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Decorating Den Interiors Announces Designer of the Year Award Winners

In it's 39th Dream Room competition, Donna Smith took home the top honor of Designer of the Year. 

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Donna Smith
Donna Smith was Decorating Den's Designer of the Year for its 2023 Dream Room competition.

Franchise owner Donna Smith, of East Walpole, MA., (https://dmith.decoratingden.com/) was named Designer of the Year in Decorating Den's annual competition. This is the highest design award presented by Decorating Den Interiors, a North American interior design and home furnishings franchise company. 

Smith's multi-function family room, which combined modern and classic upholstery in gold, soft green and neutral fabrics along with light wood along with metal case goods, was judged best in category and the overall best of 277 entries in 11 categories by interior design journalists from throughout the U.S. and Canada. She also had the first-place bedroom, second-place family room, and third in both kitchen and living room.  

“I am thrilled to win this honor,” said Smith, “Being Designer of the Year and winning awards in four other room categories is very exciting. This is a wonderful way to celebrate my 30th year in business.”

Designer of the Year Runners-Up   

The first Runner-Up was Vicki Rorison, of Spring, Texas. A first-time participant in the competition, Rorison’s dining room was first in its category and judged second-best overall.

Second Runner-Up was the design team led by sisters Barbara Elliott and Jennifer Ward Woods, of Stone Mountain, Ga. Their bathroom took third place overall and first in its category. They also won first in home office and were third in bathroom and bedroom.  

Other Design Awards:

Donayre Award

First-place winner of the Donayre Award, which is voted on by company franchisees and is named for Carol Donayre Bugg, ASID, retired company vice president and director of design, were Barbara Elliott and Jennifer Ward Wood for a bedroom. They also won second place for their bathroom.

Third place was Lynne Lawson, of Columbia, MD, for a living room, which also was second in that category in the journalist judging.

People’s Choice Award

Kiran Arif, of Cincinnati won first place in the People’s Choice Award segment, an online judging open to the public. Her living room design received the highest number of votes cast.  Her family room design garnered the third highest number of votes.

Second place was a living room designed by Michelle Jett, of Los Angeles.

Patti Award

Rorison’s dining room also won the Patti Award. Named after Patti Coons, former public relations director who was instrumental in starting the International Dream Room competition. The award is for first-time entries into the competition and is judged by those franchisees who have achieved Decorating Den Certified Decorator status.

Breann Bohne, senior designer with Lisa Bibawi’s franchise in Dallas, won second for her bedroom.

Arif won a third-place Patti for her conversion of a dark basement into a fabulous entertainment space, an entry in the miscellaneous category.

This was the company’s 39th International Dream Room awards presentation. It was held at the company’s EXCEEDINGTHEVISION2023 annual conference in New Orleans.

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