The Top Architecture and Design Firms in the Bay Area

|April 29, 2019

For centuries, the Bay Area has been defined by its artists, creators and innovators—from the heart of San Francisco over to Oakland down to Palo Alto and through every distinct community. Through the work of our local designers and architects, this passion for aesthetic and creativity is brought to life in homes that are definitely worth writing about.

In this guide, we’re writing about some of those homes and we’re showcasing some of our favorite local designers and artists who have created them. Get ready for a healthy dose of home inspiration!

Bliss Design Build  

Based in Oakland  

Based in Oakland, Bliss Design Build was founded by Sallie Lang in 1993 and is now led by her and Amy Harwin. In 2017, San Francisco Architects named Bliss one of The Best Architects in Oakland for their high level of craftsmanship and their keen sense for integrations of client needs and context-specific design solutions.

In the video above, Sallie Lang discusses 7257 Skyline Blvd in Oakland, a home that was represented by Robin Dustan. In it, you can learn and experience her and her team’s attention to detail in every single room, from every angle, and down to every tile.

CB Design  

Based in Orinda | Instagram

Led by Principal and Architect Megan Carter, CB Design has created some of the Bay Area’s most stunning homes, including 19 Hemlock Lane in Oakland and 107 Roberta Avenue in Pleasant Hill, which is photographed above. As a native of California, Megan Carter creates projects and spaces that are open, filled with light and responsive to our surrounding environment. At the same time, these living spaces are both uniquely functional and aesthetically pleasing for every client.

Destination Eichler

Based in Walnut Creek | Facebook | Instagram

Founders Karen Nepacena and John Shum were home enthusiasts and bloggers who developed their passions into a thriving business. Today, Destination Eichler is a full-service interior design firm helping homeowners re-imagine and transform their homes throughout the Bay Area. With Karen as Principal Designer and a small, tight-knit team to help every step of the way, they’re a go-to for mid-century modern whether you need simple decorating services or a full home renovation.

Dumican Mosey Architects

Based in San Francisco | Facebook | Instagram

the best architecture and design firms in the San Francisco Bay Area

Photo courtesy of Matthew Millman Photography via Dumican Mosey Architects

Dumican Mosey Architects is a small, powerhouse team of designers and artists originally founded by Eric Dumican and Matthew Mosey in 2006. According to the team, their goal is to make every project a successful marriage of pragmatism and poetry. They do this through a structured sequence of interactive decision-making that tests alternative solutions against stated objects, seeks consensus based on clearly defined priorities and results in cohesive living environments that consistently exceed expectations. Take a quick look through their portfolio here and you can see that poetry in action.

Feldman Architecture

Based in San Francisco | Facebook | Instagram

Facilitated by an informal and non-hierarchical studio culture, Feldman Architecture is a small firm that believes design is a dialogue between client, design team and site. As a result, they create both residential and commercial projects that are warm, light-filled, site-sensitive and carefully detailed. In their residential portfolio, you’ll find modern homes that take advantage of the Bay Area’s stunning outdoors while also offering spectacular views, innovative shapes and unforgettable features. You can look through it here.

J. Sullivan Construction

Based in Palo Alto

Owner and Designer Justin Skuce has been building custom homes for more than ten years. Through J. Sullivan Construction, he and his team showcase their expertise in major remodels and create spaces that are as cozy and warm as they are modern and breathtaking. You can see a few of those featured projects on Houzz here.

Next Level Architecture

Based in Walnut Creek

the best architecture and design firms in the San Francisco Bay Area

Experts in rebuilding and renovating, one of the defining characteristics of every Next Level Architecture project is the seamless blending of interior and exterior space. This small team embodies the California lifestyle through large lanai living spaces with outdoor kitchen areas, exterior dining areas and fireplaces, retractable doors that open the entire side of a home, and so much more. Additionally, Next Level has their own, exclusive, custom woodworking shop, Ghanbari Design.

To see some of their work in the real world, check out 9 La Sombra Ct in Orinda, 430 43rd St in Oakland, 4880 Webster St in Oakland, and 661 62nd St in Oakland—all homes that were represented by Claudia Mills.

Timbre Architecture

Based in Oakland | Facebook | Instagram

the best architecture and design firms in the San Francisco Bay Area

The Timbre Architecture team is made up of Founder and Former Oakland Outlaw Bridgett Shank, Architect and San Francisco Native Aaron Lim, and Interior Designer, Graphic Designer and Printer Kristin Murtagh. This tight-knit team creates sustainable, site-specific solutions that foster meaningful interactions between people and their environment because these environments affect our lives and our psychological health. Knowing this—and thanks to the team’s diversity of skills—every residential project developed by Timbre Architecture is a breath of fresh air. For example, take a look at 19 Hemlock Lane in Oakland, a home that was represented by Scott Leverette.

Tucker & Marks Design

Based in San Francisco | Facebook | Instagram

Founded in 1986 by Suzanne Tucker and Timothy Marks, Tucker & Marks Design has grown to be one of the largest firms of its kind on the West Coast and builds projects all over the country—from large apartments in San Francisco to mountain lodges in Wyoming and estates in New York. At every location and with every project, they showcase their expertise in detail-oriented, comfortable and high-end residential interiors that offer everything from custom furnishings and specialized lighting to beautiful accessories and antique collections.

Urbanism Designs

Based in Sunnyvale | Facebook | Instagram

the best architecture and design firms in the San Francisco Bay Area

Photo courtesy of Encarnacion Photography via Urbanism Designs

Founder Pamela built Urbanism Designs from the ground up after she and her husband bought their own family home and she designed and remodeled it all herself. Once a senior project manager at Google, she now runs one of the most talked about boutique firms in the Bay Area, designing homes that are functional and cohesive, warm and whimsical, and true reflections of each client’s personality and lifestyle.

Walker Warner Architects

Based in San Francisco | Facebook | Instagram

Driven by every site and understanding of each client’s desires, the work of Walker Warner Architects is informed every step of the way by the highest levels of quality, integrity and craftsmanship. The team’s attention to detail is showcased all the way from the surveying of initial conditions and natural features of the landscape to the finished project, resulting in interior spaces and holistic homes that are as stunning as their natural surroundings.


Based in Oakland

the best architecture and design firms in the San Francisco Bay Area

This real estate development company is much more than just a design firm, and their work extends far past regular living areas. Every project workshop1 creates is modern and aesthetically pleasing while also enhancing the neighborhood. Focused on infill developments, each project utilizes sustainable practices in largely developed communities and are located in walkable, transit-oriented neighborhoods. For example, take a look at 1032 Grayson Street in Berkeley, a home that was represented by Claudia Mills.

Want to see more beautiful homes?

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Category Community Guides, East Bay, Home Inspiration, Marin County, Peninsula, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Wine Country

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