Marsai Martin started running at the age of five when she started playing. She would be on her big break after being cast as Diane Johnson on the ABC sitcom Blackish, which is now in its final season. With more than a decade of experience under her belt in the entertainment industry, the 17-year-old has broken countless records, including becoming the youngest executive producer ever (literally, she’s in the Guinness Book of World Records) with his work on the film Little.
In her latest show, she teams up with Discovery+ to explore her lifelong love for interior design in Remix my space with Marsai Martin. Throughout the show, Martin is responsible for redoing the rooms of teenagers who have made an impact in their community and beyond. Its design team includes Tiffany Thompson and carpenter Joanie Sprague. The eight-episode show premiered on January 15 and is now available to stream exclusively on Discovery+.
AD recently caught up with Martin to talk about her interest in interior design, the design trends she’s seen becoming popular among today’s teens, and the advice she recommends for teens trying to figure out their own design style.
Architectural Summary: How did you come up with the idea of Remix my space with Marsai Martin?
Marsai Martin: I have always loved interior design; it’s been one of my favorite activities since I was little. So, I partnered with Discovery+ and 51 Minds Entertainment to create this project that focuses on teens making a huge impact in their communities and surprising them with their dream bedroom. With any room, it’s kind of your sanctuary, it’s your refuge mode. This is where you stay the most. This is the place to relaunch, as I like to say. I wanted to make sure that people who have had a huge impact in their communities [and the] world are able to have a piece that reflects that.
What design trends do you think are popular among teens today?
It was LED lights, at the beginning of TikTok. [Teenagers] would just like to install LED lights under their bed or around the room. I even still have them, but I turned mine off for a little while. But I still have them for sure, because I was definitely part of that trend. I would say shoe racks are something I see in most kids’ rooms. If you’re like me, I love my shoes. And I like to make sure they’re presented in the best possible way, without being all over the place. So, I have this huge wall of shoes that goes all the way through my bedroom wall, just like my best friends. So I think that’s also another trend.
How did you come to interior design?
Oh, I feel like I’ve always had an interest in interior design. Since I was a kid. I’ve always tried to design the Thanksgiving table, to be nice when everyone comes over for the holidays, and I always do that too, with any holiday. I’ve always been into the idea of designing a piece and anything that’s really about creativity. Because I think creativity flows any way, shape or form. And I think design is definitely one of the ways creativity takes shape.
Do you have any tips for other teens on how they can find their own personal design style?
You can create a mood board. I think mood boards are super fun to do, whether you’re hanging out with your friends or having some down time. That’s what I did throughout the series. I would go on Pinterest and create different boards or I would also do actual mood boards where you use cardboard and stick stuff on it. I think that’s one thing you can do to let your ideas start flowing.
When it came to selecting all the teens to furnish their room, what about hearing about their story and all the amazing things they’ve done for their community?
Oh, that was so sweet. My parents and I walked through all the kids and hearing some of their stories was inspiring. All of these teenagers are around my age, so seeing how they make a big impact in their community is such a blessing, and I’m grateful to be part of this generation. There were some things I didn’t know [their work]. So I got to talk to them in person, which was really cool.
A big part of the work you are involved in is giving back to your community. How important is it to you to have an impact on your community?
It’s super important to me. I think, being the generation that we are, I think we should all step up and push for the change we want. There is something about my peers. It’s like, we have more resilience, and we use our voice more, and we speak, and we have so many outlets to do that, like social media, or go out there and really make a force, like breaking the boundaries. I think it’s very important to give back to the community I grew up in, so I’m so grateful to be able to do that. And to have a seat at the table and to be able to really use my voice.
Originally appeared on Architectural Digest