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Los Angeles Haunt Couture 2017


This year’s Haunt Couture 2017 drew its inspiration from a century old world of movies. The theme was “ENVELOPE PLEASE: Hollywood to Bollywood” and what a show the teams put up this year! We had 14 teams participate, bringing their interpretations of 5 different genres of movies – musical, horror, sci-fi, film noir and animation. Each presentation was spectacular and mind-blowing but, as always, there can only be a few winners.

Here are the photos and video from the event.

The winners of each category were:


Best Musical/comedy: Cory Grosser + Associates, sponsored by Haworth and Arc-Com


Best Horror: Wolcott, sponsored by West Elm Workspace w/Inscape and HBF Textiles


Best Film noir: Cal State University – Long Beach, sponsored by Kimball and LDI/Enviroleather


Best Sci-fi: HKS, sponsored by Mohawk Group and Momentum Textiles


Best Animation: Cal State University – Northridge, sponsored by 2010 Office Furniture and Mayer Fabrics

The grand winner of the evening, the Best Picture award went to HKS, sponsored by Mohawk Group and Momentum Textiles

The People’s choice winner was bagged by Cal State University – Northridge, sponsored by 2010 Office Furniture and Mayer Fabrics

A BIG thank you to all coordinators, event sponsors, team sponsors, fabric sponsors, participants and attendees – this show couldn’t be such a grand success without you. We had over 600 attendees and we had such a blast having you all together for the show! Special thanks to the committee members: Amanda Colton, Anuma Marr, Dan Nickerson, Goli Nagdali, Janelle Budoy, Kasey Smith, Katie Akker, Laureen Baldyga, Lindsey Doucette, Mandy Hert, Michael Brooke, Nicole Gemma, Patrick Orr, Sean Kim, Steve Sudeth, Susan Suhar, Terri Burkhart and Tina Carrillo, and our co-chairs Janani Kannan and Ray Irmer.

We hope you enjoyed the show and the special dance troupe that was featured this year, along with the Bollywood routine by all our committee members, led by co-chair Jan Kannan.

Thanks again to all who worked on, supported and attended Haunt this year – we’ll be back in 2018 with a new theme and more fun!

LA City Center Student Design Expo


The LA City Center Student Design Expo brought together students and design professionals for an engaging Thursday evening on November 15th. AECOM graciously hosted this event in their stunning DTLA office. The students and recent graduates shared impressive work and confirmed that the future of design is pushing boundaries and is as exciting as ever.

Click here to see more photos of the event.


We were lucky to have the IIDA SoCal Vice Presidents of Student Affairs, Jessica Collins with HOK and Edgardo Caceras with Gensler, judge the students’ work. Each student presented their work to the duo and after much deliberation, they awarded the following prizes:

First Place
Wei Qiu (Otis)

People’s Choice
Billie Herwig (UCLA)

Honorable Mentions
Chris Ko (CSULB)
Sanya Jain (UCLA)

Congratulations to the winners and all of the participants for sharing their incredible work!


Next in the evening was the panel discussion. Amanda Kaleps with Wolcott Architecture | Interiors moderated the discussion. The discussion highlighted various aspects of the design world like developing a personal brand, the future of design, and evolving in the industry. The distinguished panel included:

Sarah Devine | AECOM

Barbara Dunn | Gensler

Ryan Saghian | Ryan Saghian Interiors

Riz Walker | Omgivning     

This event would not have been possible without the support from the event sponsors, Strategic Furniture Group, Crossville, and Tangram. Also, the evening was made extra special by the creative drink bar sponsored by Steelcase and the delicious appetizers sponsored by EEi Project Management. Thank you to our generous sponsors for their support of the students in our design community and all of IIDA SoCal.

Finally, thank you to all of the LA City Center volunteers for their tremendous effort in organizing a great event and all of the students and design professionals who joined us for this event. 

Event Chair:
Jillian Hensiek

Event Volunteers:
Megan Jobe, Marcy Paterik, Megan Zell, Sheila Shenasi, Brian Schaller, and Andrea Amondson.

Event Sponsors:
Strategic Furniture Group

Food Sponsor:
EEi Project Management

Bar Sponsor:

All the best and happy holidays!

Jason Shepley and Ali Dahl
LA City Center Co-Chairs

San Diego’s 2017 Haute Couture Fashion Show

Broadway Takes The Catwalk was the theme for this year’s IIDA Haute Couture Fashion Show at the House of Blues on November 2nd. It was the biggest show yet with 17 professional A&D teams and 4 student teams crafting outfits inspired by famous musicals from the Broadway stage. These amazing outfits were made entirely from commercial interior design materials from each team’s sponsor or sponsors and the outcome was spectacular!

Click here to see photos from the event!

