LARAINE WESCHLER/THE EAGLE
The first floor lounge of Anderson Hall was remodeled over the weekend and revealed to the public yesterday by a team of designers from a Style Network program who modeled it after a Los Angeles restaurant and lounge called Dolce.
AU was invited to apply for the makeover by the show’s producers, who wanted to feature a D.C. university on the show.
A video application was submitted explaining the role of faculty-in-residence John Richardson. Richardson hosts Sunday night dinners in the Anderson 1N Lounge.
Kelly Welsh, executive producer of the Style Network’s “My Celebrity Home,” said Richardson was the reason they came to AU, and the concept of remodeling a university lounge is different from the episodes they normally do.
Richardson had no idea that the lounge was being remodeled; all he knew, according to Maralee Csellar of the AU Media Relations Office, was the “students were doing something special for him.”
“My Celebrity Home” takes a celebrity look and re-creates it for one of their viewers, said Donna-Marie Kent, the show merchandiser.
The show remodels the spaces in two days and does not spend more than $3,000. This was the first time the show remodeled any university’s property, Kent said.
AU’s video application focused on Richardson because he is such a “great guy,” Csellar said. She mentioned how he helps students on move-in and move-out days and also hands out candy during fire alarms.
Julie Weber, executive director of Housing and Dining Programs, said she was pleased the lounge was remodeled.
“All our lounges used to be the same, and now we’re slowly changing them,” she said. “Our experience is when the spaces are nicer, the students respect them more.”
Weber and her office contacted Programming and Administrative Resident Assistant Becca Krichinsky and RA Justin Angotti to help with the video application.
Krichinsky said she “was happy to help because John is awesome.”
Richardson said it was “really amazing” that the lounge was remodeled. He called the room “the answer to his prayers.”
The show’s taping at AU will help with the school’s image, Krichinsky said.
“[It’s] always good for positive media attention, especially with the whole Ben Ladner thing” last year, she said.
The show will air in late December, according to Csellar.
“We’re going to be on national television,” she said. “It’s a way of expanding our image so people know what AU is about.”
The room will be left open for all students to use.
“It’s not just for me, its really for all the students,” Richardson said. “It’s just a kind of home-like space that we can have nice dinners [in] and relax.”