She was 43 years old. With [Ward] bringing us all together, now we lean on each other.". She served as home and lifestyle contributor for Gospel Today magazine for four years before joining design blog Pink Eggshell in 2008. BIDC’s continued success and a wider reach for Iconic Home, in addition to Skylar’s wellbeing and that of her family and friends, will be a fitting legacy for Kim. When her friend Ronda Racha Penrice, a local author and African-American historian, approached us about writing a tribute, we were happy to share her essay. ", In 2011, Ward founded the Black Interior Designers Network to connect homeowners to designers of color. In an April 2017 feature, Ward told EAL, “I started the network to solve two problems. Kimberly Elaine Ward was one of them. Kimberly Ward, founder of the Black Interior Designers Network, died on August 1. She would’ve been right there to help beautify the rebuilding. She was 43 years old. In addition to founding the BIDN, Ward was also a designer and editor of the design blog Pink Eggshell, … While there, she founded the Top 20 African American Interior Designers list, in response to a question she often received: "Where are all the black interior designers? Where others saw limitations, she concentrated on possibilities. And despite unexplained health complications that kept her, a previous breast cancer survivor, in her native Mississippi, she still, with great assistance from Keia McSwain and her sister Tony Ward, hosted the 2017 Black Interior Designers Conference from July 27 to July 29. “I understand that every time I walk into an auditorium to deliver a speech or sit on a panel for a discussion about interior design, I represent the minority. In 2014, they hit it on all cylinders, even landing an intimate conversation with Sheila Bridges that Kim conducted. Kimberly Ward, interior designer, founder of the Black Interior Designers Network and editor of Pink Eggshell, died on August 1 of cancer. When designer Kimberly Ward, founder of the Black Interior Designers Network, passed away in 2017, her friend and business partner at Kimberly & Cameron Interiors, Keia McSwain, carried on … BOH Insiders unlock access to weekly designer classes and exclusive Insider-only workshops, Designer and founder of Black Interior Designers Network Kimberly Ward has passed, A designer’s guide to sourcing and sampling services, Instagram update draws ire, a Noguchi at the White House, and more, Muji is the latest brand to go the lifestyle retail route with West Elm deal, How commercial work gives this Virginia designer a leg up on residential projects, Currey & Company relocates in Atlanta, Sunbrella’s new gallery space, and more. I’m sure that the designers on the list will agree—beauty and style know no color,” she concluded. As she made a name for herself with her influential blog, PinkEggShell, as well as through her interior design firm, Kimberly and Cameron Interiors, Kim did not hog the spotlight. I [was friendly with some] designers, but there were very few African American designers who knew each other. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.' Kim’s intent with the AA Top 20 and the BIDC was slightly different than some assumed. Not just as an African American, but more specifically as one working as a professional in the design community,” she wrote on PinkEggShell when she unveiled the very first AA Top 20 list back in 2011. “When I am featured in magazines and other media outlets, the questions that repeatedly arise are, who are your colleagues, is there someone like you in my neighborhood? This serene Decatur home keeps it simple with black and white design, Behind Georgia’s Covid-19 dashboard disaster, In politically mixed friend groups, a lesson for navigating differences. Is it OK to break my own rules about project standards when business is slow? Some people have a knack for always seeing the bright side of everything. Guadeloupe Rojas, who began her career before Ward had, said that when she started, "There was nothing like [BIDN]. After an AA Top 20 celebration at Jay-Z’s 40/40 Club in New York City back in 2012, she relocated, anchoring the festivities, while also adding a full-blown conference, in Atlanta, finding a great partner and champion in ADAC. Editor’s note: Earlier this summer, Atlanta Magazine’s HOME had just begun to explore partnerships with Kimberly Ward and her Black Interior Designers Conference. Instead, she shone her light on others: first with the annual African American Top 20 Interior Designers awards and, later, the Black Interior Designers Conference. Kimberly Ward Inc Design & Media Company Best LED Light for Kitchen Ceiling The kitchen is the part of the house that receives the most traffic throughout the day. In 2004, she became the home and lifestyle contributor for Gospel Today magazine. Why Robert Couturier doesn’t take his work too seriously. It is what will keep her soul well. Kimberly Ward, interior designer, founder of the Black Interior Designers Network and editor of Pink Eggshell, died on August 1 of cancer. These Georgia doctors are beginning their careers in a pandemic. Like the rest of the interior design community, here and around the country, we were saddened to hear … "Kimberly was like a mother hen with all her children," remembers Guadeloupe Rojas, who was first approached by Ward at High Point Market, when the designer struck up a conversation with her. Two, to provide educational opportunities for up-and-coming designers who need business structure and entrepreneurial help.”