The Artist

African Americans Influencing Interior Design You Should Know (Part 2)

 Roderick Shade

Interior Designer Roderick Shade

“I had gotten to know some of the black design professionals in New York, and their work had never been shown. I thought,    Let’s have a show house in Harlem. And we did it. It was a huge success.” 

Roderick Shade, owner of Roderick Shade Designs in NYC, an international interior design opened his firm ~ 10 years ago.   He has been receiving high honors from top shelter publications Roderick was named to Architectural Digest’s “AD100” – Top 100 Architects and Designers and his work featured in New York Magazine, House Beautiful, New York Spaces and other publications.

Roderick openly admits the road to success as an interior designer was not easy and required sometimes working around interior design to home his skills.  “I sold antiques; I bought and sold ’50s stuff. I’d do whatever I could, if it was design-related. In the early ’80s I wound up working with Roger Franks, who taught me how to bring design and business together.  My first position as an interior designer was for a company that did model homes. The model-home design factory was good because I got to see the high end and the low, low end. I had to mimic high-end stuff with a low-end budget.”

Eventually, he moved to NY where he received his first interior design client while working as a window dresser because the client saw his potential.   His innovative thinking as co-founder of the Harlem United Show House gave him national exposure.  It was the first ever show house featuring African American designers and provided exposure to every designer showcased.  Since then Roderick has presented rooms in many coveted show houses including the Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse, the Traditional Home Built for Women showhouse, the Architectural Digest Time Warner Center concept house and the San Diego Historical Society Designer Showhouse.

Roderick grew up in San Diego, CA in the house built by his father and grandfather.  He said it was only by reading a design magazine that he learn that interior design was an occupation.  Roderick is the co-author of Harlem Style and is planning to venture into other design related areas as designing wallpaper and fabrics.  He is a regular speaker at The New York Times lecture series at the Architectural Digest Home Design Show.

Roderick Shade Living room colorful                   Roderick Shade uses brilliant colors in this living room

R Shade brown & whiteA beautifully eclectic mix of brown and white in this sitting room by Roderick Shade

 Harlem Style book coverRoderick Shade is co-author of the book Harlem Style


Darryl Carter photo2Interior Designer Darryl Carter

If you are looking for a design aesthetic of clean lines, traditional shapes and antiques all paired in a neutral color palette Darryl Carter is your man.  He’s designs homes for the likes of politicians and power brokers from DC to Miami.  During his career he has been named to Architectural Digest’s “AD100” – Top 100 Architects and Designers as well as his work featured in numerous shelter magazines including Elle Decor and Veranda.

Washington, DC based interior designer Darryl Carter has become a force in the design world and a lesson in how to succeed in the business of design.   Since starting his design firm, Darryl Carter Inc more than 15 years ago  becoming an international brand with licensing agreements with Benjamin Moore for a paint line,  Urban Electric Company for  a lighting line as well as a furniture collection with Thomasville furniture.    Most recent addition showcasing his talents is his new store opened in 2013 in DC that features Darryl’s furniture collection as well as many custom crafted pieces of pottery, art and home furnishings from local artisans.

A lawyer by trade Darryl pursued his passion by flipping houses on the weekends.  One house was designed so masterfully it was featured in Metropolitan Home magazine.  The interest he received from potential clients and press birthed a new career as an interior designer.

“When buying furniture, be thoughtful and disciplined. Choose fewer pieces of greater quality and interest. You should first go looking, not shopping. If something flirts with you, trust that you will later find something that seduces you; discover what uniformly appeals to you before making any purchases.”

Darryl Carter-living-room2Darryl Carter mixes antiques and classics but adds a modern, serene living room.

Darryl Carter living room DCLiving room by Darryl Carter

D Carter book CollageDarryl has also penned two books and The New Traditionalist and most recent entry: The Collected Home.