Mercer Island’s central location and lakeside beauty attract plenty of visitors and potential homeowners. It provides access to two bigger cities, making it a desirable place for people who prefer to live in a quiet suburban environment, and also offers a wide range of attractions including beaches, hiking trails, parks, and festivals that draw in both locals and tourists. 

To help you navigate living options in this charming city, we’ve gathered a list of the top residential architects in Mercer Island and its neighboring cities such as Bellevue, Seattle, Kirkland, and Bothell. Most of these firms have been operating for decades while others are as young as five years. Nonetheless, each of them has earned a stellar reputation for providing superior architectural design and service.

Donald Whittaker

836 100th Ave. SE, Bellevue, WA 98004

At a young age, Donald Whittaker discovered his passion for building structures. As an architect, his goal is to create visually appealing and functional buildings that are timeless and memorable. He believes that a good design should be able to enhance the client’s quality of life.  

Donald Whittaker’s firm has a design process that involves careful consideration of various factors including the programs, codes, budget, and other site requirements. Donald and his team of designers are highly experienced, particularly in the areas of residential planning and custom home design. Their designs are curated with creativity and art to provide answers to challenges and transform spaces that enrich the owner’s lives. The designers at Donald Whittaker don’t just create good designs but provide the best solutions that reflect balance and harmony. 

Donald Whittaker also offers interior design and interior architecture services. The design team is highly passionate about building designs that can last for generations. The firm is regarded as one of the most respected architectural firms in the area serving the residents of Bellevue and its neighboring communities. It often works on French Normandy, country manor, and cottage home designs. 

David Sova Architects

7803 SE 27th St., Mercer Island, WA 98040

Before becoming principal of his own firm, David Sova was a striving artist from Rhode Island School of Design. After earning a master’s degree in Architecture, he gained experience in various design firms designing products and stores. His past experiences led him to work for reputable firms such as Callison, NBBJ, M3 Creative, and J2 Building Consultants. David made his way up to senior management roles before deciding to start David Sova Architects. For the next 25 years, he has provided a wide range of architectural services to Mercer Island residents and nearby cities. 

David Sora Architects also offers construction management services. With David’s experience, the firm places high importance on doing the job right and delivering projects on time. As a residential architect, the firm specializes in designing custom homes that are practical, functional, and useful to the client. The company has also established a distinctive style of creating traditional, modern, and mid-century designs. 

D3 Architects

7303 24th Ave. NE, Seattle, WA 98115

Since 2016, Seattle-based D3 Architects has been offering architectural services for homeowners and business owners across the city and its neighboring communities. The firm specializes in custom residential and commercial design, design-build service, and land use strategy. In four years of designing various types of properties, D3 Architects has honed its skills in crafting modern, bungalow, and Victorian-inspired designs. 

D3 Architects is led by James Durano who has 15 years of experience in design and construction. As a D.C. native and alumni of George Washington University, James continues to develop unique and innovative designs that reflect the Washingtonian lifestyle. The company’s design principles are focused on merging aesthetics and economic value in every design. The firm loves taking on new challenges utilizing practices and materials that are economical in creating stunning and elegant properties. 

D3 Architects works closely with talented consultants and veteran builders in the industry who specialize in new construction and remodeling services. James believes that the success of each project does not just depend on the overall look of the space but also how each area functions and performs. D3 Architects approaches every problem with a creative solution while making the entire process convenient and enjoyable for clients.  

Chesmore | Buck Architecture

27 100th Ave. NE Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98004

Since 1993 Chesmore | Buck Architecture has been providing residential and commercial architecture services to Bellevue clients. Focusing on contemporary-style properties, the small firm is known for its excellent customer service and quality designs. Twenty-seven years ago, Rick Chesmore and David Buck founded the company with a tight-knit group of skilled architects. Each member is driven to provide simple yet innovative designs tailored to fit the client’s unique personality and lifestyle.     

The firm’s design process involves careful planning and study of the space and how it relates to the Pacific Northwest climate. Rick and David understand that each site has specific qualities that affect the overall form and function of the space. The designs are inspired by timeless architecture and nature. The firm’s residential projects showcase the team’s expertise in designing new home construction and remodels. 

One of the firm’s notable projects in residential planning and architecture is the Lake Street Residence. The property comprises 3,800 square feet of space with three stories. With a prime location at the banks of Lake Washington, Chesmore | Buck Architecture designed the house with huge retractable doors. The doors extended the indoor space into the outdoor living area so that the homeowners can maximize and enjoy the stunning views of the lake. 

Mallet Design Build

2700 4th Ave. South Suite C, Seattle, WA 98134

Recognized for its modern designs, Seattle-based Mallet Design Build has been providing architectural design services since 1998. The company aims to build properties that exceed client expectations through high-quality designs, quick delivery, efficient communication, and accountability. These methods go hand-in-hand along with a reliable team of skilled designers and builders. 

