FIU Interior Design alumnus Kenzie Leon Perry introduces design to young readers: New illustrated children’s book features FIU designer’s Black and Caribbean background


A portion of the proceeds from each book sale directly supports IIDA’s Design Your World program, which provides minority students early exposure to commercial interior design and architecture.

After graduating with high honors in 2006 FIU Interior Architecture alumnus Kenzie Perry became a professional licensed interior designer—even launching his own brand. Perry is now Creative Director for Ze Haus Design Studio– a full service and licensed firm specializing in hospitality, commercial and residential spaces.

design your world
children's book
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In addition to designing spaces, he is also a visual artist and product designer. Inspired by his heritage, Perry’s wallpaper and fabric collections are influenced by the Black and Caribbean diaspora and the tropics. His nature-filled, eclectic prints have been featured in numerous magazines and won multiple design competitions. Perry was recognized as one of the “28 Black Tastemakers” by Angela Belt in 2021.

In one of his most recent creative endeavors, Perry illustrated a children’s book that introduces design to young readers. The book, “Design Your World”, follows a child who struggles to find control in her young life. Seeing her grandmother design and care for her home, she is inspired to take charge of her own space and design her bedroom. This heartwarming children’s book is a reminder that we all have the ability to design our own lives, and that even the smallest choices can make a big difference. FIU Interior Architecture chair Prof. Newton D’souza is proud of Kenzie’s achievements mentioning that the “little book will make a big impact.” He says “Kenzie’s work exemplifies our mission at FIU Interior Architecture and as a FIU alumnus makes us incredibly proud.”

Kenzie Perry, 2006 FIU Interior Architecture alumnus.

Co-authors of the book, Maria Van Daeman and Doug Shapiro are also advocates of the design world. Van Daeman is a licensed interior designer and sales manager for OFS. Shapiro is host of the podcast and media network “Imagine a Place”, a platform that seeks to elevate the power of design and place. The three creators have a shared vision of the impact of design. For each book sold, a portion of the proceeds directly support The International Interior Design Association (IIDA)’s “Design Your World” program, which provides minority students early exposure to commercial interior design and architecture. 

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