Architectural Digest has officially opened the doors of The Iconic Home, a virtual show home developed by leading Black designers from around the country—and right here in Baton Rouge. Local designer Arianne Bellizaire of Arianne Bellizaire Interiors was one of 13 designers nationwide selected to be a part of the project.
“Architectural Digest is an iconic publication, one that every designer aspires to be featured in at some point,” says Bellizaire. “But how could I, a designer from Baton Rouge with real people as clients, ever imagine being in a publication that typically features celebrity designers with clients like Lenny Kravitz? It’s a bucket list dream come true.”
The Iconic Home is a collaboration between Architectural Digest and the Black Interior Designers Network, a nonprofit that promotes diversity and inclusivity within the interior design industry. In its second year, the partnership supports these Black designers and architects by putting their work on display in this innovative digital display.
“There was a lot of pain last year, but there were also a lot of good things that came out of it,” explains Bellizaire. “In our industry, it was the awareness that there are a lot of talented, Black designers that deserve more representation and the willingness of companies like Architectural Digest to step up and say we want to do better, we want to do what we can.”
This year’s Iconic Home visualizes a family home in upstate New York with sustainability at its center. Elizabeth Graziolo, the home’s architect, created a fictional family for the designers to keep in mind as they each envisioned a stylish yet sustainable space within the home. For Bellizaire, that was the kitchen, pantry and breakfast room.
“One of the imagined homeowners is a florist, so I chose him to be the cook of the family and therefore the inspiration for the kitchen design,” explains Bellizaire. “I designed it around the idea that he really wants the space to be functional, but also reflect his love of flowers, nature and the Earth. And of course, maintain the overall theme of sustainability.”
Drawing upon the strong French influences present throughout the home, Bellizaire designed a classical European-style kitchen enhanced with modern, eco-friendly innovation. A countertop consisting of recycled materials offers plenty of prep space both for cooking meals and arranging bouquets. An overhead skylight provides lots of natural light. A vertical garden perfectly pulls in natural surroundings and offers practicality for picking herbs and veggies.
“Sustainability is often associated with being super modern and minimalistic,” says Bellizaire. “It was a great challenge to flip that idea on its head to create a cozy, classic kitchen. Everything I brought into the space fits the theme of sustainability, yet is presented in a way that’s very palatable for those who love the look and feel of a traditional or even transitional home.”
For those wanting to see more of The Iconic Home and hear from the designers on the inspirations behind their spaces, Bellizaire says to stay tuned for a lot of exciting content over the next two weeks. For now, take a virtual walkthrough and audio tour of the home by visiting Architectural Digest’s website.
Read more about Bellizaire and her work in inRegister’s May 2020 cover story.