Professional, Student

Angela Brings Home Silver at the 2018 National Leadership Conference

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

By Emily Black

Angela’s passion for Interior Design has grown through her years participating in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) and the National Leadership Conferences.

FCCLA is a national student organization that helps young men and women become leaders and address important personal, family, work and societal issues.

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

“I’m a senior at Statesboro High School. I am also Statesboro High School’s FCCLA Chapter President. My love for interior design started when I was really young. During summers and weekends, I spent time with my grandma who worked for a designer but worked on projects herself. My grandparents had two hobbies: restoring furniture and antique shopping. With all these things combined, it made me into the person I am, striving to create a career for myself out of it. Unfortunately, my school doesn’t have an Interior Design program, so I’ve had to find different outlets to express my creativity as a designer and to also build my skills in order to be a great designer in the future.

“My sophomore year of high school, I took a construction class to understand architectural viewpoints of the process and to also gain knowledge of the work site while during my junior year I took an art class in order to understand an artist point of view and to broaden my artist skills. This past school year I have also been working with a local Interior Designer who has been walking me through the design process and giving me advice as to what I should do to prepare for college as an Interior Design major and what to do during college.

“I originally joined FCCLA as a freshman because I thought it was a great student organization to be a part of and it would get me to do something, but it has also given me so many amazing opportunities especially at the beginning of my career that I didn’t know would happen like meeting design professors from the University of Georgia or SCAD, but mainly to expose myself to what Interior Design is like.

“For my competition, I was given a scenario and information of “my clients” of which I had to analyze while staying in lines of the actual FCCLA rubric. I also had to prepare an invoice of whatever the rubric says is required and a Planning Process that basically simplifies my concerns, goals, plans, and results along with providing my boards, floor plan, and elevations.

“When I first competed in Interior Design through FCCLA my sophomore year, I used two to three different design software programs and it was frustrating because those programs weren’t helping or providing me with what I needed which put me behind schedule. I discovered Chief Architect when I made it to Nationals during the summer of 2017 and have since used it for my competition this previous school year. My sophomore year of high school I started at the State Level, which is typically the hardest level to compete at for Interior Design. When I competed at State I had two judges, one of which was a Design professor at the University of Georgia. I remembered walking out feeling horrible and frustrated because I thought I messed up my presentation based off of the feedback I received from my judges. But after I won Silver and found out I made it to Nationals I took that frustration and I worked on my boards the entire month of June to show improvement in my work, which I received Gold for at Nationals that summer.

Using Chief Architect this time for my competition was easier for me and made my work a lot better quality.

“My junior year I had to compete at Regions first, so I had four months to work on my presentation instead of five. This was also my first time using Chief Architect. Using Chief Architect this time for my competition was easier for me and made my work a lot better quality. I also took this year to improve upon the actual boards themselves and what all I included in them. At Regions, I received Gold, proceeded onto State and received Silver, and proceeded onto Nationals again and received Silver.”





We are honored to be a part of Angela’s design process! We wish her the best in her future endeavors. If you are a teacher or student interested in incorporating Chief Architect into your class work, learn more about our academic software.

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Professional, Residential Home Design, Stories

Fine Homebuilding California House Collaboration

FHB California House Watercolor Rendering by Chief Architect

By Adrean Stephenson


Taunton Press’s Fine Homebuilding Magazine has been the gold standard reference, covering quality home design and construction for over 30 years. I remember as a youngster sifting through the stacks of my dad’s coveted back issues, soaking up the details and anticipating the next “Great Moments in Building History” featured on the last page. It wasn’t long after I purchased my first fixer upper that I started an archive library of my own.

It is because of this history, along with the natural pairing of design resource with design software, that I am so excited for Chief Architect’s collaboration on Fine Homebuilding’s California House.

We have been working with the editors and art team at Fine Homebuilding, developing illustrations to detail the construction methods for this high-efficiency home designed by Atmosphere Design Build.

FHB California House Technical Illustration Rendering by Chief Architect Software

I started the process as usual in Chief Architect, drawing walls, generating roofs, defining terrain. Then I began detailing the nuances of the house. I created wall types to reflect the necessary layers for insulation and framing for the Advanced Framing Technique leveraged in this build. I set up custom platforms for the floors, ceilings, and roofs, and added the channeled concrete sub-floor supported on steel posts and beams.



After the fundamental house was represented, I tore the design back down to the structure and created the framed elevation view featured in the August/September issue’s spread.


I also created a gutted version of the design to showcase the foundation construction, using what I call a “Ghost House” technique with the help of Photoshop layering. You can learn more about my process in this how-to video.


The third image for this feature is a textured foundation detail. It, like the others, is rendered using the Watercolor Rendering Technique, giving it a softer hand-drawn effect.FHB California House Foundation Detail



FHB Full Page Ad featuring Chief Architect SoftwareWe’ve shared other renderings of the home on our website, where you can check in to see more updates as we progress. You can also scan our ad’s QR code directly from your issue #277 of Fine Homebuilding Magazine for information.


