Meet our new Intern Lauren….

July 21, 2011

My name is Lauren Barton.  I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina and have lived in Mooresville, North Carolina up until college.  Basically, I grew up in a town obsessed with high school football and Nascar…nothing really to inspire me to want to be a designer.  However, from an early age I was interested in design and building things.  I made homes for caterpillars, dolls, etc.  I loved going to furniture stores and appliance/home improvement departments.  I decided I needed to get a job that would introduce me into the field so I could figure out if this was really my passion.  During my junior and senior year of high school I had a job as a Design Assistant at a self-owned Residential Interior Design Firm.  A lot of the projects we worked on were new homes that needed complete furnishing/design, but we also worked on some renovations.  We used a simple space planning program on the computer and made finish boards for client presentations.  I loved my job; I had no idea of how small a fraction this was compared to what I would learn in school.

My freshman year I attended High Point University. I received a Presidential Leadership Scholarship to attend.  High Point is a gorgeous school with a very smart and generous president.  My second year I transferred to Appalachian State University and have been there for three years, going on my fourth and final year in the fall.  I will graduate in May 2012 with a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design and a Minor in Building Sciences.  Appalachian has turned out to be a great choice and I have grown exponentially as a designer since the beginning of my education.  I am a member of the Appalachian Interior Design Society and spend the majority of my time in the studio working on projects.  I enjoy the studio atmosphere where the other students and I can work and collaborate and learn from each other.  We have been in class with each other for so long now that we can recognize each other’s projects just by design style.  I love modern/contemporary design…borderline ultra modern where the furniture isn’t comfortable it just looks amazing. I also like really eclectic designs, my room does not match exactly but that’s why it works, haha.  At least I think so.   My major is hard, time consuming, stressful, and frustrating at times but I cannot imagine doing anything else. Interior Design is my passion.

The summer after a student’s junior year in the Interior Design program at Appalachian State, they are required to have an internship.  For the internship one must complete 160 hours at an approved place of business. We must complete strategic assignments to track our progress and learn about the place we are working at.  Internships are a great way to gain experience in the professional world and to network and develop relationships with people who could aid us in searching for jobs, etc. after we graduate.  Everyone struggled to find internships this summer because of the economy.  I was really worried I would not get one and have to complete this after I graduate.  Everyone was turned down by so many places and it was very discouraging.  I was determined. I did not want to have to do this after I was done with school. I pretty much exhausted every resource I could and my luck finally turned around.

This summer I was offered two internships.  My first, at an architecture firm was completed during the first half of the summer in Charlotte, NC.  Now, I am interning at Barbour Spangle Design Group in High Point, NC.  Christi Barbour came to Appalachian to speak to our Interior Design club last year.  She gave a very informative, entertaining, and honest presentation about working at Barbour Spangle and how one can be a wife, mother, and have a great full time interior career all at once.  Her presentation inspired me and when I was informed that they were hiring interns for this summer I did not waste any time before contacting them.  Barbour Spangle interests me because it is a small firm that does a lot of large scale work.  From taking class trips to the High Point Furniture Market more than a few times as well as with my high school employer, I became very interested in showroom design.  Barbour Spangle has done some remarkable work on showrooms and I am eager to learn as much as I can from the designers in that area.  I have already had the privilege to work in some displays for a Nourison showroom at the Las Vegas Furniture Market.  On a different note, I have also been allowed to help with the design of a pediatrics office and visit a residential job site.  I am glad I got to attend this visit because it gives me more insight into client interactions first hand.  I wish that I could spend longer than the month of July at Barbour Spangle; I really enjoy it and appreciate the opportunity they have given me.

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