Decorating Den Interiors announces annual design, decorating awards

Decorating Den Interiors named Suzan Wemlinger of Milwaukee, Wis. Decorator of the Year, the highest design award presented by the interior design and home furnishings franchise company.

DDI AwardsSuzan Wemlinger

Wemlinger’s dining room makeover was selected as the best of 267 entries in 11 categories judged by U.S. and Canadian national and regional design journalists in the company’s 31st International Dream Room awards competition. Wemlinger received her award at Decorating Den Interiors' 46th annual conference and supplier market held this month in Jacksonville, Fla. She also will be honored in New York City at a dinner with interior designer Mario Buatta.

The company’s Dream Room Awards competition results in four top design awards and two runners-up for each. Winners are as follows:

Decorator of the Year, first runner-up: Kathy McGoarty, of Lansdale, Pa., who won first place in the living room category.

Decorator of the Year, second runner-up: tie between Katie Rioux, of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, who won first place in the kitchen category and Deborah Bettcher, of Wayne, Pa., who won first place in the bedroom category.

Donayre Award: Barbara Elliott and Jennifer Ward-Woods of Stone Mountain, Ga., won the Donayre Award, which is voted on by company franchisees and is named for Carol Donayre Bugg, ASID, company vice president and director of design. They won for their design of a bedroom makeover.

Donayre Award, first runner-up: Barbara Tabak, of Harrisburg, Pa., for an outdoor space, which also took second place in the miscellaneous category judged by the journalists.

Donayre Award, second runner-up: Barbara Elliot and Jennifer Ward-Woods of Stone Mountain, Ga., for a kitchen that earned second place in that category as judged by the journalists.Living Room

People’s Choice Award: Elliot and Ward-Woods and McGroaty tied for the People’s Choice Award, an online judging open to the public in which more than 20,000 votes were cast among the 267 entries. Elliot and Ward-Woods won for a bathroom; McGroaty won for family room. Deanna Frazier, of Plano, Texas, won second place for her design of bedroom.

Patti Award: Named after Patti Coons, former public relations director who was instrumental in starting the 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. First place went to Cassy Young of Bogart, Ga., who won for a living room design. Abby Dahlinghaus, of Eaton, Ohio, won second place for a commercial space, a clubhouse for residential community. Ana Gil-Jones, of Exton, Pa., won third place for her bathroom makeover.

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