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Winning Patterns Emerge

Top design students embrace feel-good textures and nature-inspired patterns 

Written by Doris Athineos

Looking for clues about what’s  hot in the design world today? Meet the talented winners of our annual Traditional Home Design Incubation competition, which supports young design talent. Sponsored by the innovative fabric firm Fabricut, the competition challenged aspiring designers to redefine traditional style for a contemporary home.

Several common themes emerged from the mood boards and fabric samples created by skillful students who attend the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Nature is in. Ditto dimensional textures and painterly abstract patterns emphasizing patina or an artist’s hand.

“We’re hungry for textures because we’re touching cold, flat screens all day,” says student designer Jessica Amsberry, one of the five members of Team Darlene, the winning group. (Team Darlene/f. left Morgan De Paoli, Brittany Reidy, Jessica Amsberry, Hannah Golden and Celeste Buck.) “We really crave tactility,” agrees Hannah.

Team Darlene impressed  award judges (Fabricut vice president Nina Butkin, interior designer Patrick Hamilton, and TH editors) by combining rich, neutral colors with pops of eye-catching metallic. The nubby textures, see-through sheers, and design concept (“viewing nature through a modern lens”) were also praised. “I love the beautiful layering of color,” Butkin says. “The collection feels painterly and handmade.”

Team Darlene’s winning fabrics and wallpaper designs (pictured below) will launch in 2017 as a capsule collection under Fabricut’s coveted upscale label—Stroheim.

Traditional Home’s Design Incubation winners, Team Darlene of the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) digitally applied their winning patterns to photographs of rooms originally designed by interior designer Bradshaw Orrell, a SCAD grad.

Using feedback ("critique") from Fabricut's vice president Nina Butkin as well as New York interior designer Patrick Hamilton, the students tweaked their textile designs.

The designs were evaluated based on the quality of the work and whether the design was both new and classical–creative classicism

In Team Darlene's own words: "We view nature through a modern lens with a focus on moody colors and textures. Human nature craves tactility so we are excited to create a living enviornment that celebrates materiality and the artist's hand.


Team MMock ("Narratives within Tactility")

From left: Olivia Miller, Karlyn Allenbrand, Mallory O'Donnell, Marissa Carey and Christine Kopper

All hands on deck while Team Mmock explores the possibilities of poetic decay and storytelling through the textural qualities of fabric. Drawing inspiration from New Orleans and Provencal, the collection had a vintage vibe and/or BoHo chic aesthetic.


2 Chain Stichez (above) focuses on clean, crisp and understated design that marry "exotic" and "handwork."


Team: 2 Chain Stichez ("Namaste at Home/Presence within a space") The team consisted of Taylor Vennel, Charley Simpson, EMily Luking, Liz Nagel and Alia Dadarkar. 

Inspired by Islam and Cuba, team Global Connections offered a range of rich warm and cool hues. "Our goal was to create a unique, vibrant living space," said student designer Alissa Berkhan.

Global Connection in action.


Inspired by the sights and sounds of Cuba, Global Connection's Danielle Chan is as vibrant as her designs.


Global Connection (from left): Alissa Berkhan, Danielle Chan, Jessica Enfinger and Dionis Carter

Team Darlene working out the kinks.

Weaving shuttle rests on fabric designed by the inning Team Darlene. Shown here "Sumac" and "Thyme" which is coming to a Stroheim showroom near you in 2017!