Class of 2016 grad a double award-winner

Sydney Melnyk still can’t believe she’s a double winner in student design competitions.

“It’s pretty crazy, I can hardly believe it,” says the Lakeland College alumna of winning first place in two National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) design competitions: the 2015-16 Charette Design Competition and the 2015-16 Schoolhouse Charm Student Design Competition.

Competing against students from across North America, the Class of 2016 grad says she was prepared to do well thanks to Lakeland’s interior design program. “I really like that we had smaller class sizes in the studio. I felt heard and able to ask our instructors questions. They were always willing to help and make sure you understood concepts,” she says. “I would recommend Lakeland to anyone.”

In each competition, Melnyk won for her kitchen designs. With the charette, Melnyk and close to 100 NKBA student members from 11 other post-secondary institutions created a functional kitchen in a three-hour time frame. For the schoolhouse charm competition, competitors designed a kitchen for real clients, who are now building the kitchen of their dreams thanks to Melnyk.

“I am very detailed orientated. I try to go above and beyond to make sure I hit all of the points that the client wants. To see the construction process underway is surreal. I am going to have my first kitchen designed and constructed – it’s very exciting,” says Melnyk.
Sydney Melnyk kitchen design
Trusting in the skills she developed as an interior design student is key to her success, according to Melnyk, who graduated with distinction. “It’s about letting your best be good enough. That’s something that my sister told me when she was going through school and it’s helped encourage me to push forward and give it my all.”

Meeting deadlines and designing remain part of Melnyk’s day-to-day. She’s happily working as an interior design technologist at Henry Downing Architects in Saskatoon, Sask.

“To start my career off on such a high note, I couldn’t have asked for anything more,” says Melnyk. “Thank you to Lakeland – you have an amazing program – and thank you to the NKBA because without them I wouldn’t be able to put such awesome accomplishments on my résumé.”

Melnyk is $7,500 richer and was given a trip to Orlando, Fla., for the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show in January 2017 for her award-winning designs.

Photos: Top, Sydney Melnyk pauses from her work at Henry Downing Architects for a quick photo. Bottom, symmetrical balance, maximized seating, grey cabinetry and a number of features customized to the clients' requests in the Schoolhouse Charm Student Design Competition added up to a first-place finish for Melnyk. She placed first in the Charette Design Competition as well for a different kitchen design.

October 13, 2016

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