Panel names Krista Shugars, of Decorating Den Interiors franchise KD-Designs, Designer of the Year

EASTON, Md. — Krista Shugars, owner of KD-Designs, a Decorating Den Interiors franchise serving the Anne Arundel, Howard and Baltimore County areas (, was selected as the company’s Designer of the Year by interior design journalists from throughout the U.S. and Canada.  

Shugars transformed this living room in an historic home built around 1880. It was judged best in category and the overall best of 298 entries in 12 categories by home furnishings journalists from the U.S. and Canada. Home News Now participated in the judging.

Her transformation of a living room in a historic home built circa 1880 was judged best in category and the overall best of 298 entries in 12 categories by interior design journalists from throughout the U.S. and Canada. The resulting space “seamlessly blends historic charm with modern, eclectic flair. Vibrant elements, from a colorful wool area rug to custom upholstery and a sparkling crystal chandelier, create a breathtaking atmosphere with multiple seating areas. Ten-foot windows are adorned with fuchsia silk taffeta panels, while a baby-grand Steinway piano and captivating artwork add elegance and cohesion,” Shugars said.

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

Designer of the Year Krista Shugars, Pasadena, Maryland (second from left);  with Marva Don Card (left), Fort Denaud, Florida, first runner-up; Kimberly Paulus (second from right), Missouri City, Texas, second runner-up; and Donna Smith, right, of Walpole, Massachusetts, and last year’s Designer of the Year.

The media judges also selected Shugars for these other awards: Kitchen first-place, Bedroom second place, and a third place in the Living Room category.

Designer of the Year Runners-Up

The first Runner-Up was Marva Don Card, of Fort Denaud, Florida. Her family room was first in its category and judged second-best overall.

The second Runner-Up was Kimberly Paulus, of Missouri City, Texas. Her bathroom took third place overall and first in its category. She also won seconds in Childrens, Kitchens and Living Room, and another entry in Kitchens won third place. Paulus was Designer of the Year in 2019.

Other Design Awards:

Donayre Award

Shugars’ first place living room also won 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.

Second-place winner of the Donayre Award was Paulus for her living room.

Third place went to Lisa Porter, of Dallas, for her bedroom makeover, which was judged first in category by the media judges.

People’s Choice Award

Kiran Arif, of Cincinnati won all three top awards 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 kitchen was second and miscellaneous space was third.

Patti Award

Katie Frederic, of the Coin Team franchise in Sanibel Island, Florida, 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. She won for a living room makeover.

Annie Abanilla, with the Pressley Design Co. franchise in Fort Worth, won second for her bedroom.

Michelle Simpson, with Lisa Porter’s Spruced Decorating Den Interiors, won third-place Patti for her living room makeover.

This was the company’s 40th International Dream Room awards presentation. It was held at the company’s Tune in to Success 2024 annual conference in Nashville.

Decorating Den Interiors was founded in 1969 and has interior design professionals and decorators throughout the U.S. and Canada. Its design professionals offer full-service interior design that includes fine furniture, case goods, accessories, lighting, floor and wall coverings, draperies, and other hard and soft window treatments from its custom LIVV Home Collection of furnishings. Its design professionals bring samples directly to the client’s home or office, provide complimentary design services and personally oversee projects through installation. 

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