Molloy College Students Take on “Design INN-Time”
When Marie Byrne, faculty advisor for the interior design teacher at Molloy College was first introduced to The INN, it was through her affiliation with the Interior Design Society of Long Island. The IDS team worked on recreating the space which became the Family Dining Room at the Mary Brennan INN soup kitchen. Marie approached Dorian Stern, The INN’s Chief Development Officer with the hope to identify a project that could be integrated into her class curriculum at Molloy. Together, they selected the dining room at the Edna Moran INN emergency shelter, with the dream of making it more functional and appealing to resident guests. Families and individuals who temporarily live in the shelter, use the area as a communal family dining room, as well as a meeting space, and a homework area for guest children attending school.
The first phase of the project was to organize a fundraiser to meet the estimated $10,000 that would be needed for the project. Since the students are artists and designers, they coordinated a “Chair-ity” Fundraiser, where old chairs were reconditioned and repurposed into art projects and auctioned off to raise the needed funds. The successful event raised $6,500, and the remainder was raised on an online crowdfunding site.
The theme for the room was inspired by the old saying, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” The colors, materials and furnishings for the new room reflected the citrus colors of lemon yellow, lime green and orange. The room now features state-of-the art lighting, ceiling fans and modern furnishings. In addition, the group installed an energy-efficient door that leads out onto the deck of the home and artwork matching their theme. The official ribbon-cutting for the new dining room took place on January 5th, 2018 with all 25 students who were involved in the project and various vendors, as well as INN staff in attendance.