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Featured Students

Featured Student – Payal Thakkar


Bathroom design with blush nood basin, sconces, wall planters, and soaking tub

Headshot of Ariana Beaudryby Ariana Beaudry

Originally acquiring her Bachelors in Accounting and MBA in Marketing in India, Payal has chosen to pursue Interior Design as her passion. Echoed in her design style are biophilic elements and sustainability, with the goal of creating spaces that invoke emotion and memories.

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The Live-in U-Haul: An Award-Winning Design


Rendering of a remodeled U-Haul converted to living space.

Author's Portrait by Kendra Dorosh

Emma Baumann is a high school student with a passion for interior design who placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Remodel/ Addition Design Contest. She’s intrigued by architecture that adapts to the evolving demands of life during COVID-19. Her winning remodel creatively converts a U-Haul into comfortable and stylish living quarters.

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Student Designer Wows with ‘Melrose Place’ Apartment Render


Rendering of the Melrose Place apartment complex.

Author's Portrait by Kendra Dorosh

Interior Planning and Design student Gisela Weissman-Everhard’s attention to detail and commitment to learning are driving factors in her early successes.

Woman with brown hair and red lipstick.

As a student at American River College in Sacramento, CA, Gisela seized the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest as a learning opportunity:

“I wanted to really push myself to grow. With previous projects, I had been focused on the interior structure and aesthetics of designs. The ‘Melrose Place’ design was going to be really challenging – how was I going to build an open area that overlooks the pool? I was also nervous about the complexity of the roof, with how it opens up in the middle. This is an apartment, not a house, so I had to build multiple apartment spaces. I watched many Chief Architect tutorials over and over again. I felt really good when it was completed, I learned so much in the process.”

-Gisela Weissman-Everhard

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Tips for Passing the Chief Architect Academic Certification Exam


Technical Illustration rendering of a two story rancher-style house with a large entryway.

By Kayla Lockhart, AKBD

Are you interested in taking the Academic Certification and earning the designation of Chief Architect Certified Apprentice? We’ve compiled a few tips below to help you pass the first time.

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12-Year-Old Christian Dewitt’s Award-Winning Spa Bathroom


Small, rectangular bathroom with a waterfall shower and sunken tub.

Author's PortraitBy Kendra Dorosh

Christian Dewitt is a passionate 12-year-old who placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Kitchen/ Bath & Interior Design Contest. He has a natural eye for design that shows through his renderings.

Boy sitting on brick steps.

“My name is Christian Dewitt and I have been designing since I was two. I would draw plans and put families in front of the homes. I have been doing this for ten years now. I helped design our current home in North Carolina about 8 years ago. This experience really helped me increase my knowledge in the construction part of designing a house.

“I found Chief Architect’s Home Designer Software when I was looking for software that could perform the task that I needed to, at a great price, so I could stop having to sketch or draw my designs. I had compared other design software programs like SketchUp and Virtual Architect with Chief Architect Home Designer Software. I found that SketchUp was too pricey at the moment and you couldn’t own it outright. Virtual Architect’s graphics were very pixelated, also it didn’t offer the customization that Chief Architect’s Home Designer did.”

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Kaitlyn Places Third with Her Traditional Kitchen


My design is a traditional kitchen with marble countertops and walnut cabinets.

By Jake Murray

Kaitlyn wins third place in the Chief Architect Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest. She is a high school Senior who has been helping to design kitchens since her Freshman year.

Design Contest Winner, Kaitlyn, in her senior photo
Kaitlyn’s Senior Photo

“Growing up as a contractor’s daughter in the small town of Grand Rapids, Minnesota gave me opportunities to learn from a young age about design. Our family business, Nature’s Edge Construction, expanded into custom cabinetry in 2015 allowing me the opportunity to help design cabinets for clients my Freshman year of high school.

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Alexis McDaniel Places 2nd with her Contemporary Kitchen


Interior rendering of a contemporary kitchen with a waterfall island and white cabinetry.

By Kendra Dorosh

Alexis places 2nd in the Chief Architect Kitchen, Bath, and Interior Design Contest! She is a Chief Architect Certified Apprentice who has found her passion in interior design.

Alexis McDaniel, Chief Architect Certified Apprentice

Alexis McDaniel, Chief Architect Certified Apprentice

“I’m a senior at Klein Collins High School in Spring Texas, who at a young age fell in love with interior design. My high school has a class where we can design living and commercial spaces using Chief Architect software. It has truly ignited the flame in me to design. I gain so much joy and pleasure from what I do. I have been using Chief Architect for around 3 years, and plan to continue using it. I prefer Chief Architect over other software products because it’s easy to use, and the renderings make a design really come to life.

“I, along with my fellow classmates Mary and Krystina, became a Chief Architect Certified Apprentice last year, which is a huge accomplishment to me. I would also like to mention my teacher Mrs. Mock, who has pushed us to be our best in what we do and has helped in my realization that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life.” (more…)

Angela Brings Home Silver at the 2018 National Leadership Conference


Angela with her interior design boards that she designed using Chief Architect.

Danielle Earns First in National Student Competition


TSA House rendering with brick fascia and concrete edging along curved front pathway

By: Emily Black

Congratulations to Danielle for her outstanding accomplishment at the National Technology Student Association (TSA) Competition in CAD Architecture.  She is only 16 years old and is on her way to a promising design career.

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Alexandra DuBois places 2nd with her mid-century remodel


This kitchen remodel combines the kitchen, dining room, and family room to create one giant space for relaxing and entertaining. The home was built in the mid-century style, and the clients wanted to incorporate this into their new design.

Author's PortraitBy Kendra Dorosh

Alexandra DuBois places 2nd in the Chief Architect Remodel/Addition Design Contest. Her experience with color, tile patterns, and materials is evident in her custom design.

“I am originally from Des Moines, Iowa and moved to San Diego to attend design school ten years ago. I have been around design and remodeling my whole life with my family, my dad always being one to complete all of his own remodeling projects and having my sister and I help all along the way. I graduated from the Art Institute of California – San Diego with a Bachelor’s of Science in Interior Design.  My first few jobs in the industry were a color specialist at a paint store, furniture sales, and tile design before I settled at Lars Remodeling and Design. (more…)