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Kenya Jones-Lowell selected as one of Boutique Design’s Boutique 18 Awardees

Bremerton, WA—November 2021

Kenya Jones-Lowell, Interior Designer at Rice Fergus Miller, has been selected as one of Boutique Design magazine’s rising design stars. As an interior designer working with an acquired neurological disability, Kenya is passionate about disability rights and design justice in the hospitality industry and her community.

As a member of Rice Fergus Miller’s hospitality team, Kenya works alongside architects, owners, and engineers to ensure successful, beautiful, functional built projects. In addition to her Boutique 18 honors, she has previously been recognized for her creativity, innovation and advocacy work, and her projects have been featured in over 150 publications.  Currently, her on-the-boards designs include airports for Fixed-Base Operators (FBOs) in Seattle and Denver, as well as a casino floor renovation.

Recently she completed work on the 7 Cedars Hotel in Blyn, Washington. This destination property was designed with the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe as a vehicle to share their story and culture through architecture and interior design. The elements are uniquely Coast Salish and grounded in the history of the Jamestown S’Klallam people, while channeling contemporary native America. This is the type of work that excites Kenya. She says, “It is truly humbling when you are entrusted to help communicate such a vibrant story. Working with the Coast Salish tribes has been an absolute honor.”  Kenya also helped curate the property’s art collection, which contains over 500 pieces from 11 tribal nations spanning three familial generations. It is one of the most impressive art collections of First Nation and Coast Salish art and serigraphs in the United States.

Kenya takes time to regularly look beyond her desk and seeks opportunities to engage with her local community. She is passionate about integrating community feedback into her work and believes that designers should use their skills to craft environments that make communities feel seen and celebrated. She believes strongly in the ethos ‘nothing is for us, without us’ and works to incorporate this mantra into everything she does.

Kenya is the cofounder of Deleted Pages, a talk story group that is aimed at initiating wider conversations around social & environmental justice in the hospitality industry. She also serves as NEWH Northwest’s Director of Equity, Inclusion and Diversity, is a member of Hospitality Diversity Action Council, and is a mentor with Savannah College of Art & Design’s Black Alumni Coalition. “In committing ourselves to leadership roles and pushing the boundaries of what we think interior design is, we could create a more hospitable world,” says Kenya.

The full 2021 Boutique 18 class includes:

  • Mariana Valero, Founder,AMASS & G
  • Mino Bautista, Associate,BraytonHughes Design Studio
  • Sylvan Juarez, Creative Director,Cedar Street Creative
  • Julia Summerville, Design Director,DesignAgency
  • Edith Ponciano, Design Director,Gensler Los Angeles
  • Alyssa Stanley, Associate Senior Designer,FlickMars
  • Jacob Royster, Associate,HBA International
  • Teri Dolan, Design Manager, Full Service Brands,Hilton
  • Fabiola Troncoso, Associate,KTGY Simeone Deary
  • Micaela Sheffield, Interior Designer II,LEO A DALY
  • Sarah Walsh, Senior Design Manager, Edition and W Hotels ,Marriott
  • Kenya Jones-Lowell, Interior Designer,Rice Fergus Miller
  • Matt Swope, Director,Gettys Group
  • Jihee Youn, Studio Director,Virserius Studio
  • Isaac Jimenez, Designer,Wimberly Interiors
  • Victoria Denny, Interior Designer, Studio 11
  • Nastaran Mousaviand Dane Bunton, Principals, Studio BANAA
  • Lindsay Spraul, Senior Designer,Design Poole

The 16th annual group of Boutique 18 honorees were chosen based on criteria by the Boutique Design editorial team and were nominated by industry peers. This prestigious honor is awarded to the rising design stars who are creating today’s (and tomorrow’s) most buzzed-about hospitality venues from a pool of national candidates. All of the 2021 Boutique 18 winners including Kenya Jones-Lowell will be honored at the BDNY Kickoff Party on Saturday, November 13, 2021 in New York City.

In addition to Kenya’s achievement, Rice Fergus Miller Interior Design principal Jennifer Fleming is also a former Boutique 18 honoree. Recognized in the 2017 Class, Jennifer is now a major shareholder and leads the firm’s Hospitality Studio. While it is incredibly rare for two designers at a single firm to be recognized, Kenya attributes this repeat recognition to “the firm’s outstanding mentorship in conjunction with a practice ethos that embodies not only producing good work but also working toward the greater good for our community and our industry.”

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About Rice Fergus Miller

Rice Fergus Miller, Inc is the professional partnership of Steve Rice, Dave Fergus, Greg Belding, and Jennifer Fleming, begun in Bremerton in 1987. As the only Certified B Corporation design firm in Washington State, Rice Fergus Miller is committed to performing meaningful work that builds and strengthens community. Housed in a reclaimed Sears auto service center that is one of the most energy-efficient buildings in the United States, Rice Fergus Miller blends the personal aspirations of its over 50 team members with a vision for sustainable communities. Learn more at www.rfmarch.com.