2023 Design Contest Winners

Modern home space with extended patio space.

Profile image of Danielle Schroeder By Danielle Schroeder

Chief Architect has monthly contests for customers to show off their work. People with various backgrounds and styles compete in the following categories: Kitchen/Bath and Interior, Residential, and Remodel/Addition. Please help us congratulate the winners!


Doug Forbes Profile Image
Doug Forbes

1st Place: Doug Forbes

“Draftsmen/Designer Doug Forbes has extensive experience in the design-build construction industry. Starting in the residential contracting sector in San Antonio, Texas, Doug is a certified architectural drafter with the ADDA, an American Institute of Building Designers member, and a licensed residential building contractor (#RBC-21-01412). Doug is a dual resident of both the United States and Mexico, which gives him knowledge of wood framing as well as CMU/CBS structures and multiple design concepts from different cultures.”

Zachary Karimipour profile image
Zachary Karimipour

2nd Place: Zachary Karimipour

“I have always had a passion for design art, and architecture. I graduated from Flagler College in 2018 with a degree in Business Administration and Management but began designing for my father’s residential construction company in 2016, Persica Homes, Inc. Since starting full-time, I now assist with client design, design development, project renderings, and project management. I’ve gone out of my way to learn more about historical building styles and residential design history and have explored ways to create timeless designs while maintaining affordability. I’ve used Chief Architect since I started designing, and my father has used the software since the 1990s.”

Sarah Bass Profile image
Sarah Bass

3rd Place: Sarah Bass

Sarah Bass Interior Design is a boutique interior design firm that offers full-service custom home design and renovations. We offer a wide range of services, from conceptual design to material & finish selections to furniture and styling. Located in Fairhope, Alabama, our goal is to create authentic and timeless spaces that combine function and beauty seamlessly.”

Kitchen, Bath, and Interiors-October

Kelsey Bryan Profile image
Kelsey Bryan of MainBuilt Custom Homes

1st Place: Kelsey Bryan

“Kelsey Schwager Bryan graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2012, earning her Bachelor of Arts degree in Interior Design. Kelsey has always envisioned herself designing in the residential space. After working for a few years in the residential remodeling sector, she joined MainBuilt Custom Homes in the midst of the 2020 building boom. From interior to exterior selections, she leans on quality materials and details that will stand the test of time. Her favorite part of the design process is pulling all of the finishes together and creating the visuals in Chief Architect to bring her designs to life for her clients!”

2nd Place: Rebecca Langman

Lindsay Collins Profile image
Lindsey Collins of LMC Interiors

3rd Place: Lindsey Collins

“Meet Lindsey Collins, an innovative designer who turns spaces into captivating works of art.  With a background in tile and stone, Lindsey’s expertise extends to cabinets, residential remodels, and new construction. She curates every aspect of the space, from exquisite tiles to cabinets, countertops, hardware, light, and appliances, ensuring a harmonious and cohesive design. 

Lindsey’s love for travel inspires her fresh ideas and unique design concepts. With a passion for fashion, food, and the arts, she captures the essence and beauty of her designs through photography.

With Lindsey Collins as your design partner, your vision becomes a reality. Her attention to detail, creative flair, and professional approach bring your style and personality to life. From conceptualization to creating a haven you’ll love, Lindsey’s expertise leaves you inspired and amazed.”

Sam Kunka Profile image BLOG
Sam Kunka of Bolyard Lumber & Design Center

3rd Place: Sam Kunka

“Sam Kunka is originally from Dayton, Ohio, and currently lives in the Metro Detroit area.  She has just over 6 years of kitchen and bath experience and holds a B.S. in Interior Design from Bowling Green State University.  Sam currently works for Bolyard Lumber & Design Center in Birmingham, MI, under the creative direction of Lead Designer Lindsey Collins. Sam has worked with Chief Architect for a little over a year and wouldn’t want to work with any other program.  With the way that Chief renders and how user-friendly it is, it makes it so easy to be able to portray any custom design to the client.  Most clients say they have a difficult time visualizing their projects, but Chief gives us the ability to create photo-realistic renderings and 360 views, and in the long run, it eliminates a lot of confusion on the job site.”


