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The Best Residential Architects and Designers in Seattle

18 Min Read

The scenery and closeness to nature are the primary reasons why many people flock to Seattle, Washington. Coffee shops are filled with intellectual conversations, and nightlife is more about relaxing with a beer at the bar than going crazy on the dance floor. Residents can escape from the city for the day or weekend to wineries, ski resorts, hiking trails, and extensive parks less than an hour away. Seattle residents bring their love of nature as much as possible into the city by enjoying parks and tree-lined streets while staying warm in fleece jackets.

This article lists fifteen of the best residential architects in Seattle, Washington. The skills, portfolios, and ability to go above and beyond client expectations were used to judge these significant firms.

Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects

1501 E. Madison Street, Suite #205, Seattle, WA 98122

Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects offers an integrated design method that is a collaborative, iterative process that allows it to deliver projects that reflect the client’s unique vision. The firm is committed to fully understanding its client’s ideas and opinions to ensure smooth communication throughout the design process. It has an in-house pro bono program whose goal is to help underserved communities by giving them architectural design services that will have a positive and lasting effect on social, environmental, and economic lives. The firm has built long-lasting relationships with local community leaders, builders, and sustainability experts to make practical, durable, and stunning structures.

Project by Sundberg Kennedy Ly-Au Young Architects

The Haller House project makes room for families to live together peacefully. This four-person family can enjoy their home more now that it has a second story. The addition gives the house a new master suite with a deck and a media room. It also gives each of the kids their own bedroom. It also adds space to a double-height dining room with big windows facing south that look out onto the backyard.

Coates Design Architects

900 Winslow Way E #210, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110

Coates Design Architects is a group of highly-skilled designers and architects who provide exceptional services for its clients in Bainbridge Island, Washington, and nearby areas. Over the years, the firm has established a remarkable portfolio of commercial, public, residential, and healthcare projects all over the country. Architecture, programming and planning, interior design, feasibility studies, and green design are all part of its comprehensive services. With its dedication to client satisfaction, the firm consistently strives for continuous learning and improvement by finding new ways to design and build things inspired by its clients, the site, and the environment. Its customized and hands-on approach for each client to develop design solutions has resulted in a long list of satisfied clients.

Project by Coates Design Architects

This Sand Point Residence renovation was more than just a simple makeover. The old house did not have a natural place for family members to get together, and the client found it uncomfortable and crowded. The clients were willing to make significant changes, so the design team took advantage of this by removing walls and raising ceilings to make an open floor plan. The 13-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows make the room feel bigger and brighter and give the family a new place to gather in the home. Throughout the design process, Asian influences made people feel calm and peaceful. The result is a home where the whole family can feel at ease.

Vandervort Architects

2000 Fairview Ave. E, Suite #103, Seattle WA 98102

Vandervort Architects approaches each project by finding reasonable design solutions that work with the land, meet the needs of its clients, and show respect for the communities and the environment. Since its inception in 1994, Vandervort Architecture and its core members have been focused on making custom homes. Whether it is a custom home, a small addition, or a condominium, the firm’s goal is to make visually pleasing and valuable architecture. Each design is tailored to fit each specific client and site, so each of its designs is different. The firm offers green resources, as well as LEED-certified professionals who help clients, contractors, and design teams focus on sustainability.

Project by Vandervort Architects

This Magnolia Remodel turned a typical daylight basement house from the 1950s into a home for a couple with a dramatic view, an accessory dwelling unit, and an art studio. The 3,800-square-foot house is in Seattle’s Magnolia neighborhood and has a 270-degree view of the city, the mountains, and the bay. One of the residents uses a wheelchair, which made accessibility the most critical issue and made it necessary to add an elevator.


1735 Westlake Ave N, #200, Seattle, WA 98109

Grouparchitect creates clear and unique designs for all sizes of residential, multifamily, mixed-use, and commercial projects. Often, ensuring great work and successful results requires a constant back-and-forth. As a result, the firm has developed a flexible, collaborative team approach that leads to buildings of all kinds that are well designed and work well. Over the years, the firm has gained massive recognition and extensive experience building everything from vacation cabins to urban homes to six-story mixed-use buildings to high-rise towers in the Pacific Northwest.

Project by grouparchitect

The Ballard Remodel in Seattle, WA, is a project that stands out for the firm. The split-level design of this home was kept. Still, the central staircase was rebuilt and made more visible to lead to a new upper floor and rooftop deck with views of downtown Seattle and Mt. Rainier. Every chance to show off the structure was taken on the inside, from exposing the existing wood decking and floor beams to leaving the wood stairs and steel railings open. The large cantilevered shed roof shades the interior from the sun and keeps the siding materials below from getting damaged.

