KLC Student Interior Design Competition

As part of our drive to support emerging talent and be engaged with the interior design community, AMARA is delighted to host an exclusive Student Interior Design Competition with KLC School of Design. Helping to support the next generation of emerging designers, this competition is open to those students studying at KLC only.

KLC is a leading career-focused interior and garden design school based at the heart of London's Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. Offering unrivalled teaching, welfare and careers support for almost 40 years, KLC has been helping people successfully achieve a career in the interior or garden design industries.

The 2021 Competition

The 2021 competition brief was to transform the ground floor of a 200-year old rural cottage into a functional space for a couple and their two teenage children, and make it a place where they can work from home, exercise, and home school. Entrants submitted a mood board, floorplan and design statement, and then the judges shortlisted their favourite 15 designs. The shortlisted candidates then created a 3D visual of their design before the final judging day in June. The top three designs were part of KLC’s Summer Graduation Show and will also be featured on AMARA’s website.

The winning design was announced at Graduation in July with a presentation of the Student Interior Design Award, which included a £500 cash prize plus exposure across our website and social channels. Congratulations to the 2021 winner and the runners up!

2021 Winners

Overall Winner: Claudia Ambrosi

Overall Winner: Claudia Ambrosi

Runner up: Lucinda Palengat

Runner up: Lucinda Palengat

Runner up: Maudie Manton

Runner up: Maudie Manton

Our Judges share their thoughts

Jenny Gibbs OBE - Founder and Principal of KLC School of Design

On overall winner Claudia Ambrosi's entry: "A beautifully presented project with a real sense of cohesion. The spaces were thoughtfully planned with organic shapes, multifunctional furniture and generous storage to meet the needs of family life, and the nature-inspired scheme showed her clever use of colour, pattern and texture. Sourcing reflected the clients’ request for sustainable materials and the attention to detail throughout was outstanding. The atmospheric renders really told the story effectively."

On runner up Lucinda Palengat's entry: "There was something very engaging about this presentation, based on the concept of an British garden party, which included some successful planning elements such as the breakfast bar and bench seating and strong sourcing. The three renders were particularly charming and showed off the attractive colour palette she chose."

On runner up Maudie Manton's entry: "This was a delightful and consistent presentation, well planned, catering to multiple individual family needs and cleverly sourced. She had successfully created a contemporary scheme that nevertheless, as the brief had requested, had a sense of time and place that sat comfortably with the property. The choice of artworks linked to the locality was a nice touch."

Roddy Clarke - Designer, presenter and journalist

On overall winner Claudia Ambrosi's entry: “The scheme is well structured and considered, playing close attention to the brief. The use of colour, responsible sourcing and furniture placement results in a cohesive proposal.”

On runner up Lucinda Palengat's entry: “The space has been zoned successfully with bespoke fixtures and the colour palette comes together well as one overall scheme. A good sense of spacing and coordination.”

On runner up Maudie Manton's entry: “A professional presentation helped to bring together a scheme which met the brief and put forward a space which works for all the family.”

Charmaine White - Founder of The White House Interiors

On overall winner Claudia Ambrosi's entry: "I thought Claudia’s spatial planning was very good and I loved her used of colour, pattern and texture. She offered some clever design solutions to what was a tricky brief. There was a strong continuous thread from initial concept right through to her final visuals. Her presentation boards were excellent and her visuals really sold the overall design scheme."

On runner up Lucinda Palengat's entry: "I loved how Lucinda pushed the brief with her overall layout by knocking down a wall to incorporate a breakfast bar and designing bespoke joinery that still allows you to see through to each of the spaces. The concept and furnishing selections were also very successful and her 3D visuals were excellent."

On runner up Maudie Manton's entry: "This was another great example of pushing the brief. By taking out a wall and incorporating built-in workstation, she has opened up the space and maximised the footprint. I really like the contemporary elements and colour palette. Maudie has demonstrated strong sourcing skills and her 3D visual are of a professional standard."

The Judges

Jenny Gibbs OBE

Founder and Principal of KLC School of Design, Jenny’s passion for education stems from a desire to make possible changes in people’s lives and to demonstrate the value of interior design. A former President of the BIID (British Institute of Interior Design), she continues to forge close industry links for the School with designers, suppliers, manufacturers and artisans. She is the author of four books on interior design and has contributed widely to blogs, magazines and podcasts.

Roddy Clarke

Designer, stylist, presenter and journalist Roddy has always been passionate about restoration and sustainability, and recently co-founded a new platform called The Restoration Collective. Launching in spring of this year, it aims to preserve, revive and develop the restoration industry, helping young people to discover career opportunities within it, and showing the importance of its role in a future society.

Charmaine White

Charmaine is an alumni of KLC with a degree in Textile Furnishing Design & Manufacture, and the sought-after Diploma in Interior Design and Decoration. After reaching the quarter-finals on the BBC’s The Great Interior Design Challenge, Charmaine founded her high-end design studio in London, The White House Interiors, which offers interior design and architecture services.

The Shortlist

From all the competition entries, the judges had the unenviable task of narrowing them down to a shortlist of 15. Here are the shortlisted students and here’s what the judges had to say about their designs...

Manisha Agarwal

Manisha Agarwal

Part Time Diploma

Claudia Ambrosi

Claudia Ambrosi

Online FdA

Alexandra Elliot

Alexandra Elliot

Full Time Diploma

This was a challenging brief but the quality of the entries was so high that whittling them down to a shortlist was equally challenging. It was a joy to find that almost every student had met the planning requirements of the brief and created easy to navigate, functional spaces together with delightful schemes featuring effective use of colour, pattern and texture, presented in a variety of different and engaging ways. It was rewarding too to see that sustainable sourcing was so well understood and the individuality of every scheme was a complete endorsement of the value of the design process.

Jenny Gibbs OBE, Principal of klc School of Design

Patricia Escalante Coney

Patricia Escalante Coney

Open Learning Certificate

Alice Hislop

Alice Hislop

Online FdA

Emma Kidd

Emma Kidd

BA (Hons)

Maudie Manton

Maudie Manton

Full Time Diploma

Lizzie Nudd

Lizzie Nudd

Full Time Diploma

Sara Nyc

Sara Nyc

Online FdA

This was not an easy brief and I think all of the students handled it very well. I am very impressed with some of the design solutions that were presented and equally with the FF&E selections. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing how each of the students interpreted what was required and the standard of presentation was very high. It was tough deciding the shortlist but I’m looking forward to seeing the visuals in the next round.

Charmaine White, Founder of The White House Interiors

Lucinda Palengat

Lucinda Palengat

Full Time Diploma

Victoria Pembleton

Victoria Pembleton

Full Time Diploma

Silvia Peneva

Silvia Peneva

Open Learning Certificate

Natalie Rău

Natalie Rău

Online FdA

Cheryl Sanders

Cheryl Sanders

Part Time Diploma

Myriam Schuler

Myriam Schuler

Open Learning Certificate

Choosing from such a wealth of talent was not an easy task. Sustainability is something which needs to be addressed within the interior design world and it was encouraging to see the applicants embracing this mindset, selecting materials responsibly and also challenging themselves with their sourcing skills. It is important to be conscious when designing any space and those which stood out for me had adopted this without compromising on the style or functionality of the space.

Roddy Clarke, Designer, presenter and journalist

Past Events