. In fact, dates for the organization's 2018 conference have already been earmarked. Like the rest of the interior design community, here and around the country, we were saddened to hear of Kimberly’s untimely death so soon afterwards. Our thoughts and sympathies are with Kimberly’s daughter and her family. ", The legacy she began building has already changed the design landscape for designers of color. Ward began her design career in 2002 working for members of the then-newly formed Houston Texans franchise; she would grow her career to take on clients from NFL teams including the New York Jets, Dallas Cowboys, Denver Broncos, Tennessee Titans and Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and designed more than one home for upwards of 90 percent of her clients. It genuinely surprised her whenever anyone questioned the need for her efforts. Guadeloupe Rojas tells EAL: "We gave her an award for the conference this year, with a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. [inscribed]. Kim was all about spreading love and happiness. Though it is not a place where everyone would spend hours doing one thing, like when in the sala or in the bedroom, still, it receives constant traffic at any time of the day. Excellence was the cornerstone of all that she did, and Atlanta was where she showcased it the most. Traditional is dead. Both Time and CNN once proclaimed Bridges “America’s Best Interior Designer.” Bridges also broke barriers hosting four seasons of Sheila Bridges Designer Living for the Fine Living Network, now the Cooking Channel, making her an in-the-flesh example of just where other black interior designers could go. As she made a name for herself with her influential blog, PinkEggShell, as well as through her interior design firm, Kimberly and Cameron Interiors, Kim did not hog the spotlight. She established the Top 20 African American Interior Designers list on design blog Pink Eggshell and founded the 120-member BIDN to connect homeowners to designers of color. Still, Atlanta was the place where she realized her dreams. Locally, Kim took special pride in cheerleading both Michel Boyd and Janice Palmer, especially when they participated in the Atlanta Symphony Associates’ Decorators’ Show House & Gardens. I felt she was our Martin Luther King.". Kimberly Ward started her design career in 2002 working for members of the newly formed Houston Texan franchise. Houzz’s 2021 trend predictions, Airbnb’s surprising quarter, and more. Kim adored Tiffany Brooks, HGTV’s 2013 Design Star winner, who became one of Kim’s tireless supporters. Within ADAC, some great partners included Ainsworth-North, Peacock Alley, and Martin Nash. Long live traditional! "Even going to the funeral, you heard people speak about her, and we'd all laugh becuase we'd all had similar experiences with her. One, to give exposure to black interior designers by injecting them into the design conversation on all levels. All of this she achieved while also being a loving mother and rock star role model to her young daughter Skylar. So she would have been devastated by Harvey’s destruction, but would have insisted that the city rebound. Michigan architect Irving Tobocman passed away after a November 10 car accident. The organization's mission: to "celebrate diversity within the interior design industry by highlighting designers of color and supporting black designers with business development opportunities." But her vision did not and should not perish. Ward leaves behind a daughter, Skylar, age 7. Photograph courtesy of Kimberly+Cameron Interiors. Domestically, Houston was a very special city for her and she worked there often. Yes, it’s a little stressful. During her four-year tenure, Kimberly wrote monthly interior design columns for the lifestyle publication. From day one, she intended to inspire, celebrate, and encourage established and aspiring interior designers—not blast the interior design community because they didn’t. Today, the organization has over 120 members, including designer Tiffany Brooks, House Beautiful 100 designer Elaine Griffin, Michel Smith Boyd and Rayman Boozer among them. Ward died at age 43 in 2017 from cancer. Just days later, on August 1, she passed away. It hosts an annual conference as well as more intimate regional events designed to connect designers with homeowners—and, importantly, to each other. While she was not here physically, she participated in a call with attendees and accepted a beautiful crystal award, as well as a proclamation from the City of Atlanta. After all, the very idea of her—a black girl with six siblings who was born in the shadows of the University of Mississippi and grew up to become an interior designer—was a testimony to the power of dreams. To Kimberly Ward, with love and extreme gratitude from your design family." Ward was too ill to attend the conference, but the organization called her to announce her award, and designer Boyd read her its inscription. Protest was never a motivating factor for her. BIDN will continue, says Dennese Guadeloupe Rojas, interior designer, friend and colleague of Ward's, as will her design business. 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