The Best Multifamily Architects in San Diego, California

Overview

With its amazing beaches and warm climate, many people would love to stay in San Diego for good. Fortunately, the coastal city presents many housing opportunities. And since most of the population of San Diego are renters, there is a variety of multifamily housing options to consider, including townhouses, small apartments, and apartment complexes. Investing in a multifamily unit here is also a great idea as the real estate value is high, especially in strategic locations.

If you are venturing or planning to venture into the multifamily housing sector, you will need one of the best multifamily architects. We made a list of the best multifamily architects in this coastal city. These are the professionals that can elevate your business in many ways—functionality, aesthetics, and sustainability, to name a few. Read on to get a glimpse of their project and get a sense of their preferred styles. You’ll also learn about awards they have won and their specializations.

Top Multifamily Architects

Safdie Rabines Architects

Address:
925 Fort Stockton Dr, San Diego, CA 92103

About Safdie Rabines Architects

Safdie Rabines Architects aims to design a better world with its site-specific and environment-friendly designs. The firm applies these principles to living spaces as well as civic, academic, and infrastructure projects. And to create further impact, the company also specializes in large urban master plans and offers creative and technical-commercial interior design services.

Featured Projects

One of the human-centered multifamily projects of Safdie Rabines Architects is Block C, pictured above. As the first mixed-use project in North City, the structure provides residents a fresh urban experience in North County. Occupants enjoy the retail, restaurants, and entertainment areas. There are also outdoor dining spaces, public art, and a performance stage. And if residents want to stay home, the above-ground units have their terraces and balconies. This project was a runner-up in the 2017 Best Multifamily Project by Our City San Diego.

Humphreys & Partners Architects, L.P.

Address:
1124 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

About Humphreys & Partners Architects, L.P.

Staying true to its commitment to green building, Humphreys & Partners Architects integrates a Green Review in its design process. Complete with calculations, this review offers a long-term green building forecast to give clients a holistic perspective on the cost vs. benefits of sustainable building. For instance, while incorporating sustainable practices can cost 7-10% more, the client can recover most of that cost during the lifespan of the building.

Featured Projects

Humphreys & Partners Architects also knows the ins and outs of achieving sustainable certifications such as LEED and NGBS. For example, even minimal added calculations and items like parking labeled for “Fuel-efficient vehicles” can contribute to an accreditation. Take a look at Sterling Alvarado in San Diego. Due to the intelligent green strategies of Humphreys & Partners Architects, this affordable housing has been certified with a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold. This project also won three awards, including the 2014 Best Use of Green and Sustainable Design/Construction from Student Housing Business Innovator.

Jonathan Segal FAIA Architects

Address:
3625 India Street, Ste 101 San Diego, CA 92103

About Jonathan Segal FAIA Architects

Jonathan Segal has built a strong reputation for himself in San Diego. He pioneered the innovative practice of the “Architect as Developer,” where architects take the design and the building process into their own hands. This practice requires architects to gain a vast knowledge of the building industry, such as determining an ideal development area. Segal is also famous in San Diego for offering lower prices for his top-quality housing projects. To top that off, Segal often serves as an expert witness in development disputes and construction-defect litigation.

Featured Projects

Jonathan Segal has completed over 300,000 square feet of housing units, including medium to high-density, mixed-use, and live/work structures. Consequently, his firm has amassed 40 local, state, and national awards for residential and Urban Design, six of which are the national AIA Honor Awards. Pictured above is a peak of Segal’s work in San Diego. This mixed-use project, Mr. Robinson, features 36 apartment units and two restaurants.

AO

Address:
144 N Orange Street, Orange, CA 92866

About AO

In 45 years of creating structures and building solid relationships, AO understands what clients genuinely need. Knowing that customers already have grand visions in mind, the firm comes in to help them develop their ideas while minimizing the risks. When it comes to multifamily projects, this client-center firm prioritizes bringing out designs that uplift the surroundings but are cost-efficient by incorporating sustainability.

Featured Projects

Take, for example, this sustainable mixed-use development in San Diego. With a vision of a “Little Italy,” the Vici features a historically relatable neighborhood and exquisite amenities. The project also provides access to a coastal environment, so the firm decided on a fishing village motif. More than just buildings, this project has become a vibrant community where people live, work, and gather together. This urban village won ten awards, including the 2020 Gold Nugget Grand Award- Best Mixed-Use Project.

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

Address:
185 W F Street, Suite 500, San Diego, CA 92101

About Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE is constantly on the hunt to recruit talented individuals to its team. For the firm, the key to success is the strategic gathering of the best innovators, entrepreneurs, and craftsmen. Together, they form a collaborative environment that defines the firm’s approach.

Featured Projects

That collaborative approach has taken Carrier Johnson + CULTURE into various sectors and places. For example, the 520 West Ash (LUMA), pictured above , is one of the firm’s completed mixed-used developments. This 24-story building has an area of 433,746 square feet. Aside from mixed-use projects, Carrier Johnson + CULTURE’s works include hospitality, government, and education. The firm has also gone global: the firm took on the master planning of Hangzhou Jinsha Lake mixed-use development and the 640-acre Guangzhou China Bioisland.

FoundationForForm

Address:
1642 University Ave, Suite 210, San Diego, CA 92103

About FoundationForForm

FoundationForForm is fearless when facing complexity, particularly in housing projects. The firm is fond of designing its way around challenging adjacencies, easements, restrictions, and zoning regulations. The company also works best when faced with tough infill redevelopments and high-density developments. With such bold capabilities, the firm has garnered the attention of numerous publications including BisNow, San Diego Tribune, and San Diego City Beat.

Featured Projects

The firm has bagged the Gold Nugget National Builder Awards for three consecutive years (2016, 2017, and 2018). The company’s multifamily projects have also been performing great. The Earnest project was named the 2018 Grand Award for Best Multi-Family Housing. This mixed-use apartment building stands out with its full-block presence and geometric lines creating a contemporary appeal for the neighborhood.

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

Address:
726 9th Avenue, Suite 1, San Diego, CA 92101

About H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects is another firm on this list that takes green building seriously. Understanding how vital green building is for improving quality of life, the firm dedicates competitive LEED accredited project teams, led by the Project Architect and Principal-in-Charge.

Featured Projects

One of the firm’s best green building showpieces is the Greenstone Row Homes. The project’s sustainable features include overhang shading, high efficient equipment, and low-E tinted glass. H2 Hawkins + Hawkins also ensured that the building orientation and site design uses solar energy. More so, the firm designed each of the ten units with site walls that seemingly blend the landscape into the structure. This urban infill multi-family residential project won the Gold Nugget Grand Award for the Best Multi-Family Housing Community.

TCA Architects, Inc.

Address:
19782 MacArthur Blvd. Suite 300 Irvine, CA 92612

About TCA Architects, Inc.

TCA Architects sets itself apart with its forward-thinking design. First, the firm goes to the field to get to know the community’s needs. The architectural elements then follow—from the foundations up to the smallest building detail. For example, in the residential sector, the company saw the demand to build communities that encourage living, working, and gathering. Hence, the firm typically incorporates both technology and a human touch into its designs.

Featured Projects

So when TCA Architects designed the Millennium Mission Valley in San Diego, the firm had to think of intelligent ways to connect the residents. One of the firm’s strategies was to put the project’s front door close to the public plaza for residents who prefer to walk. The courtyards with several social areas encourage creative visual interactions. More so, the firm skillfully designed the retail parts to highlight the building’s public spaces. And to break down the extent of massing, the firm worked on the key corners and balconies that provide a sense of openness.

MVE + Partners, Inc.

Address:
1900 Main Street, Ste 800, Irvine, CA 92614

About MVE + Partners, Inc.

MVE + Partners trusts that its straightforward process and, consequently, the outcomes attest to the firm’s excellence. Carl McLarand, the firm’s founder and now the Chairman and CEO, has always pushed for exceptional designs that move clients, users, and society. These designs are what he calls “evocative architecture.”

Featured Projects

An epitome of MVE + Partners’ exceptional design is the 9th & Broadway project, pictured above. With 12 levels of the building dedicated to residential units, the occupants can revel in the fantastic views of San Diego Bay and the city skyline. And to promote interaction among users, the firm designed this project with spacious open areas to dine and perhaps sip a drink. In addition, this evocative architecture is certified LEED Gold, featuring naturally ventilated corridors and an eco-roof.

MW Steele Group, Inc.

Address:
1805 Newton Avenue, Suite A, San Diego, CA 92113

About MW Steele Group, Inc.

Having a fully integrated practice allows MW Steele Group to understand beyond the design aspect. In this setup, the firm is entirely aware of how to build its designs and how these designs may impact the urban environment. Forming the firm’s integrated practice are AICP Certified Planners, Project Architects, an Interior Designer, and other professionals active in their communities.

Featured Projects

An example of MW Steele Group’s community-centered projects is The Beacon, a 44-unit studio apartment building. This project will give permanent supportive housing for the homeless. The firm worked around a constrained site and managed to provide residents with a comfortable living experience. The building features a welcome lobby and a landscaped yard big enough to have trees and allow natural light. The building also features a community room, a laundry room, and even a counseling office for the occupants’ convenience. Most importantly, the firm ensured that the individual units have decent access to natural light and ventilation. This project was featured in The San Diego Daily Transcript and won the 2020 – San Diego Housing Federation Ruby Award – CSH Supportive Housing Award.

The Best Residential Architects and Designers in San Diego

Overview

Consistently named as among the best places to live in California, San Diego offers its residents a plethora of outdoor activities to enjoy great commercial districts and outstanding beaches. They also enjoy all four seasons, in addition to both city and beachside living. This list is a showcase of 15 of the area’s best and leading residential architects behind some of its best homes. These firms were chosen based on their impressive portfolios and backgrounds. Several of these companies are also proud recipients of multiple industry awards and have been the subject of a variety of publications.

Top Residential Architects

Safdie Rabines Architects

Address:
925 Fort Stockton Dr., San Diego, CA 92103

About Safdie Rabines Architects

Safdie Rabines Architects is a full-service firm that specializes in architecture and interior design. It has been in business since 1993 and is overseen by husband-and-wife duo, Ricardo Rabines, and Taal Safdie. Together they lead a team of over 50 designers, architects, interior designers, and support staff. They make use of a highly collaborative approach, which has resulted in timeless work. It is especially known for its single-family residences, but it is also known for affordable housing, student housing, mixed-use communities, and large-scale master plans.

Featured Projects

Labeled in its portfolio as the “Bay House,” this project is located in San Diego’s Sail Bay. It spans over 3,700 square feet and sits along the water’s edge. It features an L-shaped design and wonderfully incorporates the home’s indoor-outdoor spaces. Some other great features include its floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors and its recurring theme of straight lines.

