Young designers show what they’ve got

A handful of suites at Morgan Crossing in South Surrey have been designed by finalists in BC’s Best Young Designer contest. - Doug Shanks photo
A handful of suites at Morgan Crossing in South Surrey have been designed by finalists in BC’s Best Young Designer contest.
— image credit: Doug Shanks photo

Six Morgan Crossing condos decorated by finalists in BC’s Best Young Designer competition were unveiled to the public last week, and visitors have a chance to help name one of the winners.

The suites – located on the third floor of the development’s Arc building – are open for viewing six days a week, and the interior designer whose space is named the “fan favourite” by receiving the most votes will win $2,000 cash.

The grand prize – an all-expenses-paid trip to New York and a pass to the Architectural Digest Home Design Show – will go to the winning residence chosen by a panel of judges.

The three judges – all of whom have backgrounds in either fashion or design – chose the contenders from about 16 submitted video entries in which contestants explained what they would do with a Morgan Crossing suite if selected a finalist.

All of the entrants were people younger than 30, competition director Bryan Woolley said, some of whom are fresh out of school or already run their own business, and others who aren’t in the industry at all but have a natural eye for design.

“We thought we’d give some young people an opportunity to show what they can do.”

The six finalists were given one month and a $10,000-$12,000 budget – provided by the Morgan Crossing developer – depending on the size of the condo they decorated. Half the finalists worked with two-bedroom spaces (828 square feet), and the other half had homes with one bedroom and a den (773 sq. ft.).

“They could spend their budget any way they wanted,” Woolley said, noting finalists changed light fixtures, rolled wallpaper, painted walls, re-tiled and hung art. “I was delighted to see (the suites). They were much better than I thought they’d be. And they are all different.”

The goal was to showcase what can be achieved on a limited budget.

“We have a lot of young people moving in and they don’t have a whole lot of money to decorate their suites,” Woolley said.

The finalists were also provided a video camera to blog about their design process on the competition website,

Daniel Meloche, who designed a two-bedroom condo, said the competition was a big challenge, but a valuable opportunity.

“I think it’s really important just to really show what you can do, because sometimes you don’t get that chance to get yourself out there,” he said. “Experience is what really counts in this industry.”

Karen Wong, who designed one of the smaller units, agreed.

“Especially for young designers, they need to have a break and a little bit of exposure, so this would be a great opportunity for them.”

The suites opened for public viewing Jan. 19 and will remain open from noon to 5 p.m. every day except Fridays until the competition ends Feb. 20.

The grand prize and fan favourite winners will be announced Feb. 28.

To view the suites, visit the Morgan Crossing Presentation Centre, 103-15775 Croydon Dr.

Those who cast a vote on site for their favourite design will be automatically entered to win an iPad or big-screen TV.

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