Furniture giant IKEA has showcased a UCLan student’s interiors to thousands of customers at its Warrington store.
Roxana Zamfir, 27, caught the attention of IKEA’s interior design team after designing a self-contained apartment comprising seven rooms, including a kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living room and office , using products stocked at IKEA.
Inspired by photos of Dubai, Roxana took inspiration from Metaverse research she had undertaken for her thesis and designed a skyscraper property for a childless, career-focused young couple.
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She said: “When I found out I had won, I cried so much because I was so happy!
“It means so much to me that hundreds of thousands of people see my designs as soon as they start walking through the store – It’s just amazing.”
All final year BA (Hons) Interior Design students at UCLan have been 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 I liked the shades of pink, blue and yellow .
“That led me to use the color shades of golden hour, which is the time before sunset, and blue hour, the time before sunrise.”
Roxana was born in Romania and raised in Italy and used bright colours, vibrant lighting and eye-catching furniture and upholstery from IKEA’s current range, including a SÖDERHAMN sofa and LACK shelves.
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The former Vatican City tour organizer visited the outlet five times to assess products and take measurements, but caught Covid-19 while finishing work.
Since being selected, Roxana has redesigned elements of her sets to ensure that all 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 cause supply issues, with the help of the IKEA team, I have reviewed the design and modified some products so that customers can purchase the items on display.”
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His 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 anything 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 to believe in me and he put me up in Lancaster for a year while I chose college.
“I initially looked at product design courses, but when I came across interior design I knew it was for me because it encompassed all my passions.”
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Her work has impressed IKEA bosses so much that she will start as a trainee interior designer when she graduates in mid-May.
She said, “Winning this competition exceeded all of my expectations!
“When I was younger I thought I would love to work as a salesperson at IKEA, but now that my work is on display and I’m being offered a job, it’s mind blowing.”
Roxana, whose boyfriend Adrian is an electrical and electronics engineering student at UCLan’s Preston campus, was joined by a group of her fellow students to help IKEA staff with the installation.
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The work is visible in the salon section until April 1st.
Karen Miller, interior designer at IKEA, said: “We have been really impressed with the UCLan student projects.
“A lot 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 it kicked off my learning journey! We were looking for something we hadn’t done before, and Roxy definitely delivered.
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