The Black Interior Designers Network Gives a Vital Boost to Up-and-Comers

Black Interior Designers Network President Keia McSwain stands in front of a BIDN conference banner.
Black Interior Designers Network President Keia McSwain stands in front of a BIDN conference banner.

Designers, writers, and in fact, all types of artists often have a hard time showcasing their talents to the right people. Unlike many standard professions, a plain old resume just doesn’t work in these fields, and getting the proper introduction to prospective clients to share your portfolio with is a long shot at best.

When you’re Black, that struggle is even more difficult.

The Network Goal of BIDN

A sleek interior design scheme by SHAKOOR inspired by traditional African design elements.
A sleek interior design scheme by SHAKOOR inspired by traditional African design elements.

To do their part in furthering the careers of Black designers, the Black Interior Designers Network was founded to help black artists connect with the right people and resources. Not only do they help these designers link up with businesses and homeowners, but they also serve as a conduit through which they can access

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Save or Splurge? Interior Designers Weigh In

Decorating a home can be lots of fun — until you see the price tags.

But while some home decor can be ridiculously expensive, there’s a secret in interior design circles: Not every item is worth splurging on.

In fact, some interior designers swear by Ikea for certain items. It’s all about knowing when to spend and when to save.

When to Save

Accent Seating

For furniture that you use daily – like your sofa – buy the best and most comfortable that you can afford. Your butt and back will thank you.

“But the upholstered armchair in your guest room that gets sat on just a couple of times per year?” asked Lesley Myrick, an interior designer based in Atlanta. “That’s where you can go with the cheap and cheerful option.”

World Market has plenty of cheap, cheerful options in this category. You might also check out one

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102 Black Designers, Crafters, Makers, and More to Follow on Insta Now

Photo credit: Brie Williams
Photo credit: Brie Williams

From Country Living

It’s no secret that design and lifestyle magazines—Country Living included—need to do a better job of showcasing the wonderfully diverse makeup of our country, and the crafters, designers, quilters, and makers within our communities. And because we know many Country Living readers are looking to support Black-owned companies and Black voices—and, as always, are particularly interested in the people and the stories and the cultural influences behind the products—we’ve assembled a list of some of our favorite Black makers, crafters, designers, gardeners, musicians, and other country creatives you can follow on Instagram right now (some of whom you may even recognize from the magazine, like Michiel Perry, above on her South Carolina porch). From a mother-daughter duo hand-sewing linen heirloom-worthy keepsake dolls to a female entrepreneur making Tennessee whiskey, you’ll find endless inspiration for country living that more fully represents the country.

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The Design Industry Needs to Be More Inclusive of Black Designers and Artisans

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

From Veranda

In the wake of the recent killings of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor, the United States has been compelled to examine the systemic racism ingrained in our society—including the design industry. This fight isn’t new for industry veterans Joy Moyler and Malene Barnett. When doors were repeatedly shut in the design community, the two powerhouses forged their own ways and opened avenues for other young Black designers and artisans to showcase their works. And they’re continuing the mission to this day.

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

For interior designer Joy Moyler, this meant traveling extensively throughout the world; studying different styles, techniques, and architecture from all across Europe; and developing a signature style of layered opulence and glamour. It’s no wonder she was named the U.S. Head Designer of the Giorgio Armani Interior Design Studio and earned quite a client list—with names like Princess

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