British born, London-based Samantha Ellington is an interiors specialist. “I started out by helping family and friends find the perfect table lamp or armchair, which then grew into creating schemes for their homes and businesses as a favour. Until it finally occurred to me,"Maybe I can make a career out of doing something that I love?”
This year, alongside her freelance work as a lifestyle content creator, she’s launching an interiors-based personal shopping and styling service.
What Does Black History Month Mean To You This Year?
This image of West Indian migrants arriving in England more than 70 years ago is representative of what Black History Month means to me. Like those in the picture, my parents left their family, friends, and all that was familiar to seek what they hoped would be a better life in a strange, cold, and often times unwelcoming country. With all their belongings packed inside just one suitcase, I can’t even begin to imagine how brave they were to take that first step off the boat and into the unknown.
In the UK, the number of Black women and men working in the interior design industry is incredibly small, and as I begin my new career in this field, I also feel as though I am moving in uncharted territory. Any change in a career will be meant with obstacles, especially in an industry that’s not inclusive or diverse. But in the spirit of those traveling pioneers who came before me, I’m stepping out with hope.
Where Are You Finding Inspiration To Create This Year?
Just as I find inspiration in the past for Black History month, I also look to find inspiration by revisiting periods of design throughout the ages. For the year ahead I’m calling on the 1970’s, which some say is the decade that taste forgot; but I think that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maybe I’m biased because It was also the era in which I was born! The era’s exuberant mix of plush fabrics and leather, lucite and luxe metallic finishes, bold colour combinations and geometric patterns together with sculptural forms in furniture design; provides a palette from which to create interiors that can range from an understated expression of modernity to a riotous declaration of decadence.
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