What a strange and awful year it’s been. A reminder that the Civil Rights Movement continues on, today, on the National Mall as I write this. The protests all summer have resurrected painful personal memories for Black Americans everywhere — from small slights all the way up to assaults and the N word. Those of us who are white really need to stop and try to understand, to listen. So, I’ve been thinking for a long time. What can I do as an individual to advance the cause? Here’s what I know:
- I know the DC design community. You are my people.
- I’ve felt incredibly heavy since George Floyd died (and Jacob Blake, and Breonna Taylor, and Ahmaud Arbery … Good God we can go on).
- I can’t resolve the latter, but I can work within the former to spotlight designers of color and show how their work matters to the pantheon of creative talent in our region.
This list is by no means comprehensive, so please contact me if I’m missing you. My hope is that it will grow over time.
And now, for some delightful design inspiration across DC, Maryland and Virginia, here you go. My wish is that no one should be able to say “I can’t find any Black designers in this area.” I want to make your search easy!
Iantha Carley, Iantha Carley Interiors, Silver Spring
Trystin Kier Francis, The Kier Company, Washington
Jeanne Griffin, Jeanne Griffin Interior Design, Alexandria
Lorna Gross-Bryant, Lorna Gross Interior Design, Bethesda
Quintece Hill-Mattauszek, Studio Q Designs, Alexandria
Laura Hodges, Laura Hodges Studio, Baltimore
Monique Holland, Holland Custom Designs – Decorating Den Interiors, Oxon Hill
Asha Maxey, Asha Maia Design, Alexandria
Hubert May, Studio Hue, Hyattsville
Sheryl McLean, Mclean & Tircuit, Bethesda
Kiyonda Powell, Kiyonda Powell Design Studio, Washington
Duval Reynolds, Duval Design LLC, Fairfax
Byron Risdon, Byron Risdon Interior Design Studio, Washington
Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas, Interiors By Design, Silver Spring
Saudah Saleem, Saudah Saleem Interiors, Baltimore
Sheryl Scruggs, A Curated Simplicity, Washington
Morgan Taylor, Brass Bones Design, Washington
Shawna Underwood, Shawna Underwood Interior Design, Washington
Kia Weatherspoon, Determined by Design, Washington
Celia Welch, Celia Welch Interiors, Bethesda
Brandi Wilkins, Three Luxe Nine Interiors, Frederick
If you’re looking for more ways to support black designers in our area and beyond, design professionals can offer mentoring, internships or scholarships to students at Howard University. The art and design department is struggling to create an advisory board, but still lacks manpower and resources. See program coordinator Jacqueline Carmichael’s comment below for website and contact information.
The Black Artists and Designers Guild offers a search-by-discipline directory of black designers, architects, artists and makers.
The Black Interior Designers Network supports and promotes designers all over the country. You can donate and become an ally.
The Organization of Black Designers goes beyond interior design to highlight professionals in industrial design, architecture, fashion and graphic design.