Upfront with D’angelo Thompson: An Interview with Interior Designer Christopher Knight
Christopher Knight is an interior designer with an unique style and feel for how to make a space purely enjoyable. Soulivity Editor-at-Large, D’angelo Thompson, got the chance to spend some quality time to ask about his life and journey to success, as well as, insights about passion, purpose, and higher quality living. Enjoy!
DT: I’ve known you close to 30 years. Tell our readers where your journey began as an interior designer?
A: It really started when I was younger in the Midwest; I was very in tune with my space and surroundings. I even asked my mom as a child for a couch in my bedroom, and I decorated my room around it.
I had many jobs that lead me to my path. Also, I worked in props, fashion and retail. By my late 20s, I got more in tune. I know for sure working at Maison Gerard for 12 years in NYC helped me immensely, and propelled my career into doing interior design. I also worked for a few small interior design firms but to be an entrepreneur felt organic to me.
DT: I love your blend of classic and modern or contemporary designs. What is your favorite era in history?
A: That’s a hard one to answer, but I love the late 18th century and early 20th century of English design. People can perceive it as modern and antique at the same time. It adds history and a lot of soul to space.
For ancient influences, “ETRUSCAN”. Many years ago, a Wedgewood piece that had Etruscan motifs, inspired me a lot. And then I started to explore more and even shared it on many of my social platforms. That time in history, inspired many artists (interior designers, painters and makers of pottery).
DT: How important are fashion trends to you as an interior designer?
A: I try not to follow too many trends. There is a really strong connection in Fashion and Interiors of course because of fabrics, colors and collaborations. It’s hard not to be influenced since we are bombarded with imagery daily.
DT: How are you approaching your current project, the 200-year-old home in Upstate New York?
A: Because I do this for clients, I have a clear sense of what to do. With this current project, however, I’m observing and letting the house guide me, so I’m doing it slowly. Its more of preservation, this home has been in one family for nine generations.
DT: Who has been your greatest inspiration?
A: My greatest inspiration personally were my grandparents; they bought and sold antiques. History and architecture also inspire me, like architects and interior designers Sir John Sonane, John Pawson, and Madeline Castaing.
DT: When you travel, what city or place inspires you the most?
A: It’s a toss-up between Italy and France. I would say the South of France. We select a place, and then we’ll explore how people live and their experiences there. I try to engulf myself in the culture.
DT: How important is conservation to you? Landmarking?
A: It’s VERY important to have a connection and understanding of the historical thread. To be a truly talented designer or artists or anything really, history as a point of reference is essential.
DT: If you can’t tell, I love your design aesthetic. Give a few tips to a novice like myself and others?
A: First and foremost trust your instincts; you don’t have to mimic or compete with what you see. Have your own point of view. Take chances, make mistakes, and put your own touch in your home.
D’angelo Thompson is a three-time Daytime Emmy Nominated Hair and Makeup Artist, “Guest Hair” Daytime Emmy Award winner for the Wendy Williams Show, an accomplished Author, and Podcast Host.
His most recent credits include Law & Order SVU, Season 21, MTV/VH-1/LOGO (Viacom), Amy Trask (CBS Sports), Food Network, Joy Mangano, Amber Stevens West/Andrea DeBordeaux for Run The World (Starz), and Author, James Patterson. His expertise extends to bridal, editorial, commercial, film, and television. Additionally, for over 20 years, D’angelo has been a consultant and educator in partnerships with Il Makiage, Glamour Dolls Makeup, Chic Studios, Makeup For Ever, Calvin Klein Cosmetics, LORAC, and others.
As an Author, D’angelo penned and published “Enhanced Beauty”, “Enhanced Beauty for Teens “, “Enhanced Beauty: Men’s Grooming”, and “A 100 Days of Gratitude”. All are available on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, and other online retailers.
He is also the host of “Gratitude Is A Journey” available on Anchor.fm/dangelo- thompson and “Beauty & Gratitude” a series on Soulivity Magazine’s ‘SoulivityTV’, available on Youtube.
D’angelo was educated at Pratt Institute for two years in Fashion Merchandising and Fine Art and through mentorships with Alfred Fornay, Byron Barnes, and Sherry Lee. He further attended The Makeup Institute of California, MAC Pro, Makeup Forever Pro/Academy Workshops, Lash Extension Certification through NYIB, and Basic FX lessons from Daytime Emmy Award-Winning artist, Ingrid Okola. He also holds practitioner licenses and accreditations in Emotional Intelligence, Reiki, Crystal Healing, and Hypnotherapy. Currently attending National University, studying Psychology.
As a community activist, he organizes yearly fundraisers to support AIDS research, education, and advocacy with The Latino Commission on AIDS (2009-2017), youth initiatives, domestic violence, and sex traﬃcking awareness (2000-Present), social justice, and LGBTQ rights & safety (1990-Present).
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