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We sat down with Interior designer Keia McSwain, who heads up Kimberly & Cameron Interiors and the diversity-promoting nonprofit Black Interior Designers Network, to see how she infused her high-rise condo in the heart of Denver with culture, color, and her vibrant personality.
5280 Home: Your home is on the 23rd floor of an Uptown building. What drew you to sky-high living?
Keia McSwain: Ever since I was a kid, I always wanted to be in a high rise in the city. Everything about me says high rise.
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And what does your home say about you?
I wanted my space to scream culture, luxury, knowledge, power, beauty, and freedom. And drama. I wanted to. create a vibe for myself, and those dark eggplant-colored walls really provide it. It’s a romantic color and it’s very bold.
Speaking of bold, tell us about your art.
I’m a 33-year-old Black woman and the art in my home [depicts people who] look like me. The Mario Gerth woven tapestries over my sofa portray a Samburu couple from northern Kenya. The art by Tawny Chatmon in my bedroom speaks to being a young Black girl who’s brilliant and unstoppable.
What says “luxury” to you?
The luxury is in the details—marbles and golds and accessories that are perfect for the space because they mean something to me: African bangles and a Brazilian tortoise lock on the coffee table; handwoven baskets, scarabs, and Jean-Michel Basquiat prints on the walls; and an African bust and feather necklace, Senegalese beads, and a ceramic ginger jar my mom gave me on the bookcase.
Your furnishings are equally varied.
I am an embossed-velvet–mixed-metal–marble type of girl, and I lean toward whatever makes my heart skip a beat. I love shopping places like 1stDibs that I know are going to satisfy my hunger for eclectic furnishings, but my favorite piece in this house is the brass-and-glass coffee table gifted to me by Kim Ward, my late mentor and friend. It has so much sentimental value.
It seems you’ve mastered the art of infusing your space with beauty and meaning.
My home is layered with the things I love. I feel like no matter how large a space you have, it should always be a reflection of who you are, who you’ve been, and who you want to be.
Check out McSwain’s new line of fringed-leather chandeliers and pendants—called NeKeia, after the designer’s full first name—at ngalatrading.com.
(Read More: The Interior Design Industry Has a Diversity Problem. Meet the Denverite Who’s Working To Solve It.)