Iowa State interior design student wins national design competition

Joseph Danielsen

Joseph Danielsen is just starting his junior year in interior design, but already has won a major national competition. Download photo by Christopher Gannon.

AMES, Iowa — Joseph Danielsen, a junior in interior design at Iowa State University, won the 2015 Raymond Waites Design Competition sponsored by the International Furnishings and Design Association Educational Foundation (IFDA/EF).

The national contest is intended “to foster creative spirit, visual inspiration and rooms that have an emotional warmth, … are comfortable, friendly … and display an ageless mix of design influences reflecting various cultures,” said designer Raymond Waites — owner of the eponymous New York-based home and design shop — for whom the award is named.

This year’s competition challenged students to design an up-to-2,500-square-foot luxury “dream home entertainment area” featuring an indoor gourmet kitchen and attached outdoor entertainment space with a pool. Designs had to include both traditional and modern elements along with an original outdoor furniture product. The contest was judged by Waites; Wilma Hammett, professor emeritus and executive director of the Extension and Community Association Foundation and Family and Consumer Sciences Foundation at North Carolina State University, Raleigh; and Joyce Poynton, chair of the IFDA/EF.

Danielsen, Batavia, Illinois, won the competition with his “Delaney Project: Eclectic European Oasis in Glencoe,” which “focused on the merging of traditional European styles to create a luxurious, eclectic entertainment environment” for a fictional professional couple living in Glencoe, Illinois.

Danielsen will receive a $5,000 cash prize and an expense-paid trip to the 2015 High Point International Home Furnishings Market, the nation’s largest furnishings industry trade show, in October. The award will be presented and Danielsen’s winning submission will be displayed at an Oct. 19 reception co-hosted by Waites.

Kitchen rendering

Kitchen by Danielsen.

European, eclectic and elegant 

Danielsen incorporated French Provincial and English Neo-Palladian architecture and interior design elements in a natural palette of cream, bronze and green. The kitchen features a French country-inspired bronze range hood, ivory-painted cabinetry and laurel-green granite countertops, an expansive central island with Louis XVI chairs reimagined as island counter stools, and iron lantern pendant lighting.

From the kitchen, Palladian doors open onto the attached outdoor living room beneath a classical arcade with a stone fireplace to one side, and an outdoor bar and grill to the other. The outdoor living room leads to an outdoor dining space beneath a timber pergola overlooking a symmetrical swimming pool and spa with pool-side lounge and sitting area. Limestone architectural mouldings, ivory columns and stone flooring complement the red brick exterior walls.

“I sought to create an expansive entertainment space that was timeless and sophisticated, andaddressed the needs for this imaginary client. My design features symmetrical balance in every space and modern conveniences combined with classic elegance,” Danielsen said.

Exterior rendering

Outdoor living space by Danielsen.

For the required original product design, Danielsen created a custom outdoor sofa and a pair of matching armchairs inspired by 18th-century armchairs and Early French Neoclassical settees.

High-end future

Danielsen learned about the competition late and had just two weeks — after the end of spring semester — to develop his submission. As “an extremely detail-oriented perfectionist,” this was a particular challenge, but one that “would have been ridiculous for me to pass up,” he said.

His painstakingly detailed floor plans, elevations and color renderings — produced using AutoDesk Revit Architecture and Sketchup, and enhanced in Adobe Photoshop — together with his elegant design and statement of goals helped set Danielsen apart, the judges said.

Danielsen plans to pursue a career in high-end residential interior design and hopes to one day design his own furniture line and textile collection, he said.