Rhodes Architecture + Light

4218 SW Alaska St Suite G, Seattle, WA 98116

Rhodes Architecture + Light has provided projects in the Pacific Northwest for over 27 years. An excellent team of licensed professionals meticulously oversees each project to ensure the design, documents, building permit, pricing, and construction operate smoothly. Its impressive portfolio focuses on modern northwest architecture, custom residential design, commercial architecture, and Land Planning for hundreds of clients. Its technical expertise and extensive knowledge allow it to develop efficient and creative solutions that first prioritize the clients’ needs, warmth, and comfort.

Project by Rhodes Architecture + Light

The Lowman Beach Residence is a custom home designed by Rhodes Architecture + Light. It offers sweeping views of the water, Blake and Vashon Islands, and the Olympic Peninsula to the west. The water and shoreline environment and the 42-foot comprehensive site influenced the simple “beach cottage” forms and natural, weathered material palette. The design of the house was also influenced by the desire for a simple, modern home that makes the most of its location on an island and near the water.

CTA Design Builders

1101 N. Northlake Way, Suite #201, Seattle, WA 98103

CTA Design Builders has solidified its reputation as a successful architect-led design-build firm in the Pacific Northwest for 20 years. This Seattle-based company specializes in designing custom homes, additions, and renovations. Whether modern or traditional style, the firm delivers unique projects that reflect each client’s unique and personal tastes. The firm looks at each project as a whole. It works closely with its stakeholders to find creative design solutions that fit within the client’s budget and help reach the project’s overall goals. Meanwhile, it looks for problems that might arise during construction, puts together the right team, and stays involved throughout the process, working with contractors who share our attention to detail. In the process, it serves as the client’s designer, advocate, and project coach from start to finish.

Project by CTA Design Builders

This 1950s rambler was remodeled by updating the main floor and adding a Master Suite on the second floor. This was done in a minimalist style to make the site feel like a lush retreat. Light comes in from high windows, open spaces, and frosted glass wall panels. The light is soft and spreads out. The result is calm and relaxing, which is perfect for this bedroom haven and fits the newfound beauty of this mid-century classic.

prentiss balance wickline architects

224 West Galer St, Seattle, WA 98119

Prentiss Balance Wickline Architects is an architecture and design firm that strikes a balance between natural and built environments. The firm offers various design services and is known for the high personalization and meticulous approach that comes with them. The firm can provide new ideas and better solutions to each client’s design and building needs with an extensive knowledge base. The firm thinks about how the inside and outside, light and shadow, beauty and function work together to create cohesiveness within the space. It chooses materials that work well with nature and prioritizes efficiency and sustainability.

Project by Prentiss balance wickline architects

The Capitol Hill Residence meets the client’s goal of making the most of the site’s views and resources while responding to its microclimate. It does this by having a small footprint and integrating several sustainable systems. The firm focused on using sustainable designs, where the rainwater from the roof goes into a steel entry water feature, and light from Seattle’s usually cloudy sky gets deep into the house through a central translucent slot. Underground geothermal wells and heat pumps help heat and cool the house. A 30-panel photovoltaic system on the roof sends electricity back to the grid.

Sheri Olson Architecture, PLLC

1424 11th Ave Suite #400, Seattle WA 98122

Sheri Olson is an award-winning architect who founded Sheri Olson Architects in 2004 to focus on home design. No matter the project’s size, scope, or complexity, the firm ensures that everyone is involved and every detail is listened to. It has remained committed to its goal of helping clients make homes that are stunning, eco-friendly, and easy to live in. Over the years, the firm has been known for its creative residential design and hands-on approach to every project. This close work with clients leads to intelligent, long-lasting, and creative solutions that improve their everyday lives.

Project by Sheri Olson Architecture, PLLC

Queen Anne Minimalist is one of the firm’s notable projects. One goal for this new 2,500-square-foot home was to be as close to nature as possible, save money, and be good to the environment. The design has an extended, narrow floor plan and a small, rectangular massing to keep the building envelope as small as possible and leave as much of the site for planting as possible. Decks and wide steps mark the change from the garden to the house.

Neiman Taber Architects

1435 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122

Neiman Taber Architects is a full-service architecture firm that has been in business since 2013. The firm focuses on urban housing while prioritizing one’s experience living there, their ability, afford it, being part of a community, and access to housing. It specializes in modern architecture that uniquely fits the Pacific Northwest’s climate. The firm approaches each project by looking at the challenges and opportunities to ensure each project is delivered within schedules and budget constraints. It constantly searches for new ways to use shape, material, and technology to make buildings that are unique to their time and place.

Project by Neiman Taber Architects

This features project is the firm’s most ambitious Umbrella House to date. It used several energy-saving technologies to take green design efforts to the next level. The project features standard techniques like high-performance windows, super-insulation, heat recovery ventilation, and a less common one: a geothermal heat pump that uses the earth as a heat exchanger to heat and cool the house. Three watts of heat energy are taken from the earth for every watt of energy used to run the heat pump.