The models walked, danced, and even crawled down the runway to songs selected from each Broadway musical to show off not only their outfits but their stage presence. The judges had quite a difficult task and we were happy to welcome back five judges including Greg Bledsoe, morning news anchor for NBC 7/39; Laura Cain, radio personality from the Jeff and Jer Showgram; Sarah Kim, interior design instructor at SDSU; Natalia Worden, Design Program Director at Design Institute; Jennie Edwards, photography and video Rockstar along with author of Empowered You. We had one new judge, Alan Lopez, owner of Shore Total Office. Our teams competed for a total of six awards. Five awards were based on scores the teams received from our esteemed panel of judges and they include Best Haute Couture, Best Theme Inspiration, Best Craftsmanship, Best Showmanship, Best Student Ensemble. The People’s Choice Award was presented to the team with the most votes from the audience.


Best Haute Couture – FPBA/Pacific 33 (Pirates of Penzance)


Best Theme Inspiration – ID Studios (Wicked)


Best Craftsmanship – HBG (Hair)


Best Showmanship – Ware Malcomb (CATS)


People’s Choice – Mesa College (Les Miserables)


Best Student Ensemble – Mesa College (Les Miserables)

Following is a list of the teams and their musical inspiration in order of their appearance on the runway:

1. Ware Malcomb – CATS sponsored by Knoll
2. Pacific 33 + FPBA – Pirates of Penzance sponsored by Arcadia
3. iGroup- The King & I – sponsored by MDC
4. RWID – Evita – sponsored by GMBI
5. Gensler – Kinky Boots sponsored by Designtex + Coalesse
6. Carrier Johnson – Hello Dolly sponsored by Mannington + Caeserstone
7. HBG/Steelcase – Hair sponsored by BKM + Steelcase
8. FS Design – Phantom of the Opera sponsored by Crawford & Company
9. LPA – Mamma Mia sponsored by J&J
10. DGA – Chicago sponsored by Humanscale + Bernhardt
11. Delawie – Rock of Ages sponsored by 3 Form + Momentum
12. DesignCorp – Jersey Boys sponsored by OCS Lighting
13. ID Studios – Wicked sponsored by Crossville
14. ACRM – Le Cage Aux Folles sponsored by Behr + Milliken
15. Davy Architecture – South Pacific sponsored by Versteel
16. Smith Consulting – Oklahoma sponsored by Dal Tile + Mohawk
17. ASID – Rocky Horror Picture Show sponsored by Emser Tile

Student Teams:
1. Design Institute – My Fair Lady sponsored by Sherwin Williams
2. Art Institute – The Lion King sponsored by Philadelphia Contract
3. Mesa College – Les Miserables sponsored by Mayer Fabrics
4. SDSU – Grease sponsored by Tarkett

Thank you to all of our teams and sponsors for making this such a highly anticipated and exciting evening. We look forward to seeing what you’ll create for next year’s show.

Event Co-Chairs

Rebecca Hettter/Coalesse

Shannon McIntyre/Gensler

Jennifer Sun/FS Design Group

Event Committee

Alison Perkins, Annette Lievers, Courtney Karlin, Denise Colestock Tamez, Diana Tracy, Hallie Putterman, Jessie Pooler, Kari Schultz, Kimberly McCready, Leslie Harris, Leza Hutchinson, Rachelle Wittmayer, and Shelley Horton.

Happy Thanksgiving!

photo copyright Elle Decor

Before we go on our Thanksgiving break, we want to know…

How will you be decorating your Thanksgiving table this year?

Enter for a chance to WIN a Starbucks gift card & a member spotlight! Post a picture of your creative Thanksgiving table on Instagram and the best, well-designed table wins!

Rules: tag your place of work, tag IIDASoCal, use the hashtag #iidasocal and have fun! 

Photos must be posted to Instagram by Monday, Nov. 27, 2018, 5pm PT. You must be an IIDA SoCal Member to win. Winner will be notified the week of December 4th.

Get inspired! From glitter thanksgiving ideas to tiered stand décor, check out Elle Décor’s article on sophisticated thanksgiving decorations for a stylish holiday! Click here to view.

A BIG THANK YOU to all, we’re very thankful for the Interior Design community we have in Southern California and all of our supporters.

Wishing everyone a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

2017 Student Charette Recap


A tranquil trek through Noguchi Garden in Costa Mesa is a splendid way to spend a bright sunny morning. However, just a few steps away, you would hear the buzz of activity and creativity. The 2017 IIDA Southern California Student Design Charette was held on Saturday, November 4th and hosted by Pivot Interiors in Costa Mesa.

Click here to see photos from the event!

After a delicious and energizing breakfast, generously provided by Maharam, thirty of the finest students from Interior Design Programs in schools throughout Southern California were grouped into six teams and challenged to design a New Holistic concept to include a Spa, Yoga, Beauty Salon, Retail & Organic restaurant. This project was located at The Bloc, a redesigned “anti-mall” in the heart of the historical Financial District in Downtown Los Angeles. The teams had just 4.5 hours and limited resources to collaborate and come up with creative design solutions.

