35 Black Interior Designers You Should Definitely Be Following on Instagram
Right now, as large protests happen throughout the country in support of the Black Lives Matter movement, many industries are reevaluating how they can change for the better, become more inclusive, and stand in solidarity with the movement. And that includes the interior design industry, which still has a long way to go.
One simple step design fans can take right now is to diversify their Instagram feeds. Start with the list of 35 talented black designers and creatives below, although there are many, many more you're sure to want to follow along the way. The work of these designers represents a wide range of styles—from high-end interiors, to bohemian-style homes, to ultra-modern apartments—so you'll find lots of design ideas and plenty of inspiration.
Clicking "follow" is just step number one. Then, hire these designers for upcoming home projects, purchase their work, and listen to and share their stories, not just right now, 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.
When you follow interior designer Shavonda Gardner's Instagram account, expect to find an eye-catching mix of color, pattern, and texture. Gardner, who founded the blog SG Style, also worked with Carmeon Hamilton (below) to create the stunning office space in the 2019 Real Simple Home. You definitely won't want to miss the spectacular backyard makeover she has in the works for Summer 2020.
For a behind-the-scenes look at the renovation and interior design process, click "follow" on Carmeon Hamilton's account. After the 2019 Real Simple Home, Hamilton and Gardner collaborated again on another major project: a makeover of Hamilton's bedroom for the One Room Challenge. On her Instagram, the designer details the ups and downs of this and other projects, building anticipation for the before and after reveals. And if you've ever wondered how to style a shelfie, Carmeon's account will have you in awe.
Dayna Isom Johnson
The resident trend expert at Etsy, Dayna Isom Johnson predicts what the top home decor trends will be long before we start incorporating them into our homes. Follow her for the latest trend forecasts. She's also a judge on Making It, NBC's popular competitive crafting show.
And we're excited to announce that Dayna Isom Johnson will be one of the designers for the 2020 Real Simple Home! Stay tuned for updates and the big reveal this fall—you won't want to miss it.
The principal designer at the design firm Apartment 48, Rayman Boozer has a colorful, vibrant sense of style. Having been named the design industry's "color guru," his designs are full of eye-catching textiles and wow-worthy paint colors and wallpapers. He also provides a sneak peek at his design trips to Paris and behind-the-scenes at industry events, delivering serious style with a good dose of humor.
The designer behind Revamp Interior Design, Danielle Fennoy is known for designing spaces that are elegant yet comfortable, with bursts of color and beautiful light. After following her account, you'll want Fennoy to make over your entire house.
Keita Turner describes her personal style as "fashionably chic, enduringly classic," and after following her Instagram account, you'll see it's just that. In between design reveals, she'll take you along to major design industry events, such as High Point Market (pictured, above).
Candace Mary Griffin
If you've ever wondered how professional home stagers work their magic to create clean, classic, and covetable homes, follow Candace Mary Interiors. From the right way to style throw pillows on a sofa, to how to arrange a coffee table, this account is full of styling secrets.
Looking for luxe kitchen inspiration? You'll find it on Breegan Jane's account. As a designer on the latest edition of Extreme Makeover Home Edition, Breegan Jane's Instagram not only gives us a look at her design work, but also a sneak peek behind the scenes at the making of the show.
The founder of Dressing Rooms Interiors Studio, Ariene Bethea curates a gorgeous shop of designer vintage home furnishings that sells both online and in her brick-and-mortar store in Charlotte, North Carolina. You'll want to keep checking back for daily finds to buy and beautiful photos of the styled shop.
Working on both residential and commercial projects, interior designer Bailey Li's creative, glamorous spaces are sure to inspire. And you don't want to miss the stunning hand-painted walls she creates for design projects and pop-ups.
Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart
Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Stewart are the founders and curators behind BLK MKT Vintage, a shop of collectibles, black cultural artifacts, and other finds representing black history and lived experience. In addition to the store in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, you can also shop online.
If you're a fan of colorful home decor, be sure to follow Kelly Finley of Joy Street Design. Bold paint colors, vibrant upholstery, and colorful details make her work stand out. This account may just inspire you to repaint your kitchen cabinets or brush a new coat of paint on an old piece of furniture.
Carmen René Smith
A self-described maximalist, Carmen René Smith is the interior designer behind Aquilo Interiors. The spaces she creates are culturally-rich, full of personality, and are all designed to reflect her clients and help them express who they are.
The principal designer of Right Meets Left Interior Design, Courtney McLeod strives to design spaces that allow her clients to "live more colorfully, more beautifully, more joyfully." Creative ideas, like McLeod's pink hand-painted chair, make her account a must-follow.
What's your favorite room to get design inspo for? If you said the kitchen, then you're definitely going to want to follow designer Nicole White. A kitchen and bath guru, her account is full of beautiful, organized kitchens you'll probably wish were your own (you know who to hire to make it a reality!), including the dramatic kitchen makeover, above.
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.
Plus, the entrepreneur launched her own paint company, called Clare, 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 and industry events.
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 problem-solving that goes 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 reimagines French toile de Jouy by replacing the pastoral scenes with vignettes that satirize deeply entrenched stereotypes about the African American experience.
Corey Damen Jenkins
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 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, then head to her online shop to get the look for your own home.
Lauren N. White
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 home office.
Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason
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 (and shop here!).
Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom
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.
Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters
The best interior design requires a little risk-taking, right? Luckily, the interior design firm Forbes + Masters is led by two fearless 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 party.
Beth Diana Smith
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.
Watch as designer Laura Hodges transforms her clients' homes into polished, yet comfortable spaces, all while keeping sustainability top of mind. In addition to her design work, Hodges also owns a brick-and-mortar home goods store called DOMAIN in Catonsville, Maryland, which you can shop online here.