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Customer Stories

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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Featured Customers, Professional

Pushing the Boundaries of Style

Portrait of interior designer, Rene Rabbitt.

Taking inspiration from a broad spectrum of influences, Rene’s goal is to draw you in, make you feel welcome, and spark intrigue.

By Kerry Hansen

Based out of Oakland, California, Rene Rabbitt of Rabbitt Design has 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.

An Asian inspired bathroom design with large walk in shower, modern bathtub in a platform tub deck and elegant vessel sink and fixtures.
The Cavalero Conceptual Design
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Customer Stories, Featured Customers

Modern Lake House Design Places 1st by Brent Julius

Modern two story home with rooftop balcony, and lots of natural light.

Author's PortraitBy Kendra Dorosh

Brent Julius’ 1st place modern lake house in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest is a stunning example of turning clients dreams into reality.

Brent Julius with 306 Drafting and Design.

“I started designing while in college as an architectural student. Shortly after, I worked at an architectural firm learning a lot about the construction and design industry. A few years later, I transitioned to a job specializing in residential design. It was there that I started using Chief Architect. Fast forward a few more years. I now own a residential design firm, 605 Drafting + Design

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Customer Stories, Featured Customers

Modern Mountain Rustic- An Award-Winning Design by Todd Wilderman

Modern mountain rustic home with timber framed accents and cooperating materials.

Author's PortraitBy Kendra Dorosh

With a long history of experience in construction, Todd Wilderman creates a top design in Chief Architect’s Residential Design Contest.

Todd Wilderman hiking in the mountains.

“I started doing residential drafting at about the age of 12. My father was an industrial arts teacher at the local high school but drew plans on the side to supplement a meager teacher’s salary. I walked by his drawing table one day and said: “I could do that, doesn’t look that hard”. The next day, there was another drawing table in the room and I had a garage plan to draw.

“After that, I eventually went on to do many other things… construction trades, sign-making, welding, and carpentry. I also managed to get a BA in Art with studies in Math and Physics, a Construction Management certificate, a diploma in Surveying, and a Masters in Architecture. 

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Customer Stories, Featured Customers

Jerry Heckendorn Places First with His Craftsman Style Addition

Layout sheet of a residential second story addition and interior remodel.

By Emily Black

Jerry wins 1st place in the Chief Architect Remodel/Addition Design Contest. His level of detail and craftsmanship show his passion and experience.

Jerry Heckendorn
Jerry Heckendorn

“Soon to be 63 years old, I was born and raised in the Detroit Metropolitan area.  After high school, I attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1980 from the School of Architecture with my Bachelor of Science in Architecture.  Shortly after graduation, I married my beautiful and brilliant high school sweetheart, Debbie, who often helps me when I’m struggling with project designs… and is also my best critic (soon to be celebrating our 39th anniversary!). 

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