Profile image of Johnny Gray
John Gray of John Gray Architecture

1st Place: John Gray

“I received my Bachelor of Architecture degree from Kent State University. I am a sole proprietor currently working on design/build remodel and renovation projects for our own investment properties. I managed the architectural services departments of four of the top ten residential builders for over 20 years, including K. Hovnanian, NVR, Beazer, and Pulte. 

During my early career, I was trained in several CAD programs. Once I left the homebuilding business and went out on my own, I started outsourcing my CAD work overseas since I hadn’t used CAD software for many years. I made the decision to start doing my own CAD work after about a year and started my search for the best software solution. I landed on Chief Architect for its short learning curve due to the wealth of tutoring content and resources, large 3D Library, and 3D modeling capabilities. Chief Architect has been a tremendous tool for presenting projects to my business partners, lenders, and planning boards. The construction trades appreciate the level of detail in my plans as well as our ability to work out details quickly in the field.”

2nd Place: Dwane Peterson

Profile image of Dave Herber
Dave Herber of David Wayne Design

3rd Place: Dave Herber

David Wayne Design is a design firm in Scottsdale and San Diego that specializes in creating homes that inspire and captivate emotions. A residence should not only be functional but should be aesthetically pleasing as well.  The design should flow with movement and purpose, and every room should be a celebration!

I’ve been using Chief Architect for over 20 years, and it’s a great tool to start the creative process and demonstrate the overall design and flow of the project with clients. They have a visual idea of what their home will look like as the design begins to evolve and transform itself.  In many cases, being able to design or change on the fly helps clients process what the design could look like should a change be made. The immediate update is remarkable and extremely valuable in proposing an idea.”


Don Corbin Headshots
Donald Corbin of Blue Hawaii Designs

1st Place: Donald Corbin

“I own and operate an Architectural Design Studio in Honolulu, Hawaii.
I have been using Chief Architect since version 5 (not X5). I started using Chief Architect in the year 2000. We solely operate Chief Architect here in my office. I have 8 licenses.

We concentrate on residential design, and we model everything in 3D for our clients to visualize. It is a great tool for communicating different ideas and design concepts. I find it invaluable. My clients are thrilled and amazed at what the program can do. They get so excited to be able to see their kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, living areas, and exterior renderings of their house designs.

I have attended several Chief Architect classes along the way. I always recommend learning from someone who knows more than I do which speeds up the learning curve to the time I can produce better, faster, more intricate designs and plans.

We also do all of our construction drawings in-house, with Chief Architect, including floor Plans, elevations, foundation, framing and cross sections, and details. I have shown how fast Chief is compared to other programs to those who are experts in other programs, and they have all conceded Chief is faster and easier to use.

Thank you, Chief Architect, for providing me with a tool that I can utilize to create an architectural design company that is head and shoulders above most of my competition. It has truly helped to make us one of the best architectural design companies in Honolulu, Hawaii.”

Profile image of Michael Rogers
Michael Rogers of M R Designs

2nd Place: Michael Rogers

“M R Designs is a small four-person office in El Dorado, Arkansas, specializing in residential, commercial, and interior design. With active licenses in twelve states, I bring a highly experienced team ready to meet any design need that our clients may have. As a lifelong resident of South Arkansas, it was important to me to establish my architecture firm here to best serve the development opportunities in what I believe is an underserved and sometimes forgotten region. Continued development plays a vital role in our communities’ well-being, growth, and overall betterment. As individuals and a firm, we continue to invest in our communities and actively seek opportunities to make a lasting difference in our rural area. One of those opportunities we’ve taken on is what we call “project SOUTH ARchitecture”.

Project SOUTH ARchitecture is an open forum for individuals interested in housing development across twelve counties in rural southern Arkansas. We believe that housing plays a vital role in the well-being and growth of our communities. Through this forum, we hope to bring information and opportunities to individuals looking to make a difference. Our goal is to have a platform where designers, developers, contractors, real estate agents, investors, community leaders, and many others can openly collaborate. We are not here to promote any one business but more to promote each other and the betterment of our communities.”

