Notice: This article is more than one year old and is part of the Henry Ford College news archive. Information in the article may be outdated. For the most current news and information about Henry Ford College, please visit, or contact
Release Date: 
Friday, January 4, 2019

HFC Interior Design students to renovate two apartments in Henry Ford Village

Karen Wilmering with Interior Design students

CAPTION: HFC interior design program coordinator Karen Wilmering, left, and her students at Henry Ford Village (HFV) in Dearborn. HFV asked HFC students to renovate two of its 2-bedroom apartments during the 2018-19 academic year. The HFC students made their presentations on Dec. 11, 2018 to HFV executives.

Following last year’s success of redesigning a 1-bedroom apartment home at the Henry Ford Village (HFV) senior living community in Dearborn – which was sold in 15 minutes – HFV management was so impressed with the HFC interior design (ID) students that they asked them to renovate two 2-bedroom apartments during the 2018-19 academic year.

“This is more comprehensive than last year. Instead of doing this in one semester, we’re doing this in two semesters. The first semester will be devoted to redesigning the apartment homes on paper. The second semester will be devoted to the actual construction of the apartment homes. We’ll be collaborating with HFC’s Architecture/Construction Technology (ACT) program,” explained HFC ID program coordinator Karen Wilmering. The ACT program was responsible for last year's Tiny Home project, which sold in a charity benefit auction for $47,000.

Wilmering says the redesigns on these two apartment homes will be extensive. Plans are underway to remove walls and redo the kitchens and master bedrooms. The first half of the Winter 2019 semester will be construction, and the second half will be finalizing the two apartment homes for sale in late May/early June.

“The presentation literally gave me goosebumps”

In late 2018, HFC ID students presented their designs to HFV executives, including Denise Sutton, HFV Interior Design and Move-In Manager. It was Sutton who approached Wilmering in 2017 about forming a partnership between HFV and HFC.

Sutton was impressed by what she saw.

“The presentation literally gave me goosebumps,” said Sutton. “The students’ designs were not just creative, but also professionally presented. I was sitting next to our Associate Executive Director, Kari Rennie. She saw the same things I saw. I had to pause and realign my imagination. ‘Was this Henry Ford Village?’ This partnership between two Dearborn landmarks has developed into a rich collaboration. I’m so proud to be standing together with my management and Karen Wilmering. I have no doubt that this will be a success. I am very excited to execute the plans and reveal the outcomes.”

Visit HFV at

Henry Ford Interior Design program information is here.