Featured Customers

Bathroom Design, Design Contest, Featured Customers, Professional

Shona Griffin places 2nd with her versatile walk-in shower design

This bathroom design features a walk-in steam shower with a sauna, standalone tub, bench seat and a large round window.

By Kendra Dorosh

Shona Griffin places 2nd in the Chief Architect Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest. She’s based in Atlanta, Georgia and owns a small home-based drafting and permitting service called Key Designs.



“I have an Associate’s Degree in Computer-Aided Science and a Bachelor’s Degree in Project Management. I was introduced to Chief Architect Software through an engineering firm that I worked for, at that time they were operating Chief Architect Version X7. I have also learned Revit, but I prefer Chief Architect and have now been using it for 14 years. I operate a small home-based drafting and permitting service, which is growing rapidly.”






My customers absolutely love seeing the renderings of their homes before construction.

We really enjoyed seeing Shona’s work.  Her designs and renderings are truly inspiring.  Check out more examples of her work below!


Winning Design

More from Shona

Connect with Shona

Key Designs

4000 Ferry Heights Dr.

Atlanta, Georgia 30331



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Bathroom Design, Design Contest, Featured Customers, Professional

Brian Bone wins 1st Place with his spa-inspired master bathroom design

Master bath with walk-in glass shower, double vanity and sloped ceiling.

By Kendra Dorosh

Brian Bone wins 1st place in the Chief Architect Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest. Brian’s passion for 3D home design has driven him from a young age. He now creates beautiful renderings for his clients, such as this winning bathroom design.

“I am from Wisconsin but have been living in Wilmington, North Carolina for the last 8 years now. I started designing when I was a kid but used Legos back then. As I got older I discovered design software, but the cheap kind at the store. After a few years of using that I found Chief Architect Software and quickly realized it was better than the rest. From there, I started working my way up the product line. While in college, I used Chief Architect Software to help show off my design presentation boards. After ten plus years of using the software, I landed my job because I was able to create 3D walkthroughs and home designs for customers in order to show them what their dream home could look like. I’ve been a big fan of Chief Architect software and when I’ve needed assistance, their service representatives have always been helpful.”

Winning Design

More from Brian

Connect with Brian

Future Homes

(910) 270-3313

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Design Contest, Featured Customers, Interior Design, Residential Home Design

Chace Groves places 2nd and 3rd with his residential and interior designs

This residential home design offers an oversized upstairs patio area, outside storage to the right of the parking spaces, two beds, three baths, and a separate utility room. The downstairs area is an open-concept layout with a generously sized living room, kitchen and full bath.

By: Kendra Dorosh

Chace Groves placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest in April and 3rd in the Kitchen/Bath & Interior Design Contest in May. Chace’s passion for 3D home design and modeling is clearly portrayed in his winning designs.

“I always had an eye for design. Since I was a kid, I always loved testing ideas and reworking current concepts. I started young, sketching plans and inventing various models and machines. I always loved testing my creativity and problem-solving skills, despite being a brain tumor survivor. My fairly poor motor skills and major loss of hearing, due to the radiation removal, were challenged in grade school and throughout life. Anything that involved my motor skills was easily not my shining talent. I’ve always hated coloring, cutting, pasting, and other handcrafting skills. In grade school, I worked my way through various home designing software and used them for much more than just home designs. I made dog houses, forts, playsets, greenhouse, and even a roping cow.

“My last purchase before college was Home Designer architectural 2014, and it became a very big hobby of mine. After high school, I went to work at my dad’s commercial construction business while earning my associate’s degree at a slow rate of just two classes at a time. After graduation, I decided to pursue my dream of becoming a licensed architect and started so through the University of Texas at Arlington. Despite my experience, computer aid was not allowed until the junior year and required a fairly high GPA. I got tired of redrawing plans with the required rapidograph pens just because it had one tiny ink smudge the size of a grain of salt. My mediocre motor skills of hand drafting, drawing, and model building skills didn’t seem to impress my architecture professors. As a result, my GPA fell and I left looking for a similar path.

“After leaving architecture school, I enrolled at Texas State Technical College. There I learned AutoCAD, Revit, Solidworks, and Inventor. I took a machining class as well. I then learned that one of my professors was a user and teacher of Chief Architect at another institute. I progressed quickly and got my first AutoCAD job with a rapidly growing firm in Dallas before I graduated. I was also doing side jobs and worked using both AutoCAD and Home Designer. Looking forward to graduation, I was extremely excited about my future. Things were going great. My short term goal at the time was to grow my customer base and eventually work for myself.

“Everything was great and was going as planned until two weeks before graduation. Everything came to a halt. I had a brain hemorrhagic stroke overnight and instantly became paralyzed on my dominant side at just 29 years of age. After two years of recovering, I had come such a long way. Two years after the stroke, I was hit again with a similar incident and set me back again. My career is on hold for now, but my passion continues. Today, I use Home Designer and AutoCAD for mostly recreational reasons. It keeps me going and my mind active. I one day hope to return to the drafting and design field full-time to carry out my dreams.”

Chase, we’re so glad that you turned to Chief Architect as your creative outlet and that we have had the opportunity to know you, your work, and your story! Thanks for sharing; we look forward to seeing more great things from you!


Winning Designs

More from Chace:

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Design Contest, Featured Customers, Residential Home Design

Joni Anderson places 3rd with her Southern-Living house plan

Residential home design with large wrap-around front porch, white siding and a gable roof.

By Kendra Dorosh

Joni Anderson places 3rd in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest. Creating 3D models of home designs is one of Joni’s greatest passions and stress releases. You can see her love for design in the details of her dream retirement home.

