Interior Design Students Attend KBIS 2015 in Vegas

Event attracted 125,000+ residential design and construction professionals

Students and faculty in the Interior Design program at Dakota County Technical College attended the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) Jan. 20–22, 2015, at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. Anne Farniok, an interior design instructor, took six of her students to one of the premier design and construction events in the world, giving them an insider’s look at a U.S. industry that employs 7 million people and has a 2016 new construction forecast approaching $1.6 trillion.

In conjunction with the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA), KBIS showcases the latest industry products, trends and technologies. KBIS 2015 co-located with the NAHB International Builders’ Show (IBS), offering access to a full spectrum of vendors and industry news.

Anne Farniok has attended other KBIS events with her students, including KBIS 2013 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. “Attending national trade shows is an amazing way to immerse students in the field of interior design,” Anne said. “Trade shows like KBIS expand their product knowledge, allowing them to come up with the best design solutions possible.”

Meet four interior design students who attended KBIS 2015 in Vegas

Kailee Helget DCTC Interior Design

Kailee Helget

Kailee Helget
  • Age: 20
  • 2012 graduate of Waterford Union High School in Waterford, Wisconsin
  • Hometown: Wind Lake, Wis.
  • Residence now: Divides time between Rosemount, Minn., and Mankato, Minn.
  • Academic program: Interior Design
  • Degree: A.A.S.
  • Graduating from DCTC in May 2015
  • Pastimes and hobbies: Water-skiing, gymnastics, hanging out with friends

Kailee Helget has wanted to be a designer for as long as she can remember. Her aunt recommended the Interior Design program at DCTC—and Kailee liked the idea of completing her degree in two years and getting right to work.

“I enjoy the small class sizes and the one-on-one time with my instructors,” Kailee said. “The environment is more personal, which means I learn better.”

Kailee is looking forward to a career as a residential designer with a focus on kitchen and bath. She landed an internship at The Design Element in the Mankato Design Center by simply walking in the door and asking if they were looking for interns.

On KBIS 2015: “Attending KBIS was really, really good exposure to the industry. I met a lot of people and talked to a lot of different companies about new and upcoming products. Visiting Las Vegas was super-cool, too. We even had some free time to walk the strip.”

Sophia Carlson DCTC Interior Design

Sophia Carlson

Sophia Carlson
  • Age: 20
  • 2012 graduate of Prescott High School in Prescott, Wisconsin
  • Hometown: Prescott, Wis.
  • Residence now: Eagan, Minn.
  • Academic program: Interior Design
  • Degree: A.A.S.
  • Graduating from DCTC in May 2015
  • Pastimes and hobbies: Snowboarding, long-boarding and running (the latter five miles on average)

Sophia Carlson has always had a passion for design; as a child, she created houses out of cardboard for her Polly Pocket dolls. In high school, Sophia completed four years of drafting and AutoCAD to prepare her for college. She started out thinking she wanted to be a residential designer, but fell in love with commercial design while working at Caribou Coffee. She became more intrigued by hospitality design after drafting her own plans for coffee houses.

Sophia’s senior project at DCTC involves creating a design plan for a salon and spa. “I love the hands-on approach to learning in the Interior Design program,” she said. “I chose DCTC over the U of M because I could get in and get out and get to work.”

Sophia is busy searching for an internship opportunity at Twin Cities design firms. Her dream career would take her California working as a commercial designer in Los Angeles or San Diego.

On KBIS 2015: “I loved the experience. I loved learning about all the different vendors and all the new products. One highlight of the trip was when we met Ty Pennington from the show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I visited Las Vegas as a kid, but this time I could really appreciate the architecture.”

Laura Sinclair DCTC Interior Design

Laura Sinclair

Laura Sinclair
  • Age: 24
  • 2009 graduate of Zumbrota High School in Zumbrota, Minnesota
  • Hometown: Zumbrota, Minn.
  • Residence now: Zumbrota, Minn.
  • Academic program: Interior Design
  • Degree: A.A.S.
  • Graduating from DCTC in May 2015
  • Pastimes and hobbies: Acrylic painting and working in her church group

Laura Sinclair grew up in a family that blended the construction trades with fine art. Her dad works in the tile industry and her mom is a painter with an interest in watercolor and acrylic. Laura chose DCTC because she was looking for a hands-on education in design that she should could complete in two years.

“I love the studio classes,” Laura said. “I’ve been flip-flopping between commercial and residential design since starting at DCTC. I did my internship at Interstate Building Supply in Cannon Falls working on kitchen-and-bath projects.”

Laura found a job while still in the Interior Design program. She works on the kitchen-and-bath side of the Tile Superstore & More in Rochester, Minnesota. Her husband, Nick, also works in Rochester for her father’s tile company, but his career goals are centered on becoming a tattoo artist. The couple is making plans to eventually settle in the Rochester area. Laura’s career goals are centered on becoming a good designer with a wide range of knowledge. Like many of her classmates, she has wanted to be a designer since she was a child.

On KBIS 2015: “KBIS was huge. I like that the show included the design side [National Kitchen and Bath Association] of the business and the building side [NAHB International Builders’ Show]. It was great to see both. I went to Las Vegas as a child, but this experience was totally different.”

Bryanna Simon DCTC Interior Design

Bryanna Simon

Bryanna Simon
  • Age: 20
  • 2013 graduate of Prior Lake High School in Prior Lake, Minnesota
  • Hometown: Prior Lake, Minn.
  • Residence now: Prior Lake, Minn.
  • Academic program: Interior Design
  • Degree: A.A.S.
  • Graduating from DCTC in May 2015
  • Pastimes and hobbies: Hanging out with friends and family

Because she was raised in a family of builders, Bryanna Simon has a strong grasp of the collaborative relationship between the design side and the construction side of her chosen profession. Her father and mother are both in the building trades, and her grandmother owned and operated a furniture store in Prior Lake, Minnesota, for years. She sees interior design as a career path that fulfills her desire to have fun, be creative and make a good living.

“I’ve wanted to be a designer my whole life,” Bryanna said. “I love that every day you learn something new and you’re always working on new projects. In our program, everyone’s in the learning process together.”

Bryanna wants her career in residential design to cover everything. She loves the idea of working on every aspect of designing and building a home, from flooring to cabinets to lighting to electrical and more.

On KBIS 2015: “KBIS was a good glimpse of what it will be like to work in the industry. You could see how everything is intertwined. I like how designers and builders bring their plans together.”

KBIS 2015…

About KBIS

The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS) is the world’s largest international trade event dedicated to the kitchen and bath industry. KBIS showcases the latest products and most innovative design ideas that change the industry to meet the needs of the marketplace. This captivating event features the largest array of product displays and demonstrations, professional development courses, keynote & session speeches, interactive roundtable events and the opportunity to network with thousands of industry professionals. The show attracts key decision makers from national and international markets and targets dealers, designers, distributors, retailers, home centers and more. — Courtesy of KBIS

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For more information about Interior Design at DCTC, contact:

Anne Farniok
Interior Design Instructor
651-423-8414

KBIS 2015 PowerPoint

Interior Design Students at KBIS 2015 PowerPoint Presentation