Jonathan Segal FAIA & Development Company

Address:
3000 Upas St. #101, San Diego, CA 92104

About Jonathan Segal FAIA & Development Company

Jonathan Segel Architect is an award-winning firm best known for its stellar and comprehensive services. It is led by its founder and namesake, Jonathan Segel, who is also a proud Fellow of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), which is the highest distinction the prestigious organization bestows upon its members. Under his leadership and supervision, the company has worked on over 300 responsible and environmentally sound designs. These include single-family homes and medium to high-density urban residential and mixed-use projects. Since the firm’s inception, it has won over 40 local, state, and national AIA awards for residential and Urban Design. This has enabled the company to be one of San Diego’s most successful and premier residential architectural companies. The firm has also been featured in a multitude of publications. Its work can best be showcased in the project above.

Featured Projects

Simply called “The Cresta” in its portfolio, the featured project spans over 5,300 square feet. Located in La Jolla, this single-family residence was constructed entirely out of cast-in-place concrete. It consists of three stories and offers its residents excellent views of its surrounding areas through magnificent floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

M.W. Steele Group

Address:
1805 Newton Ave., Suite A, San Diego, CA 92113

About M.W. Steele Group

The M.W. Steele Group extends its services throughout San Diego and is among its best and leading award-winning architecture firms. It draws inspiration from over three decades of industry experience and credits its success to both its talented team and its long-term artistic collaborations with some of the area’s most outstanding subcontractors and professionals. Since its establishment, the firm has won numerous impressive distinctions such as Merit Awards from the San Diego American Planning Association and the National Association of Home Builders. The chosen project above is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise.

Featured Projects

Designed for the Andison residence, this single-family home overlooks the golf links in the Rancho Santa Fe Farms. It spans over 4,000 square feet and makes use of seamless indoor-outdoor spaces. Some of its best elements include custom-designed glass, hardware, sculptures, and murals.

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

Address:
726 9th Ave., Suite #1, San Diego, CA 92101

About H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

H2 Architects is an award-winning firm that operates out of two offices in San Diego and Gig Harbor, in Washington. It focuses on infusing various sustainability and green methods into its projects, assuring its homeowners of the high efficiency of its work. It has been in business since 1998 and is the brainchild of brothers David and Steven Hawkins. Under their supervision, the firm has also become known for its outstanding commercial, cultural, residential, and mixed-use architectural designs. The firm uses a highly client-focused approach and assists homeowners throughout the entire process. That includes site planning, programming, feasibility studies, master planning, and space planning. The firm’s work adheres to LEED standards.

Featured Projects

Completed in La Jolla, this project spans over 6,000 square feet. It won the firm the Gold Nugget Award of Merit under the Best on the Boards Custom Home Category during the Pacific Coast Builders Conference. The home provides its owners panoramic views of the ocean and showcases warm wood detailing with stone, in addition to an open kitchen, a roof terrace, and natural wood accents throughout.

domusstudio architecture LLP

Address:
2800 Third Ave., San Diego, CA 92103

About domusstudio architecture LLP

Deriving its name from the Latin word for “house,” Domus Studio provides its clients with stellar and environmentally responsible architectural services. It has worked on numerous projects including religious structures, educational facilities, senior living facilities, and commercial spaces. It has garnered awards based on its great sustainable designs on LEED Silver, Gold, and Platinum-certified projects. The firm’s team achieves this success through the use of excellent local materials. The firm is known for its projects’ open floor plans and the use of natural light. The Domus process emphasizes the importance of client collaboration, as well as adherence to the latest building techniques. To ensure this, it maintains affiliations with organizations like the US Green Building Council. Since its establishment, the company has worked on over a hundred plus custom residential projects in La Jolla, San Diego, and Del Mar.

Featured Projects

Situated on a beautiful hillside overlooking the San Dieguito Lagoon, this home spans over 4,650 square feet. It features a large expansive deck, its own guest house, and cantilevered roofs. For this, the firm’s team incorporated various sustainable features like photovoltaic cells on the roof and a gray water collection and storage system for the site irrigation.

House Design Architects

Address:
2150 W. Washington St., Suite #301, San Diego, CA 92110

About House Design Architects

House Design Architects is the product of the vision of its founder and principal, Mark House. He is a licensed architect with over three decades of experience working in Southern California. He founded House Design back in 2015, which grew from the roots of his very first company: House and Dodge Design, which he co-founded in 1998. Mark makes sure that each project that the firm takes on receives the benefit of his experience. Its work has been featured in various publications like San Diego Premier and Luxe. Featured above is one of the firm’s most impressive homes.

Featured Projects

This photo showcases the firm’s work for the Camino de la Costa home. It received the Best Residential project distinction during the International Design and Architecture Awards in London. This oceanfront home boasts multiple outdoor living spaces, a sunken seating area, and an outdoor dining terrace. Some other details include an infinity-edge pool, four bedrooms, and seven bathrooms.

architectsmagnus

Address:
3370 Jackdaw St., San Diego, CA 92103

About architectsmagnus

architectsmagnus is the brainchild of its principals, Hector and Pamela Magnus. This husband-and-wife duo makes use of a highly collaborative approach, which has resulted in countless outstanding spaces. Under their supervision, the firm can take on projects regardless of size or scale. The firm’s portfolio showcases a variety of homes rendered in diverse architectural vernaculars, from modern to traditional inspired spaces. Its work has been featured in multiple publications. These include Dwell, San Diego Home/Garden, and Kitchens & Baths.

Featured Projects

The chosen project shows the firm’s work for its Jewell home. This home has been featured in San Diego Magazine and was included in the Dwell Home Tours. For this, the firm’s team designed a house with custom-carved wood screens. It also opted for a row of glass doors that lead to its interiors.

Hauck Architecture

Address:
4888 Ronson Court, Suite F, San Diego, CA 92111

About Hauck Architecture

Hauck Architecture is a San Diego-based practice that offers a full range of architecture and interior design services. It specializes in craft breweries, bars, restaurants, and custom residential projects. The firm has been in business since 1996 and is also highly regarded for its design, layout, and engineering services. The firm maintains affiliations with vital organizations like the AIA, LEED, and the USGBC. The project above is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise.

Featured Projects

Originally, a 3,650-square-foot dysfunctional ranch house in the Muirlands area, this home now features an excellent contemporary rendering of a former mid-century home. For this, the firm had to work on a second-floor addition, a new master suite, and a revamped private living area. The home offers its owners beautiful ocean views and an excellent open floor plan. Its exteriors are clad in western red cedar and seam metal roofing.

Kim Grant Design, Inc.

Address:
2400 Kettner Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101

About Kim Grant Design, Inc.

Kim Grant Design is an award-winning firm that specializes in historic properties and coastal homes. It extends its services throughout San Diego and the areas surrounding it. The firm makes use of a highly personalized approach for each of its work, ensuring that it tailor fits its methods for each project’s individual and unique needs. The firm has been in business since 2002 and is highly regarded for its existing condition assessments, custom residential designs, historic restorations, permitting, and construction administration. Some of its best work can be found spread across Coronado, Del Mar, Kensington, La Jolla, Mission Hills, Point Loma, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Santa Fe, and San Diego.

Featured Projects

The photo above showcases the firm’s work on the 1127 F Ave. Coronado Spanish home. This grandiose home features six bedrooms, nine bathrooms, and over 15,067 square feet of upscale space. Its interior showcases a rich embellished home from its dining area to its outdoor pool area. In addition, this home also features a home gym, indoor and outdoor mini golf, a spa, and a bar/theater room.

Ten Seventy Architecture

Address:
4411 30th St., Suite #202, San Diego, CA

About Ten Seventy Architecture

Sean and Margaret Canning lead and own Ten Seventy Architecture. They first met while studying architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and together, are known for their love and expertise for modern and minimalist designs. Each holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree and is also both LEED accredited professionals. This assures the firm’s clients that all its work is highly sustainable and energy-efficient. The chosen project above best embodies the firm’s talent and expertise.

Featured Projects

For this project, the firm’s team primarily used stucco, metal, wood, and concrete materials. It was tasked with this home’s extensive remodel. It replaced the stuccoed wood posts with slender black steel. A canopy was also installed to shade the roof deck, while its outdoor spaces were extensively reworked.

Mark A Silva Architect

Address:
3666 Argonne Street, San Diego, CA 92117

About Mark A. Silva Architect

With various features in publications like Architectural Digest and Luxe Magazine, Mark A Silva offers full range architectural services. Mark describes his work as a reflection of the project site and owner’s program. These projects are often a fusion of the client’s vision and the site’s “personality,” meaning that the firm takes a home’s site into great consideration when creating its designs. Showcased above is one of Mark’s homes.

Featured Projects

For this excellent house, Mark employed an open-concept floor plan that ties the home’s living, dining, and entertainment areas. It also opted for floor-to-ceiling windows, which allow in a large amount of light and provide stellar views of the surrounding areas. Some other great details include its angular roofs and exterior finishes.

Oasis Architecture & Design, Inc.

Address:
1015 Turquoise St., Suite #2, San Diego, CA 92109

About Oasis Architecture & Design, Inc.

Having graced the pages of publications such as San Diego Home/Garden, Oasis Architecture and Design provides a full range of award-winning architectural services. The firm designs custom homes, renovations, and additions, and although headquartered in California, the firm has also worked on projects in Wisconsin and Atlanta. The firm is composed of a group of professionals committed to working on creative and innovative solutions. Together, they have created numerous modern and transitional designs.

Featured Projects

The chosen project is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise. For this home, the firm’s team opted for a fusion of modern farmhouse elements coupled with stucco touches and wood elements. Some other great details include its custom portico.

obrARCHITECTURE

Address:
2419 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92104

About obrARCHITECTURE

obrARCHITECTURE specializes in working on civic, commercial, educational, and residential spaces. It has had the opportunity to work in some of San Diego’s most sought-after neighborhoods and can take on projects regardless of size or scale. At the firm’s helm are its principals, Garrick Oliver, Christopher Bittner, and Anney Rosenthal-Hall. Oliver graduated from San Diego State University in 1999 and has been a licensed architect since 2007. He is also a LEED-certified professional and is a lecturer of interior architecture at San Diego State University. On the other hand, Bittner has practiced since 2002 and holds a degree from San Diego’s New School of Architecture. Lastly, Rosenthal-Hall graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1999 after spending a year abroad in Florence, Italy. She is also a LEED accredited professional. Under their collective vision and leadership, obrARCHITECTURE has curated a stellar portfolio and clientele list for itself.

Featured Projects

Pictured above are the firm’s contributions to the Bardsley residence. Located in Del Mar, this project was designed and completed back in 2006. Its owners wished to expand their existing house to create a dream home for their retirement. As a result, the home was expanded by a thousand square feet and now showcases a second-floor addition consisting of an office, master bedroom and bath, an entertainment deck, and a private deck off of the bedroom.

Christian Rice Architects Inc.

Address:
1127 Loma Ave., Coronado, CA 92118

About Christian Rice Architects Inc.

