Chloe Hoyak remembers being excited about bold colors and organizing spaces even as a young girl. Design remained in her blood through her teenage years, and when it came time to think about college, she was excited to be accepted to the New York School of Interior Design. A life on your own in the big city isn't for every 16-year-old, however, and so Hoyaks parents gently gave her a nudge in another direction: Northampton Community College.
"My mom is an NCC alum and mentioned it to me. My neighbor is also an NCC architecture alum, and he had gone off to the Pratt Institute after he graduated from here, so he had a little bit of influence as well," says Hoyak. "I came here with an open mind, and right away I met architecture professor Ken Trionfo and interior design instructor Dan Ebner. They've inspired me from beginning to end."
Theres a bit of a stigma surrounding interior design that its just about choice of color, picking a pattern, or moving furniture around a space. The truth is, an interior designer has to measure out a space and has to have the creative eye to plan exactly how a space is going to look when the design is finished. The challenge involved in this is what Hoyak really embraced about the program, and she believes she wouldn't have been able to do so if she hadn't been in the right academic environment.
"We had 12 girls in our program and we all spent a lot of time together, but it was also really one-on-one with the professors. They want to see you succeed, and its going to be difficult to find this exact kind of environment somewhere else," says Hoyak. "You definitely have to put the hard work in here, but the faculty are really encouraging."
Hoyak was given the opportunity to form NCCs first American Society of Interior Designers Club, and has served as president since its inception. She was also awarded the Eastern Pennsylvania Chapter Amreican Institute of Architects Award at the Spring 2013 Student Convocation ceremony, and is currently interning with Stonewood Interiors in Emmaus. The internship is giving her an opportunity to see the difference between working in both residential and commercial design, for which shell also get a better feel when she transfers to the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) this fall.
"I wouldnt have even known about SCAD if it hadnt been for the staff here," says Hoyak. "Its been voted the top design school for two years in a row, and when I visited there I really fell in love with it. Im going to try to bring a little bit of the culture from here down there."
Hoyak has big dreams of one day appearing on everyones favorite home design network – HGTV – and wants people to recognize that she got her start here. Her brother and sister are also beginning their college careers at NCC in the fall, and shes thrilled to know that Northampton really has become her family's tradition.
Name: Chloe Hoyak
Major: Interior Design
Projected Graduation Date: 2013