May 20, 2023 - Real Estate

5 Black interior designers to support in Tampa Bay

Photo: Tina Sargeant Editorial, courtesy of Donyea Tollie

Conversations about diversity in the interior design field picked up during the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020. Now, it's time to take action, industry experts tell Axios.

The big picture: Only 2% of interior designers are Black; it's one of the least diverse professions in the U.S., per 2022 Census data. Lack of access, exposure and funding make breaking into the industry harder for Black designers.

Data: BLS; Note: People referred to as Hispanic/Latino may be of any race; Chart: Simran Parwani/Axios

What's happening: Designer Donyea Tollie says representation in Tampa Bay, and Florida, has improved but is still lacking.

What they're saying: "Some of us are really damn good at what we do, we just don't have the exposure," Tollie tells Axios.

Context: Diversity is just one piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating equal opportunities for folks of all races, says June Reese, vice president of the Black Interior Designers Inc.

  • Diversity is asking Black designers to speak on panels that have traditionally only been offered to white designers, for example.
  • Equity is offering the tools, and even financial resources, to make it happen, Reese tells Axios.

Tampa Bay is filled with talented creatives. If you're in need of an interior designer, here are five to consider, listed in no particular order.

Rejuvenation Home Interior Design Studio

Decurated Interiors

  • Timala Stewart's eDesigner packages are ideal for busy professionals who want to spruce up their home.

Grayson Interiors

  • Owned by Amber Gray, Grayson Interiors has a range of packages from styling to full home design services.

Call Me Homey LLC

  • In addition to Brittney Stephenson's interior design services, you can follow her at Call Me Homey on Instagram for DIY inspiration.

at SheDesigns

  • Choose from Aleshia Jones's online packages, which include a mood board and guidance on what to shop for.

Pro tip: The Black Interior Designers Network can match you with a local designer. Email [email protected] for more info.

Did we miss someone on this list? Reply to this email and let us know.

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