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The Best Residential Architects in Orange County and Newport Beach, California

9 Min Read

Orange County is well-renowned for its beautiful neighborhoods, excellent educational system, multicultural population, and warm Mediterranean climate. Within Orange County, Newport Beach is well-known for its surfing, gorgeous beaches, and as a hub for sailing, rowing, and other water sports. Initially built for commuter yachting and commercial fishing, Newport Beach is now a vibrant and wonderful town with all kinds of activities and a well-regarded educational system.

If you are looking to set up a home in these stunning areas, look no further than this meticulously curated list, which features the best residential architects in Orange County and Newport Beach, California. Some of these firms have had their projects featured in numerous publications, while others have received industry recognition throughout their years of service. Most of the companies featured here are led by seasoned experts, recognized for their skills and services as licensed architects. 

Oatman Architects, Inc

412 31st St, Newport Beach, CA 92663

Architectural company Oatman Architects, Inc. was established in 2009 with the goal of offering its clients superior architectural design and expertise. As a result of its leaders’ lifetimes of developing and overseeing projects all over the world, Oatman Architects Inc. is particularly knowledgeable in the design and administration of residential projects and leisure projects. 

Oatman Architects’ principals, Homer and Laura Oatman, have a combined 75 years of expertise in the field and are both members of the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Homer was formerly a principal designer and partner at KTGY Group, where he was in charge of developing luxury homes and resort villas throughout California and other countries including Saudi Arabia, Hawaii, Egypt, and Dubai. Architectural Digest, The Huffington Post, Veranda, and California Homes Magazine have all showcased his projects. Laura, meanwhile, is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP), reflecting her dedication to sustainable building practices. Prior to establishing the firm with Homer, she was Director of Design and Construction for an international boutique hotel development group based in Los Angeles. During this time, she collaborated with interior designer Kelly Wearstler on numerous domestic and international hotel and spa projects. In addition to hotel projects in Southern California and Florida, Laura has also managed the design and construction of multiple resort projects in Mexico, as well as on the islands of Anguilla and Madiera.

Anders Lasater Architects

384 Forest Ave. #12, Laguna Beach, CA 92651

Established in 2006, Anders Lasater Architects has designed countless homes for clients ranging from coastal Orange County to Palm Springs, as well as in mountain resorts. The firm has also created homes in Lake Tahoe, Chicago, Hawaii, and Greece. In its 17 years in the industry, the firm’s impressive projects have received numerous design awards. Recent recognitions include the 2021 Luxe Magazine RED Award for Residential Excellence, the 2020 Most Transformative Renovation Firm Award, and the 2020 AIA Honor Award Winner. Anders Lasater Architects has also been featured in several notable publications, such as Laguna Beach, Riviera Modern Luxury, and Stu News Laguna.

One of Anders Lasater Architects’ notable projects is Casa Blanca del Rey in Dana Point. This project involved the renovation of an existing Mid-Century home into a modern setting where space, proportion, and materials all work together to create a stunning space. The white-plastered pool is the focal point of the inner courtyard, around which the home is built. The courtyard is surrounded by three wings, one open to the public, another private, and one communal, from which you can see the swimming area and gardens beyond. The home also features a sizable, adjustable sunroof above the kitchen island.

Kristine Sprague, Architect, LEED AP

944 Calle Amanecer, Suite D, San Clemente, CA 92673

Kristine Sprague, a licensed architect and LEED AP, is an expert in residential design. Since 1999, her firm has been professionally designing new homes, as well as completing expansions and improvements to existing homes. The company’s portfolio currently features projects ranging from $100,000 renovations to $1,000,000 newly built mansions. Regardless of the size or scale, however, Kristine Sprague is very careful to incorporate the client’s ideas and preferences into the project while also preserving the original home’s character and design. The firm also assists with permitting, soliciting bids, and construction site inspection. The company’s owner, Kristine Sprague, has extensive experience with the renovation of historic structures, including mantles, plaster moldings, original windows, wooden frames, and stone and brick masonry.

