Laura Chytrowsky

Interior Design Seniors Stage May 13 Showcase

April 15, 2016

Interior Design May 13 2016 Senior Show Image rsz

Darissa Schilli, Laura Chytrowsky, Thera Barnes

Watkins College of Art, Design & Film presents the BFA senior thesis exhibition from the Department of Interior Design, featuring work by Bachelor of Fine Arts degree candidates Thera Barnes, Laura Chytrowsky, Darissa Schilli on Friday, May 13, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. in the Fine Art/Photography exhibit node.

The exhibition with reception (free and open the public) showcases portfolios of residential, commercial, lighting/furniture and sustainable design work as well as thesis projects.

Thera Barnes • White Pine, TN

Thera’s senior thesis, titled the Passion Project, is a study in providing a unique way of life for entrepreneurs.

Thera Barnes, Science Art Project exterior

Thera Barnes, Science Art Project exterior

Among her Watkins accomplishments are 1st place residential design and 1st place furniture design in the annual juried Interior Design exhibitions; 1st place in the Watkins Restroom Renovation competition; nomination for the 2015 Robb Swaney Prize for Visual Expression; and 2015-2016 ASID/IIDA Student Chapter Secretary.

Thera Barnes, Hotel Emprise main lobby

Thera Barnes, Hotel Emprise main lobby

Thera plans to remain in Nashville and would like to concentrate on large-scale corporate headquarters, businesses and hospitality.

Laura Chytrowsky • North Aurora, IL

Laura’s area of specialty is computer drafting and rendering, and her work has been juried into the department’s annual exhibit for three years, earning her two 1st place honors at the 2016 show, in Portfolio and Furniture Design. She was a 2015 nominee for the Robb Swaney Prize for Visual Expression.

Laura Chytrowsky, crib

Laura Chytrowsky, crib

Her senior thesis project, a Sustainable Safe Haven for the Displaced Population of Nashville, combines the innovation of minimal space of the tiny house movement, the ecofriendly objectives of sustainable design, and pre-existing urban landscaping to provide a new way to offer a calm, welcoming community for the displaced residents of the new developing Nashville.

After graduation, Laura will begin a full-time job with Nashville Office Interiors downtown.

Darissa Schilli • Bloomsdale, MO

With special interests in space planning and computer modeling, Darissa Schilli designed a destination restaurant for her senior thesis:  The Hillside, an oddly shaped dining venue considered not just a restaurant but a destination, for city residents and tourists.

Treasurer of the ASID/IIDA student chapter, Darissa plans on staying in Nashville and working in the many layers of commercial design, ultimately working in restaurant design.


Darissa Schilli: Allay Hotel seating area

Allay Hotel guest room model






Watkins Interior Design students are consistently recognized for their creativity and professsionalism in both academic competitions and community involvement, winning student competitions at the annual conference of the Tennessee Chapter of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) and the chapter’s top honor, the Jane D. Reagor Award, for outstanding interior design student in the state. Alumni of the program can be found in commercial, residential, hotel, restaurant, healthcare and furniture design.

About the program

The Watkins Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design program promotes a curriculum intended to educate the student who is intent on a professional career as a registered interior designer with strong links to the professional communities that are shaping the twenty-first century. 

Alumnus Justin Orton checks out a senior project

Alumnus Justin Orton checks out a senior project

Students who earn the BFA degree will possess professional presentation techniques and technical skills, be capable of creating innovative designs, analyze and problem solve, and understand application of appropriate material use and code requirements. Courses encourage the student to develop imaginative, responsible solutions to problems created by social needs and economic constraints, as well as the material and physical limitations of the built environment. The integration of fine art classes elevates the student’s ability to develop resourceful responses and further balances the increasing demands of technology.