Amanda Elayne Farmer
Amanda Elayne Farmer

CULLOWHEE – A Western Carolina University student captured a third-place award in an interior design competition sponsored by the National Kitchen and Bath Association.

Amanda Elayne Farmer, a senior from Wilmington, is the first interior design student from Western to place in the top three in the prestigious contest, although other students have received honorable mention, said Marc Yops, associate professor and director in Western's interior design program.

A total of 127 students from 26 schools in the United States and Canada entered the competition.

Farmer's entry in the association's student design competition consisted of a kitchen design in a nautical theme, including a floor plan, and mechanical and electrical plans. The entry also included a sample board with color photos of materials, paint colors and appliances.

Farmer said her goal was to keep the kitchen design simple, and a key to winning the award might have been her sample board, where she tried most to express her creativity. “They seemed to really like my sample board,” she said.

Farmer produced the design for a class in spring 2004 and entered it in a competition sponsored by the Carolinas chapter of the NKBA. Her entry won first place in that contest, earning Farmer a $1,000 scholarship. She shipped the entry off to the national competition in November and was “pleasantly surprised” to hear about her third-place national finish.

Yops said Western interior design students regularly place in the top three in the Carolinas chapter contest. “It is an even greater honor for a student to go on and be one of the top three students in the nation,” he said. “Both of these awards bring a high regard of recognition to the student, the interior design program, and to WCU at the regional and national level.”

Prizes from the third-place award include another $1,000 scholarship and perks during an NKBA conference to be held in Las Vegas in May, including free accommodations for a night, free tickets to the NKBA meeting and show, and a free dinner and transportation while in Las Vegas .

Farmer graduated from Wellington High School of West Palm Beach, Fla., in 2000, but her family has since moved to Wilmington. She is the daughter of Len and Anna Farmer.

Farmer said she first became interested in interior design as a career when a friend in Florida offered her a chance to “job-shadow” at the friend's interior design workplace. Farmer worked as an intern with that same friend, who now owns her own interior design firm, last summer.

Farmer said she plans to graduate from Western in May and find a position as an assistant to an interior designer. After two years in that position, she will be qualified to test for licensure as a professional interior designer.

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Last modified: Tuesday, February 1, 2005
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