Founded in 2004, Christian Rice Architects offers a range of award-winning architectural services. Its portfolio depicts a selection of both public and private projects in addition to an extensive array of designs. Led by Christian Rice, the firm’s team makes use of a cohesive approach that emphasizes the importance of designing homes that are sensitive to a project’s surrounding environment and a client’s budget. It commits itself to excellent project management and collaborates with homeowners throughout the entirety of a project.

Featured Projects

Before his establishment of the firm, Christian Rice first gained experience by working in some of the country’s most respected design studios. These include Will Bruder Architects in Phoenix, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects in Atlanta, and Michael Rotondi/Roto Architects in Los Angeles. He is also well-traveled, which explains the firm’s expertise in a number of exotic designs.

Featured above is the firm’s work on the Georgia Street residence. Located in San Diego, this home stands just east of the Hillcrest neighborhood. It entailed the renovation of an existing two-story home- that was essentially a stucco box. For this, the firm’s team used a contemporary theme, which includes the addition of a glass garage door that opens vertically into a new double-height volume in the entry area. It also opted for new steel roof elements and balconies.

Architect Mark D. Lyon, Inc.

Address:
410 Bird Rock Ave., La Jolla, CA 92037

About Architect Mark D. Lyon, Inc.

With over three decades of industry experience, Architect Mark D. Lyon specializes in every aspect of the residential architecture process. It is also regarded for its commercial and historic preservation projects. Since its inception, it has worked on more than 500 architectural projects completed throughout Southern California. The firm’s team is composed of a talented team of professionals. They are Coastal Experts, assuring clients that they are experienced with everything that has to do with constructing and designing beachside homes. The home above is one of the firm’s best homes.

Featured Projects

Labeled in its portfolio as the “Chelsea,” this project is a contemporary oceanfront home. For this, the firm’s team used stucco exteriors and large paneled windows. Some other great elements include its flat roofs and seamless interiors.

The Best Commercial Architects in San Diego

Overview

San Diego is best known for its beaches, parks and warm climate. Its museums, cultural hubs, and artists’ studios make it a wonderful place to live and visit. Several impressive commercial structures also serve the area. We’ve listed 15 of its best and leading architects behind some of the city’s most recognizable tenant improvements. These firms were chosen based for their unique portfolios, their varied backgrounds, and their diverse teams.

The Best Commercial Architects in San Diego, California

Studio E Architects

Address:
2258 First Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

About Studio E Architects

Studio E Architects is composed of a talented team of over 24 experienced and talented professionals. The firm operates out of its office in San Diego; it has had the opportunity to work across the Southwestern United States. The firm’s portfolio showcases a wide range of project types—everything from private residences to affordable housing, and mixed-use, civic, and urban planning projects. It is also the proud recipient of countless accolades, including three National American Institute of Architects Honor Awards. Its work has also been featured in publications like San Diego Home/Garden, Residential Architect, and Building Design + Construction.

Featured Projects

The project showcased here is the firm’s on 1660 India in San Diego. Located in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy neighborhood, this project spans over 9,500 square feet and entailed having to strip the entire project back to its shell. Its new details include new entrances, lobbies, signage, and lighting, as well as new exterior finishes.

Delawie Architects

Address:
1515 Morena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110

About Delawie Architects

Delawie Architects offers its clients a complete range of architecture services and is also regarded for its interior design, master planning, and sustainable design. The firm has been in business since 1961 and extends its services throughout San Diego. Throughout its years in the industry, the firm has had the opportunity to work in some of its most sought-after communities. The firm’s portfolio includes an excellent range of technological, hospitality, educational, government, and specialty spaces.

Featured Projects

Designed for The Hotel at Kirkwood Center, the firm’s team worked on the featured project’s interior design and extensive renovation. It is a four-story building that houses 71 contemporary rooms, common areas, and a lobby. It also worked on its restaurant and bar, in addition to the installation of several custom wall decals.

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

Address:
185 WF Street, Suite #500, San Diego, CA 92101

About Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE works in and around some of San Diego’s most impressive commercial districts. It offers prospective clients stellar architecture and interior design work and can take on any project regardless of size or scale. The firm makes use of a highly collaborative approach that brings together both the technical and conceptual aspects of any process. Its portfolio features an excellent portfolio composed of landscapes, healthcare, residential, and mixed-use projects. It has also contributed to several workplaces, including education, science, government, and library spaces.

Featured Projects

The featured project is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise. Designed for NBC 7 in San Diego, this project entailed having to work on its programming, space planning, and architectural renovation. The structure is LEED Silver accredited and spans over 52,000 square feet.

Safdie Rabines Architects

Address:
925 Fort Stockton Drive, San Diego, CA 92103

About Safdie Rabines Architects

Safdie Rabines Architects is a full-service firm that specializes in architecture and interior design. The firm has been in business since 1993 and is overseen by husband-and-wife duo Ricardo Rabines and Taal Safdie. Together they lead a team of over 50 designers, architects, interior designers, and support staff. They make use of a highly collaborative approach, which has consistently resulted in timeless work. he firm is known for a variety of residential typologies, including mixed-use communities, student housing, affordable housing, and single-family homes, as well as for civic, institutional, and infrastructure projects.

Featured Projects

This project showcases the firm’s design for Crystal Flats, located in Bentonville, Arkansas. This project is a mixed-use development and serves as the brand’s contribution to the area’s ongoing revitalization of its downtown area. The initial scope of work for the Crystal Flats development involved a conceptual master plan for the entire 26-acre site.

JCJ Architecture

Address:
Symphony Towers: 750 B Street, Suite #2800, San Diego, CA 92101

About JCJ Architecture

JCJ Architecture operates out of several offices in Boston, Hartford, Las Vegas, New York, Phoenix, Tulsa, and, of course, San Diego. The firm has been in business since 1936, making it one of the oldest companies on this list. It is composed of over 50 talented and experienced architects, 25 of whom are LEED Accredited Professionals. The firm is a diverse planning, architecture, and interior design practice that works on both projects from both the public and private sectors. Its portfolio of experience encompasses gaming, entertainment, hospitality, hotel, retail, workplace, higher education, civic, community, culture, and public safety spaces

Featured Projects

The chosen project above is a great example of its expertise. Spanning over 103,000 square feet, this project was completed in 1996 for the North American headquarters of LEGO. JCJ partnered with Danish architect Soren Norgaard Laundsen in order to provide full architecture and interior design services.

The Miller Hull Partnership

Address:
Point Loma Marina, 4980 North Harbor Drive, Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92106

About The Miller Hull Partnership

In business since 1977, The Miller Hull Partnership is the product of the vision of its founding partners, David Miller and Robert Hull. They first met as undergraduate architecture students at Washington State University. The two were heavily influenced by their experience in the Peace Corps in Brazil and Afghanistan. Under their leadership, the company makes use of passive solar, super insulation, and earth-sheltered design and construction. In 2021, it launched EMission Zero, an initiative targeting the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.

Featured Projects

This project won the firm several accolades, including the 2019 Orchid Award for Architecture from the San Diego Architecture Foundation and the 2020 Sustainable Tenant Improvement from the USGBC San Diego. Spanning over 4,600 square feet, this space was completed for the Miller Hull Studio. It features an open office setting and modern touches.

RDC

Address:
3605 Fifth Avenue, San Diego, CA 92103

About RDC

In business since 1979, RDC is a full-service architectural firm headquartered in Los Angeles with offices in Washington, D.C., and Arkansas. It also operates overseas from an office in Shanghai. Its staff is composed of over 160 experienced and seasoned professionals who take a comprehensive approach when designing spaces. The firm is a forerunner in the commercial industry market and specializes in retail, hospitality, and entertainment venue projects. Its portfolio also showcases various corporate interiors, mixed-use, grocery, and wellness spaces. The firm’s experience covers all consumer experiences, rendering it equipped to manage any task. The RDC team takes a comprehensive look at each of its projects’ space, and from there, methodically employs an approach that is an infusion of architecture, planning, and interior design. From conceptual design, entitlement, and site planning to construction documentation and administration, the firm’s team is there to assist throughout the entire process.

Featured Projects

The firm is the recipient of a multitude of awards, including the LA Business Council Award, the AIA Long Beach/South Bay Citation Award, and a FRAME Design Social Award. Showcased above is one of the firm’s most impressive projects. Located in San Diego, this project spans over 26,700 square feet and features a collection of interconnected restaurants in one space.

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

Address:
726 9th Avenue, Suite #1, San Diego, CA 92101

About H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

H2 Architects is an award-winning firm that operates out of two offices in San Diego and Gig Harbor, Washington. It focuses on infusing various sustainability and green methods into its projects, assuring its homeowners of the high efficiency of its work. The firm has been in business since 1998 and is the brainchild of brothers David and Steven Hawkins. Under their supervision, the firm has also become known for its outstanding commercial, cultural, residential, and mixed-use architectural designs. The firm takes a highly client-focused approach and thus assists homeowners throughout the entire process. That process includes site planning, programming, feasibility studies, master planning, and space planning. The firm’s work adheres to LEED standards.

Featured Projects

The featured project showcases the firm’s work for the Caffe Pan Bon. It spans over 10,400 square feet and is located in the Little Italy district of San Diego. The main dining area of the space houses a two-story area with a 4,000-square-foot mezzanine and a balcony lounge area.

M.W. Steele Group

Address:
1805 Newton Avenue, Suite A, San Diego, CA 92113

About M.W. Steele Group

The M.W. Steele Group extends its services throughout San Diego and is among its best and leading award-winning architecture firms. It draws inspiration from over three decades of industry experience and credits its success to both its talented team and its long-term artistic collaborations with some of the area’s most outstanding subcontractors and professionals. Since its establishment, the firm has won numerous impressive distinctions, including Merit Awards from the San Diego American Planning Association and the National Association of Home Builders.

Featured Projects

This photo showcases the firm’s work on JAI by Wolfgang Puck. It is a tenant improvement for an all-new 4,700-square-foot restaurant within the Theatre District on the campus of the University of California San Diego. The restaurant is an Asian fusion-inspired space that features indoor and outdoor dining spaces, a full bar, and a state-of-the-art catering kitchen.

Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects

Address:
4499 Ruffin Road, Suite #300 San Diego, CA 92123

About Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects

Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects is composed of a talented and experienced team of design professionals. It extends its services throughout San Diego and has worked on some of its most noteworthy commercial structures. Since its inception, the firm has been the proud recipient of countless impressive accolades. These include several Build San Diego Awards from the Associated General Contractors San Diego as well as several mentions on the Engineering News-Record. Depicted below is one of the firm’s best projects.

