The Designer of the Year Awards – What to know BEFORE you start your submission

It’s that time again- we’re taking submissions for the 2021 Designer of the YearAwards Program and we’re excited to see what your design business has been up to in the last year. To help you prepare your entry for a chance to win a coveted DotY Award, we’ve put together some of our best practices.

If there’s one thing we know for sure, it’s that people procrastinate. Each year hundreds of designers submit their applications with only hours or even minutes to spare! Before starting your submission, you should know the following rules: 

  • You must be a current IDS member to apply. Make sure that your membership is up to date and know your member ID, you will need it for the application.  
  • All entries must have been completed in a residential space. Commercial projects will be disqualified. This includes vignette-like designs that were not completed in an actual home.
  • Projects must have been completed between May 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020.
  • All entries must be accompanied by a Concealed Identification Form with the photographer and homeowner’s signature.
  • Applications must be submitted by May 5 2021 (midnight Alaska time)

There’s no limit to the number of projects you submit! Once you’ve decided which project(s) you believe could be winners, think about these aspects of your work:

  • What’s the story of your design project and how will you tell it?
  • What special touches or processes did you use to meet the needs of your client?
  • Did you encounter any design challenges? If so, how did you address them?
  • Which images best convey the quality of your work? We suggest organizing your photography early to narrow down your top images. Most entries are limited to 10 photos and sometimes it’s hard to choose!

When you’re ready to start your application, consider these tips:

  • Always include at least 1 before photo, even if it’s an empty room or new construction. Judges appreciate seeing the transformation.
  • Use bullet points- they’re easier to read!
  • Do not include your name or your business name in the project descriptions or photo file names.
  • Allot enough time. Submissions can take up to 1 hour to complete, especially if it’s your first time.

Want more information? Watch this webinar! We’re here to help you in your DotY journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out: Good luck!



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