The pandemic has led to many epiphanies. Lockdowns and stay-at-home orders have forced many of us to spend more time working, playing, cooking, and lounging in our homes than ever before.
Having to be at home all the time immediately required turning the house inside out for my family. Decluttering, landscaping, shuffling rugs, furniture, and art… all to make our habitat a home that meets our aesthetic, functional, and recreational needs.
While some of us are blessed with an innate and unwavering sense of style, for all of y’all who are less-inclined or interested, here is a round up of inspiring interior designers whose work and semi-DIY skills can help kick off your own home-making.
1. Justina Blakeney
Justina Blakeney is a power house. Her successful journey into entrepreneurship on her own terms has been so fun to watch and learn from. All you have to do is scroll to her earliest posts on her blog Jungalow to witness her turning her personal design style into a high-traffic blog and countless partnerships (Rugs! Ceramics! Tiles! Textiles! Prints! A Yoga athleisure wear line?), which has catapulted her brand into the stratosphere. Blakeney’s style is a punch of deeply pleasing maximalist expression.
You’ll love this mama of one’s style if you appreciate a global vibe. Justina paints a mosaic of vivid colors, patterns, and textures mixed to balanced perfection, while integrating nature through plants, organic materials, and the occasional animal print.
2. Carmeon Hamilton
Carmeon Hamilton’s style is for you if you love a moody, sexy home filled with natural colors, fabrics, and accessories. Her room-by-room home transformation mimics the work she does for her clients. It’s distinct yet quiet, and there is intention in all of her details.
A self-described modern bohemian, Carmeon, her husband, and son enjoy a Memphis-based home that is sophisticated but not too precious. The scale of her selected fixtures, furniture, and accessories play with scale in a manner that leaves her spaces feeling perfectly finished and approachable. If you are also looking to upgrade your space with black artists’ work, Carmeon’s curated collection is one to watch and learn from.
3. Sauda Saleem
This mother of five’s know-how is seen clearly in her aesthetic: Preppy clean lines, durable and forgiving materials with intentional splashes of vibrant colors that are guaranteed to lift your spirits.
If you love an airy, light home that uses color to ground and accent, then Sauda Saleem is your guru. (It also easily hides stains.) Her spaces are precisely curated yet accessible. You can imagine putting together a room like hers from one trip to your local Homegoods.
4. Shavonda Gardner
Shavonda Gardner’s style journey is one that emphasizes patience. After living in a larger home, Gardner and her partner intentionally downsized to a smaller house, which she has been transforming into their ideal home for their two children and dog Callie. Mixing high- and low-end products seamlessly, Shavonda has invested in quality finishes, furniture, and products that add depth and thought to every corner inside and outside of her home. (For example, she has the most attractive laundry room I have ever seen.)
Check out her work if you love bohemian touches coupled with rich, pigmented patterns and plenty of natural light.
5. Neffi Walker
First of all, shout out to Ms. Walker for securing The Black Home as a url and brand. If the terms glam, refined and opulent define your personal style, then Neffi is your guru. This mother of five creates rooms that ooze luxury. Her go to colors, textures, fabrics, finishes and prints bring rich depth and boldness to her designed rooms, furniture, cutlery and wallpaper.
6. Anitra Terrell
Do you love African decor? Are you looking for authentic ways to incorporate it into your home? Anitra Terrell goes the extra step of pointing you to items that you can purchase directly on her website. Anita encourages all of us to opt out of purchasing cookie cutter decor and instead to curate a home full of textiles, artifacts, handwoven baskets sourced primarily from various regions in Africa and across the globe. Check out her work if you love for the pieces in your home to spark conversation, tell a story and celebrate African culture.
7. Veronica Solomon
Many of Veronica Solomon’s spaces remind me of my favorite hotel rooms, finished, crisp with the right balance of statement art and accessories. She does an impressive job layering a variety of prints, textures, cultures and colors with cohesive and grounding results. If you are finally ready to upholster that chair with a bold leopard print, throw up some forest green grasscloth wallpaper in your living room and bring in that chinese art deco rug to tie it all together, look no further.