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The Best Residential Architects and Designers in Connecticut

18 Min Read

The right architect can make the difference between having your dream custom home and wasting a lot of time and money to have a home that does not suit your needs or your tastes. Working with a top architect will allow you to translate the ideas you have in your head into functional plans that are tailored to your lifestyle, the site of your home, and your budget. When there are hundreds of option to pick from, it is hard to know where to start looking. We looked into the hundreds of architects working in Connecticut to pick the ten best CT architects for custom homes.

The residential architects included on this list have created award-winning houses across Connecticut, from stately homes in Fairfield County and Litchfield County to the urban areas of New Haven and Hartford, as well as many gorgeous traditional homes along the coast.Given their excellence, it is no surprise that many of these designers are also hired to work on residential projects in New York, throughout New England, and even across the country or abroad. So whether they are building a modern house for high-profile clients in Greenwich or a family-friendly home in eastern Connecticut, their custom home designs are of the highest-quality and cover the whole spectrum of styles. And these companies also work with the top companies in the business, giving their clients valuable connections to the best general contractors and interior designers to complete their new home.

About our methodology: We considered hundreds of professionals while making this list of the 10 best custom home architects in Connecticut. In addition to professional associations, we heavily weighted recognition the firm has received in the form of awards and press, any prestigious clientele they have worked with, whether or not they collaborate with other top industry professionals, including architects and interior designers, and what areas they work in, the more exclusive and high-end neighborhoods having greater influence. We also took into account the value of the projects they undertake, years in the business, customer reviews for quality and service, and range of services offered.

If you are thinking about designing a home, we recommend checking each contractor’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.

This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.

10) Reese Owens Architects

18 Titus Rd, Washington Depot, CT 06794

Where they work: Mainly Westchester County, New York and Litchfield County, Connecticut

Reese Owens Architects was founded in 1984 by Connecticut-native Reese Owens, with a commitment to a design process of practical problem solving, sensitivity to context, and rigorous attention to detail. Their work has been featured in Architectural Digest, Vogue, Architectural Record, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, Interior Design, New England Home, Connecticut Magazine, Quintessence, and Luxury Home Quarterly. They have earned awards from the AIA New England, AIA Connecticut, including The Alice Washburn House Award, numerous CTC&G Innovation in Design Awards, and a Preservation Award from the CT Trust for Historic Preservation.

“We believe good design engages architectural history and that each building has its place in time. When we peel away the chronology of styles, history becomes our catalog of fundamentals on working with form, space and light. We select building materials for their longevity and value, favoring those with the inherent qualities that contribute richness and texture, and beauty to the architecture.” – Reese Owens Architects

Rather than focusing on one specific type of project, style, or scale — the main requirement for the practice to take on a project is a client who values excellence in design and construction. As a result, their portfolio varies widely and is truly an eclectic mix of expert designs. Although Reese was trained in an era of modernist education, he has challenged himself to develop a fluency in classical styles and gain an understanding of local heritage. The company takes the view that collaboration among the entire project team, including the client, leads to stronger and more appropriate design solutions and, ultimately, better buildings.

9) Douglas VanderHorn Architects

41 West Elm Street, Greenwich, CT 06830

Where they work: Mainly Connecticut and New York, but also elsewhere in the United States

The magnificent homes of Douglas VanderHorn Architects can be found throughout Connecticut and New York, as well as elsewhere in the country. Their classically-focused work has earned them dozens of awards, including the 2017 Home Builders Association of Connecticut award for ‘Best Custom Home 10,000- 12,000 sf,’ multiple AIA Alice Washburn Awards, recognition from the AIA New England, athome A-List Awards, and Innovation in Design Awards from Connecticut Cottages & Gardens. In addition to inclusion on the prestigious Luxe Gold List in 2016, Douglas VanderHorn Architects was named a Top 50 Coastal Architect by Ocean Home Magazine. Drawing on an accomplished career spanning three-decades, owner and founder Douglas VanderHorn was inducted into the New England Design Hall of Fame in 2015.

The award-winning architectural practice has completed more than 130 beautifully crafted traditional residences. They draw inspiration from the rich architectural traditions of the past, seamlessly incorporated with innovative and modern technologies and conveniences. Influences of French, English, Georgian, and Colonial Revival styles are evident throughout the firm’s portfolio. Their work can be seen featured in many local and national publications, including New England Home, athome, House Beautiful, Luxe Interiors + Design, Builder, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, East Coast Home + Design, New American Luxury, Dream Homes New England, and Dream Homes – Metro New York.

