Being recognized as an award-winning designer is every interior designer’s dream – a recognition of your hard work, dedication, perseverance, and eye for design. Read on to find out more about what an award can do for your business, the most coveted awards in the industry, and how to win them.
Why Look Into Interior Design Awards?
Makes You More Competitive
Interior design is an ever-expanding, increasingly diverse, and competitive industry. Every day, more and more people are entering the field, armed with new specializations, techniques, or concepts, with a fresh sense of how to utilize the power of digital media to maximize their brand recognition. This reality means that to be appreciated and rewarded for your efforts and passion, you must stand out from the rest of the crowd. One way to achieve such a status is through design industry awards.
Powerful Marketing Strategy
It makes for a powerful marketing strategy to refer to oneself as an award-winning designer. It is common to add “award-winning designer” to business cards, social media, and websites, effectively stamping your work with seals of approval. After you have been announced a winner, it is great to create buzz by promoting your success via your newsletter and social media channels or publishing a press release and attempting to get local media coverage.
A design industry award, however big or small, will enhance your credibility. It is a tool to bolster your professional image with clients and employees alike. Your career benefits from such accolades as it indicates that you are, in fact, at the top of your game. This differentiating factor acts as a strong client attractant, as it creates instant confidence in your skills.
What’s Available and How Do I Win Them?
There is a vast range of interior design awards: state awards, national awards, global awards, organization/association awards, and magazine awards. They also come in different forms, such as “Top 100” lists. These may not appear to be an award at first but are very credible sources of recognition. Whether you are a practicing interior designer with ten years of experience or an aspiring professional with only two years in the industry, there will be an award option available to you. Many awards do not even specify a required amount of experience. For example, while the ASID national distinction award requires ten years of design experience, a Houzz design award depends only on photo popularity.
The path to winning an interior design award depends on the one in which you aim. In most cases, the awards process requires the submission of high-quality images of your work. However, for others, such as Cooper Hewitt’s National Design Awards, you must be nominated and then you submit your materials. For Interior Design magazine’s “Hall of Fame,” you can only be nominated.
Below we have created an Interior Design Award Database categorized into national, state, shelter magazines, international, commercial only awards, and Canadian awards.
Read through, get inspired, and fill your calendar with submission dates and deadlines. If you hit Ctrl+F and search for your particular specialties, such as kitchen, lighting, or basement, you’ll jump to the categories that suit you.
The final section brings together advice from award-winning designers on how to win interior design awards. This advice, combined with our list of awards, will set you on your way to winning a design award.
American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) National Awards:
The four awards featured below are based on nomination. In most cases, members and non-members, can submit names for all categories, whereas some other categories require designers to be members of ASID. All nominees will then be asked to submit to the award if they so choose. Nominations open by February. Submissions are due around March.
1. Designer of Distinction Award
Any ASID professional member who exemplifies a commitment to the profession demonstrated by a high body of work representing excellence, attention to social concerns, and expression of creative and innovative concepts that have “advanced the profession and transformed lives can be nominated for this award.”
Eligibility: must be ASID professional member in good standing and must have practiced the profession for at least ten years.
2. Design for Humanity Award
This award is for any individual or institution with far-reaching impacts on the global human environment through design-related activities. The award includes, but is not limited to, environment, health and wellness, universal or barrier-free design, energy conservation, safety, communication, transportation, and technology.
There are different award criteria for different nominee groups, as shown below.
Individuals/design teams and institutions, foundations, associations, corporations, cultural or civic bodies: require documentation of commitment to improve the quality of the human environment in any of the fields listed above.
Academia: research and education related to any of the fields listed above and performed by individuals, institutions, or collaborative groups.
Eligibility: You do not have to be an ASID member. National officers, board members, jurors, and award-nominating committee members are not eligible to be nominated during their terms of service.
3. Design Innovation
This award honors individuals, organizations, manufacturers, or research projects for creating a significant and innovative product, project, or body of work that contributes to interior design by positively impacting the design profession and human behavior; promotes comfort, efficiency, or communication; exemplifies a commitment to the profession; exhibits a commitment to sustainability, health, and wellness; and displays an overall appreciation to design.
