In honor of Black History Month, we want to introduce you to Jacquelin Quarles-McCoy, Director of Interiors for the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM) in Atlanta. MSM is one of two historically black medical schools established in the twentieth century. Jacquelin has been working with MSM for a decade designing world-class interiors for the medical, student, and community population. Her most recent project is the MSM Lee Street Clinic and YMCA at that uses 46 Mohawk flooring products (including some Dal Tile tiles). To say that Jacquelin is a fan of Mohawk is an understatement, as she has been a loyal specifier and advocate throughout her career (more on that later).
Speaking of her career, her first design job was in 1985 in Milwaukee at the Boston Store, a historic department store that employed her as an in-store designer. Her design eye and artistic ability was developed early on, by painting her family bathroom purple and dyeing the home’s drapes blue and green. At that time in her life, Jacquelin didn’t know about interior design as a career, and she says that “you wouldn’t hear of African American designers” in any discipline. In 1999, she started her own firm in Nashville - J`Quarles Interiors – and began an adventure that has taken her around the world to places like Brazil, West Africa, South Africa, and Europe. She has worked in Johannesburg on residential projects, was on several HGTV programs giving design advice, and brought the first Kwanzaa celebration to HGTV viewers. Later in her career she had a design gallery, but when the 2008 recession hit, she decided to change directions from residential design to commercial and has been busy with her clients ever since.
Deciding to make the shift from residential to commercial design has been rewarding for Jacquelin. Besides switching from visiting the High Point market to NeoCon each year, she enjoys being part of the larger A&D community. She loves designing spaces for communities, serving both students, medical professionals, and members of the public with her role for MCM. She also enjoys exploring design solutions for flexible spaces that serve her clients well (for example, having flex space that changes during the day from a conference room to a yoga space). She employs color, form, and pattern with great enthusiasm in her work to engage the users of each space, so that they feel grounded and comfortable.
For Jacquelin, the relationship between materials, especially flooring, is incredibly important. She always selects the flooring first, as it dictates the narrative for the rest of the project. And luckily for Mohawk, she is a big fan of both carpet and LVT styles and color options that can satisfy all her project needs. She prefers to use building materials that are made and designed in the United States and prioritizes this for her clients. She also loves to work with Mohawk because of her direct access to the design team. Jacquelin has used PS Studio to switch out colors to match her schemes, and this is one of the invaluable services she appreciates from Mohawk. She also enjoys being exposed to new materials that support her design vision and puts Mohawk at the top of her list for all her projects. Jacquelin is already working on her next project for Meharry Medical College, another historically black college in Nashville that was founded in 1876 as the first medical school for African Americans in the South. Mohawk thanks Jacquelin for her nearly forty years of design service to her clients, and for being a fantastic partner and specifier.
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