Furloughed during the pandemic, Miami-based interior designer Kenzie Leon Perry turned lemons into lemonade when he started his own firm, Ze Haus Interior Design Studio, and launched a spirited collection of throw pillows, drapery, fabrics and wallpaper recalling the vibrancy of Miami and the Caribbean. Here, he shares his colorful approach.
How do location and culture influence your pieces? I worked in Jamaica and throughout the eastern Caribbean for an all-inclusive hotel as an interior designer for more than six years, so I’m directly influenced by the culture, people and environment. Having worked with rigid hospitality brand standards while employed at corporate design firms, it was important for me to flip the color narrative by introducing bright and bold hues in the Caribe collection.
What inspired the collection? My Miami neighborhood, Buena Vista West, which is a part of the Little Haiti community. I hand-painted yardbirds (the chickens roam my neighborhood) wearing headdresses and fedoras and surrounded by sugarcane, a Caribbean delicacy grown in the Florida Everglades. The collection has three coordinating patterns as well as original painted portraits of Caribbean people.
Favorite item in the collection? The Plis Kann print, consisting of sugarcane stalks arranged in a chinoiserie pattern, because it blurs cultures with an Asian feel.
What’s next? I’m working with a New York wallpaper manufacturer to produce, market and sell an exclusive wallpaper line designed by myself.