Featured Projects

Located in San Diego, this project spans over 186,000 square feet. The firm’s team was tasked with its full redevelopment. It now features a flexible lab and office spaces. Some other great details include collaborative workstations, lounges, and break rooms.

obrARCHITECTURE

Address:
2419 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104

About obrARCHITECTURE

obrARCHITECTURE specializes in working on civic, commercial, educational, and residential spaces. It has had the opportunity to work in some of San Diego’s most sought-after neighborhoods. It can take on projects regardless of size or scale. At the firm’s helm are its principals, Garrick Oliver, Christopher Bittner, and Anney Rosenthal-Hall. Oliver graduated from San Diego State University in 1999: he has been a licensed architect since 2007. He is also a LEED-certified professional and a lecturer of interior architecture at San Diego State University. On the other hand, Bittner has practiced since 2002 and holds a degree from San Diego’s New School of Architecture. Lastly, Rosenthal-Hall graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1999 after spending a year abroad in Florence, Italy. She is also a LEED accredited professional. Under their collective vision and leadership, obrARCHITECTURE has generated a stellar portfolio and clientele list for itself.

Featured Projects

Showcased above is one of the firm’s best. Located in Oceanside, this project was completed back in 2019 for Camp Coffee. On this project, the firm’s team was tasked with having to work on its service layout, the interior design, and the sidewalk café patio.

Ergo Architecture

Address:
2039 National Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113

About Ergo Architecture

With over three decades of industry experience, Ergo Architecture specializes in commercial, residential, multifamily, and restaurant projects. The firm’s portfolio also showcases several impressive bars, clubs, assisted living, and urban infill projects. Since the firm’s inception, it has worked on over 187 projects and has won countless impressive accolades, including the Young Architect of the Year Award from the AIA San Diego and a Public Service Award from the same organization.

Featured Projects

Completed for Cafe Chloe, this beautiful featured project came with a very strong design concept from its owners. The primary challenge was to split its kitchen into two small spaces. Note its old-world details and cozy touches.

Architects HGW

Address:
1955 Bacon Street, San Diego, CA 92107

About Architects HGW

Architects HGW offers a complete and comprehensive range of architecture, site, and interior design services. The firm specializes in civic, commercial residential, and medical office projects. It is also highly respected for its recreation, master planning, and sustainability efforts. In terms of design, it can take on any project regardless of scale or complexity.

Featured Projects

Located in San Diego, this photo showcases the firm’s work on the MedImpact Corporate headquarters. It is LEED Gold Certified and spans over six stories. Some of its best elements include its natural stone, low iron glass, and integrated metals.

Baker Architecture

Address:
4080 Centre Street, San Diego, CA 92103

About Baker Architecture

Baker Architecture is a four-person collaborative firm that extends its services throughout San Diego. It offers its clients a complete range of architecture and planning services. This encompasses preliminary site planning, zoning research, space planning, schematic design, and construction administration. It specializes in tenant improvements and ground-up construction for restaurants, retail, residential and commercial spaces.

Featured Projects

The chosen project above is one of the firm’s best. Completed for Amini and Co. Fine Jewelry, this project is located in Westfield. It spans 858 square feet and was completed in collaboration with the professionals at Ellis Contracting and Dodd & Associates.

Matalon Architecture & Planning

Address:
888 Prospect Street, Suite #200, La Jolla, CA 92037

About Matalon Architecture & Planning

Founded in 1994, Matalon offers its clients a great range of architecture and planning work. It has worked in some of the best areas across San Diego and is particularly well-known for its site planning, interior design, programming, master planning, and building design. The firm services both the public and private sectors, and it has had the opportunity to work with countless noteworthy clients. Those clients include AECOM, Wells Fargo, UnionBank, and San Diego State University.

Featured Projects

The chosen project showcases the firm’s work for Wells Fargo. It spans around 5,500 square feet and features an excellent rustic theme. It includes seven teller stations, twelve platform desks, a conference room, a cash vault, and a self-serve safe deposit vault.

Best Custom Home Builders & Design-Build Firms in San Diego

Overview

San Diego has become one of the nation’s most desirable places to live. It offers year-round sunshine, a relaxed but economically and socially progressive atmosphere, great scenery, beautiful neighborhoods, and an abundance of professional opportunities. It follows that the city should have some of the world’s best design-build firms working to meet the high demand of luxury home building. From the city of San Diego to La Jolla, Del Mar, and Rancho Santa Fe, this list includes designer/builders who have worked on some of San Diego’s most beautiful and expensive homes in both the coastal and inland communities. Included are design-build firms and custom home builders that have won numerous awards from some of the most prestigious associations in the practice.

Top Home Builders & Design-Build Firms

Charco Design and Build

Address:
2136 Kettner Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92101

Principals:
Armando Flores

About Charco Design & Build, Inc.

Charco Design & Build is an award-winning design-build firm founded by Armando Flores, after his 20 years of experience in the design and construction industry. Following his studies in architectural drafting and interior design, the San Diego native began his career at a prestigious Los Angeles design firm. He then moved back to San Diego to start his own company. He quickly became recognized for his talents, and his work has since been featured in numerous magazines and a television show. One of his kitchens is featured weekly on the local cooking show Sam the Cooking Guy. Flores’s philosophy is to capture and create the home of his client’s dreams, “despite the challenges of space, architecture, and budget.” Among his awards and accolades, he was featured in Luxe and San Diego’s Home and Garden Magazine. The Modern Luxury December 2016 issue named Armando Flores one of the influential insiders of San Diego, and he was an HGTV Faces of Design 2016 finalist.

Featured Projects

Accentuated by a live, succulent wall and generous use of glass, Charco Design and Build’s work on a multilevel La Jolla home was featured in the February 2017 issue of Ranch & Coast Magazine. The palatial, six-bedroom residence includes a beautiful state of the art design, floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to the stunning outdoor space, a freestanding soaking tub in the shower, a gorgeous fireplace, an LED enhanced fire pit, sauna, full outdoor kitchen, a cascading infinity pool and a spa surrounded by a vast, green manicured lawn.

Chaun Miller Design and Construction

Address:
13716 Ruette Le Parc, Unit C, Del Mar, CA 92014

Principals:
Chaun Miller

About Chaun Miller Design and Construction

Chaun Miller is a third-generation general contractor who stands behind the quality of his work. He takes charge of his namesake construction firm in offering full-service design-build services. The firm takes projects from concept to completion and prides itself on the seamless system that makes the designing and building process as enjoyable as possible for their clients. The firm is dedicated not only to excellence in its work, but also to its impact on the environment. With an emphasis on sustainability, and environmentally friendly construction methods and materials, they have joined the important movement of incorporating green building principles and practices into their design work for the past decade — an effort that has made their work more valuable over time.

Featured Projects

Among the firm’s portfolio of homes is a Mid-century modern minimalist design with a large kitchen island that is a focal point in the open floor plan. The home features wood cabinetry and walls in the kitchen and along the stairwell, which add warmth to the space. A beautiful winding stairwell with a simple black rail spiral up to the second floor, and the many clean lines and natural tones offer elegance with ease.

Daley Custom Homes

Address:
83 Via de La Valle, Del Mar, California, CA 92014

Principals:
Jeff Daley

About Daley Custom Homes

Under the leadership of Jeff Daley, a fifth-generation San Diegan raised in the construction industry, Daley Custom Homes offers a full-service luxury home building development and construction services to the San Diego area since 1928. He personally oversees each of their projects to ensure that his clients’ needs are met every step of the way. With the utmost attention to detail, Jeff Daley’s firm has successfully completed projects for happy clients of custom homes and large scale renovations, as well as celebrity estates. They place great value on exceptional craftsmanship with the highest level of design and customization in each home they build.

Featured Projects

Majestic views, a bright and airy living area with oversized windows, and sliding glass doors that fold away creating an indoor-outdoor living area are just two of the many exciting features of a Daley Custom Homes La Jolla creation. The home includes a neutral and crisp color palette, a beautiful master bedroom with a fireplace, and french doors that open into the courtyard. It also has a pool that has cascading water fountains.

Eco Minded Solutions

Address:
9466 Black Mountain Road #210, San Diego, CA 92126

Principals:
Josh Rosenthal
Barry Thau
and David Milton

About Eco Minded Solutions

Eco Minded Solutions, led by the creative genius of Josh Rosenthal, Barry Thau, and David Milton, is an award-winning design-build firm known for environmental sustainability, innovation, and creative vision, balanced with practicality in their designs. They strive to create spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye and functional, but also environmentally safe. The firm is keenly aware and conscious of the impact their work will make on future generations, and they have been praised for the high quality of their design and build services that are changing the profession’s landscape. 

They have been featured in media outlets ranging from broadcast news KUSI to print publications such as San Diego Home & Garden Magazine, Del Mar Magazine, and Coastal Living Lifestyle Magazine.

Featured Projects

Eco Minded Solutions is responsible for the design and construction of a stunning home in La Jolla with an abundance of comfort and luxury. The home features impressive views of its beautiful locale and showcases the usable space with a vast open floor plan, a neutral color palette, a unique transitional design, and a spacious view deck that adds the wow factor to this beautiful home.

Flagg Custom Homes

Address:
1014 Ninth Street, Coronado, CA 92118

Principals:
John O’Brien
Mark Blore

Awards:
Best of Houzz-Design 6 years straight,
Pacific Coast Builders Conference Gold Merit Award

About Flagg Coastal Homes

Flagg Coastal Homes is one of the leading custom home builders in the new California-coastal style found in San Diego and the surrounding areas. John O’Brien founded the firm in response to the high demand for upscale, nautically themed homes in the beautiful resort town of Coronado in San Diego county. 

With more than 40 beautiful homes designed and built, the firm is known for its unwavering commitment to outstanding quality and meticulous attention to detail during the design process. They have successfully designed and built award-winning homes, including a spectacular Bayview home overlooking the San Diego Bay.

Featured Projects

One of their creations, at 927 First Street, is a beautiful five-bedroom, four-and-a-half bathroom home with panoramic views of the San Diego Bay. The spectacular design with picturesque perfection is adjacent to the Coronado Ferry Landing, as well as Boney’s Bayside Market. The home includes a guest house and was offered for sale for over $6M. A second design, “The Coastal Living Showhouse” in San Diego, was Flagg’s signature project for 2014. Built on the beautiful Coronado Island at Sunset Park, the house had over 5,000 visitors when it was open during a 10-week summer tour that raised over $100K for its nonprofit beneficiary, the Navy SEAL Foundation. The exquisite home takes every detail into account and includes french doors, crown molding, vaulted ceilings on the second floor, and large windows that blast the light in from the outside. A beautiful wraparound deck is perfect for enjoying the summer breeze and breathtaking views that are among the finest San Diego living has to offer. 

GDC Construction Inc.

Address:
1031 Silverado St., La Jolla, CA 92037

Principals:
Pancho Dewhurst

Awards:
La Jolla Village News Best Contractor

About GDC Construction, Inc.

GDC Construction has been building homes in San Diego for four generations. Led by Pancho Dewhurst, the firm provides full-service design and build firm handling the building process from pre-construction, design, and construction to post-construction. GDC operates with the four foundations of openness and transparency, financial clarity, working with the best, and offering a creative edge. 

The firm’s arsenal of awards and accolades include being the Best Contractor by La Jolla Village News two years in a row. It has also been featured in San Diego Home and Garden Magazine. 

