Longtime Detroit Interior Designer Finds Beauty in Defining Spaces  

Interior designer Doreen Hunter, owner of Hdesigns in Detroit, finds the beauty in creating livable spaces.   

Longtime interior designer Doreen D Hunter, the principle interior designer for Hdesigns Group, LLC, in Detroit, wants to help clients feel comfortable when they step inside their humble abode or other space– but they have to do the work first.  

“When approaching any project, the client must be attuned with what she/he wants the outcome to be,” the mature Detroit resident said, adding that she’s been gifted with designing for as long as she can remember. “I have always had a creative mind and was allowed to express myself from role-playing to decorating my own bedroom.”  

Hunter said that her style as an interior designer is fluid.   

“My style is the client’s style. I have no preference because I love design; there is beauty in everything,” she said, adding that the central part of any home is where everyone tends to gather. “For the most part, that is the kitchen.”  

She said upgrading the look of a house can be done in the kitchen by refreshing a table and chairs to possibly a banquette, along with fireplaces and comfortable chairs with big arms to embrace the body.  

“What is popular in design goes from product to color,” Hunter said. “Also, we are heavily influenced by pop culture. Trending now is warm colors/hues and it depends on who is telling the story — the paint industry, fashion, automotive [or more].”  

Hunter, before becoming an interior designer, dabbled with the possibility of becoming a lawyer, according to her biography. Growing up in Detroit she enjoyed Sunday drives “in some of the city’s most prominent areas” like the historic Boston-Edison district, Palmer Woods and Indian Village, places where she has clients today. When driving by, she would often question: “Who lives behind these doors and what does it look like on the inside?”  

She got a chance to find out many times over, especially with one of her clients, retired native Detroiter Sandra Clemons.   

Clemons, who now lives in North Carolina with her husband, said that she’s used Hunter’s interior design services since the early ‘90s.  

“One thing I heard from using an interior designer is I can have a vision for how I want things to look, but when I finished … it doesn’t look like how I want it,” Clemons said.  

Before Clemons and her husband moved to their single-story, open floor plan home, the couple lived in a home in a historic district on Oakland Boulevard in Detroit. That particular house was where they both worked and raised their children, who down the line moved into homes of their own.  

“We wanted to … make it comfortable for us because we both worked strange hours,” she said, adding that she wanted to spruce up her home one day and became acquainted with Hunter after visiting the Troy-based Michigan Design Center and requesting a Black designer in the early 1990s.  

“That is when they had referred me to Ms. Hunter,” Clemons said, adding that she and Hunter practically became fast friends and she still uses her to this day.  

Hunter told the Michigan Chronicle that while Black interiors designers are no different than other cultures in designing, there is an element that bridges the gap.  

“We tend to be more creative in understanding other cultures,” she said. “And yes, our work [is] generally bringing movement, rhythm and vibe to that space/ environment, which is done through color, textiles and other elements.”  

Clemons said from Hunter providing her with patterns and designs to doing the heavy lifting and coordinating – it was a no-brainer to go with an interior design company. “I didn’t have to go to five or six different stores to determine what rugs or curtains were available, or furnishings.”  

She added that Hunter helped her with bedroom sets, painting placements and bringing her vision to life.  

“She took the time to understand what I wanted to do — things I would have done which would have been a mistake.”  

Hunter, who has been in the design business for decades, is also going to be getting a change of scenery with a historic move as the first African American president of the American Society of Interior Designers – Michigan chapter.   

“I will be making history,” she said. “I certainly want to be a change agent for the chapter and organization. So many people have reached out to congratulate me and offer help, which I will take the offer.”  

Hunter will assume the position October 1 and will run through October 1, 2022.  

Hunter said before someone thinks about calling an interior designer they should have a budget in mind.  

“What are you willing to invest in your space/yourself?” she said.  

For more information visit https://hdesigns96.com/. 


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