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Forsyth Tech students receive design awards

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WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- As people get older, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to the layout of a house.

The very design could be a key part of lowering the risk of a fall.

Students in Forsyth Technical Community College’s interior design program used creative ideas to make an older couple’s home safer.

Students Daniel Morales, Hailey Boyd and Amber Payne each competed in the Eastern Carolinas Chapter of the National Kitchen & Bath Association student design competition in November.

The competition focused on helping a senior couple (actual clients in a bath renovation project) modernize their home to accommodate their needs as they age over the next 10 to 15 years.

The students created designs for a bathroom.

“If they wanted to get a walker or wheelchair in there, eventually they would have that option,” Morales said.

“They wanted a closed toiletry closet, so I did that and that has grab bars,” Boyd said.

One of the greatest challenges was adhering to certain guidelines.

The designs had to be up to code and the participants were not allowed to move the bathtub when creating their renderings.

“They wanted a double sink and that was the biggest challenge I had with it, trying to fit up to code with the double sink, so I added a trough sink,” Payne said.

The students were able to gain skills that are part of a growing market.

“Aging in place is really giving the homeowner the opportunity to stay in their home longer as long as they don’t need professional care,” said Gisele Taylor Wells, program coordinator for the interior design program at Forsyth Tech.

This was the first time Forsyth Tech’s program competed in the competition.

Morales, Boyd, and Payne were awarded 1st through 3rd place respectively for their designs in the state competition.