Local Design Students Polish a Historic Gem

By Isabella Migliarese And Bailey Chu

Every semester, student designers from UNCG’s Interior Architecture program design interior spaces ranging from commercial, to healthcare facilities, to residential and hospital projects, often collaborating with industry and community partners. However, it is rare for students to see their design reach the installation phase in a residential setting, as will be the case with the Julian Price Show House in Greensboro’s historic Fisher Park neighborhood. This preservation design project brings together local designers throughout the city to renovate a historic icon with proceeds from the ticket sales of tours benefiting the Preservation Greensboro organization.

The students are led by UNCG’s Interior Architecture professor and Department Head, Khoi Vo. “This show house is an invaluable opportunity for our students to gain first-hand experience in design and construction management of a historic renovation,” said Vo.

To those designers working on the Julian Price Show House, the home is simply known as Hillside House. Built in 1929, Hillside was the dream home and vision of local insurance CEO and philanthropist Julian Price. Today the home has been purchased by a private couple and will be part of a designer show house event, organized by Preservation Greensboro.

Eight student fellows from UNCG Interior Architecture’s Center for Community-Engaged Design will be tackling the in-law suite in what was formerly the servants’ quarters of the home. The new owners have requested that the space fulfill many functions—housing the in-laws while they are in town, while also serving as an informal family room, complete with wet bar. With these requirements in mind, the students began their design work in September of last year, coming up with a design concept and mood boards for their initial vision. The concept for their space centers around the Danish concept of hygge, which roughly translates as cozy.

“A lot of people are familiar with the implications of coziness that we all associate with hygge,” says senior Bailey Chu, “but few are aware of the deeper tenets of hygge, which emphasize family, presence of mind and togetherness. We are using hygge as a mental cue for the kinds of selections we will make, and ultimately the space will serve as a restorative getaway.”

After getting the go-ahead from the clients to move forward with the design concept, the students are now working with sponsors to provide everything from custom cabinet solutions to lighting and furniture.

Wilsonart has agreed to provide hard surface solutions while Surya will provide rugs, task lighting and accessories. The students have also been in contact with local designers at Vivid Interiors and Laura Redd Interiors who have agreed to lend relevant furniture pieces and accessories.

The next step in our process will be assessing all the offerings of the vendors we have so far and selecting items that meet the size and style requirements of our design plans,” says junior Tyson Cole.

“We’re very excited to debut our design in April,” says Cole. “We think it will be the most gratifying end to any project we’ve had so far.”


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