One-Minute Interview

Ken Kanline, director of the Chrysalis Awards and owner of the Southern Building Show, offers remodelers advice on how to enter and win design award programs.

May 31, 2000

Q.What types of projects are award-winning material?

A lot of things have to come together for a project to win. You’ve got to have a client that is willing to undertake an interesting job, and as a remodeler, you have to be capable of helping them reach their goals. Here’s the key: Good work is great, but when it comes to awards, you have to have a project that will capture the imagination and interests of the judges, and that’s highly dependent on what the customer wants to have done.

Q.What should the first step be for a remodeler who thinks an upcoming project has potential?

Try to identify a potential award-winning project early, so you can get before pictures where applicable. One of the No.1 keys to winning is good photography. I have yet to see an amateur photographer able to submit work that looks as good as a professional. Professional photography is important.

Q.What else is important?

In many cases, after the job is complete and after the customer makes the space their own, the decorating will hide what the judges would like to know about the remodeling job. It would’ve been better if the rooms were not jammed with furniture. Simplicity and clarity were important in the winning entries this year. Imaginative and effective use of space was also a big key.

Q.As director of the award, what do you do?

[I handle] all communication between perspective entrants and all communication with entrants, plus also the organization of the judging and the awards program.

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