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We’re winding up our look at top designers for Black History Month with design-happens-will-smith300x208Season 2 HGTV Design Star contestant, Will Smith. Smith, an Associate Member of the Interior Design Society, has seen his business boom since appearing on Design Star. His Charlotte, NC, design firm, Interior Motives, is a full-service firm that strives to help clients find their personal style. Read on to see what Will has to say about his favorite projects and personal style.

Which African-American designers influenced you?
Preston Bailey – I love the over-the-top look that he creates for special events.

What’s your favorite design style?
My favorite design style is one that I call “warm contemporary.” It’s a style that pairs modern, clean-lined elements with warm, rich colors and accessories. It takes the cold out of contemporary design. 

What’s the essential home accessory (or piece of furniture) you use in your designs?
One design element that I love to use is mirrors because they can create depth, light and illusion. I also am fond of over-scaled art and accessories.

design-happens-will-smith-bedroom400x266Smith’s “warm contemporary” style
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
My favorite vacation spot would be at my home in Charlotte doing absolutely nothing at all. Ahh, how peaceful…. Next to that, I would say Hawaii. 

Show us a picture of the room you most enjoyed designing and tell us why you love it.
I really enjoyed designing this dry cleaner because it was in an up-and-coming part of town and it had great elements, such as the high windows, beamed ceilings and brick interior walls.  The client also allowed me to be creative and that’s always fun.

design-star-will-smith-orange-dry-cleaners400x266Will’s favorite room — a funky dry cleaner

Find out what else Will’s been up to since HGTV Design Star.


Designers & Talent

16 Responses

  1. Euncie Cato says:

    Love it, Love it

    • Will Smith says:


    • Laura says:

      This is amazing! I have a beautiful property and home on the Big Island that I am putting up for sale 2nd Week in January 2011..it would be awesome if house hunters came here…Keep in touch with Kona Realty-We plan on using a realtor named Steve~Aloha

  2. i really the orange room. im new at this and im thinking about painting my entryway black. what do you think?

    • Will Smith says:

      If you have an entry way that receives lots of natural light then you may be just fine. If not you may have a very dark and club like entrance. Unless however you want that feel. Hope this helps.

  3. Crystal says:


    I have been decorating since I was a child. Thank you for inspiring me to continue with my craft and to learn about pioneers such as Preston Bailey.

  4. Ms T says:

    too feminine

  5. sarah says:

    If this is "femininez', then what would be masuline?

  6. Santhipia says:

    My husband and I have been huge fans since watching you on Design Star. We Love your work.

    • Will Smith says:

      Thanks so much for following me and being a fan. Be sure to check out my website ( <a href="http://www.interiormotives.ws)” target=”_blank”>www.interiormotives.ws) and also connect with me on facebook. I work all over the country if you ever need anything designed!! Thanks.

  7. Tammy Brim says:

    Hi Will, Wow! I love your style, taking contemporary to another level with a warm and enviting contempary ambience. I knew i had a brother or sister from another mother, that can appreciate my unique difference in taste. Thank you. I am a recent Interior Design graduate in Atlanta, and i was looking for a mentor but haven't had much success. I graduated March 12th and now i am looking for my nitch but by the same token, i want stay on top of what's going on in the industry. Have you ever considered being a mentor. If so, i would love to be your assistant, for free if schedules would allow. So thank you again and God bless you in all of your endeavors. Tammy Brim of Atlanta.

  8. will smith says:

    Hello Tammy, I strongly encourage you to follow your dreams and do what you love. I would love to answer any questions or concerns that you may have and feel free to give me a call anytime. Take care and keep following your dreams.

  9. @TeckieGirl says:

    absolutely brilliant…simply gorgeous with lots of color. keep it up!

  10. Renee Robinson says:

    Hi Will, love your daring. I too am an interior design student and am looking for a mentor. I would love to converse and talk about how u do what you do. Any thoughts?

    Beautiful and inspiring work…..I'm excited.

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