Winning interior design by student to be built at national event

By University Communications
June 12, 2017
Savanah Colestock works in an interior design studio at UW-Stout.

Photo: Savanah Colestock works in an interior design studio at UW-Stout.

When student Savanah Colestock attends the NeoCon show June 12-14 in Chicago, she’ll experience what it feels like to be a professional interior designer.

That’s because, for the first time, she’ll be able to see and walk through an interior space that she designed.

A senior in interior design at University of Wisconsin-Stout, Colestock won the I Like Design national student competition this spring. Her designed space, part of four floors of exhibits, will be built at the 49th annual show, which draws about 50,000 interior design professionals, architects and others from about 500 companies.

“I can’t wait to see my design built and see it in real life,” said Colestock, of St. Paul.

Colestock also won a $5,000 scholarship in the contest, sponsored by Interiors and Sources magazine. Several dozen students from around the U.S. entered, including from the New York School of Interior Design.

A second winner, from the Savannah (Ga.) College of Art and Design, received a paid summer internship. The judges were from the magazine and from the contest sponsor, Michael Graves Design & Architecture.

“I was shocked when I heard I won. The project was due at midnight one night, and I finished it at 11 p.m. I didn’t think I’d have time to submit it. I wasn’t thinking I’d win,” Colestock said.

Her show space features vertical and angled horizontal panels that companies can rent to show their wares. Each panel can hold 20 1-foot by 1-foot fabric or material samples. Visitors to the space can walk through two aisles, or pathways, stop at a central meeting area or take a break on sofas or at café tables.

Savanah Colestock’s winning entry for the I Like Design national student contest.

Colestock focused on traffic flow and mood in her space design. “It’s very light, airy and open and slightly inspired by nature,” Colestock said.

“The contest judges said they really loved my design. I think it’s because it does have good circulation, it looks nice, it will work and it’s trendy. The tall panels make good use of the 14-foot ceiling space. The colors are warm, almost like sunsets,” she said.

Colestock decided to enter the contest when she was working on a project for Professor Maureen Mitton. The project allowed students to choose between designing a pop-up — or temporary — retail shop or the temporary space featured in the contest.

Savanah Colestock’s winning entry for the I Like Design national student contest.Mitton said Colestock’s design “is sophisticated in terms of color and materials use. It provides an interesting range of elements that work well to display the various products that will be exhibited. The design also includes well-planned circulation for the many people who will visit.”

Mitton has been impressed not only with Colestock’s design skills but her work ethic. “As a longtime design educator, I see Savanah as talented, hardworking and passionate about design. She has pushed herself to pursue a number of opportunities within the larger design community outside of UW-Stout and yet has also done great work on her courses within our program. It's clear Savanah has a very bright future,” Mitton said.

An added benefit of Colestock’s success is that UW-Stout’s interior design program will be in the spotlight at the national show, Mitton said.

Colestock, who will graduate in December, is excited to meet with professionals and network at the NeoCon show. She is leaning toward starting her career in restaurant interiors or long-term care facility interiors.

“I feel interior design is a good way to make a difference in people’s lives. You don’t always know how interior design can impact someone, like making a long-term care facility warm and inviting,” she said.

She likes to tap into her creative and art skills, fostered within UW-Stout’s School of Art and Design courses, in her designs. “I like to think outside the box and push the boundaries, do something you might not expect,” Colestock said, such as using sculpture or nontraditional materials in an interior design.



Middle and Bottom Photo: Savanah Colestock’s winning entry for the I Like Design national student contest.