Eligibility: Any individual, organization, manufacturer, or research project that has made a lasting and significant contribution to the body of knowledge that supports the profession of interior design is eligible. Nominees need not be ASID members.
4. Design Luminary Award Honoring Nancy Vincent McClelland
Honoring the legacy of the first woman president of the American Institute of Decorators, Nancy McClelland, this annual award recognizes individuals, organizations, manufacturers, or research projects for outstanding support of the interior design profession through education, research, and promotion of the value or impact of interior design.
Eligibility: Individuals, organizations, manufacturers, or research projects that have made lasting and significant contributions to the body of knowledge that supports the profession of interior design. Nominees need not be ASID members.
Interior Design Society (IDS) Awards
The Designer of the Year Award recognizes outstanding achievement in residential interior design among Interior Design Society members. All participants must be active members of IDS national. The project you are submitting must have been completed between January and December the previous year. All winning entries become the property of IDS National.
|Kitchens||$50,000 & below; $50,000-$100,000; $100,000 and above|
|Baths||$30,000 & below; $30,000-$60,000; $60,000 and above|
|Bedrooms||$30,000 & below; $30,000-$50,000; $50,000 and above|
|Living spaces||$30,000 & below; $30,000-$60,000; $60,000 and above|
Singular Areas: Include children’s rooms & nurseries, recreation spaces, home offices, outdoor spaces, laundry & craft rooms, closets, wine cellars, entry walls & foyers, dining rooms, window treatments, and powder room.
Specialty Awards: Sherwin-Williams Sponsors Award, Student Design Award, Universal Design / Aging in Place, Sustainable Design, Whole Home Design, Original Design.
IMPACT Awards: Individual Impact Award, Group Impact Award, Industry Partner Impact Award, Sponsor Impact Award.
Cost of entry: $100.
Submission deadline: July
All digital entries must submit a release form signed by the homeowner and the photographer.
**Projects are not judged in person, so high-quality photos are essential.
National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA)
Participants must have completed a project between January and July the previous year. Clear photos, a concise design statement, elevations, a floor plan to scale, and an entry form must be submitted.
Category Awards: first place $2,500, second place $1,500, third place $1,000.
Specialty awards: All category winners will be automatically considered for Best Kitchen $10,000, Best Bath $10,000, Outdoor kitchen $2,000, and Builder/Remodeler $2,000.
In addition to cash, industry recognition, and national media attention, winning designs are also featured in NKBA Magazine & website & NKBA Booth at the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.
Categories: contemporary kitchen (large> 250 sqft/small <250 sqft), traditional kitchen (large> 250 sqft/small <250 sqft), outdoor kitchen, contemporary bathrooms (large> 55 sqft/small <55 sqft), traditional bathrooms (large> 55 sqft/small <55 sqft), and builder/remodeler.
Cost of entry: early-bird entry fee for projects received between mid-April- to May is free for the first entry for NKBA members and $129 for each additional entry. A standard fee of $129 applies for projects received between June 1st and July 3rd. Non-members pay $199 for each submission.
Submission deadline: July
Cooper Hewitt, National Design Awards
This award honors designers for innovation and enhancement of the quality of life in American design.
Design Visionary, Climate Action, Emerging Designer, Architecture and Interior Design, Communication Design, Digital Design, Fashion Design, Landscape Architecture, and Product Design.
Eligibility: Individual nominees must have a minimum of ten years experience; firms, corporations, or institutions must have been established for a minimum of ten years. Design Visionary nominees must have been practicing professionally for a minimum of 25 years for individuals and a minimum of 10 years for companies or organizations. Emerging Designer nominees (individuals or firms) must be in the early stages of their career with up to 7 years of professional experience.
Entry for the awards is decided based on a call for nominations from leading designers. Nominees are then invited to submit materials for the jury’s review. Submissions consist of resumes, design statements, portfolios of work, and professional quality visual examples.
