For Florida-born, New York-based Alvin Wayne, creativity plays a large in his childhood which, and, in return, influences how he sees and navigate throughout the world as an interior designer and visual curator. Whether it is via numerous travels, love of fashion or his meticulous eye for style, Wayne has managed to solidify a career that most interior designers dream of while managing to garner a huge social media following; his determination has captured the attention of some of biggest game changers in the industry like CB2, Apartment Therapy, Architectural Digest as well as numerous private and celebrity clients.
ESSENCE spoke with the budding design star about everything home decor, influence, brand building and more.
Design Is Personal And Global
Just like building a wardrobe personal interior design is usually a carefully curated inventory; a collection of ideas, reflection of trends and pop culture and artistic influences.
“My design aesthetic is mid-century modern inspired, organic-luxe. I love using natural materials like marble, wood, metals, concrete, and plant life in all my designs,” says Wayne. “I always say, “if you love it, then go for it!” Start with everything that you naturally gravitate towards, and then build around that. Pinterest, Instagram, and periodicals like Architecture Digest and Elle Decor are great sources for inspiration.”
And this Spring/Summer 2022 is all about high/low, bold, the look for less and an abundance of attitude — a playground for the good, the great and the eccentric. “Some of the biggest design trends are, Curved or rounded furniture, bold colorful kitchens, bringing the outside in with Plant life.
Design With Purpose
Also your design should be purposeful and intentional. Remember that “designing with purpose and intention, is just that. Identifying the purpose of the space, how you intend to use the space matters when it comes to design, placement and flow of the space. And when it comes to the intention, everything has to make sense, like why are you using this material verses another material, and do we need this?” I tend to always step back and take unnecessary items or clutter away…thus being intentional on what I want the story to be.”
Not only is Alvin creating his own personal and but he is collaborating with large scaled brands to promote more invisibility. As a member of the Black Interior Designers Network you contributed to the second installment of Architectural Digest “The Iconic Home,” gave us a grand tour of your Long Island City apartment with Clever and most recently collaborated on Apartment Therapy’s Small/Cool NYC installation (on view until May 15). These opportunities are crucial and essential for brand building.
“As a young, Black, male interior designer this level of opportunity and visibility is important, not only to me but to the people who look like me. Because I am following my dream, and passion others see me doing the work and they now know they can do it to. I realized a while ago, me being me, is bigger than me,” he states.
And with that visibility comes the responsibilities of mentorship and reaching back to allow others to stand on your shoulders as your predecessors did for you. The key: just do it! “Just start…don’t worry about be perfect right out the gate, always ask the people who inspire you for advice, and never be afraid to put yourself or your work out there. You must start somewhere.”
Design Is Therapeutic and Rewarding
If you follow his Instagram we are offered a glance into this meticulously and well appointed space. It is a mix of eclectic personality, art, style and everything in-between, located in the heart of Long island City. Proving that you do not have to reside in the heart of Manhattan the important key is it always incorporate your taste into your space. “It’s your house isn’t it? LOL, every space should be a reflection of who lives there. It’s so important to be surrounded by things that bring you joy and help you be the person you are, or the person you aspire to be,” he laughs.
And at the end of the day, Alvin is saving his best for his most personal projects to date. “My dream project would be to design a home from the ground up for my parents, second dream project…my NYC town home one day lol.”