Design Dilemma Day offers Interior Decorating students opportunity to network with clients

Lucy Stanley, an Interior Decorating program Professor, offers students at Humber’s Design Dilemma Day some suggestions on how to meet their clients’ unique needs. Design Dilemma Day pairs students in the program with clients looking for tips on the décor of their homes. (Photo Matthew Pariselli) Lucy Stanley, an Interior Decorating program Professor, offers students at Humber’s Design Dilemma Day some suggestions on how to meet their clients’ unique needs. Design Dilemma Day pairs students in the program with clients looking for tips on the décor of their homes. (Photo Matthew Pariselli)

Matthew Pariselli
News Reporter

One is the loneliest number.

Or at least that’s what comes to mind when Julie Pasquin discusses the single-sink vanity in her ensuite bathroom.

Pasquin, the Assistant to the Associate Dean of the School of Applied Technology at Humber College, is displeased with the current state of her bathroom. She and her husband are in “desperate need” of renovation advice on how to reconfigure the layout and improve their use of space.

That’s exactly why she pounced at the opportunity to get some insightful, informed feedback upon receiving an email detailing Design Dilemma Day at Humber North on March 18.

Design Dilemma Day is an event put on by the Interior Decorating program at Humber College.

It was conceived last year to an overwhelmingly positive response.

The event pairs students in the program with clients looking for minor advice on an area in their home, or major suggestions on how to completely revamp an entire room.

“It could be a change of wall colour, maybe bedding, maybe furniture decluttering or accessories that are perhaps not balanced,” said Lucy Stanley, a Professor in the Interior Decorating program. “Anything that can give a ‘wow!’ to the room.”

“We can’t solve every problem, but we’re looking for focal points of the room so clients can walk away with something,” she said.

Tomasz Kwec, an Interior Decorating Studio teacher, stressed the event is intended to provide students with practical experience.

“The idea is to give students a live project and great opportunity to interact with clients. Something with different problems, different dilemmas,” Kwec said.

Monica Esposito, a 19-year-old in her second year of the program, is absorbing as much of the valuable exercise as possible.

“It’s really fun and good to gain the experience,” Esposito said. “We benefit because most of us want to go into design consultations.”

“We learn timing, what we have to do quickly for the client to find the problem and solve it,” Esposito said.

Anh Le, 25, is in Esposito’s class and echoes her sentiments. She adds it’s the innovative aspect she thrives on most.

“We can adjust things, like the window treatment, or change the colour palette. We can add in something more unique to make the room interesting. We can put our own creativity in,” Le said.

Stanley underscores this creativity component, and weaves it into what she ensures students of the program are equipped with once they graduate.

“We teach them principles and elements of design,” Stanley said. “They’re taught over the four semesters of the program what good design is, how to balance things.”

“So based on those fundamentals, they can apply anything, whether it’s colours, patterns, or scale,” Stanley said.

As for Pasquin, the woman on the hunt for a bathroom restoration, she left the event with a toolkit full of concepts to consider.

“I spoke to two girls that were both very helpful. They gave me some ideas on having a nice glass shower to open it up and make the room look bigger,” Pasquin said. “I thought it was very professional. I felt good about their feedback.”

“They’re all doing a really good job,” she said.

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