Updated Feb 15, 2024 - Real Estate

10 Black interior designers to support in the DMV

Photo: Courtesy of Liz Johnson Design Studio (Elizabeth Johnson)

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: Support for Black designers picked up after 2020, but "it feels like that moment has passed a little bit," says Elizabeth Johnson, president of Design Collective DC and owner of Liz Johnson Design Studio.

What they're saying: The D.C. area has many talented Black designers who've been in business for 20-30 years. "They're trailblazers and they're still not household names," Johnson 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 Black Interior Designers Inc., a national organization.

  • 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.

Washington is filled with talented creatives. If you’re in need of an interior designer, here are 10 to consider, listed in no particular order.

DuVäl Design, LLC

  • From renos to new builds, DuVäl Reynolds specializes in clean lines, uncluttered spaces and functional design.

Shawna Underwood Interior Design

  • Shawna Underwood's known for her clean, refined and meaningful designs, and sustainable practices.

Iantha Carley Interiors

  • Since 2005, Iantha Carley has been known for her artful ability to layer color, pattern and textures.

Byron Risdon LLC

  • Functional and refined, Byron Risdon infuses timeless, modern and classic style into every space he designs.

Twenty Sevyn Interiors

  • Quintin Tate recently launched e-design services.
  • How it works: You pick which room you want revamped, and for $2,000, Tate will share two design concepts to choose from. He'll provide shopping links for all the items shared in the design you pick.
Photo: By DON EVANS PHOTOGRAPHY, courtesy of Quintin Tate

Liz Johnson Design Studio

  • Elizabeth Johnson works with renters and homeowners. She's also president of Design Collective DC, a local BIPOC design group.

Kiyonda Powell Design Studio

  • Kiyonda Powell has a knack for curating unique residential and boutique commercial designs.

ASH Interiors and Design

  • Founder and industry veteran Andrea Harvey is a go-to source for all things luxury kitchen and bath.

McLean and Tircuit

  • McLean and Tircuit has been in business 20 years, and president and creative director Sheryl McLean is known for her bold, contemporary aesthetic. They also have a shop.

Determined by Design

  • The interior design company has been around for more than decade.

Be smart: 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? Email [email protected] and let us know.

Editor's note: This list has been updated since it published in May.


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