When time was called, each design team had only 5 minutes to present their exciting projects to a distinguished panel of judges that included:

Aram Arakelian, Founder – Environmental Contracting Corporation
Susan Molina, Principal – One Design Collective
Robyn Taylor, Director of Design – Westgroup Designs
Sandi Warneke, Design Principal & Studio Director – Gensler

While the judges deliberated, Clarence Vong, from last year’s Charette winning team, gave a brief inspiring presentation detailing his further win at the Regional Competition and his trip to Chicago. Edward Wodill and Trish Drummy of Pivot Interiors also spoke with the students at length about the design industry and careers.

While the exhausted students happily feasted on a bountiful lunch, provided by Daltile, the judges conducted interviews with each team to allow them to further explain their concepts and inspirations. To culminate this exhausting and exciting day, the 1st and 2nd place winners were finally announced. Prizes will be presented at The Calibre Awards on May 18, 2018.

The winners are:


First Place Team – $10,000 Scholarship Award

From left-to-right with Co-VPs Jessica Collins and Edgardo Caceres
Rachel Escobedo, Art Institute of California – San Diego
Amanda Ortiz, Chaffey College
Joshua Chang, Otis College of Art + Design
Kacie Thomas, Interior Designers Institute
Tsz Yan Leung, Mt. San Antonio College


Second Place Team– $4,000 Scholarship Award

From left-to-right with Co-VPs Jessica Collins and Edgardo Caceres
Natalia Kim, Interior Designers Institute
Isabel Alfaro, Art Institute – San Diego
Ellen To, Mt. San Antonio College
Avana Grayr, California State University Long Beach
Brianna Johnson, UCLA Extension/Cal Poly Pomona

Edgardo Caceres and Jessica Collins, IIDA SoCal’s VP’s of Student Affairs, thank the hosts, sponsors, students and volunteers for helping to make this event a huge success!

Event Sponsors:

Daltile – Zoe Rahimi-Nolen  & KJ Lodge’
Maharam – Vanessa Veloso
Pivot Interiors – Edward Wodill & Trish Drummy
Environmental Contracting Corporation – Aram Arakelian

Event Volunteer:
Kenneth Balaski

Turning Point Series


IIDA SoCal Professional Development proudly presents the new Turning Point Series–taking professional growth and development to a whole new level! 

Are you ready for TRANSFORMATION on your path of professional development?

Are you ready to SET yourself UP for SUCCESS for the new year? 

Are you ready to INSPIRE the change you wish to see in our industry? 

If your answer is yes to any of 3 questions above,  YOUR VOICE is needed at the upcoming Turning Point Series, join a dynamic group of main speakers and local panelists in an interactive workshop format and take the next step towards your turning point! 

Click here to reserve your seat and get your ticket. 

Inland Empire NeoConnect was a Huge Success


IIDA Inland Empire hosted its 3rd annual NeoConnect Tradeshow on October 3rd, 2017 at the California Education & Performing Arts Center in Ontario. The event was a huge success with 53 participating vendors showcasing products from over 70 manufacturers. We had attendees from 22 local Architect & Design firms, 6 furniture dealerships and 4 schools in addition to many facilities managers and end users.

See the video from the event!


The atmosphere was very upbeat and attendees were enjoying themselves by networking with local industry professionals and seeing all the new products introduced at NeoCon in Chicago earlier this year. Many designers expressed their appreciation of being able to see these new products in a local setting.


A student hour was held from 4:30-5:30 consisting of a student sample swap with materials donated by local manufacture reps and a panel discussion with 5 local design professionals. IIDA student members were also able to display their work for the many design professionals attending the event. The students work was judged by our panelists and Nikki Trozzi was awarded with $50 gift card for her work.


Additionally, a Student membership was raffled off and won by Josephine Wasef of Chaffey College. An iWatch sponsored by Knoll was raffled off to attending designers and was won by Doug Lau of Brian R Bloom Architects.

We would like to thank our committee for the time and effort they spent putting this great event together:
Amy Taylor – Interface
Stephen Friedman – TriWest
Suzi Herrmann – MDC Wall
Treniece Fry – Student Chaffey College
Abril Reyes – Quality Office Furnishings, Inc
Marissa Loudon – Designer

And also to our volunteers for the day of the event:
Treniece Fry – Student Chaffey College
Abril Reyes – Quality Office Furnishings
Mary Buck – Student Chaffey College

Thank you to our Panelists for donating their time for our Students:
Blanca Rivera – Designer
Dona Hutson – Matlock & Associates
Lauren Hollaway – Matlock & Associates
Mel McGowan  – PlainJoe Studios
Bridget McKenzie- PlainJoe Studios
Arcel R. Punsalang  – ArcelDesigns, Inc

Do You Have a Project Worthy of a Design Tour?


Do you have a project worthy of an IIDA SoCal Design Tour? We’re looking for spaces to tour for the design community for 2018 throughout Southern California. Recent IIDA SoCal design tours include: Wilshire Grand Center and Edmunds in Los Angeles, Morgan in Orange County and Carling Communications in San Diego.


If you’d like your space to be considered, please fill out the form here and provide information about the projects and photos. One of our City Center Directors will be in touch soon!