Home Economics Students Take Home Décor Field Trip

EDMOND—Four Herbert W. Armstrong College sophomores visited seven stores on April 23 on a field trip to learn how to shop for quality home goods.

The students were accompanied by home economics instructor Laura Turgeon, guest lecturer for interior design Carol Nash, and Philadelphia Church of God staff member Bettie Arthur, an interior design enthusiast who served as chauffer.

At the first stop at an architectural hardware store, the owner talked with the women about the benefit of purchasing higher quality items and provided tips on what to look for when buying, building or remodeling a home. He passed around two samples of faucets, both of which looked similar, but the higher-quality version was noticeably heavier and had a more substantial sound when tapped with a finger. At the second store, a staff member showed the group furniture constructed on-site from the reclaimed wood of 70-year-old railcars and still bearing the indentations left by horse hooves and tank treads.

The students went on to visit five more retail and consignment stores, learning how to inspect furniture for quality by tapping on or lifting a piece to determine if it is made of solid wood, examining for upholstery wear marks, and encountering frequent examples where price did not necessarily correlate with quality. Mrs. Nash emphasized the principle of visualizing the desired look of one’s home and sticking with that vision, which requires patience. She also admonished the young women to involve God in their decision-making to see what He works out for them.

The trip concluded with visits to the Nash and Arthur homes, where the ladies showed that most of their furniture was purchased used, their elegant homes serving as examples of the results of prayer, patience and an eye for quality over more impulsive acquisitions based more on convenience and style.

“When we looked at their personal homes, it helped me realize that it is possible to achieve your vision,” said student Marianna Balaa. “And Mrs. Nash emphasized the importance of having a clear vision, otherwise you will end up with a jumbled hodgepodge of things.”

Student Heidi Rodis said the field trip “gave me a lot of ideas on how someone can have their dream home even with a modest budget, and how a lot of it stems from waiting patiently on God and being creative and resourceful.”