A group of six Salt Lake Community College interior design students have transformed a maintenance room at The Cancer Wellness House in downtown Salt Lake City into a warm, colorful counseling area.
The group had a small budget to work with, but members were encouraged to re-use what they could to transform the six by twelve foot space.
Everything they had to work with was given through donations, including lights, paintings, furniture and fabric.
“We were able to do quite a lot with very little money,” said Beth Low, Interior Design Club president. “[It was] great real-world opportunity for us to practice [for] ourselves.”
The Cancer Wellness House offers a variety of free services to cancer patients, including counseling, acupuncture, a resource library, massages and information about alternative treatments.
“It needed a little warmth”
The club’s project started at the beginning of Sept. About 140 hours of hard labor went into the re-creation of what was once a small, white and lifeless-like storage room.
“It had a lot of fluorescent lighting, very plain, a little bit cold,” said Lauren Weaver, the club’s media relations officer. “It needed a little warmth.”
The group wanted to find a way to spruce up the space and give it life. They replaced the floors, changed the lighting, installed doorknobs, sewed tablecloths and window dressings, repainted walls and added furniture.
Through working with the Cancer Wellness House, club members were impressed by what the organization has to offer.
“I would encourage anybody that might be touched by cancer in any way to go check it out,” Low said. “We’ve had a really positive experience with everyone there.”
Projects and opportunities
Low has been a part of SLCC’s Interior Design Club for about a year, and recognizes the impact the projects have.
“I think it benefits [primarily] the members of the Interior Design Club within Salt lake Community College,” Low said. “Getting experience by going and doing jobs, working with people and helping each other [is] good practice. Learning how to work professionally with other people and interact with them is all a good learning process.”
Low encourages students to take advantage of the opportunities the college provides for those interested in working in a specific field, such as interior design.
Projects such as these help student get a head start and make contact with those already working in the industry.
“I would really recommend that people who aren’t members of the club sign up, and people who are members of the club get involved,” she said. “These are great contacts that we work with, people that we’re going to be connected with in the future when we’re working.”
Weaver has taken part in contributing to numerous projects related to interior design at SLCC and hopes her experience will pay off.
“The more of these projects that we work on [as students at SLCC], the more credibility we will have as members of this club,” Weaver said. “If anyone at Salt Lake Community College has any interest in interior design, or especially interior design students, should really start getting involved because it’s a huge dream to start in a career.”
Many students who are involved in the Interior Design Club have an interest in turning it into a career
Even as the club’s fundraising officer, Mario Varela understands that the volunteer effort is about more than just money.
“Overall, I think it’s a great project because we really helped our organization,” Varela said. “They appreciated our help and they kind of go through a lot so it’s kind of our way to make them feel better.”
The group has helped transform and re-design various spaces of different sizes, but members view the Cancer Wellness House project as one of their biggest.
“The best part about the project is really the outcome,” Varela said. “It’s one of our biggest transformations.”
The Interior Design Club has already moved on to the next project. Members are currently decorating two Christmas themed fireplace mantels for the Utah State Governor’s Mansion.