This is an award for everyone because everyone wins on Houzz. These awards don’t mean much to anyone in the industry, but your potential clients certainly won’t know that!
Best of Houzz Design Award: Based on the popularity of the photos from Houzz users during the previous year. To be eligible, all you need is an account with high-quality photos that get seen and added to Ideabooks.
Best of Houzz Customer Service Award: Reviews received from clients for a project will count as a nomination for a reward. Expect to need at least three 5-star reviews per year to get this award.
Awards are announced during the first quarter of each year.
This award is a global design competition in New York that connects 500 events across the city. To be eligible to enter in general product categories, you must either be a product designer, manufacturer, or showroom participating in an NYCxDESIGN show/ installation.
Categories: For the project categories, any domestic or international design firm can enter as long as the project is based in one of NYC’s five boroughs: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, and Staten Island. The project must be completed in the past 5 years.
For the Product category, products that will be shown (virtually or in-person) at NYCxDESIGN Design Days affiliated events or NYCxDESIGN affiliated shows, or in any New York City-based showrooms, design centers, studios or temporary installations in the past year are eligible. This is not applicable if you sell, show, or manufacture products within the five aforementioned boroughs.
Cost of entry: $200/entry; Emerging/Independent Designer Submission Fee- $75 per entry.
Submission deadline: April
Collaboration of Design+Art Awards (CODA)
A Wisconsin organization, CODA pays tribute to the integration of commissioned art with architecture, interiors, and landscapes.
Categories: commercial, education, healthcare, hospitality, institutional, landscape, liturgical, public spaces, residential, and transportation.
Cost of entry: $150 per submission.
Submission deadline: May
The Shaw Contract Design Award
This award recognizes design skills and celebrates the design story behind each project. The award’s focus is on honoring people who rethink the notion of what design is.
The award is open to all professional interior design firms, architectural firms, and end-users. However, all projects submitted for consideration must feature a Shaw Contract, Shaw Hospitality, or Shaw Hard Surface as the predominant flooring in the space and should have been completed up to two years before October of the submission year.
Categories: education, workplace, hospitality, retail, healthcare, multi-family, senior living, government, retail.
Cost of entry: free
Submission deadline: October
ASID, Design Excellence Awards
ASID has 48 professional chapters across the States. In general, each ASID state body offers Design Excellence Awards. The Design Excellence Awards “recognize skills, creativity, and innovation of ASID members who inspire peers and consumers alike.” Awards are for individuals and not firms (corporate signage is exempt).
Eligibility is for ASID members actively engaged in practicing interior design. Only space(s) that have not previously won an ASID Design Excellence Award are eligible. You will need to submit photos, forms, concept statements, and floorplan.
Categories: residential (including design for people with special or specific needs), commercial (including hospitality spaces, hotels, restaurants, clubs), historic preservation (registered as historical with the municipality, and/or, is 100+ years old, or was restored to its original essence), retail and singular space, etc. See the full list of categories here.
New Jersey Chapter
Cost of entry: in the New Jersey chapter, the cost per ASID, Allied and Associate member, and Industry Partner is $125 for the first entry, $100 for each additional entry.
Submission deadline: April
California Central, Nevada, ANDYZ Awards:
Categories: custom furnishings/product design, residential kitchen design, residential bathroom design, residential outdoor space design, individual residential space design, multiple residential space design, commercial space design, hospitality space design, showroom design, and student design.
Cost of entry: early bird entry $100 before March 31st, and $125 thereafter.
Submission deadline: April
Colorado, Crystal Awards:
Projects must be submitted by a designer or firm based in Colorado that is not affiliated with a manufacturer brand or showroom unless allowed by category. Some categories require before-after photographs.
Categories: commercial, mixed, and residential interior designs.
Cost of entry: $175 for members and $275 for non-members.
Submission deadline: July
Texas, Ruby Awards:
All entrants must have an active membership, and projects submitted must have been completed within the past five years.
