20 Spaces We’re Loving From Black Interior Designers
Need a burst of creativity to reimagine your rooms? How about 20 of them? Consider these designs — and bright ideas from the experts who created them — your inspiration board.
Photo By: Nickolas Sargent
Photo By: Corey Damen Jenkins
Photo By: Nick Glimenakis
Photo By: Courtesy of Romanek Design Studio
Photo By: Chinasa Cooper
Photo By: Colleen Scott
Photo By: Colleen Scott
Photo By: David A. Land Photography
Photo By: Courtesy of Joy Street Design
Photo By: Daniel Rivera
Photo By: Daniel Rivera
Photo By: Michael Persico
Photo By: Tiffany Denise Photography
Photo By: Kimberly Murray Photography
Photo By: The Robert Allen Duralee Group
Photo By: Kara Thomas
Photo By: Chad Mellon
Photo By: Chad Mellon
Blush can be a lovely base for an understated space; it can also form the foundation of a more saturated (and strident) message. “The color palette for this room was inspired by Valentino’s 2016 runway fashion show in Paris,” designer Corey Damen Jenkins explains. “I reinterpreted this space from its original 1922 'Gentleman’s Study' origin to a 21st century 'Ladies’ Library'; I believe women are the true cradle of human civilization — and deserve a command center of their own.”
This old-school Cole & Son Acquario wallpaper was designed by Piero Fornasetti, a Milanese artist who began making prints in the 1930s; Jenkins referenced that history in the accessories he chose to complement it. “This guest bath is a whimsical celebration of vibrant color, organic nature and Art Deco flair. The mirror is an antique [from the] early 1930s and brings a touch of vintage to the space,” he says.
Designer Eneia White’s cue for this playful Soho residence was equally significant, though it called for some fancy footwork on her part. “My client’s only request for decorating his space was to brainstorm a functional way of storing his collector edition sneakers! I figured, like art, why not display them,” she recalls. “The surrounding room features were modern and clean, so we continued this feeling with simple pegs and a minimal frame mirror.” That creative solution is now the suite’s signature element.
Going All In
“Powder rooms are a chance to do something fun,” designer Brigette Romanek says. “Make it a statement.” She’s not just talking the talk there, as this spectacular, wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling pattern in this Malibu home demonstrates. “We chose a happy graphic tile, and simple, but strong, fixtures and lighting. And threw in a skylight to make it all sparkle. And don’t be afraid to mix metals, think of it as a jewelry box with different types of jewels.”
Thinking Outside of the Apartment
Designer Mikel Welch was so committed to having these striking barn doors in his own space that he built them onsite (since finished pieces wouldn’t fit in the elevator). “Living in NYC can occasionally be a bit hectic and overwhelming,” he explains. “For this reason, my home needed to be a drastic departure from the daily hustle and bustle of city life. I chose to design my apartment like a Hamptons cottage. The color palette is calming and I’ve added several antique elements to curate my ‘city retreat.’”
See More Photos: A NYC Home Pairs Rustic Elegance and City Style
Culinary toss pillows and throws aren’t a thing (at least as far as we know), but that didn’t stop designer Veronica Solomon from bringing her signature aesthetic to this handsome space. “The kitchen was meant to feel less like a standard kitchen and more an exploration of mixing materials, patterns and textures in a way that also speaks to my favorite part of the design process,” she explains. “The pattern mix which I love so much usually comes from textiles, but in the kitchen, since there are fewer opportunities to mix textiles, I accomplished that with the materials we used.”
More Is More
Solomon is a proud maximalist, and she filled this living room with bold pieces and arrangements that counterbalance each other beautifully. She’s well-versed in striking that even and comforting tone. “I love to surround myself with the things I have collected over the years that have special meaning to me. They spark a special memory or moment in time, and that allows my home to feel homey and cozy and a place where I feel nurtured.”
Bolt From the Blue
“The design inspiration for this room was all about the teal blue and gold-leafed wallpaper,” designer Kesha Franklin of Halden Interiors says. “My clients fell in love when I presented it. It was the perfect backdrop to create their cool urban-mod guest bedroom, highlighted by geometric patterns, warm wood tones and soft neutrals!” If a single pattern or piece makes your heart sing, take cues from it to develop the rest of your space.
Designer Kelly Finley created this Houston suite as a space for the homeowner to escape the demands of two young children. She brought in new creature comforts and relocated a few old friends. “We used very luxurious finishes — marble, digital steam shower, living metal finishes for the plumbing hardware, a coffee bar and refrigerator, and a gorgeous tub that fit perfectly under the window,” she says. “We had previously worked with the client on another project and purchased the acrylic bench for another room. With the move, the bench fit so perfectly in the bathroom because of its clear legs and hint of cold accents. The client’s own artwork makes the entire space feel magical.” The nonprofit arm of Kelly’s firm, Joy Street Initiative, uses 10% of her earnings from projects like this one to finance design transformations for Bay Area community organizations.