I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to work with Chief Architect and the Fine Homebuilding team in a creative role. I find that I’m continually surprised and challenged while focusing on projects like these. I can’t wait to learn what is coming in this house, just like I can’t wait to get the next issue in the mail and add it to my collection.

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Contest Winners

July’s Residential Design Contest Winners

Congratulations to our three Chief Architect Residential Design Contest winners!

Thank you all for sharing your designs with us and our community.


1st Place

Sarah Rickard using Home Designer Architectural 2019.

2nd Place

Jennifer Lazarus with Ideal House Plans, LLC using Home Designer Professional 2019.

3rd Place

Jeff Burns with Jeff Burns Designs using Chief Architect X10 Premier.


August’s Design Contest is Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design. Submit your design!


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Residential Home Design, Student

Danielle Earns First in National Student Competition

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.

Danielle with her teacher, Andrew.“I am 16 years old and from Grand Prairie, Texas. This upcoming school year, I am going to be a junior at James Bowie High School where I am captain of the girls wrestling team and a member of my school’s orchestra, BPA, TSA, and NHS. Ever since I was little I have loved to make things with my hands, when I was in second grade I had even attempted making a castle out of tissue boxes. When I got to high school, I began to see architecture as a possible career path because it combines my different interests, so I took the class during my sophomore year.

“When we were first introduced to Chief Architect in class I was immediately obsessed. The software was professional level and had so many options and different features that the possibilities felt endless. Chief Architect is fast as well as easy to understand and use and no doubt gave me an advantage during my competition. Every time I use Chief Architect I find how to better use another feature and get a better result, and I intend to someday master those features in order to create great designs.

Chief Architect is fast as well as easy to understand and use and no doubt gave me an advantage during my competition.

“At TSA Nationals I showed up to the room 30 minutes early to ensure that I got a good seat at the back of the room then I had an additional hour while everyone else arrived and the judges quickly interviewed us. Then we were all given the problem and the time was started. When they gave us our problem I began to worry, there was so much to do and I only had four hours.

“We were given a floor plan to modify so I started first by recreating the walls, windows, and doors. There were holes in the design that I had to fix so I worked on those then began designing the rooms and other spaces. My main focuses, however, were designing the master bathroom and the kitchen, as well as the area around the front entrance. When time was almost out and I was putting together my layout, I remember worrying that I had focused on the wrong things, but I had to trust that I had used my time wisely and accept what happened. After time ran out we were sent off while the judges judged our work and had to wait for them to call us back to talk about our work. When it was my turn, the first judge told me how well I had done but then pointed out that I had forgotten my dimensions on my floor plan, after that, I lost all hope of getting top three. The rest of my comments were a mix of “good work” and “did you run out of time?” and one of the judges commented that he knew immediately that I had used Chief Architect.

“At the awards ceremony, I was dreading going on stage because I thought the top 10 was as much as I’d get, and once they announced 3rd and it wasn’t me, I was sure that I didn’t trophy, but then they announced first and said my name… Everything was a blur after that, I couldn’t and still can’t believe it!”

Danielle’s Nationals Design

Danielle’s Qualifying Design

Danielle’s teacher, Andrew Barrett, is on his 24th year of teaching and is currently teaching Architectural Design and Animation. Andrew has incorporated Chief Architect into the classroom for everything from floor plan creation to electrical plans, elevations, site plans, roof plans, and layouts. Also, students create animated walkthroughs utilizing Chief Architect to create their structures and use the export function to send their 3D models to 3D Max for animating.

“This is Danielle’s first year in my class and her first time to use CAD of any kind. I am extremely proud of her. She has worked very hard to improve her skills this year. Danielle is a gifted student with so much potential. I feel blessed to have her as a student. The sky is the limit for this amazing young lady in the future!”

We are honored to be a part of Andrew’s curriculum and Danielle’s design process! We wish Danielle the best in her future endeavors. If you are a teacher or student interested in incorporating Chief Architect into your class work, learn more about our academic software.

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Design Contest

Design Contest – Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design!

Chief Architect Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design contest.

Chief Architect Design Contests are a fun way to share your designs, build credibility and expose your brand.  Share one of your Kitchen/Bath & Interior Designs for a chance to win Chief Gear. Use any Chief Architect or Home Designer software product to create your original design.


  1. Email a single image or a 360° image of your design to
  2. Include your name, company information, and the software you used.
  3. Describe your design and planning process for your submission including any background information about the project.


Entries will be posted in a photo album on Chief Architect’s Facebook page. Fans of Chief Architect will be asked to “Like” their favorite entry. The entry with the most “Likes” and other reactions will be declared the winner.


1st Place


2nd Place


3rd Place



  • Use any Chief Architect or Home Designer software product to create your original design.
  • One submission/file per person (can be a single view, collage, or 360° image)
  • If you submit a 360° image, it must be exported as a JPG format. Also, please include a standard image for us to add to our ChiefBlog.
  • Chief Architect reserves the right to refuse any contest entry.
  • Purchasing “Likes” or “Shares” is not permitted.
  • A submitted design may not be entered more than once per year. Re-entry of winning designs are not permitted.
  • Entry Deadline is August 20, 2018


Send inquiries to