Best Practices for Entering to Win a Home Design Contest


Grandview watercolor rendering with line drawing

Author's Portrait by Kendra Dorosh

Each month we receive a great selection of renderings created by our users for the Chief Architect Design Contests. We’d like to share some ideas and suggestions for how you can craft a great design contest entry that Facebook voters respond positively to. These techniques can be applied when entering a Chief Architect Design Contest, or any other home design contest you might be considering. Let’s get started!

One of the best, and most obvious, aspects of a great design contest entry is a nice rendering. However, it’s also important to supplement the rendering with a well-written description along with your contact information; this is a perfect chance to show off your skills and share your story! We then recommend sharing the post on your own social media channels for the best exposure, we’ll get to this part in a bit.

Here’s a quick checklist of what to consider when submitting your design contest entry. We’ll cover each topic in more detail below.

The Rendering

The renderings that we’ve found do the best on Facebook are clear, bright spaces that are easy to see on a small screen. A standard rule of thumb at Chief Architect is to set the resolution of our renderings to 1920×1080. If you’re using Chief Architect software, resolution can be set in Home Designer Professional, Chief Architect Premier, and Chief Architect Interiors.

If you’re having a hard time deciding between two or three images, you can provide a single collage. For example, we have many customers who like to provide both the layout and a 3D view, or even a before and after of their design.

360 Renderings

The 360-degree rendering option is a great way to showcase your design! These renderings are supported on Facebook and will often perform better (with respect to Facebook reach and likes) than standard images. However, a word of caution… 360 renderings are only recommended if you’ve designed out the full interior scene. If you only have a kitchen designed for example, and the rest of the space is empty, the 360 renderings will show the empty areas of the scene, which may take away from your kitchen design.

If you’re not familiar with how to export a 360 image, refer to these training videos for Home Designer and Chief Architect Software. When you’re ready to submit your design, please send us a copy of the actual .jpg file. We will also need a standard image to post on the Chief Blog.

View Breckenridge Kitchen in Chief Architect’s 360° Panorama Viewer.

Physically Based Rendering

For customers using Chief Architect Interiors and Premier, we strongly recommend leveraging the Physically Based Rendering (PBR) technique. It supports real-time ray tracing and actually calculates the paths that individual photons take as they travel through the model and bounce off of surfaces. These are high-quality photo realistic renderings and can be leveraged for either a standard rendering or a 360 rendering.

Modern Kitchen design with breakfast nook

Project Descriptions

The best project descriptions are one to two small paragraphs and include a brief backstory on the design as well as details on the location and the goals for the project. Think about the design objectives, styles you were aiming for, particular challenges with the design, and anything else about the design process you’d like to include. This is also a great place to plug any additional content you have for the project, such as a link to a 3D Viewer Model, or a Walkthrough Video tour.

Contact Information

For contact information, we recommend providing a company name and website. If you have a presence on another platform such as Houzz, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, or the ChiefTalk Gallery, please feel free to provide those links as well!

Sharing the post across your own Social Media channels

Once we’ve posted your design to the contest gallery on Facebook, we will email you with the link. We then strongly recommend sharing the design on your own social media channels to increase the reach and likes. For Chief Architect Design Contests, please note that only likes and other reactions on the original image in the contest gallery will be counted. The design with the most likes and other reactions will win the contest! As with anything Chief Architect related that you make and share, please tag us in your post; we love to see your work! Simply include “#chiefarchitect” in the description.

Examples of winning design contest entries

Below you’ll find the three winners from a previous Chief Architect Design of the Year Contest. These customers did an outstanding job on their submissions and can be used as an example.

By leveraging a combination of a great rendering, detailed description and supporting information about yourself or your company, you’re sure to have a great design contest entry! And as always, don’t forget to share the entry with your own social media community using #ChiefArchitect to give it the best opportunity for success.

We can’t wait to see your submission in our next design contest!


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