, Ash Interiors has been helping clients achieve pristine bath and kitchen designs as well as redesign, interior styling, and space planning since 1999. Andrea happens to be the first woman of color to open up shop in Ellicott City, Maryland where she also specializes in luxury products and offers training to other businesses. Andrea is also a certified aging in place specialist, which shows how important the element of home and warmth is to her even in the most sleek and luxurious designs. 

Ash Interiors and Designs by Andrea Hysmith

Ash Interiors and Designs by Andrea Hysmith

Architecture

Moody Nolan

This is no small business. This architecture firm is a beacon example of a small minority business making it to the top. Having grown to be the largest Black-owned and managed architecture firms in the country, Moody Nolan is committed to diversity in its staff, which you can tell by the number of female architects in the firm. This lends to the wide range of talent it offers in the many industries it deals with. Their priority is the individualization that comes with working with each client and meeting their needs, reaching towards designs and solutions that are both functional and iconic. Their scope is vast, with a portfolio including civic structures, hospitals, historic preservations, and housing.

CAIN

Set in Los Angeles, the designs and builds of CAIN are trickled throughout some of the most prestigious neighborhoods. Some of them are the reason why it’s a known LA activity to drive around and look at beautiful and unique homes. CAIN has been covered in Los Angeles Times, Robb Report, Luxe, Mansion Global, and HGTV. To get a feel for the scale, below is a mansion that went on sale for $25 million, designed by principal architect Cain Calderon Leon.

Home Decor

If you’re not exactly looking for a designer but want to incorporate storytelling, flavor, and personality to your home from Black-owned businesses, unique home decor items can be just the trick. Here are some companies to check out for items inspired by BIPOC cultures and creativity.

Sabai

This North Carolina furniture brand is all about their sustainable philosophy, offering sofas and cushion slips that are 100% ethically sourced and high-design. Their plush velvet cloths are made entirely from recycled plastic water bottles!

Essential Sofa by Sabai in Mustard. Photographer: Ben Hartschuh

Essential Sofa by Sabai in Mustard. Photographer: Ben Hartschuh

Jungalow

“Decorate wild” is their motto, and with 1.4M in followers on Instagram and their beautiful selection, it is not surprising that many are on board with it.

Reflektion Design

Quality fabrics, authentic vibes, and gorgeous prints are perfect for creating corners of reflection in your home. The founder established the company in Ghana, and, springboarded by a Fulbright Scholarship, has brought products sourced from around the world to be handmade in Los Angeles and Atlanta and arrive in the homes of those looking for conversation pieces and cultural tokens. 

African Wooden 3-Headed Unity Stands by Reflektion

African Wooden 3-Headed Unity Stands by Reflektion

Your Sustainable Home

Here’s a company with a noble mission to promote sustainable goods, create sustainable jobs and communities, and unite the world through our cultures and crafts.

xN Studio

Handmade pieces inspired by patterns and techniques from Uganda to add texture to any surface in your home. xN Studio was also voted 2020's Best African Accents Shop in America by House Beautiful Magazine. No big deal.

xN Industrial Chic Mudcloth bench. Also pictured: Batik Hash pillow and Sisal Geo basket. Image courtesy of xN Studio

xN Industrial Chic Mudcloth bench. Also pictured: Batik Hash pillow and Sisal Geo basket. Image courtesy of xN Studio

Black Artists + Design Guild

If you don’t want to lose sight of Black creativity and innovation beyond Black History Month, follow along the talent that the Black Artists and Design Guild nurtures. BADG is a non-profit global platform that curates a collective of independent Black makers and their work. They recently launched the Obsidian Experience, the idea for which was born from the despair of 2020. A global pandemic and the resounding cries of “I can’t breathe” pushed the founders and creators of Obsidian to design a platform of hope, where rising artists of color and talented designers kicked off the virtual showcase with designs that represent the future of back family life — bold, strong, and full of colorful character. These home designs create a sanctuary of safety that empowers with elements of strength and peace we can all use in our homes. Throughout the month of February Obsidian shined a light on how spaces form the foundation for physical, social, emotional, and creative well being.

Written by
Ani Mouradian

Written by Ani Mouradian