Featured Projects

GDC Construction took on the challenge of building a modern luxury home to replace an aging, ranch-style structure in great need of revitalization. To rebuild the home, the firm began with demolishing 90 percent of the existing property. It maximized every inch of the land by adding a pool and a tennis court and incorporating original, custom woodworking to retain the feel of the old accented by the beauty of the new. The home includes stunning design features like rich wood floors, a gourmet outdoor kitchen, state-of-the-art technology, and much more. 

Jackson Design and Remodeling

Address:
4797 Mercury Street, San Diego, CA 92111

Principals:
Todd Jackson

Awards:
ASID Awards,
Master Design Awards,
Better Business Bureau Torch Award For Marketplace Ethics

About Jackson Design & Remodeling

Jackson Design & Remodeling has been designing and building their clients’ dream homes in the San Diego area for almost 30 years. Led by Todd Jackson, the firm’s President and CEO, operates with keen attention to detail and the ability to make even the wildest of their client’s dreams come true. These values helped the firm garnered numerous awards including 20 awards from ASID, over a dozen Master Design Awards, and multiple other awards. 

The firm also offers the Jackson Design & Remodeling showroom for their clients to visit for endless amounts of inspiration and a behind-the-scenes look at how they perform their magic. 

Featured Projects

The Jackson Design & Remodeling team was faced with the exciting challenge of creating an ultra-modern loft to fulfill their client’s love of city living coupled with a fun urban design. The answer was a chic, award-winning, two-story stunner with a flawless open floor plan, high ceilings, and countless windows flooding the home with natural light. The modern, minimalist design paired with high-end fixtures and perfect attention to detail strike just the right balance between understated sophistication and unexpected pizzazz. 

K-CO Construction Inc.

Address:
3670 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, CA 92117

Principals:
Dave K Konstantin

About K-CO Construction Inc.

K-CO Construction is an award-winning, family-owned general contractor specializing in design-build services for custom homes and residential remodeling projects. The firm has built homeowner’s dreams in the greater San Diego community since 1995, but the team understands that in construction, sometimes things do not go as planned. They resolve problems by ensuring constant and open communication between all parties involved in the process. With this practice in mind, K-Co Construction has completed thousands of complicated projects successfully. 

Ethical business practices being a top priority, the firm is proud to be chosen by the Better Business Bureau as a finalist for the Torch Award for excellence in marketplace ethics.

Featured Projects

K-Co Construction was presented with a logistical challenge when it came across a family that wanted to demolish a cottage one-and-a-half blocks from the ocean and build their dream home of a two-story villa with a guest apartment atop a detached garage. Despite the challenges, K-Co successfully followed Coastal Commission requirements of leaving 50 percent of the existing walls in place and built the entire second floor and guest quarters exactly as their client had imagined.

McCullough Design Development

Address:
10531 4S Commons Drive, Suite 700, San Diego, CA 92127

Principals:
Lori McCullough

About McCullough Design Development

Founded by lead designer, Monty McCullough, who holds over three decades of experience in the architectural field, McCullough Design Development has established itself as one of San Diego’s finest luxury custom estate builders.

Priding itself on authenticity in design and uniquely unifying drafting services, planning and engineering departments, cost schedules, budgeting, and construction management under one roof has allowed the firm to successfully build over 200 homes in the greater San Diego area. McCullough’s highly-skilled team dedicates the utmost attention and care to each project providing ease and understanding to the client through every step of the design-build process.

For the firm, each project receives the utmost level of care and attention, given the client’s specific requests and requirements, their home site and layout, location, and budget. With the firm’s professionalism and love of design and construction, they have successfully designed and built over 150 custom homes in the greater San Diego area.

Featured Projects

The Modern Farmhouse featured in the photo is one of the firm’s most recent accomplishments in custom estates. The 4,675 square foot homestead showcases the incomparable quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail that McCullough implements into every home. The great room, which consists of the living room, dining area, and kitchen, is a signature feature for the firm. This open layout design seamlessly blends into an expansive outdoor veranda, perfectly translating the Southern California dream of indoor-outdoor recreation into a reality. Located in Del Mar Mesa is a brand new single-level estate called West Rim, which demonstrates the fusion of traditional and contemporary elements evoking a sense of community and togetherness while maintaining its modern, transitional feel.

Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel

Address:
2878 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 160 San Diego, CA 92108

About Murray Lampert Design, Build, Remodel

Established in 1975, Murray Lampert is a design-build and remodeling company serving the San Diego community. The firm has been providing top quality service for four generations, and it shows in the firm’s work. President and CEO Gregg Cantor began working in the industry in 1977 and built a longstanding reputation in the local community for integrity. Gregg’s daughter Rachel Cantor joined the firm in 2014, after obtaining her degree in architecture from Miami of Ohio.

Featured Projects

Murray Lampert has a strong portfolio of remodeled and custom homes in varying styles. The Coronado whole remodel in the photo is a testament to the firm’s great eye for function and design. The firm filled the home with custom details in the hard surfaces, cabinetry, stonework, and masonry that reflect the owner’s profession as a retired Navy Captain.

The company is very proud of its creative architect Micah Winkelstein, Senior interior Designer Rachel Bancroft and the design team.

Nicholls Design Build

Address:
1022 C Ave., Coronado, CA 92118

About Nicolls Design Build

Coronado-based Nicolls Design Build is a much-adored local business offering commercial and residential works all over the area. The firm’s reputation was centered around its premium-quality service and cost-effective construction solutions. Kraig Nicolls, company president, puts a great emphasis on workmanship and customer satisfaction. He has led the team in completing multiple projects from modest residential projects to commercial establishments and restaurants. The firm is capable of remodeling and ground-up construction alike.

Featured Projects

The firm’s dedication to craftsmanship is evident in its portfolio. The project displayed in the photo is a humble California Spanish Colonial-style home. The home is straightforward yet elegant, as achieved with a neutral palette and classic detailing. 

Smith Brothers

Address:
444 S Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach, CA 92075

Principals:
Jeff Smith

About Smith Brothers

Since 1978, Smith Brothers has provided award-winning design, architecture, and construction throughout San Diego County. The firm specializes in building custom homes, from inception to completion. Under the leadership of Jeff Smith, over the years they have developed a leading business for the purpose of intermingling exceptional design and construction for the benefit of their customers. Their ultimate goal is to make every project come to life through a collaborative and transparent process that respects all involved. This philosophy allows their loyal clients to make informed and beautiful decisions that will enrich their homes and their lives for many years to come.

Featured Projects

Inspired by a modern allure with a touch of traditional warmth, the Smith Brother’s design of a two-story residence feels like a minimalist’s haven. The home opens with large glass doors into an interior flooded with sunlight, and natural tones that bring the outdoors in. Just outside the large windows on the ground floor is a stunning outdoor living area, complete with a fireplace, a pool, and a large outdoor seating area that’s sure to wow and entertain.

Smith Brothers also paid homage to the designs of Frank Lloyd Wright with their zen-inspired Craftsman Contemporary. It is a true gem in the Del Mar area of San Diego. The features are carefully chosen to beckon to an earlier time while offering many modern luxuries. The entry features a Zen garden feel, complete with a bridge leading to the large front doors. The interior is rich with wood details, and there is a multi-level pool in the entertainer’s backyard.

The Best Restaurant Architects in San Diego

Overview

Known for its pristine beaches and gorgeous climate, San Diego is a popular tourist destination thanks to its beautiful attractions and inventive culinary scene. It is a foody haven for upscale restaurants, great seafood, and the best tacos. It is an ideal place for entrepreneurs that want to start a restaurant business. Our editorial team has compiled 12 of the best restaurant architects working in San Diego, California, the architects capable of bringing your dream cafe to life.

The Best Restaurant Architects in San Diego, California

RDC.

Address:
1515 Morena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110

About RDC.

RDC is an award-winning architecture firm founded in 1979. It has been dedicated to making everyday spaces extraordinary via successful design solutions and great customer relationships. The firm specializes in the retail, interior, workplace, hotels, cinema, and restaurant sectors, and it provides those buildings in Los Angeles, San Diego, Washington D.C., Arkansas, and Shanghai. The team is comprised of over 160 members, all dedicated to helping clients’ visions come to life. RDC’s comprehensive expertise allows it to cater to just about any need.

The company operates under the leadership of Brad Williams. He joined the firm in 1999 as a junior designer and currently functions as RDC’s president and CEO. His past projects include urban infill revitalization, high-density retail developments, and numerous successful façade revitalization programs for both public and private entities.

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

Address:
726 9th Avenue, Suite 1, San Diego, CA 92101

About H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects is an award-winning firm founded by brothers Steven and David Hawkins in 1998. From its offices in San Diego and Gig Harbor, Washington, the firm specializes in architecture, space planning, feasibility study, and master planning services. The firm is licensed to perform work up and down the west coast and into the southwest: California, Washington, Colorado, Nevada, Texas, and Arizona. Since its inception, H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc. has built a portfolio of commercial, cultural, residential, and mixed-use projects. The firm seeks creative solutions to provide a human sense of place.

Founders Steven and David Hawkins are both registered architects in California and are members of the American Institute of Architects. Steven serves as the firm’s vice president and is responsible for design development, production documents, and construction services. Meanwhile, David is the company’s director of design and provides continuity between the client and the project team.

ACRM Architects + Interiors

Address:
1045 14th Street, Suite 100, San Diego, CA 92101

About ACRM Architects + Interiors

ACRM Architects + Interiors is a multi-faceted design firm recognized for its ability to transform clients’ visions and aspirations into elegant and unique solutions with lasting value. The firm has been in the business since 2002, specializing in hospitality, retail, restaurants, multifamily residential, office, and mixed-use projects. Headquartered in San Diego, the firm extends its services to Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Jersey, Oregon, Utah, Virginia, and Washington. ACRM Architects + Interiors has strived for excellence since its founding. It won the 2021 Loved by Guests Award from Hotels.com.

Tom Awbrey is the principal architect of ACRM Architects + Interiors. He graduated from Texas Tech University’s College of Architecture, then was a design principal for a previous firm before establishing his own company. The firm has been featured by multiple press publications, including Condé Nast Traveler Magazine.

Ergo Architecture

Address:
2039 National Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113

About Ergo Architecture

Operating out of its office in San Diego, Ergo Architecture has been passionate about making the world a better place for over 25 years. Since 1995, the firm has earned a reputation for building innovative designs for intelligent people and practicing thoughtful, contemporary techniques for its clients. The firm specializes in a wide range of services, including commercial and interiors, custom homes, multifamily and urban infills, supportive and assisted living, and restaurants, bars, and clubs.

Ergo Architecture believes that architecture is not about people and costly finishes but about creating authentic experiences and working with customers to provide tailored, accurate designs. Steve Mayman leads the team and oversees each project. During his long career as a licensed architect, he has never stopped learning about construction and connecting to his clients through empathy.

