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The 12 Best Residential Architects in Pacific Grove, California

12 Min Read

The challenge, when it comes to residential design, is finding the right architect who can make all the difference between a stellar design and disastrous results. For homeowners, the decision of who to hire can become complicated and also a risk without knowing about the company.

To help, we’ve compiled a list of the best residential architects in Pacific Grove, California, that can help homeowners with their unique home needs. These architects were chosen for their background, experience, and ability to tailor their services to the project needs of different clients from restorations to additions to entire new builds. 


Hood Architecture

SW 4th and Lincoln, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Hood Architecture specializes in residential, small commercial, and mixed-use projects. The firm is led by its namesake Thomas B. Hood. Hood is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and has served several years on local planning boards in Marin County, including three terms as Chairman of the Larkspur Design Review Board. In 2005, Thomas relocated to Monterey after completing post-fire reconstruction on Marin County’s famous Blue Rock Inn, and being awarded commissions in Monterey.

The firm proudly offers designs that integrate sustainable construction practices with historic considerations, and site constraints of the existing build context. With a background in both architecture and construction, the firm is capable of utilizing many design styles. Pictured below is an example of the firm’s work on a residential project. Completed in 2018, this coastal home features a grand façade, with a split-level mixed siding exterior. With sweeping views of the ocean, the home is expansive, bright, and open. This openness translates to the atmosphere of the home, allowing its residents easy access to the refreshing ocean breeze, as well as much light and brightness in every space of the home. 

Studio Carver

3640 The Barnyard Suite C32, Carmel-By-The-Sea, CA 93923

Studio Carver is a full service architectural firm headquartered in Carmel and providing architecture and interior design services throughout California and the United States. The firm specializes in custom building design, the use of sustainable technologies and materials, residential and commercial interior design, and historic preservation. Studio Carver is led by its namesake, Robert Carver, AIA, who is also a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professional (LEED AP). Under his leadership, the firm has gained international building and design experience, and has also earned a LEED accreditation. 

Pictured below is an example of the firm’s work on a residential remodel. Completed for a young family with two active children, the Wilder Butterfly House required maximizing the remodel within the strict rules of Carmel city. The home features horizontal pop-outs and a vertical clerestory lantern over the kitchen light. The home’s skylight is also electronic and when switched off, it becomes opaque so no light impacts the nightscape. Additionally, the home’s design employs Monterey Cypress from fallen trees in Golden Gate Park to provide a golden honey-hued horizontal siding in harmony with the modern wooden home next door. 

Eric Miller Architects

211 Hoffman Ave., Monterey, CA 93940

Since establishing his architectural firm in Pacific Grove in 1987, Eric Miller, AIA, has completed over two hundred projects in Monterey County alone. Eric’s firm  specializes in custom residential, high-end commercial projects and interior design. Eric works with the idea of “place” in mind, balancing his clients’ visions with the features of a site in order to create buildings and structures that are defined and evocative.

Pictured below is the firm’s work on a residential project. The home is situated on an outcropping by the ocean, giving the home sweeping views of the coast. This view can be seen through the breathtaking floor-to-ceiling windows of the living area. Overall, this bright, open home is the perfect retreat for its water-loving residents. 

International Design Group

721 Lighthouse Ave., Pacific Grove, CA 93950

International Design Group (IDG) is an architectural firm which specializes in small, medium, and major developments of over $50 million. The firm serves the local areas of Pacific Grove, Carmel, Pebble Beach and Monterey, having teams of people to work on residential projects of many styles such as Victorian remodels and prestigious estate homes. IDG is led by Jun A. Sillano, AIA, who has been practicing architecture domestically and internationally for over 20 years.

Featured is an example of the firm’s work on a residential project. The Sealoft Residence is a charming Mediterranean-style home that evokes images of the Spanish and Italian villas of the past. The home features a low-pitched tile roof with a stucco exterior. It also includes a courtyard and fronting flora which bring together the home’s rustic feel. 

Jeanne C. Byrne, FAIA Architects

591 Lighthouse Ave. # 5, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

Located in the heart of the scenic Monterey Peninsula lies one of the area’s most respected and talented designers. Jeanne C. Byrne, a prestigious fellow of the AIA, runs her namesake firm as a full service architectural company that specializes in custom residential and light commercial projects.

From Jeanne’s early experiences with architecture, she has cultivated an extensive portfolio of projects, from custom residential homes to office, retail and restaurant projects, private school and hotel/casino work, and city and community projects. Featured is an award-winning example of the firm’s work on a new residence. This 2,140-square-foot home in Pacific Grove was the recipient of the “Heritage Society of Pacific Grove” Award. The home is made cozy by a front porch and a balcony, while pops of color such as the vibrant red of the balcony railings and square columns breathe life into the otherwise neutral color palette of the home. 

Smith Architectural Studio

32684 Coast Ridge Dr., Carmel Highlands, CA 93923

Smith Architectural Studio is an architectural firm that provides design and construction solutions from concept to completion. The firm’s designs are functional and contextual, catered to each client’s lifestyle. Led by principal Sally Anne Smith, AIA, who is certified by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the firm is proud of its ability to nurture design ideologies, progressive building systems and environmentally friendly materials and technologies.

Pictured below is an example of the firm’s work on a residential project. This NorCal Modern home was part of a remodel and addition. Completed in collaboration with Peter Winters Construction, the home was completely remodeled on the inside, and a stair tower was added to connect the upper main floor to the lower level. The home’s mass was also broken up with stucco, cedar siding and corrugated metal, since it was located on a steep slope and appeared very tall from the back.

