The BIDN Announces the Top 10 African American Interior Designers Working Now

It’s been three years since the Black Interior Designers Network (BIDN) last unveiled its African American Top 10 Interior Designers List, so the announcement of the 2022–23 edition, selected by a panel of editorial judges (including AD’s own global editorial director, Amy Astley), has been long anticipated. On Thursday, May 12, the honorees will be celebrated at the New York Design Center from 5 to 7 p.m. EDT in an event open to members of the industry. The festivities are being held in partnership with The Shade Store, Benjamin Moore, Kohler, and the New York Design Center.

First launched by late BIDN founder and interior designer Kimberly Ward, the honor previously recognized a larger group of designers during the non-profit organization’s annual conference. Post-pandemic, that roster has been whittled down to a top 10, and the awards have transformed into a standalone and in-person event. “These honorees are the interior design industry’s most knowledgeable and notable designers,” says Keia McSwain, president of BIDN, adding that their “existence alone will uplift, encourage, and pour into our future.”

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Along with Astley, the roster of judges included Asad Syrkett of Elle Décor, Kaitlin Petersen of Business of Home, Katy Olson of Material Bank, and Hadley Keller of House Beautiful, who all made their tough, tie-breaking decisions based on both the designers’ imaginative and bold oeuvres and their dedication to championing and uplifting the Black community.

This year’s lineup of notable designers includes celebrity favorite Brigette Romanek of Los Angeles–based Romanek Design Studio, HGTV Design Star winners Tiffany Brooks of Chicago-area Tiffany Brooks Interiors and Danielle Colding of Danielle Colding Design in New York, as well as Ron Woodson, cofounder and architectural preservationist of Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design in Los Angeles, and Shawn McLean-Bergel of San Francisco’s McLean Bergel. Further rounding out the awardees are television personality and AD100 designer Corey Damen Jenkins of Corey Damen Jenkins & Associates in New York, office start-up guru Dani Arps of Artisan Alliance in New York, former Blue Man Group star General Judd of Me and General Design in Brooklyn, Michel Boyd of Michel Smith Boyd, LLC in Atlanta, and Tavia Forbes, principal interior designer at Atlanta’s Forbes Masters.

Currently under the leadership of Denver-based interior designer Keia McSwain, the Black Interior Designers Network has been advocating for diversity and inclusion within the industry since 2010, serving as a voice of and creating opportunities for designers of color.

Among their initiatives is The Iconic Home, a partnership with AD in which designers from the network are tasked with crafting specific personality-driven rooms within a virtual showhouse. That project is currently gearing up for its dynamic third edition this fall.