8) Saniee Architects

36 W Putnam Avenue, Greenwich, CT 06830

Where they work: Mainly northeastern United States

Greenwich-based Saniee Architects is an award-winning architectural service firm. Clients choose Saniee Architects for their superior quality, attention to detail, and thoughtful service. Among the many recognitions for Saniee Architects’ work are numerous awards from AIA Long Island, AIA New England, and AIA Connecticut — including the 2005 Emerging Architect Award. They have also earned a Builder’s Choice Merit Award, an Adex Silver Award, two CSA/AIA Awards and a Custom Home Grand Award, among others. Their award-winning projects are located in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and as far south as Maryland. Their work has been published in CTC&G, Custom Home, New American Luxury, athome, Builder, Connecticut Magazine, Architectural Digest, Connecticut Home & Garden, and Metropolitan Home, just to name a few.

“We aim to design homes that resonate with the lives of the people who inhabit them and in order to do that, we distill elements of places and experiences that we hold in our collective memories. Sometimes those memories and experiences require that we faithfully replicate the past, and other times we need to reinvent or recreate it. This process demands that we collaborate with our clients closely, drawing them into the design process and use scholarship and creativity to shape the outcome.
We think of success in terms of how close we have come to making “places” and not just buildings. The end result should ideally feel inevitable.” – Mahdad Saniee

Founder Mahdad Saniee has a diverse architectural background, having earned his Master of Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and having studied architecture at the British School in Rome. He founded his own practice after nine years working at top-area firm Centerbrook Architects. Although the company focuses on residential projects, they also apply their skills to a range of institutional and educational projects.

7) Wadia Associates

134 Main St, New Canaan, CT 06840

Where they work: Across New England and New York

For over 40 years, Dinyar Wadia and his dedicated team of designers at Wadia Associates have created high-end classical homes. Not only have they been inducted into the New England Design Hall of Fame and included multiple times on Luxe’s National Gold List, but they have been named #30 on the Institute of Traditional Architecture’s list of the best traditional architects in the world. Other awards include A-List Awards, being named by Serendipity as the ‘Best architect in Fairfield & Westchester’ in 2011, and being named one of the ‘50 Design names you need to know in metro New York’ four years in a row. Their work has been featured in prominent publications, including Serendipity, Connecticut Cottages and Gardens, East Coast Home + Design, Traditional Home, The Luxury of Home, Dom & Interiors (Russia), athome, Quest, New England Home Connecticut, Luxe Home + Design, Country Club Quarterly, Period Homes, New York Living, and The Modern Estate.

“[T]hey have helped sculpt the local environment to become an important regional proponent of Classicism. Their skillful design sensibilities have provided a seamless fit of their traditionally-styled homes into the eclectic fabric of Fairfield County. Although avowed New Classicists, Wadia Associates have a pluralistic approach to traditional design that is not rooted in a slavish imitation of the past. More appropriately, it is based upon reinterpreting the past and updating it for the present.”Wadia Associates

Creating traditional architecture for the 21st-century family, Principal Dinyar Wadia has been deeply inspired by his past. His architectural foundation began with his interest in the rich architecture of his native city, Bombay (Mumbai), India. This introduction to traditional architecture led to him completing a five-year program at the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda and going on to earn a graduate degree in architecture from Columbia University, where he graduated as a William Kinney Fellow. He began his career in the modern vernacular while working for Victor Christ-Janer in New Canaan. He was drawn to the elegant detailing and scale of structures in the region and broke out on his own in 1975 to design traditionally inspired homes. Since then, he has demonstrated remarkable versatility and adaptability as the area’s leading classical architect.

6) Roger Ferris + Partners

11 Wilton Road, Westport, Connecticut 06880

Where they work: Mainly northeastern United States, but also has select projects in other states

Roger Ferris + Partners, with offices in Westport, Connecticut, New York City, and Bridgehampton, New York, is one of the leading and most exciting architecture firms in the Northeast. Under the direction of founding Principal Roger Ferris, the practice has won over 70 regional and national awards and international citations and are recognized as a world leader in both commercial and residential architecture. The renowned Architectural firm practicing architecture, interior design and master-planning services for private and public sectors has especially gained acclaim for their daring and beautiful custom homes. Awards include from the AIA CT, AIA Long Island, AIA New England, and AIA New York City, as well as Architizer A+ Awards and many more.

Roger Ferris + Partners have a passion for diverse and challenging projects and approach each new challenge by combining their creative imaginations with rational logic. They believe that working on a range of projects, scales, and forms enhances their work and as such has becoming a core component of their philosophy. Towards this end, they work with a range of client types, allowing each discipline to inform the others, cross-pollinating ideas and design solutions. This approach has allowed for “investigations in details and construction methods unparalleled by most practices.”

