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Press Release  
Release Date: Tuesday, January 3, 2012 11:18 AM
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Media Contacts:
Rachel Mann
Communications Specialist
Taja Ellis
Office of University Communications
Howard’s Interior Design Students Victorious in MADE: In America Student Design House

WASHINGTON (December 5, 2011) –A group of Howard University’s interior design students recently won the first Student Design House Competition sponsored by The Washington Design Center and the MADE: In America Foundation. The team competed against four schools from the Washington region: Anne Arundel Community College, James Madison University, George Washington University and Montgomery College.

Team Howard included Mark Watkins as faculty advisor and interior design students Naada Favitsou-Boulandi, Omar Tulloch, Karen Ennis, Alicia Johnson, Naomi Black, and Bretagne Blair. The purpose of the Design House competition was to challenge young designers to re-interpret classic American interior design for the 21st Century through the use of American-made products.

Students developed their visions in rooms of The Washington Design Center. In their winning production, Team Howard re-created an “Old World Library” featuring custom millwork, such as the mantle over the fireplace that was designed and fabricated by the team.

“We were asked to pick a room in the Washington Design Center, identify a problem about the room’s design, figure out a solution, and then design it,” said Favitsou-Boulandi, a junior.

The team completed their vision of the room with high-end furnishings and fabrics from the collections of top designers showcased at the center.

Bretagne Blair, a senior, was overwhelmed by the announcement. “We put so much effort and time into this project. We didn’t know what to expect,” she said.  

Howard’s undergraduate Interior Design program focuses on the function and quality of interior environments by considering aesthetic, technical, social and cultural aspects of the built environment. The program prepares students for further study in interior design and equips them with the skills and knowledge to serve as corporate design team members. The Howard University Art Department is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD). Learn more at

About Howard

Howard University is a private research university that is comprised of 13 schools and colleges. Founded in 1867, students pursue studies in more than 120 areas leading to undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees. Since 1998, the University has produced two Rhodes Scholars, two Truman Scholars, a Marshall Scholar, 24 Fulbright Scholars and 11 Pickering Fellows. Howard also produces more on campus African-American Ph.D. recipients than any other university in the United States. For more information on Howard University, call 202-238-2330, or visit the University’s Web site at

About The Washington Design Center

Dedicated to providing the finest in home furnishings to the design trade, The Washington Design Center houses over 60 wholesale residential, commercial and building products showrooms. Considered the mid-Atlantic region’s largest resource and destination for the design industry, The Washington Design Center works closely with designers to guarantee consumers the best possible luxury shopping experience. Learn more about The Washington Design Center, its showrooms, programs and special events at 202.646.6100 or visit the Design Center online at

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