conversation – BLACK EXCELLENCE IN INTERIOR DESIGN
written by Brandon Broadus
Like many other creative endeavors in the design field interiors have been one of the more elusive disciplines for African Americans. This socio wealth economic gap and the effects of decades of unjust redlining barring black families from owning homes have all-but ensured the field’s scarcity of minority designers. Despite these worlds of challenges these few individuals have risen to the top to become some of the brightest stars in interior design.
Sheila Bridges is an impeccable talent with a distinct eye for style, strong intuition, and a disdain for monotony. Her incredible range has propelled her to the forefront of American Interior Design. After spending much of her youth in Philadelphia, she relocated to the Big Apple where she discovered her passion for interiors. After formally entering the field working for a New York based architectural design firm and completing her education at Columbia, Bridges then set out on her own establishing her own interior design firm in 1994 in Sheila Bridges Design Inc. For over 25 years Bridges has carved a niche in the design world with her electric and classical designs gaining commissions for host of celebrity clientele including Diddy and President Bill Clinton. She still continues her works at grander scale in an explorative offering of historic Harlem which now includes home furnishings, fabrics and even garments. Without doubt her distinct visions are now ingrained in the fabric of New York City.
Originally from the famed motor city of Detroit, Michigan; Corey Damon Jenkins has managed blaze his way the upper echelon of interior design. His works garner national attention and create a signature design style that have become a precedent in his hometown. As indicative of his exponentially growing clientele base, Jenkins continue to expand his creative vision through his diverse operation. Now with his eponymous interior design firm holding offices in Detroit and New York and a forthcoming Rizzoli book slated to release in the near future, there is no telling how far Jenkins will continue to ascend. While one can argue that the design of interiors have always carried a generally narrow scope of its constituents, Jenkins is determined to shift the narrative.
By way of Atlanta, interior design duo Tavia Forbes and Monet Masters are looking to topple the interior design hierarchy through their magnetic and refreshing designs. Forming Forbes + Masters their namesake design firm in 2014, it was only by a fate commercial project did their stars align to bring this amazing talent together. Their robust operation boasts end to end design solutions for both commercial and residential audiences throughout the city. Having worked with a host of celebrities, the two partners and their amazing team are looking to expand their empire into the vast realm of media and furnishings to bring their signature chic to the world. Their strong eyes and taste have us excited for what’s to come as these ladies will undoubtedly help shape the designed interiors of Atlanta