“I became interested in computerized home design back in the year 2000 when it became available for the consumer market. As the technology changed, I continuously upgraded to stay compatible. Eventually, with each subsequent home computer, I was led to Better Homes and Gardens software developed by Chief Architect. I then graduated to their aptly named Home Designer Suite.  Of all the different home designing software programs I’ve tried, I’ve found Chief Architect products to be the most computer friendly, affordable for budget-conscious consumers, and versatile. I’ve basically stuck with them since 2005.  And the visuals are absolutely stunning, almost life-like.

“I hail from Indiana, born and raised there, but have resided in Southern Maryland for the past 22 years.  I actually had my first custom home built here that I’d planned for six years, waiting for the opportunity to bring it to life.  All I needed was a more permanent place to stay since there had been uncertainty with my husband’s government job back then. Both the property and the house plan coincided with my six-year vision.  After locating the property, it took only 24 hours to modify the house plan, add an extra bay window,  pick out all the colors, countertops, placement of outlets, windows, etc. that functioned effectively for my family. I created these plans on paper, all without the use of home designing software so you can imagine my joy when that became available!

Whenever I feel agitated, I turn to Chief Architect Home Designer Suite to calm me.

“I’m a self-taught computer operator (mostly so my children couldn’t pull a fast one on me if I hadn’t taught myself).  I learned everything by trial and error using Windows-based systems.  My husband, who is a computer engineer, said I was a natural when it came to running different kinds of software programs, basic graphic design, and learning HTML code all from the comfort of my home.  Home design has been one of my more constant hobbies over the past 18 years.  Whenever I feel agitated, I turn to Chief Architect Home Designer Suite to calm me.  It’s my number one go-to stress reducer.  It rejuvenates my creative juices as well.”


Winning Design


More from Joni

“I’ve been sharing a few of my projects on my Facebook page and one of my friends asked if I could design a barn with living quarters so she could check on her horses while wearing her pajamas! I told her, not a problem. Although I’d yet to design something like that, I knew it could be accomplished using Chief Architect Home Designer Suite and importing 3D farm objects. I found a barn house plan that included living quarters and went to work.  She absolutely loved it and hopes to one day build it.  I’ll be charging for the next project!”

Four bedroom barndominium.


“Here’s another project I created with Chief Architect Software. It’s a Bed and Breakfast that was inspired by Calamity Jane and an ancestor of mine, Colorado Charlie Utter. Colorado Charlie was best friends with Wild Bill Hickok. Both of them knew Calamity because she rode on the wagon train to South Dakota with them! I call the design Calamity June B & B for my granddaughter, June! It features three exteriors of the four-bedroom Victorian house (many who’ve seen it love the porch feature) and three rooms of its interior: the kitchen, dining room and one of the bathrooms, which are included in each suite.”

Colonial bed and breakfast residential design.


Connect with Joni


We want to congratulate Joni again on her winning design and to thank her for sharing her story with us and our community! You may have noticed that Joni features a number of imported 3D symbols in her plans. If you’d like to learn more about how you can import 3D objects from an outside source into Chief Architect Home Designer Software, we have a Knowledge Base Article available here with step-by-step instructions.


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Design Contest, Featured Customers, Professional, Remodel-Addition

Robin McCarthy and Heather Brewer win 2nd place with their crafstman-style design

This large remodel and major addition was designed around an active lifestyle of a family of five who have outgrown their current home. The style of the home is primarily a mix of farmhouse and craftsman elements. The timber beams, shingles, and stone accents highlight the craftsman style, while the board and batten farmhouse style windows bring out the farmhouse style.

By Kendra Dorosh

Architect Robin McCarthy and Junior Designer Heather Brewer placed 2nd in the Chief Architect Residential Design Contest. See how their projects have come to life with Robin’s passion for design and Heather’s skill with 3D Modeling.

Robin McCarthy (Left) and Heather Brewer (Right)

“My name is Robin McCarthy, my company, Arch Studio, Inc., was founded in 2004 and we are a California Licensed Architecture firm located in San Jose, Ca.  Our projects include custom residential remodels, additions, and new construction throughout the Bay Area.  We have also completed many commercial projects, such as restaurants, salons, and fitness facilities.  We have a passion for design at our company and look forward to each and every project.

“I am the CEO and Founder of Arch Studio, Inc.  I am a licensed Architect in California and began my passion for design in college at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, California. Heather Brewer, one of our architectural designers, and 3D Modeler did all of the 3D Modeling for the project submission.  She graduated from John Brown University in Arkansas with a degree in Construction Management.  She, too, has a passion for design and architecture.  She joined my firm 2 years ago and has been working in Chief Architect ever since.  She learned it basically from scratch with the help of the online training videos.  We now use Chief Architect for basically every project.

“I have been an architect for about 25 years, and for 20 of those years primarily used 2D software for design and drafting.  About 6 years ago, I decided that I wanted to find software that would better-assist my clients with visualization of our designs, and also find a product that eased with the mass amount of work involved with the preparation of construction documents.  A colleague had mentioned Chief Architect and I immediately signed up for the free trial.  I discovered during the trial period that the software was user-friendly.  In addition, I found that I could start working immediately, and take any of my 2D digital floor plans and start snapping wall lines.

“Fast forward, I have been a Chief Architect customer for about 5 years, and what influenced my decision to purchase the software was the quality of the product and the superior graphics.  I also was impressed that the product was designed for people in the design industry.  I spent about 6 months researching various 3D software packages and ultimately found that there was no other product out there that matched my checklist for ease of use, quality, and price.”

Winning Design

More from Robin and Heather

Connect with Robin and Heather

Arch Studio, Inc.
1155 Meridian Avenue, Suite 207
San Jose, CA 95125
Office : (408) 662-6305



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