Frequently Asked Questions

What are the dsm Home Design Awards? The dsm Home Design Awards are an annual feature of dsm magazine, which has long brought local readers stunning coverage of Greater Des Moines’ most luxurious, creative, and intriguing homes and gardens.

We want to recognize the area’s top interior designers, architects, landscape architects, craftspeople, and builders. dsm readers, which include Greater Des Moines’ biggest influencers and tastemakers, will get an inside look at your most impressive projects and see what expert judges deem the best of the best.

What are the categories? dsm Home Design Awards feature top picks in everything from gourmet kitchens to lovely landscapes and fun family hangouts. Categories include “Decor,” “Exteriors & Outdoor Living,” “Kitchen & Bath”, “Architecture & New Construction” and “Remodels & Renovations” each with numerous subcategories.

Why enter a submission? Finalists and winners will feature prominently in our digital and print products over a 12-month period, including our ceremony event in February. By submitting an entry, you have the opportunity to become a finalist and reach a select group of Iowans who appreciate beauty, craftsmanship, and talent in home design and support the industry as consumers.

The dsm Home Design Awards will showcase your company and your finest creations to a discerning, influential audience of consumers and peers and will feature:

  1. Announcement of finalists in our dsmWeekly digital newsletter.
  2. Announcement of finalists in the January/February print issue of dsm.
  3. Presentation of award winners in a widely promoted award ceremony in spring 2025.
  4. Photo coverage of the winners in the March/April Home-themed print issue of dsm and overrun publication.
  5. Photos and brief descriptions of the finalists’ and winners’ submissions on our website and on our social media platforms.

How do I enter? Please start the entry process below by filling out this form with your project details and attaching your images. Remember to submit your entry – if you leave and return, your entry will not be saved.

Can I submit multiple entries? You may submit up to ten entries. Each entry must be submitted separately (i.e. if you submit 10 entries, you will fill out the form 10 times). If you submit more than ten entries, we will only consider the first 10 submitted.

Does my project need to be in Iowa? The project does not need to be based in Iowa, but the submission does need to have a builder/designer/architect, etc, that is based in Iowa.

Does my project need to be from this year? No. We will accept projects that are up to 3 years old.

Can I submit a project that I submitted last year? You may submit a project that was submitted in a prior year as long as that project was not a finalist. We will not accept entries that have previously been named a finalist in the Home Design Awards.

What is the deadline?  Entries may be submitted through 11:59pm CST on August 16, 2024.

How is my submission judged? A panel of esteemed area professionals will judge the submissions in an anonymous process (the nominee’s company and submitter’s name will not be visible) to ensure impartiality. The judges will select three finalists in each subcategory and will designate Gold, Silver, and Bronze Awards to those three finalists. The final results will be tallied.

The judges’ expertise reflects a broad spectrum of related professions, including architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture. All judges’ decisions are final.

When will I find out if I’m a finalist? Finalists will be announced in dsmWeekly and at from October 2024 through January 2025. Finalists will also be announced in the dsm January/February print magazine.

When will I find out if I’m a winner? Winners will be announced at our awards ceremony in the spring of 2025.

Do I have to submit images of my project? Yes, each entry must be accompanied by at least one high-resolution image. Images submitted must be about 8×10 inches, with a 300 dpi minimum (any image that does not meet this requirement will not be accepted). There is a 10MB limit per image.

What if I am having trouble submitting my image via the form? You can submit the image to and flag it for ATTN Alex Kelly in the message section. If it is not flagged for Alex Kelly, it may not be received.

Project Images: Each entry must be accompanied by at least one, but no more than three, high-resolution image(s). Images submitted must be about 8 x 10 inches, at 300dpi minimum (any image that does not meet this requirement will not be accepted). The acceptable format is JPG, with a size limitation of 15MB per image.  To add multiple photos, hold the CTRL (or COMMAND for Mac) button as you select multiple images.

To ensure anonymity, photos should be named by category and NOT the name of the designer and/or homeowner submitting the project. Example of correct image name:  ExteriorsDeck1.jpg. ExteriorsDeck2.jpg, etc.

Please upload your appropriately named images via the form here. To add multiple photos, hold the CTRL (or COMMAND for Mac) button as you select multiple images.

Advertising: For advertising opportunities, contact Lynne Belknap at or fill out this form. Each registrant will have opportunities to advertise their submission via dsm magazine print or digital.

Photography Terms: Entrants must secure and submit royalty/reuse-free photos from their photographer before submitting images (to run in dsm magazine / at no additional charge). All photography submitted may be published free of charge by Business Publications Corporation for up to two years from the submission date. It is the entrant’s responsibility to inform the photographer of these terms. Any photos submitted that are run in dsm editorial will credit the photographer (if credit was given) and will only be used in editorial about the specific project and not be used in any advertising or competitor collateral.

Guidelines / Additional Terms: Winners in each category will receive an award plaque. Only entrants will receive an award. If other companies, designers, and/or homeowners contributed to the project and would like to receive an award, duplicate plaques may be purchased upon receipt of the winner letter at an additional cost of $45. Additional contributors will not be mentioned at the awards ceremony, on the award plaque, or in the magazine unless his/her company is listed as a “co-entrant.”

Important note: If you list a co-entrant on an entry, the co-entrant’s name will appear as a co-winner with your company name in the magazine and on the award plaque if your submission is selected as a winner. There is a separate opportunity on the submission form to list others who contributed to the project; this area is optional and those you list here will NOT receive an award plaque if your entry is selected as a winner. Their names, however, may be featured in the dsm magazine editorial.

Failure to comply fully with contest rules may result in disqualification. Business Publications Corporation is not liable for lost, stolen, ineligible, misdirected, damaged, mutilated, or postage-due entries. Winning submissions become the property of dsm magazine. dsm magazine retains legal/publishing rights for one year after publishing the March/April 2025 dsm Home issue.

Cost per submission (processing fee): $35 or included in our brand new VIP comprehensive dsm Home Design Award Packages. Find out more on our nomination form here.

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Dates to Remember

August 16, 2024: Submission deadline

January 2025: Finalists announced

Spring 2025: dsm Home Design Awards event

March/April 2025: dsm Home Design Awards issue

The submission period for the 2026 dsm Home Design Awards will open during the summer of 2025.