Colorado State University Interior Design Student Honored with National Award

A Colorado State University interior design student in the Department of Design and Merchandising has received one of the largest monetary awards given by the American Society of Interior Design this year.  

Dana Castoro was awarded with the prestigious Dora Brahms Award. She was honored for her proposal to create interior lighting for a landmark Arkansas cottage while maintaining its historic integrity.

The small Queen Anne cottage, built in 1910, is located in Pine Bluff, Ark.  The cottage was the first all-brick home built by or for an African-American in Pine Bluff and today is the oldest remaining African-American home in the area.  It is listed on both the Arkansas and National Register of Historic Places.

It is one of the few houses throughout the country that is preserved as a testament to the achievements made by middle-class citizens in their rise from slavery.

The three goals of Castoro’s projects were to increase the functionality of interior lighting, increase security and safety of the house through lighting and to maximize the energy efficiency of the total lighting plan.

"In her research and comprehensive presentation, Dana has set a new standard for excellence. This award recognizes an extraordinary project and an exceptional interior design student," said Kathy Montgomery, an American Society of Interior Design Fellow.

The Dora Brahms Award honors students interested in historic preservation and restoration studies. It is unusual for it to be awarded to an interior design major, but it is the second time in the last six years that an interior design student at Colorado State has been honored with the award.  

"The Department is very proud of Dana for her exceptional work, and we are pleased that she is being recognized with this prestigious national award. The award recognizes her ability to integrate history and interior design into an outstanding project," said Mary Littrell, head of the Department of Design and Merchandising at Colorado State.

For more information on Castoro’s project or the Dora Brahms Award, contact Kendra DiMatteo at (970) 491-7890 or