Santa Monica College interior design student Sarah Barnard won “Best in Show” in the national “Trash to Treasure” contest for her petite chair made from discarded auto parts and scrap metal.
The award was part of EnvironDesign, a national conference held recently in New York by Interiors & Sources Magazine.
Aside from “Best in Show,” the contest made awards in three categories: Classy Trash, Treasured Trash and Viewers Choice. Barnard’s chair and the other winning entries were auctioned off, with the money going to nonprofit “green” organizations.
Barnard’s chair, “The Driver’s Seat,” is both functional and visually striking. A 1930 Ford truck steering wheel is its seat. 1970s Volkswagen beetle side-mirrors are its “feet,” and a late model Toyota contributed its back rest.
Open to architects and interior designers, the contest asked entrants to find things discarded as waste and turn them into something of value.
Whether old cars, houses or furniture, Barnard has always had an interest in preserving Americana.
“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’s work is eco-friendly. Currently, she is transforming a Montecito estate by combining “green” design methods with a modern-prairie aesthetic.