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interior designer


Black Interior Designer Spotlight: Bailey Li

Bailey Li is an interior designer and decorative artist based in Orange, New Jersey. She discovered her passion for decorating while working as a Real Estate agent.

Drawn to the architecture and character of historical homes, she began providing home staging services to homeowners that were looking to sell.

What inspired you to get into interior design?

In 2003, there was an influx of professionals from the New York City market seeking to put down roots in Northern New Jersey where I worked as a realtor.

A lot of the homes that  I listed were beautiful historical homes that simply required some refreshing and updating in order to get the asking price or above. During that time home decorating shows on HGTV  were super popular and as a result, the demand for home staging services was on the rise.

Black Interior Designer

I had a listing for 1.3 million dollars that needed some major sprucing up so I seized an opportunity. I  called in one of my best friends, Wanda Anderson who had an amazing sense of style. I told her that I needed her to stage the home for me; she came in, won my client over and was hired that day.

Wanda had never staged a home before so she insisted that I help her! She and I left the meeting that day and immediately formed our home staging business.

We had a check in our hands before we even had a name for our company. Staging was a means for clients to easily visualize potential properties as a place to call home and a way to speed up the sales process for me.

Little did I know that it would spark a passion for interior decoration / design and ultimately Guide me towards creating artistic hand painted/ textured walls and murals.

What inspires you?

I decided years ago to be fearless and to allow that fearlessness to fuel my work and inspire me creatively. I also wanted my work to not only be beautiful and functional but I committed myself to going the extra mile and pulling out the hidden parts of my clients that are truly begging to be expressed and translate them  into their spaces.

Black Interior Designer

The point of this was to ensure that their spaces transcend aesthetics and kick down fear based barriers that prevent many people (especially people of color) from  allowing their living spaces to reflect who they truly are.

I aim to always have my designs be rich in history and explosive in personality.  I am constantly inspired by my clients’ accomplishments, cultural backgrounds, travels  etc. and I would be remiss not to infuse aspects of their life journey into their homes.

My clients often tell me  that their spaces have become daily reminders to them of how amazing & brilliant They are and that waking up and coming home to their new environment encourages them everyday to not only live up to that but become more of what they are meant to be.

I challenge myself to do the same … with every project I make sure that I am not limiting myself to just the role of interior designer but instead I stretch myself into an Interior artist, a curator, a decorative strategist, a visual artist / muralist etc.  whatever I need to be in order to bring that vision to life, I become it. I am also mindful of the fact that I am not “here” to blend in and/ or be accepted.

Black Interior Designer

I am here to stand out, to make an impact on the lives of my clients and to pave the way for other young aspiring black interior designers. I truly aim to create dynamic, unique experiences that uplift the client, myself and all who see it.  The idea of that in and of itself inspires me.

What is your dream project? 

My dream project would be to be part of  a collective/ team  of dope and passionate artists, architects, creatives, Designers, professionals that together purchase and develop properties in order to create artist/ creative communities around the globe.

The structures will be historical structures that we’d renovate and / or retrofit to become affordable and conducive for artists and creatives to thrive in.

Since this is a “dream” project I imagine  that it will be fully funded by “angel”  investors whose only required return on investment would be that each artist pour back into the communities and remain a vital and ongoing part of the development of rising artists and creatives.

I believe emphatically in the idea that art in all its forms and genres has the ability to change the world so ultimately my dream project would be one  that would positively impact the lives of multiple people and that impact will be so great that it will improve the lives of many for years to come.

What advice do you have for someone who is clueless about how to design their space?

1. Stay true to you; infuse your experiences and journey into your space.

2. Choose a concept and stick to it.

3. Do not be afraid of color.

4. Hire a professional to help you bring it all together.

If a student wanted to enter the field, what advice would you give them?

Make sure it is a passion and if it is let it guide you to your purpose. There’s one thing to have a job/ career and there’s another to have a job/ career that your passionate about because through that passion you have the ability to discover your PURPOSE in this life.

