Interior Design Instructor Recognized for Kitchen Designs

Amber Newton, DCTC Interior Design Instructor

Amber Newton at New Spaces wins two Remodeler of Merit Awards (ROMA)

Amber Newton, an adjunct instructor in the Interior Design program at Dakota County Technical College, was the lead designer on two kitchen design projects that won 2014 Remodeler of Merit Awards (ROMA) for New Spaces, a Twin Cities remodeler and home renovation contractor based in Burnsville, Minnesota. Newton’s designs won in two ROMA categories, Kitchens: Under $50,000 and Kitchens: $50,000–$100,000. The awards were presented at the Builders Association of the Twin Cities (BATC) 2014 Building Industry Gala (BIG) Oct. 23 at the Union Depot in St. Paul.

Amber Newton 2014 ROMAThe Remodeler of Merit Awards (ROMA) honor our remodeler members for quality and value in remodeling projects that range from baths, kitchens and additions to whole-house remodels. Professional remodelers judge their peers on creativity in meeting the unique challenges of remodeling, and in successfully meeting the needs, desires, and budgets of their clients. — Courtesy of BATC website

A 1994 graduate of Hastings High School, Newton, 39, earned a B.S. in English from Iowa State University. During her time at Iowa State, she studied abroad in Scotland at Queen Margaret University. After graduating, Newton worked as a marketing analyst at Fingerhut. In 2002, she followed the advice of her best friend and visited the Interior Design program at DCTC.

“I noticed the student project boards on display and was struck that here was something you could do as a job,” Newton said. “Interior design awakened in me a career passion I didn’t know I had.”

She went on to earn an A.A.S. degree in Interior Design from DCTC and served her internship at New Spaces. That opportunity led to her current position as a lead designer. Newton has been with New Spaces for more than 10 years.

“Making spaces beautiful is the easy part.” — Amber Newton, DCTC Interior Design Instructor

In the fall of 2014, Newton returned to DCTC as an adjunct interior design instructor. “I was surprised how comfortable I was with teaching,” she said. “I really, really enjoy it. As an instructor, I want to awaken in my students the same passion I have for interior design.”

Amber Newton resides in Minneapolis with her husband, Randy, an assistant city engineer for Eden Prairie, Minnesota, and their two children, Kate, 7, and Thomas, 4. When she’s not teaching or designing professionally, she loves to cook. One year she made 150 new recipes.

 2014 ROMA: Kitchens: Under $50,000: New Spaces: Mendota Heights
2014 ROMA: Kitchens: $50,000–$100,000: New Spaces: St. Paul

2014 ROMA winning kitchen designFavorite part of life as a professional designer: “I enjoy watching my idea come into reality and the change it brings to families. They can be in the same house and feel like they’ve moved.

Biggest challenge as a professional designer: “Patience. Interior design has so many details. You need to have the patience to know it will all come together in the end.”

Favorite project in her career so far: “The first project I did, an addition and master suite. I was relatively new and felt overwhelmed, but I learned so much and it was a very rewarding project. The St. Paul kitchen I designed for the 2014 ROMA was for that very client.”

Design philosophy: “Design spaces that solve problems, and make life easier and more enjoyable. Making spaces beautiful is the easy part.”

Teaching philosophy: “Teaching is a balance between getting your students the necessary information while keeping it interesting. I want to make connections with my students so that they are inspired to learn more.”

About winning in two 2014 ROMA categories: “It takes a strong team to put together successful projects. My assistant at New Spaces, Jayne Lennon, is a DCTC Interior Design graduate. It’s an honor to be recognized for projects that accomplish client goals and demonstrate your abilities as a designer.”

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