Rebecca Langman Profile image
Rebecca Langman of Revision Custom Home Design

3rd Place: Rebecca Langman

“After growing up in Minnesota, I graduated with my B.F.A. from the Harrington Institute of Interior Design in Chicago. In addition to a summer semester studying design in Paris, I was also lucky enough to spend a year attending school at Montana State University in Bozeman. During that year, I fell in love with the state of Montana and decided to live here after graduation. I have happily called Billings home for over 19 years.

My work includes the design and furnishing of Parade homes, floor plan designs for several neighborhood developments, commercial store layout designs, and major residential remodeling projects.

Revision Custom Home Design is the culmination of a life-long passion for design and architecture. It began with Legos, graph paper, Traditional Home magazine, and JC Penny home catalogs. Next came Interior Design school, real-world sales in a furniture showroom, in-house design for a remodeling company, and floor plan designs for new home construction.”

Kitchen, Bath, and Interiors-June

Portrait of Rene Rabbitt, Freelancer
Rene Rabbitt of Rabbitt Design

1st Place: Rene Rabbitt

Based out of Oakland, California, Rene Rabbitt of Rabbitt Design has a global reach with extensive experience working with people and projects all over the world. As a freelance Designer and Draftsperson, Rene offers a broad scope of services and experience, including but not limited to architectural and structural plan sets, Chief Architect training, and both residential and commercial rendering.

Profile image of Jackie Montour
Jackie Montour of RoJohn Home Improvement

2nd Place: Jackie Montour

“I’ve been a full-time designer and project manager at RoJohn Home Improvement in Fort Dodge, Iowa, since 2019. I specialize in kitchens and baths, remodels, and additions. I graduated with a BFA in Interior Design and certification in historic preservation at Iowa State University. I enjoy the color and material selection of each project, as well as figuring out complex floor plans and transferring those plans into 3D. If I could design all day, I would! “

Profile image of Kristen Plescow
Kristen Plescow

3rd Place: Kristen Plescow

Kristen is a passionate and talented interior designer with seven years of experience in the field, including working with design-build firms. Kristen brings a vibrant energy and creative flair to her projects.

Her design philosophy centers around creating personalized and functional spaces that reflect the unique aspirations of her clients. Kristen’s dedication to her craft and ability to exceed expectations make her a sought-after designer. She weaves together aesthetics and functionality with each project, breathing life into every room. Kristen’s infectious enthusiasm and commitment to creating inspiring spaces continue to shape her remarkable career in interior design.


Profile image of Jorge Arreola
Jorge Arreola

1st Place: Jorge Arreola

“I was raised in Mexico, where I received a degree in Architecture. My passion is creating, but more importantly, watching my designs being built. All of my designs have been in the Houston area. My wife, Raquel, and I have two beautiful daughters that are the most important thing to me in my life. I am an avid Houston sports fan and enjoy listening to all types of music, especially when I am creating. I enjoy going to the movies, grilling outside, and eating everything I prepare. “

Profile image of Paige Harrison
Paige Harrison

2nd Place: Paige Harrison

“Paige is a graduate with an associate degree in interior design and is a full-time designer for the Owings Companies.  She brings a fresh eye for design that offers our clientele new and cutting-edge design ideas.”

Profile image of Shelly Wood
Shelly Wood

3rd Place: Shelly Wood

“Shelly Wood is the Design Lead for Axis Construction. Axis Construction is a Design-Build firm in Wichita Falls, Texas, that gets to take client ideas and dreams and design them into reality! Shelly is heavily involved in the front-end designs as well as the entire construction process. She loves the design aspect of every project and thoroughly enjoys using Chief Architect to convey designs and plans to clients!”


1st Place: Katrina Cropp

“I am a graduate of West Virginia University and co-owner with my father of Colony Builders Inc. We specialize in historic restoration and custom homes in addition to interesting commercial projects that come along. I live and work in my hometown of St. Mary’s County in Maryland with my husband, Michael, and daughter Annabelle. 

Growing up in this historic county has influenced my design aesthetic. I love designing and building timeless homes and making people question when they were built. I’m so lucky to be able to design and then build these beautiful homes, it’s so stressful and hard, but I can’t imagine doing anything else.”