Highlighted here is one notable project completed by the firm. The original house, built in 1927, was only 980 square feet, and included just two bedrooms and one bathroom. Despite the steeply sloped topography and difficult permit procedure for a historic home, Kristine Sprague created a two-story, 1,000 square foot home addition. The addition featured a one-car garage and spare suite on the ground floor, as well as a master bedroom, bathroom, and family area on the second floor. To replicate the historic house, Kristine Sprague employed barrel tile roofs and Marvin all-wood windows.

Peters Architecture

23177 La Cadena Drive, Suite 101, Laguna Hills, CA 92653

Founded in 2006, Peters Architecture has made a name for itself as a highly regarded design practice in Southern California. At the core of the firm’s work is the value it places on leadership, effective communication, teamwork, environmental awareness, modern technology, continuous training, and persistent follow-through. Its approach is firmly anchored in transparent communication among customers and architects alike. Further, in order to generate strong connections with the local community, Peters Architecture works in partnership with landscape architects, interior architects, engineers, builders, members of the local community, and authorities. 

At Peters Architecture, a profound appreciation for the natural and built environment serves as the foundation for all projects. The firm works to achieve a healthy balance between its developments and the environment by developing a thorough grasp of the location and every aspect that affects it, including its history, growth, surroundings, and soil. The team at Peters Architecture specializes in designing warm and inviting residential houses, regardless of whether a client is passionate about a rich character that evokes a sense of time and location, or prefers a design with clean lines and fewer details.

Geoff Sumich Design

31511 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675

The design philosophy of Geoff Sumich Design is centered on the idea of romantic modernism, which embraces the simplicity and minimalism of contemporary designs while making reference to and incorporating historical elements. In order to achieve this, the company employs elements like stone, wood, and steel that are placed in the setting of a basic and clean modern room and allowed to age in a natural and maintenance-free way. For over 43 years, Geoff Sumich Design has been able to create homes that mix the vibrancy of contemporary living with the softness and charm of traditional design, thanks to its dual approach to residential design.

Immediately after receiving his architecture degree at age 24, Geoff Sumich immigrated to Southern California from New Zealand to start Geoff Sumich Design in Orange County. Traditional home design took up much of Sumich’s first ten years in the business, but it gave him the experience that now drives his distinctive design approach. Now, the cornerstone of each project’s success is Geoff Sumich Design’s enthusiasm for planning and delivery, from hand-selecting materials to supervising the masonry workers on site.

D’arcy Architects

18 Technology Dr. #158, Irvine, CA 92618

d’Arcy & Associates is a full-service architect firm that was established in 2012 by Charles E. D’Arcy. The foundation of d’Arcy & Associates’ business is a shared love for and commitment to architecture. Defined by its unwavering commitment to art, the firm ensures that every job is completed with an eagerness to find the best design solution, from grand overall ideas to the smallest precise details. The firm is an AIA-recognized architect and member of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), reflecting its dedication to upholding industry standards and design excellence.  

In their testimonials, clients of d’Arcy & Associates highlight the firm’s accuracy, professionalism, friendliness, and creativity. They also praise the firm for its capacity to address unexpected changes or difficulties that arise during construction. Clients are satisfied that the company and its team are with them at every stage of the construction process, from the initial design proposal to securing Homeowner Association approval. Customers are also pleased with how timely homeowner permissions and building permits are obtained, given the firm’s accurate and detailed renderings.

Maxwell and Associates

8941 Atlanta Ave. Huntington Beach, CA 92646

Established in 1983, Maxwell & Associates is licensed in Texas, Colorado, Nevada, and California. The company has offered architectural services, development of sites, and interior design for more than 40 years. It collaborates with related consultants in all facets of design and construction in order to ensure its status as an innovative green technology partner working towards a sustainable future.

Maxwell & Associates has a proven track record of managing projects from inception to completion, thanks to its award-winning architectural design, development, project management, and construction services. It provides expert advice for budgeting, scheduling, resolving unexpected cost events, general performance, and overall progress of a project. This dedication to its clients has earned the firm praise for its ability to work around every demand of the client—working efficiently while simultaneously ensuring that each project is visually appealing. Maxwell & Associates’ clients are also pleased with how helpful the firm is in making sure that all necessary permits are complete.