Former Interior Design Student Dana Hoffman Honored by NKBA


Image via Meagan Harkin

Interior Designer Dana Hoffman standing outside of ACC Littleton campus on March 8, 2021.

Taylor Scherck, Reporter

Former ACC interior design student Dana Hoffman earned first place in the 2020 National Kitchen and Bath Association’s student design bath competition and third place in the kitchen competition.

NKBA is a national kitchen and bath association. They do a lot for the kitchen and bath industry. Every year they have a student competition for a kitchen as well as a bath. Students from all over the nation submit their work, and NKBA then awards a first place, second place, and third for the kitchen and a first place, second place, and third for the bath.

Everyone in Hoffman’s class submitted a design for the kitchen and a design for the bath. As Hoffman says, “The competition feels a little overwhelming and daunting like you would never have the chance to win because it is national, but ACC has a history of having students win because the instructors are very familiar with knowing what they are looking for and the criteria.”

At the start of every student competition each year, NKBA gives students an idea on how to move forward on their design. For Hoffman, she was tasked to design a bath and kitchen for an imaginary middle-aged couple living in Boulder interested in sustainable designs. Hoffman says she got her idea from her previous job which worked with sustainable designs, it was something she felt very comfortable with and was inspired by a piece from a Colorado artist, Noel Ferris. The design took all semester, half of the semester was focused on designing the bathroom and the other half was focused on designing the kitchen.

She says, “I was very excited and honored to win the bath design on a national level as well as I was recognized for my kitchen design for third place for a national level, so that was really fun being recognized for both categories.” She goes on to explain that these students throw so much energy and work into their projects and no one ever thinks they are going to win, but it is so rewarding and reassuring when you do.

As part of the award, the first-place design receives $5,000 and the third place receives $1,000. On top of that, there is a big expedition every year put on by the National Kitchen and Bath Association. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 the expedition in Florida had been moved virtually. Normally, NKBA would fly the first-place winners out to the expedition so that students can learn about the field and meet other professionals. There would be a big celebration announcing the winners and they would be honored on stage.

After graduating and receiving this award, Hoffman was hired at a firm in Boulder where she does 3-D modeling and realistic renderings. She says, “This competition and the time I had led me to realize what my path will look like in the design industry right now and I feel really grateful for that, because without that I would not be where I am now.”