An Interior Designer's Journey To Starting Her Own Design Firm - Home & Texture
interior design Jameelah Watkins-Mallett

How Interior Designer Jameelah Watkins-Mallett Went From Hairstyling To Launching Her Own Design Firm

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November 13, 2023 at 6:48 PM PST
interior design Jameelah Watkins-Mallett

How Interior Designer Jameelah Watkins-Mallett Went From Hairstyling To Launching Her Own Design Firm

By
November 13, 2023 at 6:48 PM PST

Every experience leads to your greater purpose; Jameelah Watkins-Mallett’s career trajectory is a true testament to that. The Atlanta native, whose journey began as a hairstylist specializing in bridal hair and makeup, is now an acclaimed interior designer and owner of Jameelah Divine Interiors, showing her artistic evolution and dedication to the craft.

Jameelah Watkins-Mallett, Interior Designer
Photo Credit: Jameelah Watkins-Mallett

From Hairstyling to Interior Design

Reflecting on her early days, the designer shares, “I actually started my first venture at the tender age of 12…as a hairstylist for 15 years, specializing in bridal hair and makeup.” This experience was more than a prelude to her design career; it was where she first understood the link between beauty and space. Watkins-Mallett’s venture into design was sparked by her observation of brides stressing over their big day. This led her to start J. Divine Events in 2017, a collaborative effort with her former business partner, Ebonee Clark. From there, Watkins-Mallett’s foray into interior design began almost serendipitously, as she found herself drawn to creating beautiful spaces, not just for events but within homes.

Jameelah Watkins-Mallett, Interior Designer
Photo Credit: Jameelah Watkins-Mallett

Her big break came when she was offered a chance to design for Rotimi from the STARZ hit show “Power.” “A friend of mine…mentioned that Rotimi from ‘Power’ needed an interior designer,” she recounts in an exclusive interview with Home & Texture. Her playful response, “Besides me? Ha-ha!” landed her a pivotal project that catapulted her career, leading to the establishment of her design firm Lauren Wesley Interiors and landing her a spot on HGTV’s “Married to Real Estate.”

Jameelah’s experience on “Married to Real Estate” is one of her career highlights. “It’s been a fantastic opportunity to be a part of such a dynamic and creative environment,” she says, illustrating her growth and the challenges of transforming spaces on television.

Jameelah Watkins-Mallett, Married to Medicine HGTV
Photo Credit: Jameelah Watkins-Mallett

Jameelah Divine Interiors

Watkins-Mallett has now transitioned from co-owning Lauren Wesley Interiors to being the sole owner of her own firm, J. Divine Interiors. “There comes a point in every artist’s life when they feel the need to spread their wings,” she reflects. This venture symbolizes her commitment to personal growth and artistic autonomy. “It’s a journey I felt compelled to embark on solo, to explore what I’m truly made of as an artist and a seasoned businesswoman,” Watkins-Mallett explains.

J. Divine Interiors embraces a wide spectrum of projects. “Our sweet spot is those projects where a significant transformation is on the wish list,” states Watkins-Mallett. She emphasizes creativity and expertise, whether it’s revamping a cozy home or designing a dynamic commercial space.

Jameelah Watkins-Mallett Interior Design Work
Photo Credit: Jameelah Watkins-Mallett

Timeless Tips for Homeowners

For new homeowners, she offers sage advice. “Stay true to your style,” she begins, emphasizing authenticity over trends. The designer advises budgeting wisely and investing in key furniture pieces, highlighting the importance of balancing aesthetics with functionality.

Jameelah Watkins-Mallett Interior Design Work
Photo Credit: Jameelah Watkins-Mallett

The Case Method

Watkins-Mallet’s unique approach, The Case Method, reflects her holistic view of design. “It’s about infusing intention and purpose into our living environments and life choices,” she elaborates, outlining its components: Consultation, Anchors, Shell, and Enhancements. “It [The Case Method] offers a structured and straightforward framework to guide us in creating both intentional living spaces and lifestyles.”

Jameelah Watkins-Mallett Interior Design Work
Photo Credit: Jameelah Watkins-Mallett

Current Work and Community Impact

Excited about her current projects, Watkins-Mallett shares, “I’m currently designing a home for another actor from ‘Power’… and a futuristic design concept for a high-rise in Midtown Atlanta.” Her work in the Adamsville neighborhood of Atlanta, where she grew up, holds a special space in her heart, reflecting her commitment to community transformation. “…it [the Adamsville project] involves the transformation of a formerly drug-ridden apartment project into affordable, safe housing for local residents. It’s both humbling and inspiring to be a part of a project that’s contributing to the betterment of my own community.”

You can keep up with Jameelah Watkins-Mallett’s journey on Instagram and J. Divine Interiors on their website.

This article has been edited and condensed for length and clarity.




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