Interior designer and founder of Nubi Interiors Carmen Hamilton has just secured her place in Design Star history, with her recent win on its spinoff series Design Star: Net Gen. During her time on the show, Hamilton won over judges and viewers who loved her southern charm and the attention to detail in all of her design projects on the show. Want to know more about Carmeon? Read on to get to know the on-the-rise talent.
1.She calls Memphis home
Hamilton was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee—and she is a proud Memphian! So much so, that we can expect her new HGTV show to pay homage to the city she calls home: “There will be a complete love letter to the city I live in, Memphis,” Hamilton tells House Beautiful. "I really wanted to have the show produced here because the city has given me so much and I really just want to give back to it."
2. She wasn't always set on interior design
The Nubi Interiors founder initially went to her alma mater the University of Central Arkansas to get into physical therapy. At school, she served as an RA and after a friend saw how well she decorated her small dorm space, they recommend she join take up interior design. She would later join the program as one of the few Black students in the program. “It felt like a perfect merger of all of my favorite things: Math and analytical aspects but also creativity, which I had never been able to explore although I’ve been a creative my whole life,” Hamilton says.
3. She's using some prize money for a big trip
Hamilton has a husband and twelve-year-old son, whom she plans to take on a special trip (after the pandemic) with some of the prize money she received from the show: “We were all hoping to take a family trip to Africa this year," Hamilton divulges. "Unfortunately, that won’t happen this year, but we're hoping to put some that money towards that trip!"
4. She got her first design job before she graduated
Hamilton got her first job in interior design a job a whole semester before she finished college after she wowed her teacher and the VP of interior design at a healthcare firm during a final presentation. “I just so happened to be the only person in the class to have a completed presentation and once I finished the VP offered me the position on the spot," Hamilton recalls. "At the time I still had a semester of school, but she said ‘I will hold this position open for you because I want you to come work for me.”
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5. She loves incorporating her culture into her design
Growing up, Hamilton knew a bit about her ancestry but not enough for her to fully connect to it, she says. It wasn't until she was in her 30s that she became really invested in her Black heritage—and began incorporating it into her design. "No matter what your culture is, having a connection to it will deepen the connection to the spaces you're in and if you feel better in the space you're in you feel better as a human," she reasons.
6. Social media catapulted her brand
During her stint on the show, Hamilton was able to really shine due to already having her personal brand and design style established before joining the show. "I've been doing this for 14 years, so my style was pretty refined before I got on the show, [largely] due to me being a content creator," she says. “So my brand was front and center before I even left for the show. I knew I had a plan and brand to stick to before competing against others and I was grateful for that because I didn't have to figure it out while I was there."
During her time in the interior design world, she has also seen the way social media has shaken up the industry, too: “Pinterest and Instagram has completely changed the landscape of interior design and made it something that almost anybody can do," she says.
7. She thinks design is about more than just pretty spaces.
"Interior design is way beyond creating spaces for people's homes; there are so many other facets to the industry than what people see in magazines," says Hamilton. "There are so many branches in interior design and I got to see a lot of it in my career.”
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