15 students complete Designer Show Room

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Fifteen SHSU students recently completed practical interior design work as part of a class project for a 2002 Designer Show House in Conroe. The seniors designed and furnished a room as part of the requirements for an interior design applications class in the department of family and consumer sciences. Students were responsible for developing a design plan for a game room in a new 6,000 square foot house located in Walden Estates on Lake Conroe. New houses are outfitted by creative area designers and then shown to the public during an annual benefit for the Montgomery County Performing Arts Society. This is the fourth year SHSU students have participated in the show. “Students are able to develop a design space and apply what they have learned in the classroom,” said Laura Burleson, assistant family and consumer sciences professor. “They work to coordinate design elements, colors and textures while creating a functional arrangement of furniture pieces.” Student participation in the show house is unique to SHSU students. Other spaces in the show house are designed by professional interior designers from Conroe, The Woodlands and north Houston. “The particular house we worked on contained a large bonus room,” Burleson said. “We developed the area into an elegant, but relaxed, space using a ‘world travel’ theme.” Using furniture and accessories borrowed from local designers and retailers, the students were able to create a tasteful, yet functional, room. Burleson said the room “serves as a place to get away from the noise of the rest of the house.” The color scheme for the room pulls together rich red and gold tones against a background of harmonic tan. A comfortable sitting area and several classical game tables allow for more than one group to play chess or cards, or to just sit and enjoy classical music through the room’s state-of-the-art, built-in surround sound system, she said. The room sits on the second floor of the show house, with a stairwell that gives way to a landing where a pair of hunting chairs used by the Chinese nobility a hundred years ago accent the area. In the game room itself, more Chinese influence is mixed with African and European art objects. The bathroom adjacent to the room profiles a mix of Indian elephants and exotic African items. Designing a game room was a new experience for the class. “In the past, we have worked on a girl’s bedroom and bathroom, a poolside living room, a utility area and a breakfast room,” said Burleson. While it may be difficult to get 15 students to decide on a single design theme, work is divided and students concentrate on small areas so everyone gets hands-on experience. But experience isn’t the only advantage to participating in the show house design. “Other than actually developing a design space and applying what the students have learned in the program, they also have the opportunity to network with professional designers that may be in the position to hire them as an intern,” said Burleson. She noted that seeing the work students are capable of doing oftentimes impresses those designers, which makes participating in the project an asset to the program. “The SHSU interior design program is the only one in the Houston area that does a space like this as a class project,” she said. “This attracts new students to our program and makes the department, as well as the university, more visible to a broader community.” The show house is located 3.4 miles off of Highway 105 West at 94 Lake Estates Drive. It will be open for public viewing through April 21, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission is $10 per person.