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Thursday, October 01

Brookdale Newsroom

Students Design Home Interiors for Displaced Sandy Families

In a unique design competition, Brookdale interior design students presented their visions for decorating the interiors of three two-bedroom factory-manufactured homes housing families displaced by Superstorm Sandy. They made their presentations before a panel of professional commercial and residential interior designers in the CVA Building. The event took place April 29 as part of House2Home project.

Part competition, part service project, House2Home includes elements of the reality shows Project Runway and Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.  Three student teams of four members have already volunteered 100 hours assessing their clients’ needs, creating their designs and purchasing furnishings within strict space and budget parameters.  On May 21, Brookdale architecture students will join in when the group paints the interiors. The Big Reveal is set for June 4, when the families will see the completed projects and the judges announce the winning design team.

The student presenters used multimedia presentations, architectural renderings and photos to explain their design choices. Their challenge was designing a 700 square foot space to accommodate furnishings, store belongings and create a feeling of home.

“Imagine losing Grandma’s dishes that she gave you on your wedding day,” said Avis Gardel, one of the presenters. “These aren’t just physical losses; they’re emotional losses,” she said.

The 12 students who volunteered represent 75 percent of the entire interior design department. One student volunteer was affected by both Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy and is temporarily commuting from temporary quarters in northern New Jersey for classes and to donate her time.

The House2Home project began when area designer Galina Ubogiy of Galina Design Group suggested the AHA contact Brookdale for help making the 40 by 60 foot factory-built homes beautiful. The homes are part of a community of manufactured homes in Eatontown. According to the AHA, factory built homes are a proven national solution for housing permanency following natural disasters.

“Thank you for making their houses homes,” said Jeannine Urban, interior design student and House2Home project manager.

To see photos from the presentations, click here.