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Design prize up for grabs


Design prize up for grabs

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Yasmine Tempro-Parris, Melissa Browne and Monique Mackay proved that their flair for eye-catching designs was more than enough to hold off a field of 7 challengers and advance to the final phase of The Ashley FurnitureSmart Homes Magazine Design Challenge in association with Harris Paints.

Last Sunday, the Ashley Furniture showroom was transformed into a space where the crop of designers showcased their aesthetic design prowess in a ten minute “Mini Design Challenge”. After receiving different themes such as rustic, farmhouse, glam, modern and more on which to frame their design, the contestants had to use art, throw pillows, rugs, furniture and accessories from within the store to bring their spaces to life.


These spaces were evaluated by Ashley Furniture marketing manager, Janine Hinkson and Josee Atkinson of Blue Print Management. Contestants were then given additional time to make changes to their spaces based on their feedback before the three finalists were chosen by a judging panel.

A passionate finalist Melissa Browne who studied psychology and is actually pursuing interior design as a career choice was elated at being named one of the finalists to move on to the last phase.

“The creativity it never ends with interior design,” Browne said. “I want to assist as many people as I can with my designs so they can be both functional and aesthetically pleasing.”


Browne along with Tempro-Parris and Mackay will get the opportunity to design the homes for three different couples. After being named all three ladies were ushered off to meet with the homeowners so start on their design process which began immediately.

For Tempro-Parris, being named as a finalist was the confirmation she needed that she was going in the right direction in terms of her career.

“Last year I started my career in interior design,” she revealed. “I saw this challenge as the perfect chance to step out of my comfort zone because it provided a lot of opportunity for me to learn and grow.”

Along with Ashley Furniture & Blue Print Management the three design finalists have sponsors Harris Paints, La Belle Vie and Abeds to assist them as they transform the homes they’ve been assigned.

For Mackay, she is absolutely thrilled to be going on in the competition.

“This is where I feel I excel,” she said. “I love working with the client, getting to know what they want, giving them that type of customer services along with the chance to put a piece of myself into my work.”


The finalists had a brief time to bask in their elation because they were quickly whisked off to meet with the homeowners to discuss the scope of their interior designs for their individual homes. This redesign process took place over the past week and the winner will be determined next week Sunday.

This week there will be voting on social media, with the hard work culminating on Sunday, October 7, when the final winner is announced.

While the designer who takes first prize will walk away with a prize package that includes $4 000 cash, an internship at Ashley Furniture & a feature in Smart Homes Magazine there are prizes for all three designers. The second prize winner takes home $2 000 and the third prize winner receives $1 000. Finalists also have the chance to win additional prizes for best mood board and entry video, along with a $1 000 furniture voucher from Ashley, a weekend stay for two at the Rostrevor Hotel and home and contents insurance from ICBL.

Readers can follow the action on the Smart Homes Magazine Facebook page and the Holiday Edition of Smart Homes Magazine, which hits newsstands in October.