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The Kaleidoscope Project Celebrates Diversity in the Design Industry  

A unique showhouse in the Berkshires spotlights the talents of 23 BIPOC designers

The Kaleidoscope Project is not your average showhouse, which is exactly what organizers Amy Lynn, Patti Carpenter, and Liz Nightingale intended when they dreamed up the one-of-a-kind endeavor back in 2020. As with any showhouse, there is design inspiration aplenty, but the Kaleidoscope Project’s mission runs deeper. “The lack of diversity and the inequality within the furnishings and design industries was not something that could continue to be overlooked,” Lynn says. “The voices of our BIPOC designers needed to be heard.”  
 
Thanks to a tip from a friend (and eventual Kaleidoscope Project designer, Jennifer Owen), the trio landed on the historic Cornell Inn in Lenox, Massachusetts, as the vehicle for their platform, and recruited 23 designers of color to overhaul the eighteenth-century property’s 18 guest bedrooms and baths, lobby, dining room, and bar. “We reached out to friends first, and we researched designers through social media,” Lynn says. “We received recommendations from colleagues and design schools. It happened organically really.”  
 
Participating designers were supplied with three general design tenets—rest (neutral hues), rejuvenate (warm colors), and reflection (cool tones)—but otherwise given creative license, and the jaw-dropping results speak for themselves. A whirlwind of hard work and imagination, the project began on January 20, 2021, and welcomed its first tours just under four months later on May 16th. Proceeds from the project will fund scholarships and other educational programs intended to foster and grow the next generation of BIPOC designers.  
 
And although tours wrapped up in June, the work of the Kaleidoscope Project endures as the historic inn in The Berkshires is once again open to guests. Take a look inside:  

Limoges Medium Pendant by Suzanne KaslerLimoges Medium Pendant by Suzanne Kasler
Limoges Medium Pendant by Suzanne KaslerLimoges Medium Pendant by Suzanne Kasler

Limoges Medium Pendant by Suzanne Kasler, photography by Frank Frances

Dining Room by Virginia Toledo

With bold splashes of red, white, and blue, the cheerful dining room by Virginia Toledo delivers a sophisticated twist on vintage New England Americana while the Limoges Medium Pendant by Suzanne Kasler gives it just the right amount of edge.

Larchmont Floor Lamp by Kelly WearstlerLarchmont Floor Lamp by Kelly Wearstler

Larchmont Floor Lamp by Kelly Wearstler, photography by Scott Morris 

Guest Room by Rasheeda Gray

Old World luxury meets modern design sensibility in this moody rose gold-and-red accented guest bedroom, featuring the Larchmont Floor Lamp by Kelly Wearstler.

Keil Swing Arm Wall Light by AERINKeil Swing Arm Wall Light by AERIN

Keil Swing Arm Wall Light by AERIN, photography by Scott Morris 

 Liscia Flush Mount by AERIN Liscia Flush Mount by AERIN

 Liscia Flush Mount Medium by AERIN, photography by Scott Morris 

Guest Room by Doreen Chambers

The Brunschwig and Fils wallpaper is the real showstopper in this serene guest room designed by Doreen Chambers, where a pair of Keil Swing Arm Wall Light by AERIN flank a still-cozy king bed that invites guests to curl up and sleep in. And the Liscia Flush Mount by AERIN adds just a touch of glamour. 

Clemente Table Lamp by AERINClemente Table Lamp by AERIN

Antoine Large Table Lamp by Julie Neil, photography by Scott Morris

Guest Room by Iantha Carly

Iantha Carly plays with pattern and scale in this soft English-inspired guest room, featuring the Antoine Large Table Lamp by Julie Neill as well as the Clemente Table Lamp by AERIN. 

Utopia Medium 5 Arm Chandelier by Kelly WearstlerUtopia Medium 5 Arm Chandelier by Kelly Wearstler

Guest Room by Nile Johnson

Clean lines and a calming palette of earth-tones make for a restful retreat. African art and the Utopia Medium 5 Arm Chandelier by Kelly Wearstler punctuate the peaceful space. 

Tiny Terri Round Accent Lamp by Thomas O’BrienTiny Terri Round Accent Lamp by Thomas O’Brien
Keil Swing Arm Wall Light by AERINKeil Swing Arm Wall Light by AERIN

Keil Swing Arm Wall Light by AERIN, photography by Scott Morris 

Guest Room by Shawna Underwood  

The eye-catching floral wallpaper anchors the look-and-feel of this inviting guest room. But contemporary notes like whimsical throw pillows, a custom bed covered in ochre velvet, and a pair of the Terri Large Round Accent Lamp by Thomas O’Brien and Keil Swing Arm Wall Light by AERIN keep it from leaning overly traditional.

Melange Floating Disc Sconce by Kelly WearstlerMelange Floating Disc Sconce by Kelly Wearstler

Guest Bath by Nikki Njeri Klugh

A range of cool blues coupled with natural prints, a mix of textures, and the contemporary Melange Floating Disc Sconce by Kelly Wearstler offer an updated take on classic New England blue-and-white.

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