20 Black Interior Designers You Should Definitely Be Following on Instagram
In honor of Black History month, we're celebrating black interior designers, stylists, and creatives you'll wish you'd known about sooner.
In honor of Black History month, we're celebrating 20 black interior designers, stylists, and creatives who inspire us not just this month, but all 365 days of the year. The work of these talented designers represents a wide range of styles, from high-end interiors, to bohemian-style homes, to ultra-modern apartments, so you're sure to find several that match your decor style.
Besides hiring these inspiring designers for projects, purchasing their work, and listening to and sharing their stories, what's the easiest way to start supporting these creatives in the next five minutes? Simply click "Follow" on the 20 designers listed below on Instagram, so you can keep up with their latest work and get a behind-the-scenes look at their design process, not just this month, but all year long.
Want to learn about even more inspiring black designers beyond the list below? Be sure to follow the Black Interior Designers Network and the Black Artists + Designers Guild, founded by Malene Barnett.
An interior designer and tv personality (you may recognize her from the show Home Made Simple on the Oprah Winfrey Network), Nicole Gibbons is an expert at crafting elegant designs that somehow still feel approachable. Mixing unexpected details, like an angular light fixture, with elements that are familiar, like a nostalgic shade of pale pink, Gibbons creates rooms we aspire to live in.
The entrepreneur launched her own paint company, called Clare, last year, which simplifies the arduous process of buying paint by curating the color options for you and delivering all of the supplies right to your door.
Based in Chicago and led by designer Erin Shakoor, Shakoor Interiors works closely with its clients to create a home that plays with texture, color, and proportions. With a background in historical preservation and a love for vintage furnishings, Shakoor designs rooms with history that still feel fresh and modern.
The best part about following designer Erika Ward on Instagram? You'll not only get glimpses of her latest home transformations, but also a "behind-the-curtain" look at the design process, industry events, and her adorable family.
Want to learn the real backstory behind the perfectly polished rooms of Instagram? Follow designers like Kesha Franklin of Halden Interiors, who isn't afraid to reveal all of the hard work, challenges, and even tears that go into creating her elegant and luxurious spaces. Working closely with clients, Franklin designs rooms that are a true reflection of her clients' personalities and lifestyles.
After working in fashion and the luxury textile industry, Denese Butler from The Perfect Vignette decided to apply her design talents to interiors. Rather than abide by endless design rules, Butler believes in building spaces that are intimate and personal. Follow her Instagram for rooms you'll want to move into ASAP, a closeup look at all of the design details, plus toddlers wielding power tools.
Modern yet playful, Nina Barnieh-Blair's designs give us a pretty good idea of what our dream apartment would look like. Follow her Instagram to get a behind-the-scenes look at the art and travels that inspire her designs.
Have a thing for patterns and prints? You'll definitely want to follow esteemed designer Sheila Bridges. The fabulous spaces she designs are rich with pattern and texture, some subtle, others eye-catching. Besides her latest projects, you can also catch a behind-the-scenes look at her wallpaper line and her own beautiful home in Harlem (including the kitchen, above).
Even her Instagram handle is a nod to pattern: Harlem toile is a pattern Bridges designed, which re-imagines French toile de Jouy by replacing the pastoral scenes with vignettes that satirize deeply entrenched stereotypes about the African American experience.
Would you describe your personal home decor style as a mix between classic and contemporary? Then you'll find an endless source of inspiration in designer and media personality Corey Damen Jenkins' Instagram account. His signature work is a blend of luxurious fabrics and rich colors, along with more traditional elements that help ground the space.
Although Hilton Carter isn't technically an interior designer, he is a self-described "creator of green interiors," and his plant-filled Detroit home is now one of the most Instagram-famous apartments around. Whether you want to grow your own urban jungle, are looking for plant styling ideas (like this vertical plant wall), or are in desperate need of plant care tips, Carter's gorgeous Instagram account—and his new book Wild at Home—have the answers.
For designs that are both chic and livable (no ultra-formal living rooms guests aren't allowed to touch around here!), check out the work of Atlanta-based Faneisha Nibbs of Inner Beauty Interiors. In addition to images of complete rooms, Nibbs's account is full of closeups of small vignettes—a styled console, impeccably curated bookshelves—to highlight all of the details and little decisions that go into a space that wows.
Even if you don't know Justina Blakeney by name, you've probably heard about her popular blog Jungalow, and you've definitely spotted photos from her viral Instagram account. One of the leaders in the bohemian decor trend, Blakeney embraces an aesthetic that is retro-inspired, colorful, patterned, and decidedly plant-filled. Follow her so you won't miss a single plant pic or dreamy jewel-toned wall.
In addition to complete home makeovers, Ellen W. Interior Concepts offers a peek at another aspect of interior design on its Instagram account: the art of home staging. We're pretty sure that adding a stunning pink velvet sofa to the living room is a surefire way to seal any home-buying deal. A couple room makeovers we can't stop obsessing over: this baby nursery (do you see that crib canopy!?) and this funky, modern living room.
Want a sneak peek inside some of the coolest workspaces? Follow Dani Arps, the design genius behind some of NYC's hottest tech startups, including SeatGeek, Venmo, and Gilt. All of the cozy nooks, plant-filled desks, and open layouts may just inspire you to rethink your own cubicle or home office.
AphroChic is a New York-based husband-and-wife design team that creates rooms that tell a story. The creators of the first African American concept house ever presented on the West Coast, as well as the owners of their own product line (with everything from fabric to candles), this talented design duo is one to watch.
When you envision your dream home, do the words "minimalist" and "sophisticated" come to mind? If so, Ishka Designs is a must-follow for you. The team was started by Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom, and this couple's path to interior design was untraditional (she worked in finance, he worked in photography and film). When they decided to join forces as a design duo, their effortlessly beautiful work proved them to be a natural fit for the design world.
The best interior design requires a little risk-taking, right? Luckily, the interior design firm Forbes + Masters is lead by two fearless female designers, Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters. Whether they're boldly hand-painting their own custom "wallpaper" (as shown in the bedroom above) or getting creative with wall trim, Forbes + Masters isn't afraid to bend traditional design rules. Follow them on Instagram to catch all of the before-and-afters.
Joy Moyler is nothing short of a modern-day Renaissance woman. When she's not designing Adrian Brody's house (evidence above), she's sketching fashion designs, taking photos, or building installations. When you're in a creative rut, following along with Moyler's trips to source fabric and fashion-inspired illustrations are all the motivation you'll need.
Crafter, creative director, and event guru Brandy Brown may not describe herself as an interior designer, but her gorgeous home is chock full of decor inspo. Her company Marabou Design is a go-to spot for affordable wall art, customizable party decor, and cute gift wrap. Fair warning: Her Instagram will make you want to redecorate and throw a huge party.
A New Jersey-based interior designer, Beth Diana Smith has a bold, eclectic style and a love for maximizing organization in the spaces she designs. From helping a client find a new dresser she adores to maintaining open shelves in her kitchen, this designer knows how to create a space that's both inspirational and organized.
Hosts of the HGTV show Flip or Flop, Ashley and Andy Williams are pros at seeing the potential in spaces others would likely give up on. On their Instagram account, you'll get to see behind-the-scenes shots from the filming of the show, along with what really happens when the cameras stop rolling. Switching up the accessories in a room is one of Ashley's favorite pastimes—so don't be surprised if you find yourself rearranging your bookshelves, mantel, and countertops after scrolling through her feed.