Profile image of Alex Hoogendoorn
Alex Hoogendoorn

2nd Place: Alex Hoogendoorn

“Somehow, I’ve always known that I would end up in the home-building arena in some way or another. Drafting was the easy choice because I enjoyed the design aspect of this industry. So through high school and college, I joined a framing crew to get the hands-on experience needed for house plan designs. I understand how the plan will form together from day one and can help you visualize things as needed. Backing up this hands-on experience is the associate’s degree I received at Southeast Technical Institute in Sioux Falls, where I graduated at the top of my class. In my final year, I was involved as a student representative for my department at the student government meetings. I was the president of the Home Builders Association student chapter and was chosen as October’s student of the month.

I started working for a local builder after school. I worked as their only drafter from 2012 to 2017. The experience I gained from this position is equally, if not more important, than my building experience to how I run things today because it gave me a chance to be the direct line between the clients and the subcontractors/staff of the company. Being the only drafter meant that the entire planning process rested on my shoulders, and there was no room for error.”

3rd Place: Maddie Arwood

Kitchen,Bath, and Interiors-March

Profile image of Nisreen Khlefat
Nisreen Khlefat

1st Place: Nisreen Khlefat

“I always had an eye for detail, art, design, and buildings, but I never knew what area of study would combine those aspects. Going into college, I studied Computer Science and Business Management and earned a degree with a double major. I worked a corporate job and was an entrepreneur, but I knew my passion was to create beautiful spaces and work with design software

In 2020, I enrolled in college, majoring in Interior Design; not sure if this would be the area of study that would fulfill my passion. After taking 2 classes, I knew this was the field I wanted to be in. I excelled in the major, and my enthusiasm for working with design software allowed me to become a tutor. I’m very passionate about sharing knowledge and helping others succeed. 

Being a mother of 3 provides a unique perspective in my work as an interior designer. I have a deep understanding of the importance of creating spaces that are not only visually appealing but also practical and functional for families. I have experience in residential and commercial design, enabling me to work with a wide range of clients. My enjoyment of the outdoors inspires me to incorporate natural elements into my designs.”

2nd Place: Norbert Kovacs

Norbert has been a Senior interior designer at Linda Ruderman Interiors in Boca Raton, Florida since 2022. He has a sophisticated design style and describes himself as having a shrewd approach to cutting through the heart of design ideas. He has experience in polishing designs for high-end interiors and is highly self-motivated.

Profile image of Sarah Cooper
Sarah Cooper of KC Home Solutions

3rd Place: Sarah Cooper

“Sarah Cooper is an interior designer in the Kansas City area. She has been in the design field for over ten years, working as a kitchen designer, remodeling designer, interior decorator, professional organizer, and home stager. She received her bachelors in Interior Design in 2012 from Park University.

Right now, Sarah is working for KC Home Solutions, a remodeling company in Olathe, Kansas. She works on projects ranging from kitchen remodels to entire home remodels and additions. 

Chief Architect Premier is a new program for Sarah, but it has been an excellent program for communication with contractors and visualizations with clients. She can’t wait to see all of the projects she will get to work on next! “

Thank you to everyone who shared their designs with us! Learn how to enter our upcoming contest for a chance to win.


John M.

It’s always nice to get insight on the winners of these design contests, especially hearing about their educational and experience backgrounds which have made them successful. However I think Chief Architect is missing a huge educational opportunity by not explaining what key aspects of each of the designs made them the selected “Winner”. This insight could sharpen the focus of the designers and their design entries, on potential areas needing improvement, thereby allowing them to be more successful in their careers and possibly becoming future winners of your design contests.

Chief Architect

Hello John!

Thank you for your feedback. Winners are determined by vote through our social channels, we will be sure to include this information in future posts.


Chief Architect Sales

Anthony Vogel

Pictures of the winners are nice, but I have no doubt that pictures of their designs would encourage more people to actually read their words.

Chief Architect

Hello Anthony!

Thank you for your feedback. You can click each contest label to view the full album of entries. We will bring the feedback to include more design images within the article to the team.


Chief Architect Sales

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