Tamu Green, Interior Designer, Lux Pad Interiors

My name is Tamu Green and my company is Lux Pad Interiors. I started the firm in 2013, actually, but I just went full time for myself at the beginning of 2016. I’ve been in New York for four years. I worked at another design firm and then branched out on my own. It’s been a great experience and it’s been a little scary dropping that expected paycheck, but it’s been worth it.

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I don’t feel like it’s specifically a style aesthetic that’s consistent in my work, besides the use of color. I do love to use color. But, I really try to start each design fresh just try to relate what my client’s vision is to them. I’m sure if I went through and combed through all of my projects there’d be some thread, some piece of me that I’m sticking in there all the time.

It’s all about luxury, but not luxury as the way people think of it. Luxury is all around us, really, and it’s available to everyone. Which is not a message that most people know. Luxury’s all around you and it’s really about bringing attention to the type of life that you want to live. Bringing attention to all the amazing things that are already in existence. That’s really what I try to do. I can look at you and say, “Oh, this person is very chic and glamorous and maybe their space should look that way.” Or, “Maybe this person’s kind of rustic and casual and their space should look like that.” For example, I may think about if my client wants to open a business? Maybe we have an office space there. It’s not just about the life that you’re living now, but the one that you’re aspiring to. Maybe a chic desk is what you need to get you started on your business.

I really feel like your home should be a living vision board. It should be full with inspiration.

My biggest challenge as a black interior designer was a fear of not being on the Socioeconomic status of my clients. I don’t go to skiing during ski season. Your latest trip to Paris? I haven’t been there yet. You know? I’m not driving a Mercedes to come to our meeting, and I didn’t want to be viewed in a certain way. But, I got over that very quickly.

Now, if I were working at another design firm, it probably wouldn’t be okay for me to shave half my head and get braids. There’ll be some people who see that and say, “No, I don’t think this is really a good representation of what I want”, but that’s okay with me because I want clients who are looking at my work and saying, “I want this.”

I would say every time I step out the house, I’m always ready and always on to myself. I often, around the house, just wear wrap dresses. I live in Bushwick. You’re pretty much free to do whatever you want here. I am whoever I am in the moment. I might be walking out and going to the corner store in a fur coat because I feel like it and I want to do the most.


Skin care: I have a Sonicare brush that I really love. I was like, “I need to get the dirt out.” I usually use Neutrogena face wash. Right now I have a Clinique bar. I’m not really too loyal to brands, really. As far as my routine, it’s pretty consistent. I wash my face and I use a toner, which is rosewater and witch hazel. I found it at a flea market. On the weekends, Sundays, typically, I have a facial day. I have like a pimple extractor thing that I’ll just run across my nose, getting the extra oil out of there. Put on a mask. Make some tea. I put a lot of water in the pot and then use the extra water to steam my face.

I do have some brand loyalties with makeup. My NARS tinted moisturizer. Benefit’s They’re Real mascara. I really take care of my lashes by putting Castor Oil on them at night. Coloured Raine, too because they have really amazing matte lipsticks. Last, I have the Anastasia Contour Power kit. That’s as far as I can go. All the baking, all this other stuff, I can’t do it.


I do have a story.

When I was in design school and looking for internships and I started looking for Black interior designers just because it helps to see someone who looks like you accomplishing the things that you want to accomplish. I found this designer named Keita Turner in New York. I was in Georgia but had family in New York, and I was like, “Okay, I want an internship here” and I literally stalked this woman. I was on her website every day and I especially remember her initial picture. She was standing there with her arms crossed and she had this boss lady look. I was just like, “Oh my god, this is going to be me.” I was like, “I’m going to be this woman.” While I didn’t end up interning there I always looked to her and inspiration.

It’s so funny because last summer was the first time I got an intern and she actually told me in the initial email that she was looking for Black interior designers, and I found it interesting because I did the same thing. One day we went to Design and Decoration Building and we were in a showroom. She said, “I’ve seen this showroom before” and I was like, “I thought you’ve never been to the Design Center.” “No, I saw it on your Instagram” she said. In that moment, I was so excited that she had career-stalked me, just like I did Keita! It was a realization that I had accomplished my goal of moving to New York, starting my own design firm, and was now visible to young and aspiring designers. That changed the way I viewed my brand. Interior design is often seen as a risky career choice in communities of color but I want to encourage aspiring designer, just as I found encouragement in designer before me.