WAYS TO SUPPORT BIPOC INTERIOR DESIGNERS


As our industry continues to listen, learn, and engage in conversations around supporting the BIPOC community, it’s more important than ever to put action behind our words. Shopping some of the most incredible Black-owned independent makers is a great place to start, but it certainly doesn’t end there. Over the past several weeks, I’ve sought to educate myself while also considering how I can help intentionally support BIPOC with actionable steps incorporated into my everyday routine.


There’s never been a more important conversation happening within our industry, and I am committed to supporting new BIPOC designers in the days and years ahead! Thanks to some helpful materials produced by the Black Interior Designers Network, I’m sharing some meaningful steps we can take to support designers of color on a daily basis. This list is by no means exhaustive, but it’s my personal starting point.



Design by Eneia White Design

Design by Candace Mary Interiors




CELEBRATE DIVERSE DESIGN INFLUENCES



It has become painfully obvious that many of our whitewashed social media feeds are continually promoting a single cultural aesthetic. As the BlDN so thoughtfully stated, “stop promoting a Eurocentric design as the design blueprint.” Instead, let’s work to curate an appreciation for all different styles of design and how various ethnicities may shape them. While each designer certainly has a unique aesthetic and visual point of view, we can all do better to celebrate style influences that are different than our own.




CONFRONT YOUR OWN UNCONSCIOUS BIAS



Looking back on my career transition from social work to interior design, I’ve been struck by the fact that starting my own business was made relatively easy due to my social privilege as a white woman. The color of my skin gave me an unmerited advantage, and it can be really uncomfortable to face those truths head-on. But, becoming aware of our own racist thoughts, privilege, and beliefs is also part of understanding unconscious bias. I really believe doing the necessary work to learn and reshape our prejudiced world views is the only way to move forward.



Design by Candace Mary Interiors


Design by Romanek Studio / Photography by Nicki Sebastian for Jenni Kayne




SUPPORT BIPOC-OWNED SHOPS



It’s no secret that I prioritize independent makers and artists in all of my interior design work. However, I have become incredibly aware of the lack of diversity in my Shop Small roundups. A few weeks back, I put together this #ShopSmall post highlighting some pretty incredible BIPOC makers, and I can’t wait to continue frequenting their shops and discovering even more makers along the way.


Along with supporting black artists, don’t forget to also shop from BIPOC interior designers’ affiliate links. This means purchasing DIRECTLY from the link a designer shares so that they’re able to earn the commission.




Design by Sheila Bridges


Design by Romanek Studio / Photography by Nicki Sebastian for Jenni Kayne


Design by Gail Davis Designs



DIVERSIFY YOUR PROFESSIONAL PARTNERS



As designers, who we work with and how we spend our dollars matters. It’s time not only to seek out more BIPOC architects, contractors, and tradespeople within our networks but to encourage our trade vendors to partner with BIPOC designers. By holding each other accountable for more thoughtful professional partnerships, we can all help shape a better, more diverse industry.




ENGAGE + SHARE BIPOC DESIGNERS’ WORK



As you consider your daily workflow, this step can be intentionally woven into any design studio’s routine. We can start by seeking out and following some of the many talented BIPOC designers, and engage with their content on a variety of social media platforms. Remember to comment, share, and promote their work both on your feed and Instagram stories on a regular basis. Plus, don’t forget to turn on post notifications for BIPOC designers to help work against the Instagram algorithm.


In an industry that’s often made for self-promotion and building up our own success, I think it’s time to rethink our actions. Let’s create openings for BIPOC designers by stepping to the side, both online and off.





Design by Romanek Studio / Photography by Nicki Sebastian for Jenni Kayne

Design by Candace Mary Interiors



Lastly, if you’d like to support the important work of the Black Interior Designers Network, you can make a contribution to the BIDN Donation Fund.





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j miller interiors is a Minneapolis based residential interior design studio focusing on details and creating spaces that are timeless yet unexpected. 

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j miller interiors is an interior design studio focused on creating warm, inviting and modern spaces. Based in Minneapolis, we offer full-service design services and distance design services for those afar. j miller interiors believes natural materials make for a happier home. 

julia@juliamillerinteriors.com

 

 

 

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