A set of students from the design college at Howard University recently won a contest that put their skills as Americans to the test.
The Student Design House Competition was sponsored by The Washington Design Center and the MADE: In America Foundation and features the works of interior design students from various institutions.
The challenge was this: choose a room at The Washington Design Center, identify any problems with the interior design, and then redesign the interior. The catch? They had to take classic interior designs that are uniquely American and recast them in a contemporary light. They also had to use “Made in America” materials and products to create their interior designs.
With supervision from faculty member Mark Watkins of Howard University, interior design students Bretagne Blair, Omar Tulloch, Karen Ennis, Alicia Johnson, Naomi Black, and Naada Favitsou-Boulandi worked their magic and won first place in the competition.
“We put so much effort and time into this project. We didn’t know what to expect,” said Blair, a senior at the interior design school.
They chose to create a library with classic American appeal that was complete with a custom mantle over the fireplace, designed and manufactured by the students themselves. The furniture and materials they selected were from top designers who had collections that were already on display at The Washington Design Center.
Among the features of their interior design, the students chose an old-world style clock and golden taupe drapes. An all wood desk with ornate spiral carved legs makes a space for reading or studying while seated in a burnt orange, high-back leather chair.
The interior design college at Howard University is an undergraduate program that helps student focus on the path forward to graduate school and, ultimately, a career in interior design.