Behind the Scenes of Best of Design

I wish you could see all of the entries I got for this year’s Best of Design contest.

Since I took over the annual contest more than five years ago, the number of entries I receive has grown exponentially, and they’re all stunning.

It’s not unusual for me to let out a gasp as I open photos of the projects, mostly sent in by the region’s talented interior designers and architects, for categories that range from best new and renovated homes to the best in kitchens and bathrooms.

In a change from previous years, one of the strongest categories for 2023 was Best Room. There were outstanding primary suites, dens and other spaces submitted that don’t fit into a neat category. I suppose, though, when you consider how diverse Pittsburgh’s housing stock is — and how many creative ways there are to update the region’s buildings — maybe it’s not so surprising after all.

It would be impossible for me to choose the winners in any category — so I’m glad I don’t have to.

For years, I’ve relied on a panel of experts from outside Pittsburgh to conduct judging. These architects and interior designers pore over each entry, carefully note what they like about each and share their insights as we meet for several hours over Zoom. While I love design, I’m not trained in it, so it’s fascinating to hear their professional observations.

You can find more on what judges had to say about this year’s winners with the start of our Best of Design feature. Elsewhere in the issue, columnist Rosa Colucci takes a look at what’s selling around the Pittsburgh market, while Chris Fennimore details how to prepare an easy version of Arancini, an Italian dish traditionally served on Easter.

Just a reminder, If you’re building or renovating a home in 2023, keep us in mind. You can send me your projects any time throughout the year by emailing me.

HOME Editor Jessica Sinichak can be reached at

Categories: HOME Editor