Villa junior wins first place at interior design competition

Tue, Aug 30th 2016 03:40 pm

Melanie Bruning, a junior interior design major at Villa Maria College, was awarded first place in the American Society of Interior Designers' 2016 Student Design Competition.

Bruning designed Riverworks, a Bavarian beer garden located on the banks of the Buffalo River. Using the concept of "gemutlichkeit," the German word for comfort, Bruning incorporated feelings of warmth, friendliness and belonging into her design.

Her choices allowed her to maintain the authenticity, craft and heritage of the traditional German beer garden, which is simply an outdoor area in which beer and local food are served.

Traditional elements were given an updated look by using textural woods, fabrics and metal frame work to create a warm, urban space. By using a neutral palette accented with rich, vibrant blues, she created a calm and comfortable feel that emulated the colors of the Bavarian flag.

The main elements of Bruning's design included a shop;  a main dining hall featuring concrete flooring and Candelaria chandeliers; a bar featuring Bleecker Street pendant lighting, reclaimed antique oak flooring, chip bar stools and steel bar stools with a black coat finish; water front seating; outdoor seating, featuring chestnut table tops and outdoor string lighting

Entries were evaluated in design objectives, aesthetics, functionality and design creativity.

Contest guidelines required submissions to depict a project created during the course of the 2015-16 school year and were to be individual works. Bruning's project was submitted in the commercial design category, which was open to current junior and senior students.

To learn more about Villa Maria College's Interior Design program, visit   

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