5) David Scott Parker Architects

170 Pequot Ave, Southport, CT 06890

Where they work: Mainly Connecticut and New York

David Scott Parker Architects is an award-winning architectural firm specialized in residential design and historic preservation. Since its founding in 1989, they have worked on a range of projects, from a Manhattan penthouse and a Southampton summer villa to a coastal Connecticut retreat and work on National Historic Landmarks. The range in scale and location of the firm’s projects indicates their broad expertise working in varied environments and with different vernaculars and materials. Under the direction of David Scott Parker, the 14-member team pairs their knowledge of design, decorative arts, and architectural history with concern for the general demands of modern life. The result is gorgeous, cohesively conceived homes.

Their work has earned many honors, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Tony Goldman Award, two consecutive New York Landmarks Conservancy Moses Preservation Awards, two Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Stanford White Awards, two Palladio Awards, and several AIA Awards in Connecticut and New England. It has been featured in Interiors, The New York Times, Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, Classic American Home, Beautiful Kitchens, Dream Kitchens & Baths, Quest, Old House Interiors, T Magazine, and more. In addition to many periodicals, their homes have been published in Interior Landmarks: Treasures of New York by Judith Gura & Kate Wood, Scalamandre Luxurious Home Interiors by Brian Coleman, and Spectacular Homes of Metro New York by Panache Publications.

4) Joeb Moore & Partners

20 Bruce Park Ave, Greenwich, CT 06830

Where they work: Mainly Connecticut and New York

Greenwich’s renowned Joeb Moore & Partners architectural firm is one of the highest sought-after practices in the area. They have received over 50 national, regional, and state architectural design awards, including an AIA National Housing Honor Award, the Chicago Athenaeum’s annual American Architecture Award, a “Best of Year” citation from Interior Design Magazine and numerous awards from AIA CT, AIA New England, and CT Cottages & Gardens Innovation in Design Awards. In 2010, Residential Architect Magazine named founder Joeb Moore as one of the “Top 50 Residential Architects in the US.” He has been recognized as a Fellow of the AIA and inducted into the New England Home Hall of Fame. His work has been featured in Progressive Architecture, Architectural Record, Architect, Interior Design, Residential Architect, Metropolis, and others.

“We are interested in exploring the interface between the social and physical, between convention and invention. In the broadest sense, the office is committed to the ideal that architecture is a material and social art that cunningly engages with the visual, social and political history and culture of which it is an active part. The underlying thesis is that great architecture should deepen human experience, engage our prosaic rituals, while also elevating our awareness of a larger, changing world.” – Joeb Moore & Partners

In addition to running his architectural practice, Moore is a member of the Design Leadership Network and an advisor to the Pella Design Council. He shares his knowledge as an Adjunct Professor of Architecture at the Barnard/Columbia Undergraduate Architecture Department, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1992, and at the Yale School of Architecture as a Visiting Professor where he currently teaches the Housing Studio.

3) Cardello Architects

97 Washington Street, South Norwalk, CT 06854

Where they work: Mainly northeastern United States, but also has select projects in other states

Cardello Architects is an award-winning, high-end residential firm serving Fairfield and Westchester counties, as well as states far beyond. One of the leading architecture firms in the country, the practice has been designing luxury custom homes for over 20 years. Their work has been published widely in leading periodicals, including in Connecticut Cottages and Gardens, Connecticut Builder Magazine, Fairfield County Home, athome Magazine, Better Home and Gardens, and more. They have won many awards, including CT Cottages & Gardens Innovation in Design Awards. Cardello Architects works hard to fulfill their clients’ dreams and exceed their expectations, while at the same time ensuring that the end result also complements the other homes in the area.

“I would say our built environment is an extension of what we see in nature, you just need to go for a walk in the woods!” – Robert A. Cardello

Founder Robert A. Cardello, a graduate of Tulane University with a Masters Degree in Architecture, launched his own practice to enhance the creative growth of his architectural style. He takes traditions and uses them as tools for innovative individual expression. With an architectural license in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island, he has applied his creative spirit to jobs throughout New England. Cardello is joined at the practice by Partner David A. LaPierre, who’s strong technical background and understanding of construction detailing works masterfully with his uncompromising eye towards design and a passion for good architecture. He is a registered architect in Connecticut and Florida. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects Connecticut chapter, NCARB, and also involved with many local trade events.

2) Gray Organschi Architecture

35 Crown Street, New Haven, CT 06510

Where they work: Mainly northeastern United States

Gray Organschi Architecture is one of the most innovative and daring sustainable architecture firms in the country today. Run by  Elizabeth P. Gray and Alan Organschi, their work has earned them many local and national accolades, including AIA awards. Gray Organschi purposefully seeks a wide range of projects, believing that the ability of his firm to create innovative solutions to future projects is enriched by the variety of projects they tackle. In addition to private homes, they design adaptive re-use and reclamation projects, educational and religious buildings, devotional spaces, timber bridge design, and park structures.

