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Interior design students offer model ideas for real-life project

Michelle Faller was thinking warm and cozy thoughts as she participated in this year’s Interior Design competition for the Advanced Rendering class. A total of eleven students created entries for the real-life project of transforming a local State Farm office into an inviting meeting and workspace.

“This was a great experience because we got to work with an actual client and a real building, Faller says. "We visited the office and took measurements and listened a lot.” The client, Matt Abbott, owner and CEO of the State Farm office, was looking for an updated space with a homey feel.

Using the tools of the trade from fabric swatches to the CADD and Revit software programs, Faller designed the space with warm tones of gold, tan, blues and greens.

“I started with a great fabric with a multitude of colors and went from there,” Faller says. “I also added vibrant paint colors on single walls throughout the space.”

Working with a budget of $10,000, Faller’s design enlarged the upstairs offices by removing closets. “With the new space I added comfortable seating areas, an element requested by the client. I also incorporated thermal draperies in those rooms to keep the summer heat at bay.”

Other changes included moving the conference room to the main floor and adding wood blinds to the downstairs rooms.


Faller’s favorite element of her design is the water feature in the conference room, which is made of glass and includes the company’s logo in a colorful light display.

All of the students’ entries included scale models and sample boards. Faller took the top spot in the contest with Jessica Messick earning second and Suzy Michaels third in the annual competition. Contest judges were Ross Millard, director of product design for the Ainslie Group and Matt Abbott.

Faller, a stay-at-home mom of three, is pursuing her associate degree in Interior Design. She plans a career in kitchen and bath design and is eager to take the college’s Kitchen and Bath Design Software class in the fall.