We had the good fortune of connecting with Reginald Dunlap and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Reginald, why did you pursue a creative career?
Interior design was not on my radar until I went to college. Being from a small town in Texas, near Dallas, I wasn’t aware that interior design was a profitable profession. During my freshmen year in the dorms at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, I had the opportunity to see many of my classmates arriving with designers to decorate their dorms rooms. Meanwhile, I was using my childhood bedding and had nothing for the walls to even consider, let alone drapery or a coordinating color palette. This peaked my attention, but I didn’t address my love of interior design until I was already in the business world and had the opportunity to restructure a failing interior design firm. From this, I decided to dive more into the industry and learn from some amazing mentors. After a few years of this, I went back to school and received my degree in Interior Design. My love of interiors actually started at home when my mother and I would re-arrange our living room or paint the walls once a year to give it a fresh look. Little did I know that I would have the skill to design homes, hotel, restaurants and other commercial spaces for extremely wealthy clients. I find it funny and humbling that a small town boy from Texas shows millionaires and billionaires how to live in their homes.
What should our readers know about your business?
My approach to interior design has afforded me the opportunity to work internationally for clients around the world. For me, understanding how a client truly lives helps to create a remarkably obvious cohesiveness, which translates into successful projects. I work hard to consistently deliver excellence for my clients with innovative interior designs and flawless execution of projects. Hoteliers, international developers and private residential clients have entrusted my firm to bring their visions for design to reality. Over the years, I have been fortunate to have studied and worked with many great designers from numerous parts of the globe. I credit my tailored and sometimes surrealist notions of design to many seasoned mentors. Travel, art, an affinity for diversity and immersion into cultures abroad have also honed my unique take on Interior Design. I am excited about the future of interior design and the inclusivity of more people of color. When I receive awards or features in national magazines, I am humbled to hear other young designers tell me that they are proud to see someone that looks like them receiving honors in the industry. The high-end interior design industry is hard to break into. Talent and ingenuity are important but you also have to take the time to put yourself out there and make long standing relationships with clients and other people in the industry. My advice is to always stay true to yourself and remember that not all people will like what you do or think you are talented. There is space for all design in the world.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Miami is a great city to entertain friends. Although with Covid restrictions, my itinerary has modified. We have so many great restaurants, so this would be the main part of the experience. Below are a places and activities that I find enjoyable in Miami. Miami Design District – High-end shopping Bal Harbour Shops – High-end shopping Perez Art Museum Miami Miami Science Museum Wynwood District Faena Hotel – Beach Day Interior Design Shopping: Orlean Jalan Jalan Holly Hunt Minotti Sub Zero Luxury Living Fendi Casa Maxalto Circa Lighting Camerich Miami Dinner and Entertainment: Cote Miami Swan and Bar Bevy L’Atelier by Joel Robuchon Mila Miami Restaurant Mandrake Restaurant and Bar Living Room at Faena Saxony at Faena Gitano at Faena House
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My first real mentor in Interior Design was Bernard Mirande Mizrahi. He noticed that I had a raw talent for interior design and help me to hone my skills before deciding to pursue a degree and a full career in the business. He guided me within his design process, provided a basic knowledge for the love of antiques and pushed me not to have boundaries with interior ideas.
Linkedin: Reginald Dunlap
Photo Credit Interiors: Venjhamin Reyes, Venjhamin Reyes Photography Headshot Credit: Vincent Hogan, The LXA Inc.