Categories and cost of entry: residential and commercial projects based on the size of the firm (entry fee $150), students (residential and/or commercial school project assigned by an instructor and executed by an ASID student member while in school studying interior design- entry fee $25), emerging professional (residential and/or commercial project executed by an ASID member that has graduated with an interior design degree in the last five years working independently or with a firm- entry fee $50), overall (ASID designer and an ASID industry partner (IP) can submit a design project exclusively developed as a collaboration between a designer and IP- entry fee $150), industry partner (residential and/or commercial project executed by an ASID IP member- entry fee $150). See more detailed descriptions of categories here.
Celebrating Design Texas
This award, formerly known as Texas Legacy of Design Awards, recognizes interior design achievements in the ASID Texas chapter.
Categories: commercial, residential, corporate, healthcare, hospitality, retail, historic preservation/renovation, bathroom, model home, kitchen, sustainable design-residential.
Cost of entry: $75 per entry.
Submission deadline: June
The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI)
Only NARI members can participate in this award. The competitions are judged on functionality, problem-solving, aesthetics, craftsmanship, innovation, degree of difficulty, and entry presentation. Participants are required to submit a project summary and before-after photographs.
1. Contractor of the Year (CotY) Awards (National): categories include residential kitchen, residential bath, residential interior, residential interior element, residential exterior, residential-detached structure, entire house, residential historical renovation, commercial interior, landscape design, basement, and more. The categories are further divided according to price range.
2. Achievement Awards: NARI honors outstanding achievements by any individual, or NARI chapter that has made significant contributions to enhancing professional remodeling. There are 11 categories in this award. The deadline for applications is in December, and winners are announced in April.
Submission deadlines and fees:
Early bird – August 9 to November 15, 2021 – $175
Standard – November 16 to November 30, 2021 – $195
Late entry – November 30 to December 6, 2021 – $225
Team Members – $175
One perk of entering NARI design award competitions is that once you have submitted your work, participants meeting specified criteria will be recognized for meeting universal design standards or green standards regardless of CotY winning status.
Pinnacle Awards-Lee Building Industry Association, (BIA)
Focusing on the residential building industry, the Pinnacle Awards pay tribute to residential design, new sales, and marketing. There is also a special award for commercial design, as is mentioned further in the article. Projects must have been completed/created/run in the year before entry.
Categories: the Award has a residential design category covering the best interior design for single-family and multi-family and best product design, green design, pool design, closet, lighting, clubhouse, and others. See the full list of categories here. To enter, you must submit a marketing statement and images, including a floor plan, as well as the project budget.
Cost of entry: $250 per entry.
Submission deadline: October
The Southeast Building Conference, Aurora Awards
The Aurora Awards are presented annually to house-related professionals. Residential and commercial construction professionals actively involved in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and the Eastern Caribbean are eligible. Participants are expected to submit a team/project form, affordability form, photo release, and digital files.
Categories: interior merchandising and design categories such as best kitchen, best bath, best interior merchandising of a home, best interior merchandising for rental apartment or condominium, best interior merchandising for clubhouses, and best interior detailing with differing price ranges for each.
Cost of entry: $250 for members, $450 for non-members.
Submission deadline: June
Interior Design Magazine Awards
Interior Design magazine has two awards to honor excellence in design. Winners and honorees are featured in the December issue of Interior Design, dedicated to Best of Year Awards, and on their website. Interior Design magazine’s editorial panel judges Project and People entries. All products go into a public product gallery and will be voted on by the public.
1. Hall of Fame Awards
Interior Design Magazine recognizes top designers for their excellence in the field of design. The magazine has an annual Hall of Fame Awards, described as ‘the Oscars’ for architects, interior designers, and industry luminaries, and recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to growth and prominence in the design industry. New inductees are selected from a nomination body of previous Hall of Fame members. Categories include workplace, hospitality, and residential designs.
2. Best of Year Awards (BoY)
Interior Design magazine’s Best of Year honors significant design work of the year, recognizing exceptional designers, architects, and manufacturers from the industry.
