Interior Design

DCTC Interior Design Program Director’s Article Featured in ASID Publication


Anne Farniok, ASID, CID, LEED AP, CIP, Interior Design Program Director at DCTC authors magazine article.

Anne Farniok, ASID, CID, LEED AP, CIP, Interior Design Program Director at DCTC authors magazine article

The fall edition of Design Directions, ASID Minnesota’s 2015 Showcase Home magazine features DCTC’s Interior Design Instructor, Anne Farniok.  Farniok’s article entitled, The Interior Design Path and Educational Partnerships, focused anneinsertpicon the importance of Interior Design education.

Farniok notes, “Individuals looking for an education in interior design have a number of options in our state. Understanding the best path for each student requires study of course delivery and the desired student outcome,” she adds “The history of the programs and their changes may also play into choosing the best option for the individual.”

In her article Farniok also states that Interior Design education has evolved significantly since the inception of the profession in the early 1900s.  The trademark founder of interior design, Elsie De Wolfe, began work as a professional decorator in 1905, and the following year Frank Alvah Parsons established the first academic interior design program in the United States.  Interior Design education in the state of Minnesota began with a land grant university, the University of Minnesota.  In the early ’70s, programs were established by what is now the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system.

Today the interior design industry is still serviced by Dakota County Technical College, Alexandria Technical College and Century College. In subsequent years additional educational options became available from private entities such as Brown College (no longer in existence), The Art Institute of Minnesota, Dunwoody College of Technology, and St. Catherine’s University.

Professional organizations for interior designers in the United States began in 1957 with the formation of the US National Society of Interior Designers (NSID). NSID, along with the American Institute of Interior Designers (AID), were the predecessors to our current American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). The American Institute of Kitchen Dealers (AIKD), now the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), was established in 1963. The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) was founded in 1994 as the result of a merger of the Institute of Business Designers (IBD), the International Society of Interior Designers (ISID), and the Council of Federal Interior Designers (CFID).  In the 1970s both The Foundation for Interior Design Educational Research (FIDER), now known as the Council for ASID.

To read Farniok’s article in its entirety, visit ASID’s Design Directions website at

anneimagetwoDCTC’s award winning NKBA accredited AAS Interior Design Program is a challenging course of study for students preparing to enter the interior design industry.  In the classroom, emphasis is placed on acquiring hands on knowledge and skills to design functional and aesthetically engaging environments.  The DCTC Curriculum is architecturally based and explores spatial designs and embellishments.  All aspects of space–scale, proportion, configuration, lighting, textures, material and colors are studied in relation to their effect on human well being.  Technical skills are also gained in the latest computer aided design and building information management software, 3D visualization and graphics.

Graduates of the DCTC Interior Design program leave the program with a solid technical foundation and have the skills to collaborate with fellow professionals and deliver sustainable interior environments matched to the needs of their clients.  Students also have the option to transfer Interior Design credits to a four year university.  According to ISEEK the average wage in this industry in the Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro area is $19.96 and hour with top earners in the field at the $38.00/per hour range.

Students studying interior design  at DCTC vary from the recent high school graduate to retirees.  Many students that attend DCTC have already acquired a bachelor’s degree but want a career change.  DCTC offers students credits for prior learning, financial aid, scholarship opportunities, work study as well as student worker positions.  To provide students more options, night courses are being considered for fall, 2016.  Please contact Meghan Hendrickson or call her at 651-423-8414.

For more information about DCTC’s Interior Design program visit the website at DCTC Interior Design.



Interior Designers in High Demand

I often write about what we’re doing at the college to educate and inspire our students, but today I thought I should write about something heavy on my mind.  The challenge of late is being able to meet our industry’s demand for our graduates.   One of the reasons is that the twin cities (according to Forbes magazine) is #12 of 20 Building Boom Towns in the nation.  You can read the article here.  We have been receiving requests for our graduates from all over the state and Wisconsin.  If you’re a current or prospective student there’s no time greater time greater than the present to get your degree!

