Home & Design
Chic and serene living room. Weitzner wall covering, custom chair in deep violet
Chic and serene living room. Weitzner wall covering, custom chair in deep violet

Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas, principal of Interiors by Design LLC, created a chic and serene living room. Weitzner wall covering mimics stone on the fireplace surround. A custom chair in a deep violet adds drama.

British style bedroom with checks and plaids dominating a floral window shade.
British style bedroom with checks and plaids dominating a floral window shade.

Iantha Carley’s room upends British style with checks and plaids dominating a floral window shade.

Flowery Schumacher wallpaper in a charcoal colorway.
Flowery Schumacher wallpaper in a charcoal colorway.

Shawna Underwood bucked tradition in her space, selecting flowery Schumacher wallpaper in a charcoal colorway.

En-suite bath with Schumacher wallpaper and Ann Sacks subway and ribbed-mosaic base tile.
En-suite bath with Schumacher wallpaper and Ann Sacks subway and ribbed-mosaic base tile.

Underwood reflected the bedroom palette in the en-suite bath with Schumacher wallpaper and Ann Sacks subway and ribbed-mosaic base tile.

Shawna Underwood, Iantha Carley and Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas
Shawna Underwood, Iantha Carley and Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas

Shawna Underwood, Iantha Carley and Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas (left to right) represented the DC area in The Kaleidoscope Project, which garnered national attention.

Industry Dialog

Designers of color transform a Berkshires inn to encourage diversity in the field

Industry Dialog - Iantha Carley, Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas and Shawna Underwood literally took their show on the road for The Kaleidoscope Project—a show house exclusively featuring the work of designers of color.

Twenty-three designers from around the country were tapped to transform guest rooms in the 18th-century Cornell Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts. More than 30 sponsors, including Circa Lighting, Benjamin Moore and The Shade Store, supported the project; proceeds from ticket sales will go to scholarships for students of color interested in pursuing careers in art or design.

Carley, Rojas and Underwood made several trips to the Berkshires for the event, which ran from May 16 to June 6. “I was thrilled to have been asked to participate,” says Carley, “and to show the community at large that we’re a talented group who need to be recognized equally.”

Unlike typical show houses that are dismantled after they close, the Cornell Inn is keeping the rooms intact so guests can check in and luxuriate in the designers’ creations first-hand. In her space, Carley put a fresh spin on classic British style. “I was taken by how much the Berkshires reminded me of the Lake District in the UK,” explains the designer, who dubbed her room the Bennet for her favorite literary heroine, Elizabeth Bennet of Pride and Prejudice. In lieu of chintz, Carley honed in on geometric motifs; large-scale plaid Phillip Jeffries wallpaper and a headboard and bed skirt in Cowtan & Tout checks convey a modern vibe.

Rojas was tasked with reimagining an entire apartment. “I wanted to create spaces that are calm and soothing,” says the designer, who named her unit the Doreen Suite after her late mother. Rojas played up a neutral palette with pops of color, such as an armchair in violet fabric.

Underwood packed a punch in a small suite that she called the Hudson—her maiden name and one that is significant to the region. “I utilized prints, color and scale to make it feel impactful but also cozy,” she reveals. Painted trim offsets floral wallpaper; a bright velvet headboard and pillow, she says, “bring richness and modern texture.”

Industry Dialog - Underwood was honored that her first show house was dedicated to designers of color.

“I hope the project sends a message that the industry is open to showcasing different perspectives,” she reflects. “It shows that there is opportunity and the design industry is starting to welcome it.” thekaleidoscopeproject.com; cornellbb.com

You may also like:

Tangerine Dream
Interior design students take on the challenge of decorating a renovated Arlington home using high-style but affordable furnishings from Ikea
Craftsman Redux
Kitchen designer Jennifer Gilmer and her architect breathe new life into a 1920s bungalow in Bethesda
Party Central
HOME&DESIGN, published bi-monthly by Homestyles Media Inc., is the premier magazine of architecture and fine interiors for the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia region.

The company also publishes an annual H&D Sourcebook of ideas and resources for homeowners and professionals alike. H&D Chesapeake Views is published bi-annually and showcases fine home design and luxury living in and around the Chesapeake Bay.

The H&D Portfolio of 100 Top Designers spotlights the superior work of selected architects, interior designers and landscape architects in major regions of the US.

Stay Connected with HOME & DESIGN Newsletter

Copyright © 2021 Home & Design. All rights reserved. | Back to top
magnifier