Choosing a career in interior design may be a dream for some, Nile Johnson feels the choice was made for him.
“I never pursued design, but design pursued me,” says Johnson, “it’s how I move through the world – I can’t turn it off.”
Johnson is a national award-winning interior designer and the Principal of Nile Johnson Interior Design. His design firm is located just outside of Philadelphia, but he has crafted living spaces for clients as far as Los Angeles, Cali.
In just one conversation with Nile it is abundantly clear that he is passionate about his work. But it doesn’t stop there. He has a thousands of followers tuned-in to his daily posts of favorite products, designers, music, inspiration, and anything #NJIIDapproved.
Let’s sit and chat with this local designer on the move:
What is your interior designing “motto”?
I believe that everyone should live beautifully – not just aestectically but in all aspects of life, which is why I strived to produce distinct yet timeless designs to reflect my clients’ lifestyle. The crux of interior design is creating moments throughout a space that is layered wih thoughtful and personal elements.
What was your defining design moment thus far?
NJ: Honestly, I am just so grateful being able to do what I love to do everyday. I see this as the defining design moment for me. However, a recent major achievement will be receiving the amazing honor of The African American Top 20 Interior Designer along side some of my other design heroes such as Daryl Carter, Michele Boyd, Joy Moyler and Elaine Griffin.
What is one element that a room could never go wrong with?
NJ: Accessories. They are the jewelry on the room. They complete the space, and unfortunately they are often overlooked. They are just as important as the sofa.
What or who is your design inspiration?
NJ: It depends on my mood and the day. I am very diverse; my iPod has everything from Patsy Cline to Jay-Z to John Mayer. I am inspired by everything from music, furniture, art and fashion. I have such an appreciation for artists of all forms, types and genres, and all these things influence my approach to interiors.
Living Room Details from NJ: This room was a bit of a dance. You know the saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” The clients did not want heavy window treatments so I designed the room around the room architecture. I selected subtle, yet interesting pieces that would not take away from the view but bring life into the space. Careful selection was key.
Bedroom Details from NJ: This Master Bedroom was a labor of love. It was a part of the show house project with Oxford Art Alliance. I wanted to take a fresh and fun approach on traditional. The room palette was centered around the amazing rug (found at Kurtz Collection). It was colorful and soft, but grounded the space in an interesting yet unobtrusive.
Dining Room Details from NJ: I was able to mix several different styles and patterns to create an eclectic yet soothing space to dine and entertain. I love being able to use spaces for dual functions and the expansive walls in this space were the perfect spot for the family’s beautifully curated and growing art collection.
Nile Johnson is an interior design graduate of the Art Institute of Philadelphia, and received his masters in interior architecture from Chatham University. He is an adjunct faculty member in the interior design department of two local colleges, and a member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID).