SBCC students create rooms for TV Show, ‘Design Santa Barbara’

Michael+Kourash%2C+owner+of+Santa+Barbara+Design+Center%2C+gets+interviewed+during+a+taping+of+%E2%80%98Design+Santa+Barbara%E2%80%99+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+4%2C+in+Santa+Barbara.+City+College+interior+design+students+assist+Kourash+during+the+taping+of+the+show+to+utilize+skills+they+are+learning.

RYAN CULLOM

Michael Kourash, owner of Santa Barbara Design Center, gets interviewed during a taping of ‘Design Santa Barbara’ on Friday, Nov. 4, in Santa Barbara. City College interior design students assist Kourash during the taping of the show to utilize skills they are learning.

MEGAN FITZMORRIS, Features Editor

Extravagant oriental rugs are rolled out, end tables are ever so carefully put into place, chandeliers are hung and adornments are added for the finishing touches. Every show room is perfectly set for an episode of “Design Santa Barbara.”

Design Santa Barbara is hosted by Michael Kourosh, who is also the owner of Santa Barbara Design Center. The center is a store that sells many types of furniture and is known for its oriental rugs. It is also where the taping of the show takes place.

Three City College students are chosen by Laura Welby, associate professor of the interior Design program, and given the chance to design an entire room for a mock-client.

The show features students in the interior design program and gives them a chance to illustrate their skills in a real-life situation.

“It’s wonderful Michael offers this opportunity to interior design students to show their work,” Welby said.

The students have free-range to choose from anything in Kourosh’s store, leaving them like a kid in a candy store.

“It can be a little overwhelming if you don’t have a clear plan of your design concept,” said Laura Hoyle, a student who worked on an episode several months ago. She chose an eclectic feel for her room after falling in love with a rug.

The students are given about a month’s notice before they are chosen to film, and they start picking items a week or two before. After picking one thing, the designers build from there and create a room of their choice from scratch.

“Color, lighting, lines, repetitions, balance—there’s all of these different elements of design. They all add up to a successful design, which we call harmony,” said Welby.

After the students have explained their design concept to the viewer, Welby and Kourosh give their feedback on what makes each room successful. Students have done everything from a poker room to a sun room.

Carolyn Ramirez, a student who filmed an episode premiering Nov. 19, described her sun room as “shabby-chic country.” Ramirez said that she usually goes with a more Spanish style design, but found a rug that formed her inspiration for the room.

She layered plants and flowers that would thrive in the natural light and provide a serene feeling. Everything was styled down to the very last novel that her client could pull from a shelf in the sitting room.

“I haven’t had a part I’m not enjoying yet,” Ramirez said. “It was actually very low key and not at all what I expected.”

She filmed an episode last week, along with Elise Greganti and Jory Zusmer. The episode will be shown on Nov. 19. Welby has been working with Kourosh for the past year to showcase her student’s designs.

“My main intent is to use it as a platform to highlight my student’s work and abilities,” said Welby.

They film about every two months, allowing Welby to choose students from the program to create content for the show.

The next episode will be shown 10 p.m. Nov. 12, on KEYT. It will feature an elegant lounge created by Johnny Brackett and a more traditional room from Robert Mitchell, in addition to Hoyle’s bohemian office.

“They have all been successful rooms,” Welby said. “They are all so talented, dedicated and so hard working.”