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Three Cañada Students Win Kitchen Design Competition

Anne Marie Cappelli
Debbie Nash, Jie Yang, and Anne Marie Cappelli took the top three spots in this year’s National Kitchen & Bath Association Design Charette hosted by Cañada College.

The three interior design students will receive a $50 scholarship and certificate of achievement. Their entries will also be forwarded to the National GE Charette where they will be eligible for the top prize of a $5,000 scholarship.

The competition challenged students from around the country to design a kitchen utilizing specific General Electric appliances within a defined space. They had three hours to complete the assignment using drafting pencils, calculators, architectural scale, a drafting triangle and NKBA template.

Cappelli, who left a career in fashion design to pursue interior design, won first place in the Cañada competition. “I knew at a young age I would pursue a job in a creative field. I was torn between interior design and fashion design.”

Cappelli worked as a designer and patternmaker for more than 20 years in Toronto, Canada and San Francisco. While in the Bay Area, she took a part-time job working for an interior design retailer. This reignited her passion for interior design.

“I looked into many options for colleges and chose Cañada because of its reputation and its evening classes,” she said. “I have completed the basic core of classes for the certificate and I’m looking forward to doing an internship with a firm that specializes in kitchen and bath design.”

Yang, who finished second in the competition, came to the Bay Area four years ago from Shanghai, China. She commutes from Fremont to attend design classes at Cañada. “The instructors and staff are really friendly and knowledgeable,” she said.

Like Cappelli, Nash was also employed in the fashion industry, serving as a vice president of merchandising at Gap Inc., Gymboree Corp., and Esprit De Corp. “I needed more balance in my life,” Nash said. “I decided to go back to school and get my Interior Design Certificate and Kitchen and Bath Certificate.”

Last year, Nash started Nash Design Studio, her own interior design business, which focuses on home remodels and additions as well as kitchen and bath design. She will graduate this fall with her Kitchen and Bath Certificate from Cañada.

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