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Celebrity Designer Nikki Chu Dishes on Her Work & the Future of Fashion

| Super User | Bespoke

If you follow Nikki Chu's “Unboxed with Nikki Chu” advice, entertaining should be easy.

Chu designs for celebrities, works with well-known businesses, develops home design collections, and appears on HGTV and Lifetime. Seeing her prepare a home or room for a presentation reveals her 20-year love affair with design, which marries classic style with an international touch.

Travel Inspiration

Global modernity inspired her home line. Chu, whose brand Nikki Chu Home sells home goods, is influenced by global textiles and patterns. She's designed for Tyra Banks, Nick Cannon, and Gabrielle Union.

Her designs are inspired by Ghana, India, and Bali, Indonesia. JCPenney,, sell her collections. Her products include pillows, carpets, bedding, throws, wall art, and decor.

Her hilarious advice is simple and effective. "I love to entertain, and your food looks so appetizing," she says. Owning cool bowls, serving spoons, and platters is key to a successful party." She praises floral arrangements. For Chu, flowers, serving bowls, and candles are all you need to make serving and entertaining look beautiful.

Origin Story

Chu's Instagram and Pinterest demonstrate her taste. There, she uses her social spaces for hashtag searches and visual inspiration. It’s also clear that Chu's family and culture inspired her art.

She's Jamaican and British and grew up in Toronto, Canada. Now, she lives in Dallas and LA. Chu loves oxtail and visits Kingston, Negril, and Montego Bay twice a year.

“My father always prepares oxtail, ackee, and saltfish (a traditional Jamaican dish). I could eat nonstop," she said. When Aspire TV's Butter + Brown featured her, she discussed her design principles and approaches while cooking rice and peas with the hosts.

Online "Unboxed" episodes introduce Chu's design universe. There, she discusses color theory and furniture layout.

Chu has used her love of design to decorate other people's homes and to provide video content for design aficionados. The second season, which began August 6, features her friends instead of typical homeowners. Based on prior episodes, viewers will ooh and ahh as they discover design fundamentals.

Increasing the Level of It

Chu has created an online interior design school,, to teach aspiring designers outside of the classroom and from industry professionals. Chu and Monica Wilcox teach the course. The course covers everything from paperwork and contracts to why someone would want to work in design and discovering their passion.

Chu and Wilcox wrote The Top 15 Faults a #Designboss Would Never Make to help designers avoid frequent blunders.

As an aesthetic field, design has many commercial models.

Chu says your company will suffer if you don't follow certain criteria. She advises prospective designers on spending time with clients and handling business funds.

Chu never expected to build her interior design business this way. "I didn't know what would happen. When I started my career, I was naive.”

Nikki Chu Home's designs belie her past. Chu's attention to detail and cosmopolitan hues give her patterned cushions, carpets, décor, and wall art a signature look.

Check out Nikki Chu's home design collection on