Adam Jeselnick Architect

Junipero Street 2 S/W of 4th Ave. Suite 3, Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

Adam Jeselnick Architect was founded by its namesake Adam Jeselnick, AIA, LEED AP in 2013, with a focus on the areas of residential design, local and small business growth, sustainability, and adaptive reuse. While the firm operates as a creative design, planning, and architecture firm, it also has a focus on sustainability, thanks to its principal Adam’s involvement as founding member of Sustainable Carmel, an organization dedicated to sustainable thinking and conscious action.

Featured is an example of the firm’s work on a residential project. This Valley View home, with its rustic and warm features, is inviting from the outside in. The exterior features stone and stucco with a low-pitched roof, while the interior displays an exposed beams deck with fairly high ceilings, giving each room the feeling of spaciousness. Warm-toned finishes as well as clean white color palettes decorate the interiors, making the home a balanced, inviting structure. 

Scourkes Architecture

PO Box 52090, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

John N. Scourkes, AIA, principal and sole practitioner of Scourkes Architecture, believes that great design is the result of three things that occur between the client and architect: collaboration, dialogue, and conceptualization. This collaborative relationship with his clients has been the driving force of his practice since the establishment of his firm almost three decades ago.

Thanks to John’s extensive experience in all aspects of architectural practice, he is able to coordinate diverse and unique projects and work with a varied, dynamic scope of project parameters. John is also able to assemble and lead the appropriate consultant teams to ensure and fulfill desired project outcomes. As a result, his work is as clean and innovative as his approach. Pictured below is an example of John’s work on a residential project. This home remodel features floor-to-ceiling windows, affording the room with views of the outdoors, as well as a bright and open quality that invites much light and air into the space. With couches situated in the living area, residents can choose to lounge while enjoying the views. 

DYAR Architecture

The Carmel Plaza Suite 301 Ocean Ave. at Mission St., Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

DYAR Architecture, led by Erik Dyar, AIA, is a full-service architecture practice with a particular focus on what it calls “humane, sustainable modernism.” This modernism exudes openness, simplicity, and beauty of detail, and aims to establish strong connections with the natural environment. In addition to this approach to design, DYAR Architecture also integrates history into its designs to add richer meaning and character to the firm’s work.

Featured is an example of the firm’s work on a historic restoration and addition project. This charming cottage was originally built and designed in 1940 by Julia Morgan for a close friend. The structure was designed to capture the views of the area and to provide wonderful light and scale in the interior spaces. Unfortunately, an addition was built in 1960 that did not complement the historic home. Luckily, DYAR Architecture was enlisted by the owners to restore the original cottage and replace the poorly done 1960’s addition with a new master bedroom suite and kitchen. A new courtyard was also created so that the home could have a usable outdoor space for the residents and guests to enjoy the views. 

Justin Pauly Architects

550 Hartnell St. Suite H, Monterey, CA 93940

For Justin Pauly Architects, each project is the expression of a unique relationship between a structure, its occupants, and its landscape. Because of the firm’s belief in this harmonious relationship, it cultivates an equally harmonious relationship with the environment by creating structures that “live lightly on the land.” 

One example of the firm’s work in sustainable design is this award-winning Carmel Passive House, which was built in collaboration with Carmel Building and Design. The home, which won the Fine Homebuilding: 2013 Best New Home of the Year Award and the AIA Monterey Bay: Honor Award, was designed as a coastal retreat for a busy pair of young professionals. In response to the home’s tight lot, the firm built a detached garage and covered breezeway at the rear of the property, creating a compound-feel that embraces a trio of large redwood trees nearer the street. The home also features large sliding barn doors, abundant south facing windows and an open plan that gives the home an airy atmosphere. The home is certified LEED platinum and is also Monterey County’s first certified Passive House. Through careful detailing and construction, the firm ensured that the home will use a fraction of a typical home’s energy, will maximize internal thermal comfort and optimize indoor air quality. 


7 Arts Building SW Corner Ocean Ave. & Lincoln St., Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA 93921

ArchWorks is a collaborative design practice led by Ron Brown, AIA, and Heidi Anderson-Spicer. The firm was established in 1995, and today operates with the same passion for the building process and working with talented contractors, subcontractors, craftspeople and artisans as when the firm first began. As a team, ArchWorks builds attractive, cost-conscious projects that its clients enjoy.

Pictured below is an example of the firm’s work on a residential project. This Spanish Revival home, which sits by the street, exudes a charming and inviting aura. The exterior of stucco and tile roof evokes images of the rustic past, and its interior echoes this affinity for mediterranean touches, with a tile fireplace and wooden fixtures. This two story home is also built spaciously and creates an open, inviting, airy atmosphere for all who enter its space. 

James Newhall Smith Architect

716 Lighthouse Ave. Suite C, Pacific Grove, CA 93950

James N. Smith had been working for notable architectural firms in Monterey and throughout California since 1989 until he finally decided to open his own firm in 2004. Since the establishment of James N. Smith Architect Inc., James has been creating homes that fulfill his clients’ goals regarding program, style, and budget.

Pictured below is an example of the firm’s work on a residential project. For the Smith Residence, the clients requested a French Country Style home with authentic detailing throughout. The exterior features a slate roof with redwood eaves and corbels, plaster and stone walls, and solid mahogany windows and doors. Through massing, careful use of stone, and a richness of detail, the project reflects the formality of a manor house with the more modest scale of a cottage.


  • 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