Kappa Delta Sorority on the University of Washington campus was in need of a formal living room makeover. In addition to remodeling this vast space prior to recruitment in three months, we were also faced with making this century-old colonial structure appeal to and fit the demands of the active college woman’s lifestyle, without compromising the room’s sense of tradition. On top of this, we wanted to make sure it stood out from the 18 other sororities on campus!
Compared to designing a typical single-family home meant for four to eight people, this project required us to create a space that could accommodate 130 members and thousands of alumni!
Every specification we considered had to be quadrupled: the space’s durability, longevity, accessibility, sustainability, and so on.
During the planning phase, our project “war room” was covered in extra-large sticky notes with captions like: “comfortable yet stately,” “current and contemporary,” “sturdy but easy to move,” “traditional yet modern,” “tasteful plus youthful,” “timeless and not too trendy.”
There was also an entire whiteboard that read: “MUST appeal to all ages, 18 to 88!”
Similar to a residential living room, we wanted to create a space that would comfortably welcome guests. In addition, we wanted to integrate numerous seating arrangements to allow for multiple conversations in a single space.
Unlike our common living room concept, we purchased most of the furnishing pieces in pairs and installed custom glides for ease of movement during study group sessions and daily chapter business.
The lifestyle design approach, which we apply 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 and providing a long-term, timeless solution able to withstand the rigors of college life.
For more like this, check out our Habitat section here.