Purpose is what ultimately leads to fulfillment. Once you’ve discovered your passion … Be fearless and make a mark! Your unique gift was not given to you in order for you to just blend in.

What do you envision for the future of design?

The future I envision is one with more black artists, collectors, galleries, furniture makers, interior designers / decorators entrepreneurs etc living in the dream that God has for them. I heard Oprah say those words “I’m Living in the dream that God has for me” and I concur;  I see that for the future of myself, design and everyone periodt!


-Tony O. Lawson



Black Owned Home Decor Companies You Should Know

The home decor market is growing at a steady pace. This is partly due to the fact that nowadays, everyone from millennials and Generation X-ers, wants to personalize their home and office spaces.

Black owned Home Decor Companies that can offer quality and convenience to savvy consumers like these are in a position to succeed.

Black Owned Home Decor Companies

Tackussanu Senegal

black owned home decor





Peace & Riot

Elan by Uri

Established 25

Global Attic

Nicole Crowder Upholstery

Hana Getachew 

Black Owned Home Decor

Malene Barnett

Black Owned Home Decor

Expedition Subsahara Black Owned Home Decor

Black Pepper Paperie Co

Black Owned Home Decor

Sheila Bridges Design, Inc 

Black Owned Home Decor

Rayo & Honey 

Reflektion Design 

House of Versatile Styles (HVS)

Justina Blakeney

Rochelle Porter 

Eva Sonaike

Don’t Sleep Interiors 

Black Owned Home Decor

BLK MKT Vintage 

Black Owned Home Decor


Livvy& Neva 

Estelle Colored Glass

-Tony O. Lawson

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Black Interior Designers You Should Know

From organizing rooms, picking flooring, to finding furniture to complement it all, a good interior designer should be able to transform your tastes and ideas into designs that are representative of your style, as well as help you design your home.

Here are some Black interior designers that can meet those needs and more.

Black Interior Designers

Anishka Clarke and Niya Bascom are the founders of Ishka designs, an interior design firm that creates efficiently beautiful interior experiences that lean towards minimalism.

Jeanine Hays and Bryan Mason are the creators of Aphrochic, an interior design brand focused on high-end commercial and residential design.

Danielle Colding is founder of Danielle Colding Design, inc., a full-service interior design firm has taken on a wide variety of projects from high-end residential to distinctive commercial design projects both in the United States and abroad.

Ilé-Adé Designs & Interiors elevates dream spaces into reality by tastefully decorating personal residences and commercial properties. They also provide stunning graphic designs for all types of projects (business cards, logos, ads, etc).

Nicole Gibbons runs Nicole Gibbons Studio, a full-service design company specializing in high-style residential and commercial interiors that combine timeless sophistication with a fresh, modern edge.

black interior designers

Oloro Interiors is a full service space curation firm specializing in residential & commercial interiors and hospitality design.

Daryl Carter is an internationally-known interior decorator, furniture designer, lighting designer, published author, and has an eponymous home boutique.

Dominique Calhoun owner and founder of Remix Living. Her main goal is to remove the stress from your design dilemmas and to create a remarkable experience.

Erin Shakoor is the owner of Shakoor Interiors, an interior design, and renovation firm specializing in exclusive residences, boutique commercial spaces, and historic & vintage properties.

Rayman Boozer is the principal designer and CEO of Apartment 48. He has worked with clients on a multitude of projects including modern lofts, television studios, summer homes, and commercial offices.

Nile Johnson is the owner of Nile Johnson Interior Design, a boutique design firm that specializes in comfortable, curated, and elevated spaces.

Michel Smith Boyd’s breadth of influence includes residential and commercial interior design as well as curated collections of luxe rugs, fabrics and trims.

Kesha Franklin is defined by a commitment to a highly-personalized service for luxury interiors.

Me and General Design is a Brooklyn based boutique architectural interior design studio specializing in new residential and/or restorations, hospitality, and retail spaces along with designing and/or renovating private homes.

Butterfly Concepts is a full service Interior Design company creating spaces for the home and business.

Tony O. Lawson

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