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News Release

Date: September 22, 2005
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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Montgomery College Students Showcase Talents at the 2005 National Symphony Orchestra Decorators’ Show House
Students Create Fresh Air Farmhouse Laundry

PHOTO EDITORS - High-resolution images to accompany this story:
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Montgomery College’s interior design team is once again the only student team participating in this year’s National Symphony Orchestra Decorators’ Show House, which will be open to the public from October 2 through 31, at Hidden Brook Manor, 8295 Alvord Street in McLean, Virginia. The team was invited to participate by the Women’s Committee for the National Symphony Orchestra, organizers of the prestigious annual event celebrating interior design.

The students transformed a plain, cream-colored laundry room into a colorful, rustic retreat, entitled “The Fresh Air Farmhouse Laundry.”  The focal point of the laundry room is the mural, which features a landscape of fields and farms nestled among sky and trees.  It is accented by an antique painted chest and hutch, a high-backed prayer chair, and a two-tiered plant stand, which are on loan by the Great British Pine Mine in Kensington, Maryland.  In addition, shelving flanks the existing cabinetry, which was painted to match the antique chest.  Cotton eyelet was selected for a small window treatment and a muted blue-on-blue strei finish was applied to the walls, giving the space the look of chambray. 

“The students truly went above and beyond the call of duty, developing a unique design for a utilitarian room and seeing it through to its completion,” said Chantal Vilmar-Matthews, Montgomery College interior design professor and adviser to this year’s student team.  “Despite a shoestring budget, they worked together, using their own talents, to create a beautiful setting that expresses a true level of professionalism.”

Ten students of various ages and backgrounds worked on the NSO Decorators’ Show House design this year, contributing time, talents, and their collective creativity – Julie Dastvan, interior design team chair and Darnestown resident; Quintece Hill, mural artist and Gaithersburg resident; Gleice Brito, Germantown resident; Claudia Gillespie, Rockville resident; Fusako Kato, Olney resident, Dawn Newman, Silver Spring resident; Patti Richardson, Rockville resident; Dipa Hada Rustum, Rockville resident; Lian Sever, Potomac resident; and Christina Yun, Rockville resident.

Quintece Hill, a Montgomery College interior design student who does part-time freelance drafting and rendering, designed and hand-painted the room’s mural.  Claudia Gillespie provided the fabric, design, and construction of the window treatments.  Claudia Gillespie and Fusako Kato helped construct the shelving, which was embellished by Julie Dastvan and Quintece Hill.  Finally, Dipa Rustum and Julie Dastvan painted the strei finish. 

Donations were provided by Flowers by Angel (fresh flowers), Discovery Galleries (artworks), and the Carapace Corporation (sink).  Other donors included Rene Newman, Mr. Marc Beaudoing, Irma Thomas, Mr. and Mrs. Ozawa, Molly's Meanderings, Dr. Shu-Chih Yang, Mr. and Mrs. Baker, Hill Interiors, Mr. and Mrs. Kato, Jim and Beverly Blondell, Bricepac, Inc., Laurie and Gavin Martin, Sandra Watson, and the families of Fusako Kato and Quintece Hill.

For more information about the NSO Decorators’ Show House, contact (202) 416-8149 or log on to: For more information on Montgomery College’s interior design program, contact Professor Pamela Gragg, program coordinator, at 301-251-7597.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves more than 55,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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