“We maintain, as a fundamental principle of our architecture, that broad-ranging inquiry and excellent planning and design are the most effective means of achieving true sustainability.” Gray Organschi Architecture

Acknowledging that architecture and building inevitably consume physical and environmental resources and irrevocably alters the character and culture of a place, the practice commits itself to doing so in the more responsible and respectful manner. Their work, in both their design studio and fabrication facility, is fed by research and analysis and an overarching commitment to restore and strengthen communities while protecting and preserving the environment.

Elizabeth P. Gray is the founding principal and a partner at Gray Organschi Architecture. She is highly respected for her commitment to community engagement through design. In addition to her architectural work, she is the founder and principal designer of Gray Design, an interior design and furnishings firm. Not surprising to those familiar with her work, Gray has been advanced to the rank of Fellow by the AIA. She is joined in her practice by Design Principal and Partner Alan Organschi. Both principals have been honored by the American Academy of Arts and Letters with an Arts and Letters Award in Architecture for work characterized by a strong personal direction and have both been recognized as an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York. Organschi has also received an American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum for one of his net-zero buildings. He is an expert in sustainable architecture, leading to a grant from The Hines Research Fund for Advanced Sustainability in Architectural Design. And Organschi founded a fabrication and construction company, JIG Design Build, in the prototyping, fabrication, and installation of specialized furniture and building components and systems.

1) Beinfield Architecture

1 Marshall Street, Suite 202, South Norwalk, CT 06854

Where they work: Mainly northeastern United States

Beinfield Architecture has earned a national reputation for their superior designs, resulting in over 85 major design awards, including 31 from the AIA. Located in the heart of historic South Norwalk, the firm’s work has caught the attention of many of the industry’s top national publications, including Elle Decor. Bruce Beinfield founded the company in 1983 and continues to be a driving force behind all of their work. He was awarded an AIA Special Achievement Award for Architectural Excellence for his visionary role in orchestrating the SoNo district of Norwalk. And significantly, in 2010, Beinfield became the first Connecticut architect since 2001 to be elevated to the AIA College of Fellows. In addition to Bruce Beinfield, the practice has three Principals: Drew Bartolotta, Mark Goodwin, and Seelan Pather.

“Bruce Beinfield designs timeless buildings drawn from both urban and rural vernacular combining classical proportion and scale with modern abstraction. … Beinfield takes an alchemical approach to his architecture, transforming the ordinary into the exceptional, and employing common materials towards uncommon ends. … Dreams, memories, ritual and renewal are all form-givers in his architecture. His work acknowledges the complex connections of myths and romance from which the American landscape has always been constructed, fusing contradictions to create places that nourish the soul and life the spirit.” – American Institution of Architects

The idea-driven practice finds inspiration in place, culture, and history. As New England architects, their homes are informed by vernacular traditions and inspired by the “stark, simple, patterned forms” of old New England buildings. These historical forms are then reimagined for today and help the final homes to evoke a particular feeling and appropriateness to place. Beinfield’s knowledgeable team innovatively creates design solutions using sustainable approaches and expressive forms. Their work is “responsive and imaginative, modern, yet respectful of tradition and context.”

How can I find a contractor or home builder near me?

Read our latest articles on the best residential contractors and home builders in and near Connecticut. If you don’t see your city or project type below, just let us know – we are happy to create a tailored recommendation list just for you.

The Best Interior Designers in Connecticut

The Best Custom Home Builders in Connecticut

The Best General Contractors in Connecticut

About Our Rankings

This list takes a range of ranking criteria into consideration, including but not limited to: work history, customer satisfaction, awards and recognition, geographic area of work, cost, building permits, and clientele. We spent over 40 hours researching local contractors before calculating the final ranking for this post. If there is additional information about your business that could affect these rankings, please fill out this form and we will take it into consideration

Get Bids For Your Build

If you are thinking about building a custom home, we recommend checking each builder’s license with the local licensing board, speaking to past clients, and using our bidding system to get competitive quotes from at least 3 contractors. Getting multiple bids is the best way to ensure you get a fair price and that bids include the complete scope of work.


  • Shahe Demirdjian

    Shahe is an Editor at Home Builder Digest with around four years of experience as a writer and editor in the construction space. Shahe has always had a huge interest in commercial/residential construction and real estate. On top of his experience at Home Builder Digest, he has two years of experience as a Construction Partner Specialist at BuildZoom and six years of experience as a licensed real estate agent. In his work, he takes advantage of his expertise to take complex technical jargon from those realms and transform them into accessible, engaging content, blending his business administration expertise with a degree from Arizona State University with his experiential insights. Expertise: Architecture, Home Design and Build, Home Remodeling Key Highlights: Arizona Real Estate - Licensed Salesperson Education: Arizona State University - Bachelors in Business Administration