Categories are divided into Project, Product, and People. Projects must have been completed and/or products introduced within one year prior to submission. The People category honors individuals who have contributed extensively to the profession, including lighting designers, landscape designers, and CEOs. A lifetime achievement award is also awarded to distinguished architects or designers who have made immense contributions to the industry.
Project categories: architectural installation, art installation, spa, branding & graphic design, budget, education, entertainment, exhibition, fitness, green, health care, health & wellness, hospitality, institutional, kitchen & bath, library, museum/art gallery, nonprofit, office, outdoor space, public space, religious building, residence, retail, shining moment, showroom, transportation, as well as commercial and residential projects currently in progress.
Product categories: building products, flooring, furniture, green innovation, hardware, kitchen, lighting, seating, technology, textiles, wallcovering, window treatments, etc. More than one product can be entered in each category.
Cost of entry: $300 per entry.
Submission deadline: September. Voting starts in October, finalists are revealed in November, and winners are announced in December.
Phoenix Home & Garden
Phoenix Home & Garden magazine selects design professionals and artisans from the Arizona region to create a Masters of the Southwest list. The best professionals in architecture, building, interior design, landscape architecture, and art are chosen. There have been over 275 honorees of this award over three decades. Winners will be featured in the Phoenix Home & Garden magazine.
Home and Design,Top 100
Home & Design magazine creates a portfolio of the top 100 designers whose work is regarded as the best in the region. Designers listed can specialize in various styles and roles, from decorating interiors to outdoor living spaces. Participating designers are selected by invitation only. Designer eligibility is based upon one or more of the following criteria:
- Recipient of local, regional, or national AIA, ASID, OR ASLA award.
- Editorial recognition and feature in a reputable shelter or design publication
- Nomination by a current participant with approval by the editorial board.
VERANDA, The Art of Design Awards
Candidates are nominated by leaders in the worlds of decoration and design. Each candidate may send a maximum of three submissions for consideration. Winners of the award are showcased in the next issue.
Categories: gardens, pools, porches, dining terraces, loggias, courtyards, and more.
Submission deadline: August
The Chrysalis Award honors “the finest remodeling projects in the country,” based on design, use of materials and space, and integration into the existing space. Regional and national winners are selected by editors and writers of consumer publications such as Sunset Magazine and Better Homes & Gardens.
Categories: kitchen remodel, bath remodel, residential interior, whole-house renovation, outdoor remodel, basement living, etc. See full list of categories here.
Cost of entry: $190 per entry.
Submission deadline: May
Dwell Design Award
For this award, the most outstanding designs published in the past year of Dwell magazine are shortlisted and judged by an expert panel and the magazine’s online audience.
Categories: dwelling, renovation, prefab, small space (less than 800 square feet), garden, kitchen, bathroom, and object.
Submission deadline: November, after which the voting opens online.
Remodeler Magazine, Master Design Award
There are about 22 categories in this award that honors architects, remodelers, builders, kitchen and bath specialists, and other professionals for their outstanding remodeling projects.
Categories: whole house, kitchen, bathroom, basement, historic renovation, universal design, etc. See full list here.
Cost of entry: $155 per project.
Submission deadline: July.
VMSD Magazine, Designer Dozen Awards
The Designer Dozen awards are selected by nomination. Each year VMSD selects 12 up-and-coming designers under the age of 35 who are nominated. The magazine focuses on designers making a difference with innovative methods and have the right drive to succeed. To nominate someone, you must submit a high-resolution headshot and five sample photos of their design work. You can nominate yourself, but entrants must be employed by a retailer or a design firm. The winner will appear in an issue of VMSD, receive an award, and will be celebrated at a special event.
Submission deadline: February
There are also a host of other competitions by VMSD magazine that designers can compete in.
ELLE DECO International Design Awards (EDIDA)
At the ELLE DECO International Design Awards, 25 editors-in-chief of the ELLE Decoration international network award excellence in 14 categories. Every edition of ELLE Decoration puts forward its suggestions across the categories.
Categories: designer of the year, young design talent, furniture, seating, fabrics, wall covering, tableware, lighting, bedding, flooring covering, kitchen, bathroom, and outdoor space design.
