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Featured Customers

Customer Stories, Featured Customers

A Designer’s Journey from Hand-Drafting to Design Software

Modern farmhouse style home with black windows, white siding, and a standing seam metal roof.

Author's Portrait by Kendra Dorosh

Have you spent hours laboring over a drafting table? Remodel/ Addition Design Contest winner Sandra Lukas can relate.


Black and white image of a woman with short hair and large sunglasses.

Sandra’s winning design in the Chief Architect Remodel/ Addition Design Contest caught our attention and inspired us to learn more about her story. It turns out that she hand-drafted designs for high-end spec homes for years before making the jump to Chief Architect’s Home Designer Professional software. Follow along as she takes us on a trip down memory lane from her days of hand drafting to how she discovered and fell in love with design software.

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Experts in the Field, Featured Customers

Love of Place is at the Heart of Lake + Land Studio’s Craft

Filled with nostalgic detail, this Island Contemporary style home was designed for Crane Island, a Southern Living Community located in Florida.

by Anne Smith

A design studio in Hattiesburg, MS achieves success in a surprising variety of projects by focusing on harmony with surroundings and a respect for history.

We first got to know the team at Lake + Land Studio back in October when they won first place in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest, and discovered their involvement in a number of impressive projects – including HGTV’s series, ‘Home Town’.  As ‘Home Town’ celebrates its 4th season, we checked in with them to learn more about the various projects they are involved in and the challenges of designing for a t.v. show.

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Featured Customers, Professional, Residential Home Design

Michael Rust, Organic Architecture at its Finest

The Hinshaw Residence, another example of Organic Architecture designed by Michael Rust. The house flows organically and becomes one with the natural contouring of the land.

Author, Kerry Hansen by Kerry Hansen

“Architecture is not just about buildings,
but about nourishing the lives of those within them.”

The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation

If you haven’t yet heard of Michael Rust, you will be glad you took the time to learn a little about him and his work. Michael, an architect based out of Chandler, AZ, first sparked our interest when his organic, Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired design was entered in the Chief Architect Residential Design contest. Located in Webb City, MO, this incredible home was designed in harmony with its steeply sloping lot. This posed challenges during the design phase but, with Rust as the architect, those challenges inevitably inspired its magnificent lines, grand exterior staircase, cantilevered awnings, and towering windows that let the views of nature climb right inside.

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Featured Customers, Professional, Residential Home Design, Stories

The Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture: Through the Eyes of an Apprentice

Michael Rust in 1987 enrolled in the Taliesin Fellowship at the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture.

Author, Kerry Hansen by Kerry Hansen

Like many, when we learned that after nearly 90 years, the iconic School of Architecture at Taliesin would be closing its doors later this year, our hearts skipped a beat. Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the founding visionaries of Modernist architecture and a towering figure in American culture. For a first-hand perspective on the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture at Taliesin West, we turned to Michael Rust, an architect based out of Chandler, Arizona. Rust, a member of the Taliesin Fellowship for over a decade, was the recipient of the third Master of Architecture degree ever issued by the prestigious school. Michael’s architecture is featured on the cover of Chief Architect Premier X11 and X12, and atop our booth at the International Builders’ Show.

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Featured Customers, Professional

CHC Design-Build, Brings Creativity, Quality, & Integrity to the Forefront of Home Design

An exterior view of the red party barn designed by Kevin Transue of CHC Design Build.

By Kerry Hansen

Kevin Transue is recognized locally, across the Midwest and nationally for his remodels, additions, finishes, and conversions.

Kevin Transue, CR, is the founding partner, principal designer, and craftsman at CHC Design-Build and TAO Design in Kansas City. He and his wife and partner, Judy Transue, are two of fewer than 50 individuals in the Kansas City area certified by NARI, the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. Kevin and Judy have been recognized locally, across the Midwest, and nationally for their designs, remodels, additions, finishes, and conversions.

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Customer Stories, Featured Customers, Stories

Two-Time Design of the Year Contest Winner, Nathan Ensminger!

Nathan's 2018 Remodel/Addition Design of the Year Contest Entry.

By Jake Murray

Congratulations to Nathan, who has won the Chief Architect Design of the Year Contest for two years running! What will he design next?

In 2018, Nathan placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Remodel/Addition Design Contest in September and won the 2018 Design of the Year Contest in December with his backyard getaway. Nathan wasted no time and entered into the Kitchen/Bath and Interior Design Contest in June of 2019 where he took 1st place with his Kitchen design. Nathan then went on to win the 2020 Design of the Year Contest in December. He’s certainly on a roll and we look forward to seeing what he’ll submit next year!

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Customer Stories, Featured Customers

Form follows function in Residential design from Robert Smith

Front perspective of farmhouse style home with columned entry and gable accents

by Ariana Beaudry

Robert Smith embraces fresh design concepts to meet clients’ needs.

Our Second place Residential Design Contest winner, Robert Smith, was encouraged at a young age to start on his design path. When he mentioned that he enjoyed working with wood, his high school counselor suggested, “Why not draw houses?” to fill an elective. He proceeded to study Architectural Drafting all 4 years of high School, earned a degree in Architectural Design and Drafting from York Technical Institute, and has been an avid student of design ever since.

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Customer Stories, Featured Customers

Cindy Baker: Inspired by Relationships

Master Bathroom with hardwood flooring and grey marble counter tops

By: Ariana Beaudry

Second Place Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest winner Cindy Baker has put relationships at the center of her nearly 30 years in the design field.

Cindy Baker has always forged her own path, taking guidance and inspiration from her relationships along the way. Growing up, her father’s home improvement projects fascinated her. In school, a well-known designer personally encouraged her to make design her career. And after earning a degree in Interior Design at Oklahoma State University, she sold her car and moved to London where she, “opened up a phone book and started making calls.” She recalls, “I was blessed to find a prominent designer who took me under her wing and into her world.”

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