As it is Black History month, I thought it only fitting to celebrate notable and inspirational Black Interior Designers.
Sheila Bridges, dubbed “America’s Best Interior Designer” by CNN and Time Magazine, is an African American Interior Designer, Philly (Philadelphia, PA) native, also home to my all time favorite music artist Jill Scott, I had to put it out there, I digress. Sheila is notably recognized for being an amazing Interior Designer, Furniture Designer, and host of the TV show Designer Living. She has also authored two books Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing For A Life and her memoir, The Bald Mermaid.
Her design aesthetic consists of mixing different styles and periods of furniture as well as mixing fabric textures and patterns.
Sheila graduated from Brown University with dreams of starting a career in Advertising and as life would have it she fell in love with design after answering a newspaper add to work for Shelton Mindel. In her own words “I could always see myself doing this. I was suddenly at home.” She later graduated with a degree in Interior Design from Parsons School of Design. Sheila worked for Renny Saltzman before opening her own firm at the age of 30.
Sheila Bridges landed her first big client music mogul, Mr.Harrell and after that her career took off. Her clientele ranges from celebrity entertainers and entrepreneurs to business professionals. In fact, perhaps her most notable client is former President, Mr. Bill Clinton himself. She worked with Clinton to design his Harlem offices.
In addition to these awesome accomplishments, Ms. Bridges also managed to change the face of Toile. Like myself, she always loved Toile. Toile is a fabric/wallpaper design that depicts pastoral scenes of shepherds and shepherdess’, farm animals, etc. always design with Caucasian characters. Well Sheila decided to do something about this. She launched her own Toile line, Harlem Toile de Jouy featuring black men and women, boys and girls dancing, playing basketball and jumping double dutch. She wanted “to tell a satirical story about African American life as seen through the sometimes distorted lens of the media”. Harlem Toile de Jouy wallpaper, is now showcased in the Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum’s permanent wallpaper collection and has been exhibited in many museums around the world.
Sheila Bridges is AMAZING, to say the least. She has contributed much to the world of Interior Design. She’s an inspiration to me.
Sources: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/18/garden/weeding-out-the-riffraff.html http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/11/08/AR2006110800671.html https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_Bridges http://www.npr.org/2013/09/04/218911418/star-interior-designer-redefines-beauty-after-hair-loss Photo Credit: http://revealbydesign.com/reveal-by-design/sheila-bridges/ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/18/garden/weeding-out-the-riffraff.html