This polished home office will be familiar to Extreme Makeover: Home Edition fans. Designer Breegan Jane put her own spin on “approachable modern luxury” for fellow Angeleno, cancer survivor and community activist Thom Washington. “Good design has big responsibility. Yes, of course we want a space to be beautiful,” she wrote. “But we also want it to inspire creativity and spark joy in the hearts of those who will dwell there.” With clean lines, lush greenery and a lot of storage, this is the perfect place to plant the seeds for what comes next.
See More Photos: HGTV Star Breegan Jane's Home Is as Bright + Chic as You'd Think
Making a Splash
Designer Laura Thurman is a firm believer in using diminutive spaces to step out of your comfort zone. “The powder room, or ‘jewel box’ as I like to refer to it, is one of the first places I choose to take some design risks in a home. Not only do you use it, but your guests do as well. If you lean towards a more reserved or simple aesthetic, the powder room is the perfect place to start experimenting,” she says. “Get adventurous and push yourself to celebrate this often small space in a unique and bold way.”
When it comes to working from home, inspirational touches are just as important as the ones that store your files and print your pages. Thurman filled this functional space with both style and substance. “Home has never been more important than in these current times,” she says. “I’ve always placed great attention on the design of a home office. It needs to not only be functional, but comfortable and beautiful. It should take advantage of integrating those special amenities that only an in-home office provides: unique lighting, special scents, music and cozy seating. Whether it’s a whole room or the corner in the house, that work space should promote focus, foster creativity, and be an enjoyable atmosphere to be in.” (Want more of her pro tips? She walked HGTV through lighting design here.)
Designer Matthew Ferrarini considered his client’s own creativity and collection, then framed this showstopping kitchen in a way that makes it feel like a gallery. “The homeowner was an amazing artist, and her artwork was actually the inspiration for the design,” he explains. “Our client had a beautiful collection of teal and turquoise art, and we really wanted to bring her craft into the kitchen in a very tasteful way — hence the majestic turquoise hood. Overall, I wanted the space to have breath and flow, so we added a vast floor to ceiling window to let in all that natural light and we minimized the number of cabinets to give the kitchen a more open feel.”
Majestic mauve paint rises from pale, plush carpet to highlight the geometry of a dramatic tray ceiling in this refined, feminine space. “This room features [a] chic, modern and fun design approach that creates a quintessential clash between refinement and relaxation,” designer Monet Masters explains. “Our direction was to design a creative space of serenity for our well-traveled and busy client while displaying found and purchased treasures from her travels.”
If coordinating patterns is a brain teaser you’d rather avoid, try doubling down on a single design, as Masters did in this graphic dining room. “Our clients wanted their dining room to be the statement for the home,” she says. “We started by creating a custom pattern for the walls. This is still a room we love and talk about. More importantly, years later, our clients still love it.”
Designer Courtney Robinson is also no wallflower when it comes to deploying larger than life graphics. She created this exuberant space for a product launch at The Robert Duralee Group (an historic fabric and furnishings brand with a colorful and playful personality). “It was important to me to create layers to highlight the well-rounded aesthetic,” she explains, and to encourage viewers to “step outside of the box toward color, pattern and texture.”
This Brooklyn home’s story begins with the Art Deco architecture of its apartment building, and homeowners who asked designer Leyden Lewis to create a comfortable collection of furniture that represented several design movements of the 20th century. “One of the ways that was achieved is with the curvilinear fireplace surround that is sensuous and fluid with the room’s architecture,” he explains. “Complementing the lines of the fireplace are the two Italian 1940s sand colored arm chairs in an abstract cut velvet. Other elements such as the 'clouds and trees' rug by Joseph Carini Carpets make a great base for the collection.”
Designer Kara Thomas was the junior designer on this cozy, contemporary Westhoven Design project, and she and the rest of the team thought carefully about how to plan space in the new build. “We designed custom cabinetry behind the sectional to slightly divide the kitchen from the living room, while still leaving the space open,” she said. “We were also very mindful about the TV placement, so we created a built-in media cabinet as well.” Don’t be shy about revisiting design choices, as Thomas did. “We were originally going to [use a coffee] table from Restoration Hardware, and this was a last-minute find — but we knew it was the perfect match to play off the lines of the kitchen pendant once we found it."
Enjoying entertainment doesn’t have to mean staring at unsightly cords, but it does call for creativity. “For minimalist clients who wanted to prioritize character in a modern backdrop we had to create a way to hide all of the TV components,” designer Lindsay Stokes says. “Rather than put it above the angled fireplace, we worked to create a concrete look to balance the high gloss kitchen and went custom on the niche to store away the TV details. While clean and collected, this space is still cozy and comfortable for this growing family.”
This breezy Long Beach living room owes its airy atmosphere to some rock-solid strategizing. “When we set off to create this waterside retreat, natural light and coastal vibes were at the top of our clients’ list,” Stokes says. “We wanted to prioritize function as much as form, so we opted for a stunning stone fireplace with floating hearth for added seating. We paired beautiful blues and cool grays with floor-to-ceiling natural light and created an inviting space for the best kind of entertaining.”