World Interior News Awards (WIN)
The WIN awards recognize the designs that have made the most significant impact on the cultural landscape over the past year.
Categories: retail interiors, workspace interiors, bars, cafes, hotels, restaurants, residential development interiors, leisure or entertainment venues, museums or exhibitions, public sector, residential interiors, lighting projects. Products include lighting products, furniture, surface & interior accessories.
Cost of entry: £420 + VAT
Submission deadline: June
Architectural Digest, AD100
Architectural Digest creates a list of top 100 decorators to architects, which isn’t really an award but is a highly coveted list to be on in the world of design.
International Design Awards (IDA)
The Award consists of a publication of the designer’s work in the International Design Awards Book of Designs, distributed to museum bookstores internationally. Winners also get promoted via newsletters, year-long coverage on the IDA website, critical acclaim from judges, certificates, and winners seals to use online.
Categories: commercial, conceptual, exhibits, pavilions and exhibitions, exterior lighting, informational and transactional kiosks and terminals, institutional, intelligent homes, interior lighting, office renovation, residential, sustainable living/green living, hotels, restaurants, bars, and retail stores. Designers can submit conceptual, in-progress, or completed work. The project may be submitted by an individual or company involved in creating or producing the project, including designers, studios, and clients.
Cost of entry: $250. Additional entries-$200.
Submission deadline: October
A’ Design Award & Competition
This competition is open to projects both at the concept stage and for completed interior design projects. The designs are judged on space usage, user-friendliness, functional and emotional aspects of the project, innovation, ergonomics, and human interaction. Submissions must include one main image and an explanatory document. The winners of the award are provided with extensive and exclusive marketing and communication services to promote themselves. The winning designs also appear on the A’ best designs book – distributed worldwide to high profile design magazine editors and companies. The winning designs will also be exhibited in A’ Design award museum (the best ones will have a permanent place) and appear in magazines, newspapers, webzines, and other mediums.
Categories: interior space and exhibition design; architecture, building, and structure design; furniture design; lighting products design; street furniture design, etc. See more categories here.
Cost of entry: depends on entry type and period of submission and ranges between €312- €2250. See more details here.
Submission deadline: early application- June, standard application ends- September, late application ends-February
Society of British and International Design (SBID) Awards
The SBID Awards are open to any design professional, and this includes interior designers, interior architects, property developers, decorators, and home stagers. PR companies can enter on behalf of the client, but they must disclose their authorized position. Winners’ submissions will appear across SBID websites, publications, and trade materials, and will be displayed at events and tradeshows.
There are three categories of awards:
- Interior design: includes commercial and residential sectors, hospitality spaces, workplace environments, retail stores, and healthcare facilities.
- Product design: includes interior products, materials, and effects ranging from the contract or residential furniture, lighting, homeware, and accessories to flooring, sanitaryware, and surfaces.
- Interior fit-out: for the outstanding fit-out of interior design projects across commercial and residential sectors, assessed for standards of completion, execution, finishes, and detailing.
There is no restriction to the number of submissions for consideration of the award. All projects must be no more than two years old before submission. You are required to submit a description of the project/product and images.
Cost of entry: the entry fee is £250 (early bird rate) – £295 (extended rate). A one-off £50 admin fee applies to all entries. This is charged per entrant, not per submission.
Submission deadline: early bird entry period: 10th-31st March; standard entry period: 1st April-31st May; extended entry period: 1st- 30th June
International Interior Design Association (IIDA)
IIDA has several design competitions and awards throughout the year, which include various categories such as product design, healthcare, innovation, shop design, and commercial design.
Commercial Interior Design Awards
U.S Design and Development Awards, International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
The International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) hosts the U.S Design and Development Awards. The awards recognize premier design and development trends of retail projects and retail store design in the U.S.
Eligibility: development officers, corporate marketing directors, or any other professionals responsible for any retail project. Companies can enter as many projects as desired. The project must be completed and open for business about a year before submission and up to three years old. Winners will automatically be entered into the ICSC global design and development award competition.