Hauck Architecture

Address:
4888 Ronson Court, Suite F, San Diego, CA 92111

About Hauck Architecture

Hauck Architecture is a licensed, full-service architecture and interior design firm in San Diego. Founded in 1996, the firm specializes in breweries, bars, restaurants, and custom residential projects in Chula Vista, La Mesa, and Solana Beach. Since its founding, the firm has been dedicated to assisting clients on every aspect of their project, from design and layout to navigating government agencies. Its unmatched experience, expertise, and attention to detail set it apart from other design firms in the area.

Hauck Architecture strives to go beyond its customers’ needs. The firm believes that listening carefully to clients’ goals and objectives leads the firm to create designs with lasting value. T. Dustin Hauck is the owner and managing principal of the firm; he is licensed to practice architecture in Arizona, California, Florida, Maryland, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. For 25 years, he has been the driving force behind the firm’s projects and award-winning designs.

obrARCHITECTURE

Address:
2419 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104

About obrARCHITECTURE

Established 14 years ago, obrARCHITECTURE is an architecture and design firm specializing in civic, commercial, educational, restaurant, and residential architecture. The firm builds elegant structures across San Diego County and is made up of 29 construction professionals passionate about challenging themselves in every aspect of design. The firm’s commitment to excellence has enabled it to develop many award-winning projects. The firm received the American Institute of Architects, San Diego Design Award in 2020. obrARCHITECTURE focuses on completing its work on time, within budget, and always to a superior standard of quality.

The firm operates under the direction of Garrick Oliver, Christopher Bittner, and Anney Rosenthal-Hall. The firm’s managing principals are licensed architects and each has an extensive background in architecture. Before establishing the company, they worked for other design firms, where they honed their skills and knowledge.

Lahaina Architects

Address:
3268 Governor Drive, #141, San Diego, CA 92122

About Lahaina Architects

Lahaina Architects is a premier architectural design company creating forward-thinking solutions that exceed client expectations. The firm was founded in 2007 and employs highly-trained professionals dedicated to providing every customer an outstanding level of service. The firm specializes in entertainment, mixed-use, restaurant, commercial, and tenant improvements, serving much of the Western United States. Lahaina Architects is licensed to perform work in California, Colorado, and Nebraska, with the ability to be licensed in any state in the United States.

Since its inception 15 years ago, Lahaina Architects has put together a diverse clientele list of local restaurant operators, real estate investors, property owners, prominent corporations, and local and national retail tenants. Philip Cudaback owns and leads the company. He is passionate about creating warm and inviting spaces for his clients and providing transformations that consistently deliver exceptional results.

Marengo Morton Architects

Address:
7724 Girard Avenue, Floor 2, La Jolla, CA 92037

About Marengo Morton Architects

Marengo Morton Architects has been building beautiful homes and unique structures in San Diego for over two decades. The firm specializes in multifamily, residential, commercial, restaurant, and hospitality developments, serving clients across Chula Vista, Logan Heights, Mission Valley, San Diego, Solana Beach, and beyond. Since 2000, the firm has strived to bring a unique signature statement of customers’ properties while focusing on function, form, style, and creativity. Marengo Morton Architects comprises a team of young, innovative architects passionate about bringing dreams to scale.

Michael R. Morton and Claude-Anthony Marengo serve as the firm’s managing principals. The former is a San Diego native who developed his design skills as a designer/architect in several award-winning San Diego architectural firms. He is licensed to practice in California and is a member of the AIA. Meanwhile, Claude-Anthony has 25 years of experience in coastal design and entitlement. He has managed significant developments in the La Jolla and the greater San Diego region.

Baker Architecture

Address:
4080 Centre Street, San Diego, CA 92103

About Baker Architecture

Baker Architecture is a commercial and residential architecture firm in San Diego. It specializes in a wide selection of services, including tenant improvements and ground-up construction for restaurants, retail, residential, and commercial uses. The firm opened its doors in 2005 and has been committed to guiding clients through the design experience. Baker Architecture encourages communication among stakeholders. It guarantees its team’s commitment to identifying creative solutions to meet clients’ demands, aspirations, and goals.

Katherine Baker is the president and founder of the company. After completing her degree in architecture at Ball State University, she began working for two small architecture firms to gain experience. In 2001, she obtained her architecture license in California and established Baker Architecture four years later.

 

BASILE Studio

Address:
840 11th Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

About BASILE Studio

Headquartered in San Diego, BASILE Studio is a full-service design, build, and fabrication studio operating throughout Southern California. The firm is recognized internationally for its progressive designs and for fabricating every project at its studio. The firm specializes in restaurants and hospitality projects and is committed to creating innovative, functional, and relevant structures. Since 1994, it has built an impressive client list of renowned restaurant groups, boutique hotels, entrepreneurs, and industry-leading chefs.

BASILE Studio runs under the direction of Paul Basile. He is a fourth-generation builder and a first-generation designer, developer, sculptor, and entrepreneur. He is frequently referred to as San Diego’s “brick and mortar guru” and is known for his critically-acclaimed commercial, hospitality, and retail projects. Under his oversight, the firm has amassed numerous awards, including the 2020 Hospitality Design Award from HD Awards.

 

The Best Office Architects in San Diego

Overview

San Diego is best known for its beaches, parks and warm climate. Its museums, cultural hubs, and artists’ studios make it a wonderful place to live and visit. Several impressive commercial structures also serve the area. We decided to showcase 12 leading commercial architects providing some of this beautiful city’s most recognizable office spaces and headquarters. These firms were chosen for their unique services and diverse backgrounds.

The Best Office Architects in San Diego, California

Delawie Architects

Address:
1515 Morena Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92110

About Delawie Architects

Delawie Architects offers its clients a complete range of architecture services and is also well-known for its interior design, master planning, and sustainable design. The firm has been in business since 1961 and extends its services throughout San Diego. Throughout its years in the industry, the firm has had the opportunity to work in some of the city’s most sought-after communities. The firm’s portfolio includes an excellent range of technological, hospitality, educational, government, and specialty spaces.

Featured Projects

The project featured here best embodies the firm’s talent and expertise. Completed back in 2007, this project spans over 473,960 square feet and entailed having to work on its interior design, lobby, cafeteria, and executive offices. Its team also had to design its boardroom and various conference rooms. The building itself offers residents views of the surrounding city and ocean. Our editorial team loved its rich wood and natural stone accents

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

Address:
185 W. F. Street, Suite #500, San Diego, CA 92101

About Carrier Johnson + CULTURE

Carrier Johnson + CULTURE works in and around some of San Diego’s most impressive commercial districts. It offers prospective clients stellar architecture and interior design work and can take on any project regardless of size or scale. The firm makes use of a highly collaborative approach that brings together both the technical and conceptual aspects of any process. Its portfolio features an excellent portfolio composed of landscapes, healthcare, residential, and mixed-use projects. It has also contributed to several workplaces in the education, science, government, and library sectors.

Featured Projects

The project featured here is the firm’s work for the Sony Headquarters. Located in San Diego, this project challenged the firm not only with its architecture but also with its interior design. It is LEED-Gold certified and spans over 455,900 square feet.

Studio E Architects

Address:
2258 First Avenue, San Diego, CA 92101

About Studio E Architects

Studio E Architects is composed of a talented team of over 24 experienced and talented professionals. The firm operates out of its office in San Diego; it has had the opportunity to work across the Southwestern United States. The firm’s portfolio includes a wide range of project types—everything from private residences to affordable housing, and mixed-use, civic, and urban planning projects. It is also the proud recipient of countless accolades, including three National American Institute of Architects Honor Awards. Its work has also been featured in publications like San Diego Home/Garden, Residential Architect, and Building Design + Construction.

Featured Projects

The featured project showcases the firm’s work for Schiefer + Sons. Located in San Diego, this project is located just beyond Petco Park’s outfield fence. It is a historic structure that sits among new offices and high-rise residential structures. As part of the development of the Park at the Park, the firm’s team was tasked with reworking this three-story brick and heavy timber building into retail space, restaurant space, and office suites. They also worked on the project’s extensive preservation of the brick and wood interior surfaces.

BNIM

Address:
845 15th Street, Suite #103, San Diego, CA 92101

About BNIM

BNIM extends its services throughout San Diego and provides its clients a complete range of commercial architecture services. These encompass not only architecture but also interior design, sustainable and landscape architecture, and planning. The firm is highly respected for its innovative methods and processes. In 2011, it was lauded with the National Architecture Firm Award. Showcased below is one of the firm’s best office projects.

Featured Projects

Located in San Diego, this project spans over 53,325 square feet. It is LEED-Platinum certified and serves as both a workplace and residential development. It is a six-story structure with both retail and restaurant suites on the ground floor.

The Miller Hull Partnership

Address:
Point Loma Marina, 4980 North Harbor Drive, Suite #100, San Diego, CA 92106

About The Miller Hull Partnership

In business since 1977, The Miller Hull Partnership is the product of the vision of its founding partners, David Miller and Robert Hull. They first met as undergraduate architecture students at Washington State University. The two were heavily influenced by their experience in the Peace Corps in Brazil and Afghanistan. Under their leadership, the company makes use of passive solar, super insulation, and earth-sheltered design and construction. In 2021, it launched EMission Zero, an initiative targeting the elimination of greenhouse gas emissions in buildings.

Featured Projects

The showcased project is the first of its kind and depicts the company’s work for the East County Office and Archives. It achieved Pursuing Net Zero Energy and LEED Gold Certification and spans around 25,000 square feet. The structure’s main entrance is noted for its great natural lighting and expressive roof structure that soars to capture daylight and supports a PV array overhead.

Safdie Rabines Architects

Address:
925 Fort Stockton Drive, San Diego, CA 92103

About Safdie Rabines Architects

Safdie Rabines Architects is a full-service firm that specializes in architecture and interior design. The firm has been in business since 1993 and is overseen by husband-and-wife duo Ricardo Rabines and Taal Safdie. Together they lead a team of over 50 designers, architects, interior designers, and support staff. They make use of a highly collaborative approach, which has consistently resulted in timeless work. The firm is especially known for its single-family residences, but it is also known for affordable housing, student housing, mixed-use communities, and large-scale master plans.

Featured Projects

The photo depicts the firm’s work on this Fifth Avenue mixed-use project. Located in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood, this three-story urban mixed-use development showcases an infusion of private residential and office space. Some of its best features include its modern architecture and open floor plan.

Joseph Wong Design Associates

Address:
2359 Fourth Avenue, Suite #300, San Diego, CA 92101

About Joseph Wong Design Associates

Established in 1977, Joseph Wong Design Associates extends its services throughout San Diego and is a leader in architecture and interior design markets. The firm has had the opportunity to work in some of the most sought-after commercial districts across California and most major cities in Asia. The firm is the recipient of countless local and national awards of excellence. These include numerous AIA distinctions and National Design-Build Institute Design Awards. Showcased below is an excellent example of the firm’s talent and expertise.

Featured Projects

Located in Downtown San Diego, this project spans over 162,000 square feet. It was completed back in 2019 and is a four-story atrium-style building. It is composed of steel frames and floor-to-ceiling glass.

