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Three La Roche College Interior Design Students Place in Top 10 in National IFDA Competition

PITTSBURGH, Pennsylvania (June 4, 2012) – When you love what you’re doing, it shows in the work. And for three students in La Roche College’s Interior Design Program, this passion helped propel them to the top level of a national design competition.

Carley Denner, Howard Fugitt and Julianna Sneath each placed in the Top 10 in the Raymond Waites IFDA Design Competition, now in its second year. The competition is sponsored by Waites and the Educational Foundation of the International Furnishings & Design Association (IFDA) and attracts college students from around the nation.

This year’s challenge was to create an environment with a traditional/eclectic mix of furnishings, products and decoration, typical of residential design projects that students might encounter in their future careers. “Since most school curriculums emphasize contemporary design, the criteria requirement of creating a traditional/eclectic interior becomes a learning experience,” explained Waites. “It exposes students to the traditional-mix design projects that they will encounter in the home furnishings industry and with consumer clients.”

Students were asked to create a luxurious, 1,200 sq. ft. master bed and bath suite. Denner designed an early Georgian-style home featuring furniture and fixtures from many different time periods including Queen Anne, French Rococo and Italian Baroque. “While I incorporated the technological advancements of our times, I think my focus on the traditional made it stand out,” she said.

Fugitt decided to design an oceanfront home with a circular bedroom that had 180-degree views of the water. “I used a lot of traditional aspects like paneling and molding, but was more eclectic in my choices of patterns and paints,” he said. Notable features included an olive wood floor, a ‘ginormous’ shower stall and a twist on a claw foot tub in the center of the bathroom.

Sneath designed a Victorian-inspired master suite that she described as having a historical feel with a modern aesthetic. “I think what made my design stand out were some of the more elegant elements, including custom-stained glass in a bow window and a fountain in the bathroom,” she explained.

As a reward for being in the top 10, each student’s project was displayed in April at the Suites at Market Square at the High Point International Home Furnishings Market in High Point, NC, the largest furnishings industry trade show in the world.

For more information, contact Sally Wood, Assistant to the Department Chair, Interior Design at 412-536-1017, or

About La Roche College: A private, Catholic, co-educational college north of Pittsburgh founded by the Sisters of Divine Providence in 1963, La Roche welcomes students of all religions, ethnic origins and talents. Undergraduates may choose from more than 50 majors, including the top 10 majors most in demand among today’s college students. La Roche combines a quality educational experience with clubs, athletics, social and community volunteer activities, spiritual well-being and more to prepare students for life in a constantly changing global society.

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