SHED Architecture & Design

1401 South Jackson, Seattle WA 98144

SHED Architecture & Design uses architecture as a valuable form of art. The firm offers forward-thinking design solutions from creativity, research, open-minded exploration of core ideas and goals, and sensitivity to economic and environmentally friendly design principles and building practices. The firm values substance over style and consistently works toward design solutions that are direct, inventive, and project-specific. Its impressive portfolio includes residential and commercial projects, such as selective remodels, additions, high-performance homes, and adaptive reuse of historic buildings.

Project by SHED Architecture & Design

Madrona Passive House is a home built on a steep slope with sweeping views of Lake Washington and the Cascade Mountains. It is energy efficient as well. This project met the world’s most demanding building energy standard by using sustainable site development strategies, efficient building systems, and a high-performance envelope.

Stuart Silk Architects

2400 N. 45th Street, Suite #200, Seattle, WA 98103

Stuart Silk Architects is an architecture and interior design firm known for making homes and businesses that fit the site and last for a long time. The firm has extensive experience working with clients in the Puget Sound area and all over the country. Over the years, the firm has believed that design has the power to improve people’s lives and the built environment. As a result, it has perfected a design method for over forty years based on the basic ideas of functionality, proportion, and craft. It works closely with contractors and consultants who share its values and dedication to excellence to make well-thought-out and carefully built buildings.

Project by Stuart Silk Architects

The new Union Bay Residence is on Lake Washington in Seattle’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. The site is on a gently sloping area facing south and has views of the lake and parts of Seattle. The clients wanted a home with a lot of light that would work for their growing family of five and let them host guests in comfort. In response, the firm made a house with an open floor plan and a two-level living room right in the middle. The 12,000-square-foot home is big enough for both small family gatherings and interactive fun with friends.

AOME Architects

1700 7TH Avenue, Suite #2100 Seattle WA 9810

Since its inception in 1986, AOME Architects has worked with various clients to explore and create architecture that fits their needs and dreams. Each project is unique, and the firm responds by giving each client personalized service and exceptional designs. It believes that design should be done in a way that respects both the present and the past while also considering the many modern changes that make things more comfortable, enjoyable, and easy to live in. As a result, the firm’s designs are always the best since it pays close attention to detail and process.

Project by AOME Architects

The shallow, three-story floor plan of Regal Brick Manse, which is on a comprehensive lakeside property, gives this modern Georgian a lot of private views and light-filled rooms. Layers of traditional wood details outline the exterior brick forms, broken up by shady porticos and a cozy outdoor room where family and friends can gather. The entry courtyard carefully frames the view between the classic columns, the dining room, and the lake.


1401 West Garfield Street, Seattle, WA 98119

CLARK | BARNES was founded by W. Scott Clark and Brenda Barnes in 1993 as an experienced firm in different types of buildings, new site strategies, and blending new construction with the historic fabric. Over the years, the firm has built a culture that applies to how it works with clients and consultants. The firm’s three partners and one associate are all deeply involved in the design process, putting together effective teams based on the project’s needs. It focuses on delivering the best technically possible project starting in pre-construction. Its focus on design, detail, budget, and schedule ensures that projects are successful in the end user’s experience.

Project by CLARK | BARNES

The house is a typical Tudor from the 1930s, with steeply pitched gable roofs, fancy chimneys, woodwork, and exposed timber framing. Existing parts of the house were improved, and new details were carefully chosen to fit with the modern Tudor style.

Donnally Architects

135 1st Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98119

Donnally Architects is an architecture and design firm that has been in the industry for 22 years. The firm does everything from building to interior design for homes and businesses. It has remained committed to its goal and practice to give its clients, who are going through this process for the first time, experienced advice and guidance that makes them feel safe. With its dedication to high-quality craftsmanship, unique design solutions, and customer satisfaction, the firm has gained recognition through a long list of happy clients.

Project by Donnally Architects

The Leschi House involved tearing down the old house and building a new one on the same foundation. The new design gave this growing family an extra floor and more space. This also enabled the family to take advantage of Lake Washington’s view to the east. This unique design blends both modern and classic styles.

Ectypos Architecture

4212 W. Mercer Way Mercer Island, WA 98040

Ectypos Architecture is committed to creating modern homes and flexible live/work spaces that improve its clients’ lives. The first thing it does in every project is to pay close attention to what a client wants. Its design philosophy means that tiny houses live big, and big houses don’t feel like too much. The firm is dedicated to doing more with less, creating unique projects that meet the client’s demands while keeping within schedule, budget, and quality standards. It chooses and uses the best building methods and technologies for the program, the site, and the budget.

Project by Ectypos Architecture

In this North Capitol Hill neighborhood, this one-story 1950s “ranch” did not fit in with the old, stately homes. The clients, a well-known landscape architect and a political activist, wanted a place where they could simultaneously have large family gatherings and social events.