Furniture giant IKEA has displayed a UCLan student’s interior designs for thousands of customers to admire at its Warrington store.Advertisement
Roxana Zamfir, 27, caught the eyes of the IKEA interior design team after designing a self-contained flat encompassing seven rooms, including a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, lounge and office, using products stocked in IKEA.
Inspired by photos of Dubai, Roxana drew on Metaverse research she had undertaken as part of her dissertation and designed a skyscraper property for a young, childless, career-focused couple.
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She said: “When I found out I’d won, I cried so much because I was so happy!
“It means so much to me that hundreds of thousands of people are seeing my creations as soon as they’ve started walking through the store – It’s just amazing.”
All of UCLan’s final year BA (Hons) Interior Design students were tasked with creating a home of the future for the company.
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The Lumenata, in Preston, lighting designer said: “When I saw these images of Dubai, I loved the clouds around the high-rise buildings and liked the shades of pink, blue and yellow.
“This led me to use the shades of colour from the golden hour, which is the hour before sunset, and the blue hour, the hour before sunrise.”
Roxana was born in Romania and raised in Italy and used bold colours, vibrant lighting and eye-catching pieces of furniture and soft furnishings from IKEA’s current range, including a SÖDERHAMN sofa and LACK shelves.
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The former Vatican City tour organiser visited the outlet five times to scope out products and take measurements, but she caught Covid-19 while finishing her work.
Since being selected, Roxana has redesigned elements of her sets to ensure all the products will have sufficient stock levels in the Cheshire store while her work is on display.
Roxana said: “Being a designer also means knowing how to compromise and find alternatives.
“As Brexit and Covid-19 are causing supply issues, with the help of the IKEA team, I have revisited the design and changed some products so that customers can buy the items on display.”
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Her love of design, drawing and photography was integral to buying a one-way ticket from Rome to Manchester before moving to Preston.
She said: “I’ve always loved everything related to art, but my life had taken a different turn. Since all big dreams need a big change, I decided to leave and start over.
“My brother was the first person to believe in me, and he hosted me in Lancaster for a year while I chose the university.
“Initially, I looked at product design courses, but when I came across the interior design, I knew it was for me because it encompassed all my passions.”
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Her work impressed IKEA bosses so much that she will start as a trainee interior designer when she completes her degree in mid-May.
She said: “Winning this competition has exceeded all my expectations!
“When I was younger, I used to think I’d like to work as a salesperson in IKEA but to now have my work on display and to be offered a job is mind-blowing.”
Roxana, whose boyfriend Adrian is an electrical and electronic engineering student on UCLan’s Preston Campus, was joined by a group of her fellow students to help assist IKEA staff with the installation.
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The work is available to view in the living room department until 1 April.
Karen Miller, Interior Designer at IKEA, said: “We were really impressed with the projects from the UCLan students.
“Many of the designs could have been a great addition to the IKEA showroom, but Roxy’s project really stood out as one that took us somewhere different.
“I had no idea what the Metaverse was until she jump-started my learning journey! We were looking for something we’ve never done before, and Roxy really delivered.”
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