These Black-Owned Home Brands Are Giving Us Major Design Inspiration
The next time you’re thinking about bringing a squiggly vase or cute desk chair into your life, don’t hit the checkout button without first shopping at a Black-owned home brand. From macrame wall hangings to colorful throw pillows and jewel-toned glassware, Black creators are making just about everything for your space at a range of price points, and in styles far more interesting than the now-exhausted midcentury modern fare. On top of wholly unique pieces, many also work within their respective communities to give back and find inspiration in Black heritage to bring you goods that tell a deeper story.
One such place is Goodee, a socially-conscious marketplace that curates sustainably-made, artisanal pieces from around the world. Byron and Dexter Peart, the twin brothers behind the company, recognized how undervalued Black creators were in the sustainability conversation and were determined to change that narrative. Byron says, “We felt that there were so many extremely skilled and underrepresented ethical makers around the world who desperately needed a platform to connect with an equally committed conscious consumer.”
Speaking directly to the importance of having Black talent in the interior design and home decor space, he says “the issue isn’t that there is a talent gap in design fields, it is that there are very clear and persistent barriers to entry in access, education, mentoring, career opportunities. There is no doubt that there has been a broad awakening over the past months and a very promising shift that has ensued … but there is a long way to go.” True industry representation is something that drives and connects many Black-owned home decor bands, and Nicole Gibbons, founder of Clare, a direct-to-consumer paint company, echoes this sentiment.
“It’s important to focus on the community you serve,” Gibbons says, especially in decor and interior design because everyone wants to live in a beautiful home surrounded by the things they love.” And after nearly a year of spending most of our time indoors, it’s clear that surrounding ourselves with things that speak to us can go a long way in boosting our mood or providing comfort during stressful times.
There are plenty of Black-owned home decor brands to fill every corner of your space, so whether you’re looking for gifts for loved ones, statement items, or sourcing vintage, below is a small sampling of creators to keep in rotation.
Head to Goodee for ethically-made pieces that last a lifetime. The platform carries just about everything—ceramic trays, artful scarves, colorful woven baskets—for interiors and exteriors, and they recently partnered with Nordstrom to launch “Goodee 100,” a virtual pop-up of 100 home essentials all under $100. Keep an eye out for its terracotta plant vessels, which Byron says will be big among nesters this year “to ensure our surroundings always remain connected to nature.”
Thinking about refreshing the color of your walls? Check out the direct-to-consumer brand Clare, which designer Nicole Gibbons created in order to simplify the process of paint shopping. Her peel-and-stick swatches are mess-free, and features like the Clare Color Genius and the Paint Calculator make choosing colors overall more creative and accessible than traditional home goods stores. Gibbons says the Clare customer is “someone who embraces boldness and color,” with many shoppers gravitating towards moody tones like deep navy and dark green. For spring, she’s seeing a rise in cheery, uplifting colors like shades of yellow and pink, as well as more airy neutrals to give a sense of calm.
Estelle Colored Glasses
Estelle Colored Glasses is the kind of stuff you lust over on Instagram or Pinterest. The soft pastel stemware and cake stands are hand-blown by glass artisans in Poland, and the brand itself is inspired by the founder, Stephanie Summerson Hall’s grandmother, who loved antiquing and decorating her table with colorful glassware during Sunday dinners. (PS: If the designs look familiar, there’s a chance you’ve seen them at Anthropologie, West Elm, or Food52.)
Raini Home is an extension of Sincerely, Tommy, the Brooklyn-based concept store that sells eclectic women’s clothing and accessories. Consider Raini if you want statement pieces for your home. The brand carries a unique mix of furniture and decorative accents that all have a distinct minimalistic, sculptural feel—and each piece is handmade in a factory in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
Prepare to fall in love with Savoy’s Objects and its founder, Reegan Savoy Houston, who expertly curates vintage decor and shares her finds on the brand’s website and Instagram. Houston says the pieces she sources “resemble womanhood in its most glorious state—at the helm of luxury and sex appeal.” One look at those undulating candle holders and we couldn’t agree more.
Candice Luter’s macrame wall hangings are perfect for anyone who wants to add texture to blank walls without having to pull out the paintbrushes. The artist uses natural cotton rope to create abstract designs, and each piece is handmade. You can shop her designs at West Elm, or work closely with her on a custom piece via Etsy.
What started as a design blog by Justina Blakeney in 2009 has since grown into a full-fledged lifestyle brand and store known as The Jungalow. Whether you’re looking for designs by Blakeney or unique pieces from artisans around the world, it’s a one-stop-shop for feel-good art and eclectic home decor.
Bolé Road Textiles
Interior designer Hana Getachew is the founder of Bolé Road Textiles, a home-goods store that sells one-of-a-kind textiles and fabrics (think soft towels, patterned pillow covers, and stitched throws) that are designed in Brooklyn and handwoven in Ethiopia.
Yowie is a Philadelphia-based home and lifestyle boutique founded by Shannon Maldonado. The store is so popular, it’s rare to find things in stock on Yowie, but on a good day, you can snag unique housewares, kitchen goods, and trinkets made by independent artists and friends of the brand—like the blue vase below.
Look to 54kibo for contemporary African design across a variety of items, including ceramics, decorative pillows, and table linens. The 54kibo team says on its website that it sources pieces from “designers leading the next wave of Africa’s creative economy,” and curates unique items “that help your home stand out.”
Bloom & Plume
Bloom & Plume is a celebrated Los Angeles floral design studio that makes museum-worthy installations and arrangements. It’s the brainchild of visual artist Maurice Harris, who opened Blume & Plume Coffee, an extension of his celebrated floral studio, in 2019. The shop is community-oriented and designed to “uplift people through aesthetics.” Shop its mini online webshop, or stop by the café for some really good coffee if you’re in the neighborhood.
Harlem Candle Co.
The Harlem Candle Company is a luxury home and fragrance company inspired by the Harlem Renaissance. Founded by travel and lifestyle expert Teri Johnson in 2014, the brand celebrates the legacy of Black icons like Billie Holliday and Langston Hughes with aromatic soy candles that can “transport you through time and place.”