House Magazine's Designer's Challenge 2010

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At a recent HOUSE magazine editorial meeting, we decided to include a "designer's challenge" in this issue. The challenge was to take one room and have several designers present their ideas for that space within a specified budget. HOUSE would publish the sketches and boards procured by each team, in order to show readers how differently the same space can be interpreted.

Since our magazine works closely with Metropolitan Institute of Interior Design (MID), we issued the challenge to the president of MID, Anthony Maceli. He enthusiastically chose four teams of two, from students currently enrolled in an MID program.

THE SPACE - When my husband Howie and I were having our house built eight years ago, our initial thought was how wonderful it will be to have everything so brand new. The reality was, however, it was a little intimidating. The walls were blank, the rooms were empty, and everything - Every. Thing. - was the same color.

Over the years, we managed to paint and furnish most of the our home's living spaces. Our master bedroom, however, has remained the same as the day we moved in: a bed, a dresser and two night-stands, along with inexpensive carpet, simple clamshell moldings, and high, blank linen-white walls.

Enter the students at MID. One Saturday morning in early June, Anthony Maceli and the teams came to our home armed with laptops and layouts, cameras ad tape measures (and bagels and cream cheese!). They interviewed, measured, sketched and took photos. The professionalism of these designers was evident from the start.

I didn't have many requirements nor did I give them much direction. Mainly, nothing that would require extensive housework (what became known as the "dust factor"), make the ceiling angles disappear and I liked purples and greens or blues and teams as color palettes.

I didn't know what to expect, but it wasn't what was presented. I am floored. The level of energy and thought that went into these designs and the level of talent and professionalism within these women is incredible. I'm speechless. Which is fine since the next several pages speak for themselves.

By Erin Crawford