Organic Architecture and Interiors

Owatonna Bank

Early this spring Interior Design students at DCTC enjoyed a field trip to two significant historic icons of two of America’s most famous designers. First stop was the Owatonna, Minnesota bank (currently a Wells Fargo branch) designed by famed Chicago architect Louis Sullivan in 1908. The form follows function directness and simplicity he was known for is obvious in its simple shape. It was to be the first of Sullivan’s “jewel boxes”. With limited entries and high windows it feels like a secure place to bank. Yet it also exhibits an unbelievable richness of applied ornament of sculpted terra cotta on richly textured brick. The interior space is vast and impressive, flooded by light and with huge chandeliers, locally inspired murals, and stained-glass windows designed by Louis J. Millet . Our second location was the last hotel designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, Sullivan’s one-time protégé . Located in Mason City, Iowa, the Historic Park Inn Hotel has been completely restored as a boutique hotel after years of hard times and neglect. The lobby area illustrates Wright’s signature use of “compression and expansion” to create a sense of both intimacy and drama through the use of different ceiling heights.  You can read more about the hotel at Both locations showed the students examples of famous, historic buildings integrating architecture and interior design in a way that is still noteworthy after over 100 years.

FLW Hotel- Mason City


Patricia Undlin, a 1982 graduate of the Interior Design program and a longstanding advisory board member, has led an extensive career in the interior design industry. Recently she worked with a client to commission a large-scale triptych painting for a home in La Crosse, Wisconsin. Read more about her great art adventure here:

Celebrating the life of Elaine Meisch



The Star Tribune published a wonderful obituary for Elaine Meisch, our program’s founder. May she rest in peace. Our faculty and students are working hard to continue the vision that she started for our program in 1970.

Icon of American History Preserved

010-drayton hall

A recent visit to Charleston, South Carolina provided deeper insight into architecture and interior space built during the 17th and 18th century in America.  Founded in 1738, Drayton Hall is the oldest preserved plantation house in America that’s still open to the public and a masterpiece of Georgian-Palladian architecture. It is operated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. The NTHP opted to preserve rather than restore the historic home which was obtained in 1974 from the family estate.  The original interior spaces of Drayton’s palace were finished with the finest examples of European and Charleston-made material goods, furniture, a wealth of imported ceramics, and fashionable artwork. Today we are left with amazing architectural millwork and ceiling details.  Notice the broken pediment above the fireplace with egg and dart molding.   I am constantly in awe at these historic structures and the craftsmanship that went into their creation.  I would definitely recommend a visit to learn firsthand about this classic structure.  Read more about Drayton Hall.   08-Drayton Hall  09 Drayton Hall  07- Drayton Hall

Design Inspiration in Costa Rica

Costa Rican Rain Forest

Nothing inspires design like travel and experiencing new visual stimulation.  I am continually encouraging my interior design students to see the world.  Recently I journeyed with my family to the country of Costa Rica. The experience gave new meaning to the term chromotherapy.  The color of the waterfall is affected by the mineral quartz, a bit of a contrast to the iron ore waterfalls we see in northern Minnesota.

Quartz Blue         Textural Differences

beach texture  beach splashing



Restoration of a Neo-Classic Townhome


Nathaniel_Russell_House_(Stair)  Dining Room, Nathaniel Russell House

A trip to Charleston, SC offers one a plethora of historic architecture.  One of the structures I recently explored is the Nathaniel Russell House.  The home is widely recognized as one of America’s most important neoclassical dwellings and has been restored to it’s 1808 grandeur.

Next week you can read about a historic mansion outside of Charleston and compare and contrast the styles that were built within a 50 year span. Note the progression in furnishings from the elaborate rococo ornamentation (Chippendale styled chair from Drayton Hall) to the refinement seen in the Sheraton dining chair used in this home. Attenuated legs, contrasting woods, and complex inlays embody the neoclassic style.

Compare these with the Charleston collection by Baker Furniture.  The Baker furniture piece is aptly named the Russell Chair.  The 3rd chair below in the white is Barbara Barry’s bracelet chair for Henredon.  Do you see a correlation of design inspiration?

017- Chippendale Nathaniel Russell  016- Sheraton Nathaniel Russell


chippendale        russell-dining-chairs  bracelet chair

Scholarship Support from NEWH


Kailee Helget, a 2nd year student recently received a scholarship from the local chapter of the Network of Hospitality professionals.  Kailee has been a star student since she arrived following in her aunt, Betty Ravnik’s footsteps.  Kailee has been interning this spring in Mankato and was offered a full-time job prior to her graduation attesting to her skill.  Betty is an alum from the program and current Interior Design Instructor at Alexandria Technical College.

CONGRATULATIONS Kailee! You can read more about NEWH and Kailee’s award here.

Commercial Studio Projects

CommI Office3 CommI Office CommI Office2 CommI Office4

Check out these great projects from our Commercial Studio students!
The project was to design a corporate office for a PR firm in Minneapolis. The students created floorplans and reflected ceiling plans in AutoCAD, modeled the reception area including a custom reception desk in SketchUp, and put together material boards with furniture and finishes.