Interior designer Alvin Wayne proves that your space should always be bold, authentic and beautiful
Interior designer Alvin Wayne | Photo credit: Harvey Jackson
For Florida-born, New York-based Alvin Wayne, creativity played a big part in his childhood, which in turn influenced how he saw and navigated the world as an interior designer and visual curator. Whether it’s through extensive travel, a love of fashion, or his meticulous eye for style, Wayne has managed to solidify a career that most interior designers dream of while also managing to attract a huge following on social networks. his determination has caught the attention of some of the biggest game changers in the industry like West Elm, Apartment TherapyArchitecture as well as many private and famous clients.
ESSENCE spoke with the budding design star about all things interior design, influence, brand building and more.
Design is personal and global
Much like building a wardrobe, personal interior design is usually a carefully curated inventory; a collection of ideas, reflecting trends and pop culture and artistic influences.
“My design aesthetic is mid-century modern-inspired, organic-luxe. I love using natural materials like marble, wood, metals, concrete, and plant life in all of my designs,” says Wayne “I always say, ‘if you like it, then go for it!’ Start with whatever you naturally gravitate toward, then build around that. Pinterest, Instagram and periodicals like Architecture Digest and Elle Decor are great sources of inspiration.
And this Spring/Summer 2022 is all about the high/low, the bold, the look for less and an abundance of attitude – a playground for the good, the great and the eccentric. “Some of the biggest design trends are curved or rounded furniture, bold colorful kitchens, bringing the outdoors in with plant life.
Design with purpose
Also, your design should be useful and intentional. Remember that “designing with purpose and intention is exactly that. Identifying the purpose of the space, how you intend to use the space is important when it comes to design, the placement and flow of space. And as far as intent goes, everything has to have meaning, like why are you using this material versus another material, and do we need this?” a tendency to always step back and remove unnecessary items or clutter…thus being intentional about what I want the story to be.
Not only does Alvin create his own, but he collaborates with major brands to promote more invisibility. As a member of the Black Interior Designers Network, you contributed to Architectural Digest’s second episode “The Iconic Home,” gave us a grand tour of your Long Island City apartment with Clever, and recently collaborated on the installation Small /Cool NYC from Apartment Therapy. These opportunities are crucial and essential for building the brand. “As a young black interior designer, that level of opportunity and visibility is important, not just to me but to people who look like me. Because I am my dream and others see me doing the work with passion and now they know they can do it. I realized a while ago that me, being me, I am bigger than me,” he says.
And with that visibility comes the responsibilities of mentorship and feedback to allow others to stand on your shoulders as your predecessors did for you. The key: do it! “Just start…don’t worry about being perfect from the start, always seek advice from the people who inspire you and never be afraid to show off yourself or your work. You have to start somewhere.
The design is therapeutic and rewarding
If you follow his Instagram we are offered a peek into this meticulously and well-arranged space. It’s an eclectic mix of personality, art, style, and everything in between, located in the heart of Long Island City. Proving that you don’t have to reside in the heart of Manhattan, the important thing is to always incorporate your tastes into your space. “This is your house, isn’t it?” LOL, every space should be a reflection of who lives there. It’s so important to be around things that bring you joy and help you be the person you are, or the person you aspire to be,” he laughs.
And in the end, Alvin saves his best for his most personal projects to date. “My dream project would be to design a house from scratch for my parents, second dream project…my townhouse in New York someday lol.”
Follow Alvin Wayne on IG at @alvinwayne and visit his site for daily inspiration and news at www.alvinwayne.com.