Five designers with diverse backgrounds, design experiences and global perspectives will participate in April Las Vegas Market’s Virtual Showhouse. The program comes to life in The House that Visionaries Built, an April 8 webinar with the designers discussing the cultural influences and product views that went into the creation of their respective rooms.
“Viewing design through the lens of different styles, practices and inspirations is a building block of the bold innovation seen throughout our industry,” said Dorothy Belshaw, chief customer and marketing officer for IMC. “Through our April 2021 Las Vegas Virtual Showhouse, we are viewing the market’s vast breadth and depth of resources through the unique view of a group of truly talented designers.”
During the live session, five of the industry’s best and brightest designers will discuss the importance of diversity in their own designs as well as its impact on the industry today and in the future. Participating designers include Angelo Surmelis, award-winning designer featured in more than 50 television shows, host for HGTV and TLC and author and owner of Los Angeles-based angelo:HOME; Kelly Finley, member of the Black Artists + Designers Guild (BADG) and founder and principal designer of Joy Street Design in Oakland, California; Mikel Welch, celebrity host and designer on “Quibi’s Murder House Flip,” product designer and founder of Mikel Welch Designs in New York; Veronica Solomon, member of Black Interior Design Network (BIDN) and BADG, award-winning designer, design business mentor and CEO/creative director of Casa Vilora Interiors in Katy, Texas; and Linda Allen, interior and lighting designer, named by Library of Congress as an African American “Artmaker,” member of BADG and founder of Linda Allen Designs and Live Anywhere Wireless Lighting, both based in Las Vegas. The session will be moderated by Kelli Lamb, editorial director and co-principal for RUE Magazine.
Participating designer Welch said, “Diversity within the design industry is a subject that has been a bit taboo but is time to be exposed. As someone who works in TV and the high-end design world, I frequently find myself in rooms where I am one of few who look like me. I have been very fortunate to break some molds in the design world, and hope that this same olive branch will be extended to other designers of color.”
Finley cites culture as the driving force behind her designs: “I believe my background, history and heritage are embedded in every ounce of my body and I can’t design anything without there being a reference to all that I have seen and done. For example, I believe my love for color comes from the happiness I associate with my childhood home that had a different paint color on practically every wall. So, for me, color is joy and joy is colorful.”
In partnership with RUE Magazine, the live webinar is viewable from 1 to 2:30 p.m. (PDT) on Thursday, April 8 and is worth 1.5 CEU. Registration is available online. The recorded webinar and related designs also will be live on the Las Vegas Market website in the coming weeks.