Solent students are celebrating winning two categories in the National Design Awards.

The National Design Academy (NDA) competition received hundreds of entries, and was centred on the launch of Dulux Colour of the Year 2020 – Tranquil Dawn. The judges provided two challenging briefs to choose from.

BA (Hons) Interior Design Decoration students, Amelia Hunter and Phoebe Wright scooped the Residential and Commercial category awards respectively, and Molly Clayton was highly commended by judges.

“My design was based around a concept of the future human,” says Phoebe, 21, from Eastleigh. “Therefore I wanted the space to reflect that, so I created an area with a futuristic and escapism feel to it, with curved fixtures and seating to keep the space organic.”

“Winning was such a huge achievement for me as I do have a unique style and the design/concept was rather extraordinary. For a huge company like Dulux and the NDA to appreciate my design was very rewarding! I really wasn’t expecting to win the competition at all! So I was over the moon when I found out and couldn’t wait to share with everyone as it was the first time I had participated in anything of this sort.”

“I wanted to design something we hadn’t done before,” 20-year-old Molly from Peterborough explains. “So I decided to design a spa. When given the brief it was specified that we had to use Tranquil Dawn, on 50% of the surfaces. This colour, to me, stood out as a colour that would work well in a relaxed, spa environment, so this is what I developed. I was so pleased and proud to be commended by such amazing design professionals.”

Amelia adds: “I wanted the space to have an analogue charm to it that many homes had in decades gone by. There was no television, computer or laptops imbedded in the design process, instead a record player, book shelves and an architect’s chest for art supplies. The outside terrace space also mimics this analogue feel, with a wooden summer house equipped with board games to allow the inside space to flow seamlessly into the outside.

“I was really shocked when I found out I’d won, followed by feeling really proud of myself – and in reflection realising how much hard work I had really put into the project. The competition win was a really lovely surprise, and made it all worth it.”

Judges, Marianne Shillingford, Creative Director at Dulux, and Anthony Rayworth, NDA Director of Design Studies, provided the students with feedback.

Of Phoebe and Amelia’s designs they said:

“What can we say…other than AMAZING! Your [Phoebe] vision of a truly modern space to enjoy a fully immersive experience of relaxed playful escapism captures the mood of the moment perfectly. Your rendering is exceptional and use of fluid form, materials, light and colours a true delight. A worthy winner indeed!

“Amelia is a worthy winner and her style is distinctive and exceptional.  The confident use of colour and its expression across every element with confidence and sensitivity cemented the decision to award her the prize for residential design.”

The winners will receive £250 in Amazon vouchers plus a day at Dulux HQ with the Dulux Academy to immerse themselves in a world of colour, including a special trend forecasting workshop and the chance to create and name their very own paint colour.