Keita Turner is an interior designer who creates enduring fashionably classic designs. As a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Turner has an extensive background in both fashion and interior design. Her award-winning full-service firm, launched in 2000, offers expertise in residential and commercial interior design and has produced environments for numerous high profile clients across the country.

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It was a highlight to see Turner’s recent interview with the International President of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., air January 1, 2016 on the AKA Network, for the second season of “Conversations”. In 2015, Turner was invited to endorse and promote The Home Depot products by partnering with both the home improvement retailer and Ebony Magazine to create custom Best Dressed Home national advertorials that ran in the spring and fall of 2015. In 2014, Turner was invited, along with a handful of New York City's top interior designers, to unveil stylish room vignettes on the new 9th floor furniture gallery at Macy's Herald Square. Since 2013, Turner has been invited to join New York City’s most popular interior design fundraising event - Housing Works’ Design On A Dime benefit, as a featured top designer, charged with creating unforgettable room vignettes. Since 2011, Keita Turner has served as a member of the Interior Design Committee for Young Collectors Night at the 58th, 59th, 60th, 61st , 62nd and 63rd Annual Winter Antiques Show and is recognized as one of the country’s finest designers on a committee chaired by Wendy Goodman, Design Editor of New York Magazine.

Turner's work received Honorable Mentions in the 2012 International Design Awards (IDA) competition for two of her State Farm Agency commercial office projects. Named the 2nd prizewinner of the 2007 International Design Awards (IDA) for Residential Interior Design, a runner-up winner in The Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute’s Prettiest Painted Rooms in America national design competition in 2006, a featured designer in the Essence Magazine Designer Showhouse in 2005, featured in a group exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Summer 2005, and inducted into the African American Design Archives (AADA) at the prestigious Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Turner has been featured and quoted in print and online publications including The New York Times, The New York Times Style Section, Elle Decor, New York Spaces, Better Homes & Gardens, Good Housekeeping, New York Cottages and Gardens, New York Post, Curb NY, New York Social Diary, Ebony and Essence, as well as seen on ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, BETJ and AKA Network broadcast channels.

Turner has added home décor product design to her repertoire, with her fashionable vintage and contemporary pillow collection, Livvy & Neva.

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(Referencing the above photo) This photo vignette of an interior space within my home is peaceful, quiet and still.   But, at the same time, it is confident and strong.  This moment...this gallery wall of art and objets d’art inspires me.  In particular, sometimes I find myself just staring and gazing at this drawing of a young African American woman in the 1930s - 1940s, by Harry Pink.  It’s funny, but I gaze at her gazing off somewhere else.  I wonder what life was like for this black woman back then?  What were her aspirations and dreams?  Was she happy?  What was she contemplating?  This drawing of this black woman represents introspection for me.  If only this women knew that one day her portrait would provide inspiration to another young black woman way off in a future generation, probably still reflecting on some of the same concerns that still impact black women today.

Black Woman Portraits_VariousArtists (clockwise from top): Guarn In Contemplation, by B. Toler Turner (my mother), Oil on Canvas, 1982 Study of Edith, by Dominic Avant (a former RISD classmate of mine), Oil Painting Untitled, by Harry Pink, WPA Era African American Portrait, Pastels on Paper, c. 1935-1943 Green Tea, by Kadir Nelson, Oil on Canvas Self Portrait of me, by Keita Turner, 1986/87

Black Woman Portraits_VariousArtists (clockwise from top):
Guarn In Contemplation, by B. Toler Turner (my mother), Oil on Canvas, 1982
Study of Edith, by Dominic Avant (a former RISD classmate of mine), Oil Painting
Untitled, by Harry Pink, WPA Era African American Portrait, Pastels on Paper, c. 1935-1943
Green Tea, by Kadir Nelson, Oil on Canvas
Self Portrait of me, by Keita Turner, 1986/87

What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?

Black History Month is a time for celebrating the phenomonen of being black.  It is an occasion to commemorate our extraordinary and exceptional history. During this period of Black History Month, I am reminded to celebrate and share – Our allure.  Our brilliance.  Our creativity.  Our endurance.  Our legacy.  Our magic.  Our power. Our resilience.  Our wealth.  

Black History Month offers the opportunity to recognize our ancestors who suffered immeasurably, sacrificed everything, resisted and protested endlessly for our freedoms, privileges and rights that many of us exercise today.  It is also a time for observation and introspection of where we come from, where we are today and where we plan to be in the future.  I believe we should familiarize ourselves with and support our black brothers and sisters (and not just in the month of February) who are and will continue to push forward the remarkableness of our long history of our black presence on this planet earth.

The contributions of black people to civilization, is something all people, especially blacks in the diaspora should know.  We should know our history.  We should know all of our history, even the forgotten, the hidden, and the lost history.  And most importantly, we should be making and continuing to make history.

When I think of black history, I also think of the influences of black women, both the conventional and the noteworthy.  In my opinion, black women have had a significant impact on the world.  To me, black women are the embodiment of life, light and love.  We are smart and possess ingenuity, although sometimes underestimated.  We are empowered, although some may be confused thinking we are disempowered.  We have unique point-of-views and stories to tell, although some may try and cut or omit us from the narrative.  The truth is, we are beautiful and we shine.  We are indestructibly strong and we thrive.  We are driven hard-workers and we climb.

Black Woman_FigurativePaintingsArt_BTolerTurner Various Artworks and Paintings by my mother depicting colorful images of black women and girls through her lens / point-of-view

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Various Artworks and Paintings by my mother depicting colorful images of black women and girls through her lens / point-of-view

Where Are You Finding Inspiration Today To Design This Year?

As an interior designer and product designer, I find inspiration to create and design from a variety of sources and places.  My original design background in fashion design and genuine love for fashion will always influence how I approach interior design.  My exposure to the visual arts, initially through my mother, a fine artist, and then through my formal art school education, cemented my love of art museums.  I get some of my most exciting inspiration from art exhibitions at galleries and art museums.  I could design an entire space around colors found in a favorite painting!  Travel, whether it is local, regional, national or international, can also lend itself as a great source for design inspiration.

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