Santa Monica College (SMC) interior design student Sarah Barnard has won “Best in Show” in the national “Trash to Treasure” contest for her “petite chair made from discarded auto parts and scrap metal,” according to an SMC spokesperson.
The award was part of EnvironDesign, a national conference held recently in New York sponsored by Interiors & Sources Magazine.
In addition to “Best in Show,” the contest gave awards in three categories — “Classy Trash,” “Treasured Trash,” and “Viewers Choice.”
Barnard’s chair and the other winning entries were auctioned off, with the proceeds going to nonprofit “green” organizations.
The chair is called “The Driver’s Seat” and salvages parts from automotive history.
A 1930 Ford truck steering wheel serves as the chair’s seat, side mirrors from a 1970s Volkswagen Beetle are the feet, and part of a late model Toyota operates as the backrest.
Open to architects and interior designers, the contest asked entrants to find something discarded as waste and turn it into something of value.
Barnard said she has always had an interest in preserving Americana, whether it is old cars, houses, or furniture.
“I have an appreciation for things that show their age a little,” she said. “I think it is important to preserve what we can, while we can. “That being said, I also have an affinity for things that are fresh and unexpected.
“Maybe that is the link between this chair and my work in general. It combines the new with the old to create something sophisticated and unique.”
As owner of Sarah Barnard Design — a Los Angeles-based interior design firm — Barnard takes an eco-friendly approach to her work when possible.
Currently, she says she is transforming a Montecito estate by combining “green” design methods and a modern-prairie aesthetic.