Akili King

Akili King

At Home With is an interview series from Salam Hello where we follow some of our favorite pieces into the homes of your favorite style icons, curators, and creators. Each interview explores what home means and the pieces, people, and practices that bring it all together.  

Akili King is a Chicago born, Brooklyn based writer and DJ. As a writer her work spans the spheres of beauty, wellness, music, and culture for brands like Rose Inc and Milk Makeup as well as publications like Vogue Magazine, Essence GU, Coveteur, and i-D Magazine. As a tastemaker with curatorial flare to spare, we got to speak with Akili about her interior style, where she draws inspiration, and what makes a space feel like home. 

Our spaces are so personal — What does home look and feel like to you? 
It looks and feels tranquil and inviting. I think it should reflect the best parts of you and should inspire you to want to do your best each day. It should look and feel like a place that can refuel after a long day. 

What are some of the places, cultures, aesthetics, art forms, or traditions that have inspired your sense of interior style? 
I’m inspired by vintage furniture, vintage magazines and album covers and Black art. I love the African art that my boyfriend has hung up on our walls as well. I’m learning a lot from fashion designer turned interior designer, Carly Cushnie too. I love following her page to get any interior design tips! I also love my girl Michelle's design company, Koi Design Studio. I learn a lot from her brand and hope that she can interior design my future home! Additionally, I draw a lot of inspo from tiktok– there are some extremely satisfying home organization videos out there, I’m learning a lot from those too. 

What are your other go-to shops for home decor? 
I’m really loving Lichen, Estelle Colored Glasses, Sean Brown, Raini Home, Rap Style Archaeology, Black Market Vintage, and Salam Hello!  

Beyond your Salam Hello rug, can you tell us about an item in your home that has a story? 
I think most of the decor items tell a story. I have a book, Chickahominy Indians, that I have in honor of my late grandfather, Irving. I also kept his Polaroid camera that we used to use together when I was younger. Some of my best childhood memories are getting dressed up in my grandma's heels and her lipstick and then my grandfather snapping photos of me. I definitely credit them (and my family in general) for my love for photography, fashion, beauty and just creative expression in general. 

How has your sense of style at home evolved over the years? 
I think I’ve learned to be more intentional with what I put in my home. I think that just comes with maturity and also a different budget than what I had when I was in college/when I first graduated, haha. But I’m also learning there’s no rush to furnish a home and that nothing is permanent. But I think my style is continuing to evolve into what I always wanted it to be – zen, peaceful, timeless and comfortable. 

Whether it's a signature color, a certain style of art, or a collection, as your space has come together, have you noticed any fun themes? 
Whether it’s my Aaliyah poster from Rap Style Archaeology, the Stevie Wonder poster, the vintage magazines – from Essence and Rolling Stone to the Chicago Sun Times and Jet – I’m definitely noticing a lot of vintage pieces around the home. There are also a lot of earthy tones: browns, woods, creams, tans, etc. It makes me feel very grounded and as though I’m bringing the beauty of nature inside. But I think the art and decor we have offer a personal touch/pop of color to these neutral tones. 

What is the feeling that you want your home to evoke? 
I want my home to feel like a peaceful oasis. I want to look forward to coming home and never dread it. I want it to be a place where I can fully recharge; mind, body and spirit. I also want others to feel at home and at peace when they visit too. I want it to look beautiful but not in a way where people feel like they can’t sit and relax and enjoy. I hope it evokes a warm and welcoming energy. 

Thanks so much Akili, we can’t wait to follow along as your space continues to evolve! See more from Akili and her space here. Love Akili’s rug? Get inspired with similar pieces below, or reach out to start the process for a custom rug!

Photographed by Tre Crews.

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