July 25, 2011
Kristie Avery and Drew Bortles, BINT ’12, take home first place and honorable mention at the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Awards Competition
As a Boston native, Kristie Avery, BINT ’12, understands the design needs of urban families. The quick pace of city life combined with the pressures of the work week requires an especially comfortable, relaxing home space.
This theory was the basis for her proposal for a hypothetical interior design of an apartment in The Oliver Lofts, a former pickle factory and brewery that was recently turned into a low-income housing project in Mission Hill. Her design was awarded first place in the undergraduate category at the annual International Interior Design Association (IIDA) New England Student Design Awards Competition ceremony on June 22. Classmate Drew Bortles, BINT ’12, received an honorable mention for his design.
Avery said she was inspired by the idea of synthesized yet distinctive rooms, similar to the designs of early 20th century architect Adolf Loos. “Between the kitchen and the study room, I have a connecting bookshelf, and I used the family’s things and books to kind of create visual bearings,” she said. “[I] created their dining room table to kind of merge in with the floor of the kitchen.”
Avery designed each room’s lighting plan with function in mind: The kitchen has task and spot lighting so family members can focus on cutting up veggies and not their fingers, and the living room has dimmer, more subtle lighting, creating an obscured retreat from everyday city life. She said much of her design also came from Loos’ idea of interrelated spatial volumes.
Bortles’ hypothetical home features a lofted master bedroom that looks down at a comfortable lodging area complete with a library on the lower level, and with emphasis on concrete floors and big windows. “The inspiration for my designs came from what would kind of be thought of as a traditional loft—sort of just putting a living quarters in a space that was used for something before,” he said.
Although his design is very open for the most part, Bortles said the upstairs loft can be closed off from the rest of the house for more privacy if desired. “You can close off the whole thing, but it can be opened up.” he said.
Bortles appreciates all the motivation he received from his professors in the interior design department, who he said continually push him to work harder. Avery agreed that the motivation she received from her professors was crucial to her success, and noted that she was just happy to be recognized.
“I never expected to win. And just having acknowledgement from my professors is an honor in itself,” Avery said.
- Dennis Nealon