A Formal Sorority Transformation
Written by Tanna Edler, TANNA BY DESIGN
While a Lifestyle Design Approach is a ‘first step’ for our residential Living Room spaces and was also applied to our recent Sorority Formal Project; the preparation and application was MUCH different.
Comparing to designing a typical single-family home, of perhaps 4-8 people, we were considering a space to accommodate 130 members and thousands of Alumnae! That is when this space differentiated itself! Every specification we considered had to be quadrupled; durability, longevity, accessibility, sustainability and so on. Our project war room was covered in extra-large sticky notes with captions stating, comfortable yet stately, current and contemporary, sturdy but easy to move, traditional yet modern, tasteful plus youthful, timeless and not too trendy. With an entire white board reading, MUST appeal to all ages, 18 to 88!
Kappa Delta Sorority on the University of Washington campus was in need of a formal living room make-over. In addition to needing this vast space completed prior to recruitment in 3 months, we were also faced with making this 100-year old colonial structure appeal to, and fit, the demands of the active collegiate women’s lifestyle without losing its sense of tradition, and in the process, make it stand out from 18 other campus sororities!
Similar to a residential Living Room, we created a space to comfortably welcome guests. In addition, this special space also gained numerous seating arrangements allowing for multiple conversations. Different from our common Living Room Concept, most of the furnishing pieces were purchased in pairs and were installed with custom glides for ease of movement during study group sessions and daily chapter business.
The Lifestyle Design Approach, applied to every type of project, helped us to better understand the need for high performance fabrics, durable flooring, stone surfaces, hospitality art hooks and faux greenery. We coined this look ‘Historical KD Chic’, giving a nod to the tradition of Kappa Delta while adding a fresh youthful update; providing a long-term, timeless solution able to withstand the rigors of college life.