Designer Spotlight: Malcolm Simmons of Mas Means More Interiors

Where are you based? Do you offer virtual design services?

I’m based in Washington, D.C. Yes, I do offer virtual design services! You can find more information about my services here.

Photo by Malcolm Simmons |

Why Interior Design?

It has been a lifelong journey! When I was a kid, I was massively intrigued by cartoons and animation. I wanted to be an animator for Pixar, but after taking a course in animation, I realized I didn’t have the patience for it. My love for art eventually led me to graphic design, which is what my degree is in. Through my education and experiences, I started to become infatuated by environmental graphic design (the art of applying branding and identities to physical spaces). Over time, that translated into a love for interior design, which is where I am now! It has been a lifelong (and ongoing) journey of discovery, education, and refinement, and I feel like everything is happening just the way it’s supposed to.

How would you define your design style?

I tend to use three words to define my design style: classic, tailored, and collected. I exist somewhere between handsome and heritage. I love spaces that feel authentic to the history of the space and/or it’s owner—which usually involves some mix of vintage pieces, DIY projects, and custom accents that feel like they've always existed. It’s important for me to balance high-end and low-cost pieces to create tailored spaces that feel intentional and balanced. However, with that being said, my style is constantly evolving! It's completely different now than it was one year ago, and I owe that evolution to my passion for learning and growing as an artist. My default position in life is "student", which allows me to constantly absorb new design sensibilities and techniques.

Photo by Keyanna Bowen |

Where or who do you draw inspiration from?

As someone with a graphic design background, I tend to draw most of my inspiration from well-branded environments—spaces like restaurants, hotels, and retail stores that have well-articulated visual narratives (you can check out some spaces that have inspired me here). I also currently draw a lot of inspiration from European and Australian design trends. There's something classic and refined about European spaces that we don’t see incorporated in a lot of American design. I'm also perpetually inspired by the beauty of Black culture, and I tend to weave Black art, stories, and narratives into my work whenever possible.

What is something you see your clients struggle with most when it comes to designing their homes?

OPTIONS. Options can be extremely overwhelming, especially because there can be so many right ones. I think a widespread (and somewhat ineffective) mindset is that there is only one right way to approach any design problem. There can be so many powerful ways to fix a broken system, and I love showing people that options don't always have to be intimidating or counterproductive. I also often find that people struggle with window treatments (and I’m not just saying that because I’m talking to you)! I think that drapery can be a fairly intimidating accent for people to conceptualize on their own—something about choosing fabrics, colors, lengths, rods, and other components can seem fairly overwhelming.

Photo by Keyanna Bowen |

How do you tackle Window Treatments and what are some tips that have helped you figure out the perfect Window Treatments for your projects?

There are a few things I consider when choosing or recommending window treatments. First, what is the intent for the windows? Is privacy an immediate concern? If so, the options are immediately narrowed down to light-blocking blinds or curtains. Secondly, what is the room asking for? Dark, dramatic, and/or heavy curtains would be great for a space with high walls and ample breathing room, but maybe not for a room with lower ceilings and a single window. Lastly, what invokes visceral happiness? We often don't see window treatments as art, but they really are! I suggest picking drapery with equal discernment as you would when choosing a piece of art for your home.

What are your favorite colors/fabrics Everhem offers? What room in a home would you style them in and why?

I personally own (and LOVE) Everhem's solid linen drapery in Shale. It's perfect for my bedroom because it balances out a dark wall of closets on the opposite side of the room, and creates a sumptuous wall of fabric that always feels luxurious at the end of the day. I'm currently designing my office, and I'm thinking about using a solid linen curtain again--but in a lighter color like Agave or Cloud--to create textural continuity with the bedroom in a color that is brighter and more mentally-energizing to help perpetuate a productive space.

What is something you’re looking forward to in the next year both personally and professionally?

I'm looking forward to growing my business and embarking on new creative ventures! I'm just getting started in this world, and I'm excited to see how my career unfolds as the world begins to open back up. Quarantine allowed me to lean into my authenticity, grow as a designer, and hone my craft, and it'll be amazing to share those lessons with the world in more client-facing and visible ways. I'm also looking forward to traveling (something I'll never take for granted again), so that I can gain new inspiration that I can apply to my work.

Photo by Malcolm Simmons |