H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

Address:
726 9th Avenue, Suite #1, San Diego, CA 92101

About H2 Hawkins + Hawkins Architects, Inc.

H2 Architects is an award-winning firm that operates out of two offices in San Diego and Gig Harbor, Washington. It focuses on infusing various sustainability and green methods into its projects, assuring its homeowners of the high efficiency of its work. The firm has been in business since 1998 and is the brainchild of brothers David and Steven Hawkins. Under their supervision, the firm has also become known for its outstanding commercial, cultural, residential, and mixed-use architectural designs. The firm takes a highly client-focused approach and thus assists homeowners throughout the entire process. That process includes site planning, programming, feasibility studies, master planning, and space planning. The firm’s work adheres to LEED standards.

Featured Projects

The featured project is the firm’s work on the North Island Credit Union Headquarters. It is a six-story building that spans around 128,000 square feet and has a LEED Silver certification. The structure showcases a combination of stone and light glass. The firm’s team also opted to make use of green technology. Other great elements include its efficient mechanical systems and the use of renewable materials like bamboo flooring and waterless urinals.

Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects

Address:
4499 Ruffin Road, Suite #300 San Diego, CA 92123

About Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects

Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects is composed of a talented and experienced team of design professionals. It extends its services throughout San Diego and has worked on some of its most noteworthy commercial structures. Since its inception, the firm has been the proud recipient of countless impressive accolades, including several Build San Diego Awards from the Associated General Contractors San Diego as well as several mentions in the Engineering News-Record. Depicted below is one of the firm’s best projects.

Featured Projects

Located in San Diego, this project spans over 186,000 square feet. Designed and completed for the RMR Group—an alternative asset management company with more than 30 years of institutional experience—this project challenged the firm with having to work on its overall redevelopment. It now features flexible lab and office spaces, collaborative workstations, lounges, and custom break rooms.

obrARCHITECTURE

Address:
2419 El Cajon Boulevard, San Diego, CA 92104

About obrARCHITECTURE

obrARCHITECTURE specializes in working on civic, commercial, educational, and residential spaces. It has had the opportunity to work in some of San Diego’s most sought-after neighborhoods. It can take on projects regardless of size or scale. At the firm’s helm are its principals, Garrick Oliver, Christopher Bittner, and Anney Rosenthal-Hall. Oliver graduated from San Diego State University in 1999: he has been a licensed architect since 2007. He is also a LEED-certified professional and a lecturer of interior architecture at San Diego State University. On the other hand, Bittner has practiced since 2002 and holds a degree from San Diego’s New School of Architecture. Lastly, Rosenthal-Hall graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 1999 after spending a year abroad in Florence, Italy. She is also a LEED-accredited professional. Under their collective vision and leadership, obrARCHITECTURE has put together a stellar portfolio and clientele list for itself.

Featured Projects

The project above was designed for Bespoke Partners, which hired both obrARCHITECTURE and Studio H Design Group to revamp its old office building. Some of its best elements include its blackened steel entry canopy that gives way to a glass entry volume, its glass façades, and its modern touches. The firm’s team also employed great open spaces and industrial finishes.

Ergo Architecture

Address:
2039 National Avenue, San Diego, CA 92113

About Ergo Architecture

Backed by over three decades of industry experience, Ergo Architecture specializes in commercial, residential, multifamily, and restaurant projects. The firm’s portfolio also showcases several impressive bars, clubs, assisted living, and urban infill projects. Since the firm’s inception, it has worked on over 187 projects and has won countless impressive accolades, including the Young Architect of the Year Award from the AIA San Diego and a Public Service Award from the same organization.

Featured Projects

The highlighted project best embodies the firm’s talent and expertise. Designed for the Formula Office, this project features excellent wood finishes and industrial touches. Some of its best elements include the custom lighting, the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, and a rich color palette.

Architects HGW

Address:
1955 Bacon Street, San Diego, CA 92107

About Architects HGW

Architects HGW offers a complete and comprehensive range of architecture, site, and interior design services. The firm specializes in civic, commercial residential, and medical office projects. It is also highly respected for its recreation, master planning, and sustainability efforts. In terms of design, it can take on any project regardless of scale or complexity.

Featured Projects

Located in San Diego, this project is LEED Gold Certified. It is a class A office development and sits at an intersection of two busy freeways. Its structures were designed to frame the views of its beautiful environment. Some other excellent features include its projecting decks, layered building skins, patterned glazing types, and walkways.

The Best Interior Designers in San Diego

Overview

A great interior design can transform a space from ordinary to extraordinary. A well-designed interior has the power to create feeling, to transform emotions, to enlighten, to entertain, and to excite. Interior design is an enveloping artform that can turn blank walls into a space so beautiful you never want to leave. San Diego has the kind of rich landscape that can inspire this level of design, and these San Diego interior designers are among the best and most inspired in their field. Their award-winning transformations have reimagined the dullest rooms into the most exciting creations that are a perfect match for San Diego’s rich history and exciting future.

Top Designers

10
Bungalow 56

Designer:
Jessica Nicolls
Karyn Frazier

Address:
1022 C Avenue, Coronado, CA 92118

About Bungalow 56

Bungalow 56 is an award-winning Coronado and San Diego interior design firm with a strong sense of the importance of color, texture, and use of light, as well as the impact of a thoughtful design. Their work has been successful in adding just the right touches to breathe new life into outdated rooms. The firm is led by Jessica Nicolls, who has been part of the design industry for over 12 years. Nicolls began her career in an architecture firm, and then studied at the Art Institute of San Diego to pursue her degree in interior design. Four years ago, she took the important step of creating her interior design firm and has been bringing breathtaking designs to her clients ever since.

Featured Projects

Bungalow 56 worked on a Coronado Country Club-style exquisite transformation of a residence, with details chosen so carefully they each fit perfectly within the design. The use of color includes the perfect shade of green pillows against an otherwise monochromatic white bedroom, with a hint of dark blue. Pink and gold floor-to-ceiling floral curtains accent an otherwise neutral nursery. These seemingly minor additions together create just the right amount and intensity of color to give this residence a new and vibrant life. The grace and beauty of a space is fully realized with another Bungalow 56 design. This time a beach bungalow is full of perfect little treasures: a gold stool; a beaded chandelier in a beautiful, bright bedroom; a lovely bathroom with an exotic fish wallpaper; a small bedroom with delicious mint green walls; and two tiny stools at the foot of the bed. The designs are so balanced and beautiful they are almost poetic, and a fun treat for the eyes.

9
Hope Pinc Design

Designer:
Hope Pinc

Address:
206 Park Blvd, San Diego, CA 92101

About Hope Pinc Design

Hope Pinc Design is a studio founded by Hope Pinc, who has been a part of the San Diego design community for over 15 years. She began her career in 2002 at The Design Institute of San Diego, one of the renowned CIDA (Council of Interior Design Accreditation) schools in the country. Her design philosophy is to provide clients with practical, contemporary solutions that celebrate and reflect their style and taste. Pinc’s goal is not only to transform her client’s spaces, but to transform them in the way the client views as beautiful.

Featured Projects

A bohemian kitchen remodel showcases Pinc’s design savvy in a simple and elegant way. A center island dominates the space, lined with three golden barstools with high backs. A wooden dining table is surrounded by contrasting black chairs and a beautifully detailed warm rug. The design takes a turn for the whimsical with a black-and-white patterned backsplash that’s positioned low along the counters, then climbs all the way to the ceiling behind the silver range hood. It is a minimalist, meticulous design that creates interest and warmth with the perfect amount of color and texture. Another of Pinc’s designs is the Rike Residence, complete with Mid-century modern touches paired with glamorous throws, the use of live plants, books against interesting bookends, abstract art, and a geometric metal pendant light over the dining table that adds the hint of an industrial touch. Together, the elements are earthy and playful in a space that feels comfortable, intelligent, and easy to live in.

8
Esteban Interiors

Designer:
Esteban Lopez

Awards:
La Jolla Light Best of La Jolla Interior Design

Address:
7605 Girard Avenue, La Jolla, CA 92037

About Esteban Interiors

Esteban Interiors is an award-winning design team that believes good design is timeless while also transforming over time. Named after the founder, Esteban Lopez, a New York native who is known as a “style maker,” they pride themselves on creating interiors that perfectly meet their client’s needs and exceed their expectations within their budget and timeline. With every project they undertake, they strive to deliver a product of the very highest quality. The firm has been featured in numerous magazines, including Modern Luxury Interiors, Best of La Jolla Magazine, and San Diego Home/Garden. They were also voted “Best of La Jolla” in the 2016 Readers Poll for Interior Design in the La Jolla Light Newspaper.

Featured Projects

Among the firm’s most beautiful designs is a timeless apartment in the El Cortez complex in San Diego. The space is an amalgamation of beautiful design and color that excites the senses and pleases the eye. The rich tones of gold and coral play off of each other in what makes for a warm and luxurious interior. The firm has cleverly incorporated the client’s choice of eclectic art into the design to perfectly complete the space with a unique and personal touch. Another of the firm’s designs is dubbed “Casa de Manana,” in La Jolla, California. The interior here includes bold color choices, an oversized intricate mirror, metallic light fixtures, and a textured geometric red sofa that wows the eye. The space is a conversation with color and shape that is exciting and unique.

7
Savvy Interiors

Designer:
Susan Wintersteen

Address:
7875 Highlands Village Place, San Diego, CA, 92129

About Savvy Interiors

Savvy Interiors is an interior design firm based in San Diego, where they say, “There’s no shame in an outdated home, in fact, we think it’s cause for celebration.” And they celebrate by transforming these outdated spaces into beautiful new designs. Led by the creative genius of Susan Wintersteen, Principal Designer and Owner, they work with each client to make their dreams a reality and their homes a place where they want to spend most of their time. Their design choices are bold, daring, and offer a great degree of attention to detail.

“At Savvy Interiors, our team is one of the only firms in San Diego that holds a General Contractors license which allows us to simplify the remodeling process for our clients, being both the designer and the one to implement the design. With our team of designers, we want to make the process as streamlined as possible” – Susan Wintersteen

Featured Projects

Savvy Interiors designs vibrant, rich, textured, and classy interiors. Their design of a “Gatsby Bathroom” wows, with walls covered in a beautiful black and white Art Deco wallpaper. The vanity is sleek and black with gold Art Deco-inspired handles, and the mirror above the vanity has a textured, gold trim. Together, the details make for a glamorous and rich design that perfectly represents the thrill of the 1920s. In another of the firm’s San Diego designs, the kitchen takes center stage with its perfect light fixture, with several exposed light bulbs in a geometric gold metal design that transforms the room into a delight. The color combination is light, creamy, and inviting. There are light grey countertops, bright white cabinetry, and soft cream walls. There is a valance over a window in a perfectly contrasted dark blue, geometric pattern. The high-hung valance raises the eye up, makes the room tall, and adds an element of luxury that’s a perfect match for the chandelier.

