LGBTQ Interior Designers

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LGBTQ Interior Design

The interior design profession is a relatively new career profession that is often closely associated with the LGBTQ community. This is not surprising given that the founder of the profession is generally recognized as the 1920s New York lesbian socialite Elsie de Wolfe. Tired of the old, staid Victorian look, de Wolfe introduced the public to the concept of designing their homes and accessories with a lighter and more colourful touch. This change in design outlook soon received wide appeal, and a new industry was created.

Early gay bachelors in Europe used interior design as a means to express their personal identity and character. In fact, they often used their personal home design as a means to counter what were viewed as the rigid constraints of domestic interiors of their time. Often, these individuals grouped together to create informal networks or communities. Their personal design aesthetics gave them an outlet for creativity that could occur within the safe confines of their personal homes.

Many of the early interior designers were also architects and the two professions are often closely intertwined. As the business of interior design grew, so too did the sphere of influence for its top designers. Many individual designers expanded their expertise to include furniture design, fabric design, and other home accessories. The earliest innovative business-person to expand his design business was the legendary gay British designer John Beresford Fowler who co-founded the famous Colefax & Fowler design firm – he is noted for his support in renovating and rejuvenating the old manor homes of England.

The profession has grown rapidly since that time and now envelops the developed world's lifestyle. Many of the contemporary LGBTQ interior designers are well known to the public through their television shows (such as Million Dollar Designers, Savoire Faire, and Color Splash), books, and magazines. Others, such as American Jonathan Adler, have extensive stores and an online presence for their uniquely designed home furnishings and design services.

We have identified a large number of global LGBTQ interior designers. These individuals hail from Ireland, France, Great Britain, Norway, Canada, the United States, the Netherlands, Puerto Rico, Australia, and Brazil. Simply click on their names to read their biographies for interesting stories about a fascinating, and relatively new, profession.





Great Britain



Puerto Rico

The Netherlands

United States

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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