Categories: renovations/expansions, new developments, sustainable design, and retail store design.
Cost of entry: $495 for members and $595 for non-members.
Submission deadline: August
The Shop! Design Awards
The Shop! Design awards are created by Shop!, previously known as A.R.E (Association for Retail Environments), a trade association dedicated to enhancing retail environments and experiences.
Categories: there are 16 or more full store or department categories, including restaurants, convenience stores, stand-alone vending machines, and window displays. Click here to see the full details.
Cost of entry: early bird rate for Shop! members is $175 per submission; early bird rate for non-members is $325 per submission; the regular rate for Shop! members is $375, and the regular rate for non-members is $525; special element consideration is $50 per element. Projects must’ve been completed in the year prior to submission year.
Submission deadline: February
Lee BIA Industry Awards, Summit Awards
The Summit Awards were created by the Commercial Contractors Council of the Building Industry Association (BIA) and honor excellence in the commercial building industry in building, planning, and design. All entrant companies must be active Lee BIA members.
Categories: advertising & marketing, community of the year, individual achievement, residential design, remodel, commercial projects, and industry achievement.
Cost of entry: $250 each for the first three submissions. Additional entries are $200 each.
Submission deadline: October
Best of Canada Design Competition
This award by Canadian Interiors magazine is the only Canadian award that focuses on interior design projects and products without regard to size or budget. The project must be either located in Canada or be an international project where a member of the design team is a Canadian citizen or permanent resident. Submissions are open to interior designers, architects, interior architects, decorators, craftspersons, and students.
Categories: exhibit, hospitality, institutional, marketing, office, residential, retail, and product.
Cost of entry: $155 for projects and $130 for products.
Submission deadline: September
Advice from Award-Winning Designers
Lori Carroll on Awards
Lori Carroll, an award-winning designer, says, “If you don’t enter, you can’t win. Keep putting it out there, and eventually, it all comes around.” She talks about how it takes a lot of money and energy to win an award. But, once successful, people in the media will approach you, knowing full well they will get the information they need quickly and get great photos. For the full interview, see here.
Sara Marberry’s Tips for Winning
Sara Marberry, a healthcare design knowledge expert and business development consultant, has observed juries for several decades and provides six main tips on winning design awards.
- Make sure to read and follow all instructions, as sloppy entries will be rejected straightaway.
- Invest in high-quality photography.
- Include a good cross-section of images, tell the whole story, e.g., for a renovation, consider submitting before and after shots.
- Avoid marketing jargon, know who you are writing for, be straightforward and honest.
- Provide good diagrams and floor plans for the architects on the jury, and make sure they are readable!
- Ask questions, email the design awards coordinator if you need help navigating the process.
For the full article, click here.
Other Design Award Tips
- Choosing the right award: ask yourself the following questions; do I meet the entry criteria? Can I see myself alongside the previous winners? Can I afford it? Will winning benefit my business?
- Assess the judges: research specialties and strengths, follow them on social media.
- Choose your category carefully- the category you’d most like to win could be the most competitive. If you entered a less popular category, you could improve your chances of winning.
- Writing style: usually, there is not much writing space; therefore, use short, punchy statements to get across main points.
- Get someone else to proofread it!
- Apply to more than one award: make award applications a regular part of your marketing activities.
- Enter again next year: if you enter the same competition more than once, your name will become more familiar. This could improve your standing, as reputation can be a defining factor.
- Create a timeline of awards deadlines: this makes sure that your submission is not a rushed, last-minute job. It also allows you to have the awards in mind as you create your projects or products, meaning they will be tailored towards the desired criteria, such as human impact or cultural innovation, thereby increasing your chances of success.
Many designers recommend that applying for awards is an investment that will yield fruitful results in the long run. So make sure you integrate an “awards application cost” into your annual marketing budget. It would be a good idea to look through each and every award and see if any of your projects qualify for it. Make a calendar and keep a close eye on deadlines. Always create designs keeping an award in mind. After all, calling yourself an “award-winning” designer in your bio, social posts, and in-person would help you establish your reputation.