6
Alpha Design Group

Designer:
Regina Kurtz

Awards:
San Diego Home & Garden Lifestyle Kitchen of the Year Award,
ASID Residential Design Awards,
HGTV Designer Challenge

Address:
1286 University Avenue #1000, San Diego, CA 92103

About Alpha Design Group

Alpha Design Group, led by Regina Kurtz, has been providing extraordinary yet comfortable design to their clients for over 30 years. Kurtz studied at Fashion Institute of Technology and worked in New York City’s fashion industry prior to moving to San Diego and starting her career. Her background and expertise have enabled her to assess a client’s needs and deliver a design and environment that exceeds their imagination. Among many others, the firm has won San Diego Home & Garden Lifestyle Magazine’s Kitchen of the Year Award in 2013; first place in the ASID Residential Design Awards for the years 2000, 2002, 2003, and 2009; and HGTV’s “Designer’s Challenge,” #811 ‘Painter’s Studio,’ Winning Design in 2004.

Featured Projects

When they came across a condo that had lackluster interiors, Alpha Design was eager to convert the space into a beautiful showpiece. With their new design, the living room boasts a chic and classic elegance that is intentionally minimal and inviting. White armchairs face each other against the backdrop of warm wood paneling surrounding a white fireplace. Tall, silky curtains drape from the ceiling, beckoning a time of beauty and grace. The carefully chosen art pieces in the living room offer a touch of originality and a whole lot of intrigue to the immaculate design. The team also updated a kitchen in great need of an overhaul. The transformation includes warm cherry wood cabinetry and a luxurious and unexpected rug that adds warmth and texture to the room. Also, a spacious center island and french doors leading to the outside make this kitchen not just a cook’s dream, but a cook’s retreat.

5
Howard Interior Design

Designer:
Mike Howard

Awards:
Freshome Best Interior Design Award,
National Kitchen & Bath Association Star Award

Address:
P.O. Box 33683, San Diego, CA 92163

About Howard Interior Design

Howard Interior Design is a San Diego design firm led by Mike Howard, who earned top honors in local and regional design competitions for being an expert with regard to creativity, problem-solving, and attention to every design detail. With each client, Howard’s goal is to build on their vision to create a home that is stylish, comfortable, and unique. The firm received the Freshome Best Interior Design award in San Diego in 2016, and the 2016 National Kitchen & Bath Association Star Award for Best Small Bath. The award-winning, small-bath project was featured in the November issue of San Diego Home & Garden Magazine, and they have featured again in the magazine, this time in the Profile in Design section.

Featured Projects

Howard Interior Design was tasked with updating and reconfiguring a 1950s San Diego ranch-style home, to add a spacious master bath. The result was a more efficient layout, moving the space three feet into the adjacent office space. They expand the master suite and created a custom bed niche. Arguably the most eye-catching element in the room is the colorful headboard made from recycled boat lumber. The beautifully reimagined master bathroom was also moved partially into an adjacent large closet to create a dramatic, glass-enclosed, walk-in shower.

In another of the firm’s designs, the need for a new kitchen island translated into an exciting full-home makeover, complete with a new stone fireplace facade accented with black wood trim, and refinished hardwood floors in a deep, rich grey. In the kitchen, the island is topped with a beautiful white countertop, contrasting deep grey cabinetry, and gorgeous glass subway tile for the backsplash adds just the visual pop the room needs.

4
Blythe Interiors

Designer:
Jennifer Verruto

Awards:
San Diego Freshomes Best Interior Designs Award

Address:
3103 Falcon Street, San Diego, CA 92103

About Blythe Interiors

No matter the project size, Blythe Interiors consistently delivers designs that complement their client’s personal style and helps turn their space into something they will love and enjoy for years to come. The firm is led by its president, Jennifer Verruto, who believes that good design should be available to everyone. The firm is known for beautiful, functional, and affordable interior designs. They received the San Diego Freshomes Best Interior Designs Award in 2016. The San Diego Real Estate Hunter called Blythe Interiors one of San Diego’s best 25 interior design companies in 2017.

“I got started as a Designer because I realized there was a need in the field for budget-conscious families who just wanted to make their spaces feel more like home, with their own individual style, and I wanted to make this available to your everyday family.  They would try to pull their spaces together by going to HomeGoods or Target, but they’d walk out with a bag of chips and a headache!  I started out by doing small makeovers, and due to word of mouth and amazing reviews, I realized this was an unfulfilled area of design that I could really help with on a larger scale, which is why I created a team.  My greatest joy is the feeling of fulfillment when the client walks into their new space and they say “you just GET me!  How did you do that?”  Our clients are our inspiration, and taking the time to listen to their dreams and turn them into a reality is what we do best.” – Jennifer Verruto

Featured Projects

Blythe Interiors helped transform an unimpressive and dated living room into a classic, luxurious space with a dramatic center ottoman that offers both comfort and class. The glamorous floor-to-ceiling drapery accentuates the tall ceilings, and the light grey beams create a modern and edgy feel. There is also an aged wood, beaded chandelier that ties the room together and adds a level of high end sophistication and timelessness to the design. In another of their eye-catching transformations, Blythe Interiors redesigned a dated living room to add color and warmth with a modern design. At the room’s center is a teal tufted ottoman surrounded by geometric patterned accent chairs. The same pattern repeats in the tall curtains that outline two french doors leading to the outdoor seating area. Pops of deep red and blue give the room a fun and vibrant atmosphere.

More recently, Blythe Interiors redesigned this gorgeous La Jolla home with a fresh, contemporary look that felt light, breezy and coastal, without being too literal.  They incorporated fresh patterns, texture, and reclaimed wood to create the coastal vibe.  Clean lines and industrial elements added a modern feeling, and the sconces over the artwork in the kitchen showcase local beach scenes.

3
M. Swabb Decor + Style

Designer:
Maegan Swabb

Address:
3333 Midway Drive #104, San Diego, CA 92110

About M. Swabb Decor + Style

M. Swabb Decor + Style is a boutique, high-end design firm founded by Maegan Swabb, lead designer and owner, that specializes in creating spaces that aim to deliver the “wow” factor to their clients’ homes. With each design, they strive to employ cutting-edge creativity, high-end style, and what they admit is an obsessive attention to detail. The firm offers services from space planning and 3D rendering to material acquisition and installation, with the ultimate goal of a very happy client in mind. They have been featured in various magazines, including Coastal San Diego Homes, Modern Luxury, Luxe Interior Design, and California Home & Design.

Featured Projects

M. Swabb Decor + Style is behind the design of the “La Jolla Treehouse,” a beautiful space that’s a testament to how well they can play with shape, color, and contrast. There are beautiful pops of color on pillows and throws, an abstract painting on a bedroom wall, a chandelier that reflects light over the dining nook, a perfectly positioned gold lamp in the living room, and the use of a large green plant to bring life into the space. The result is an amalgamation of different shapes, textures, and patterns that together become a bright and bold visual delight. Another of the team’s creations is the design of an edgy kitchen in downtown San Diego. The shimmering backsplash reflects light with patterns that entertain the eye, and clean minimalist cabinets complement the oversized light fixture suspended over the bar. The space is beautiful but functional all at once. The materials used spark a perfect balance between form and glamour in a design that is both modern and edgy, as well as timeless.

2
CM Natural Designs

Designer:
Corine Maggio

Address:
203 Flamingo Rd #186 Mill Valley, CA 94941

About CM Natural Designs

CM Natural Designs finds joy and purpose in creating personalized and meaningful designs that provide their clients with a sense of self and well-being. Led by Corine Maggio, principal and design director, the team has created arguably some of the trade’s most unique spaces. Although they are based in Southern California, the design crew loves to travel, and they’ve been creating beautiful designs nationally and internationally. Their work can be found not only across the United States, but also in Mexico, Australia, and Turkey. CM Natural Designs has been featured on HGTV and in many magazines, newspapers, and web publications.

“For us, the most exciting part of designing is finding out what is unique about our clients and creating a space that reflects that. We want them to walk in and feel a connection to the space that brings them more ease in the practical and functional parts of their lifestyle but also the emotional connection they have to their home. Once a home has a sense of completeness, it really allows the people using it to thrive. Being able to provide these tangible and intangible gifts to our clients is beyond rewarding and the reason we love our work.” – Corine Maggio

Featured Projects

One of the firm’s creations is a home purchased by a young couple who was looking for a design influenced by French style. The outcome is a beautiful home that includes a formal dining room complete with dark cabinetry with gold fixtures, deep grey velvet drapes that outline the large windows, and tufted luxurious dining chairs along the oversized rectangular table with golden legs. The black, gold, and white accents are carried throughout the rest of the home, giving the space a rich, Old World sophistication and class. Another of their designs is an urban bathroom remodel that looks almost cinematic. Here, too, the designers introduce gold accents that give the space a luxurious feel. Round, gold light fixtures dangle from the ceiling, and two large mirrors with perfectly thin gold frames are contrasted with black faucets and black handles on white cabinets. The design is rich but minimalist, and it is tied together by a small, round, black clock perched on the vanity — a touch that is both whimsical and practical all at once.

1
Studio Surface

Designer:
Michelle Salz-Smith

Address:
1011 Camino Del Mar, Suite 268, Del Mar, CA 92014

About Studio Surface

Michelle Salz-Smith, owner and principal interior designer at Studio Surface, is an award-winning interior designer specializing in residential and commercial design. Founded in 2009, the firm is known to transform spaces throughout the West Coast and internationally. Their philosophy is that every surface is a platform upon which dialogue and ideas are originated, explored, and realized. With projects ranging from residential home remodels to high-end resort brands, Salz-Smith and her team create beautifully balanced interiors with an unexpected edge. They have been featured in magazines such as Modern Luxury Interiors, Modern Luxury Riviera, and the online magazine Design Milk.

Featured Projects

A design with an edge. This living area created by Studio Surface is one that draws you into its deep and soulful interior. There are two large sofas in a rich blue velvet fabric that are reminiscent of Old World glamour. Between them sits a gold fish scale-patterned coffee table full of whimsy. The coupling of the gold and the blue is regal and grand. Beneath these beautiful colors are what feel like endless white floors, with a Mid-century modern white chair perched in the far corner. There is a fireplace that starts at the bottom as white stone but transforms into a black structure leading up to the ceiling, drawing the eye up as far as it will go. In another design we find the feel of the ocean. The colors of sand, sky, and sea are brought in. There’s a large area rug with splatters of different shades of blue and beige that evoke the surf and sand. There is a massive, light wood coffee table above it, a large piece of beautiful driftwood on top, and a juxtaposed black pot of succulents to the right. The sofa surrounding the table is luxuriously immaculate white linen, and two armchairs balanced on the side are dark blue like the deep ocean. Then, higher up, the light fixture that ties the room together is shaped like a bursting star. The space is more than just a room — the pieces are more than just furniture. It feels like brilliant risk-taking that has translated into undeniably transformative art that accentuates the experience of being present.