Teamwork plays a major role in the company’s design-build process. Together, the team at Mallet Design Build collaborate to provide the most effective solutions, and also act as a single point of contact in every project. As a builder, the firm pays close attention to details to ensure that every aspect of the project is handled accordingly. Trust has always been the firm’s guiding principle which has led to over two decades of great customer relationships.

The design studio uses a design-build delivery model to create a more streamlined process. From cost assessments and project timelines to constructability information, the firm integrates all areas of the project to create better and informed decisions thus making the process easier and more convenient for clients. The firm’s designs have been featured across multiple publications including Time Magazine, Architectural Record, Luxe, Sunset Magazine, Metropolis, and The New York Times. 

AKJ Architects

6410 57th Ave. South, Seattle, WA 98118

AKJ Architects is an architectural design company in Seattle founded by Arlene Kisiel-Jermann in 2007. The firm specializes in residential architecture and design, particularly in custom home services focusing on contemporary and Colonial ranch-style homes. Arlene brings over 25 years of experience in design and architecture with a master’s degree in Architecture from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her international studies have exposed her to various cultures across Asia and Europe helping her develop her creativity. 

Graduating with a degree in architecture, fine arts, and interior design, Arlene provides a holistic approach to design allowing her to collaborate with other industry professionals. AKJ Architects aims to provide quality service through coordination and documentation to simplify the design and construction process. By actively listening to clients, the firm can curate designs that are specifically tailored to meet the client’s unique requirements. 

Under Arlene’s leadership, the firm is dedicated to providing exceptional design quality and service from conceptualization to completion. AKJ Architects is inspired by mixing traditional and historic influences with modern styles. Since its beginning, the company has developed affiliations with multiple industry organizations including the AIA, NCARB, American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and is certified with the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ). 

Abbott Architecture

18510 Pop Keeney Way Suite 103, Bothell, WA 98011

Abbott Architecture was established in 2008 and since then has been providing a full scope of architectural services to residents in Bothell and nearby cities. For 12 years, the company has worked on various types of projects focusing on contemporary, craftsman, and cross-gabled designs for residential and commercial properties. The firm is spearheaded by Michael and Ed Abbott who both have comprehensive experience in the architecture, design, and construction business. 

Ed has over three decades of industry experience and specializes in architectural design process and management. From conceptualization to completion, Ed is known for staying involved in all aspects of the project. Michael, on the other hand, focuses on conceptual design which plays a huge role in the firm’s design process. Through his 16+ years of experience, he has produced numerous successful projects, particularly in the design and management of residential, mixed-use properties, and institutional projects across the Northwest. His expertise in providing creative and innovative solutions to existing structural issues has helped propel the firm to success. Together, Ed and Michael have brought the firm through many successful projects and have earned the firm accreditations with the AIA, NCARB, and NCIDQ.

Soundesign Group

326 5th Ave. #400, Seattle, WA 98101

As a full-service architectural studio, Soundesign Group (SDG) specializes in designing and renovating custom homes. For 25 years, the firm has been committed to providing quality design and architecture to Seattle residents. The design studio is known for its unique approach in designing contemporary, craftsman, and modern ranch Colonial homes. SDG offers personalized services specifically tailored for the client’s vision, budget, and lifestyle. 

The firm believes that every project has a unique style and character. By listening to the client’s needs and collaborating with all parties involved, the firm curates designs using the most efficient methods at a reasonable price. Communication plays a crucial role in establishing a streamlined process between the client, designer, and builder. SDG is composed of a diverse team of industry experts and can handle all kinds of properties. The firm is fully equipped to take on the most complex structural issues. 

Before SDG, Eric Terry and Todd Soli formed Soli-Terry Architect which operated for almost a decade. Over the years, Eric and Todd have worked on various homes and commercial properties including custom residences and vacation homes across the Northwest. With the addition of veteran Architect Dan Malone, SDG is recognized as one of Seattle’s most reliable architectural firms. 


1303 Lake Washington Blvd. S., Seattle, WA 98144

Boxwood was formed in 1993 and since then has been providing residential planning and architectural services in Seattle. The firm specializes in residential properties and vineyard designs. Its projects showcase the firm’s expertise in designing modern, ranch house, and craftsman-style homes. Boxwood places high importance on collaborating with its clients to create a successful working relationship. They ensure that the client has an integral part of each project to ensure that their vision is properly translated into each design. 

Along with collaboration with the client, an equally important aspect of Boxwood’s design approach is sustainable design. The firm uses sustainable micro and macro elements in each project to promote environmental awareness, responsibility, and protection. These principles have guided the firm to many successes. This has led Boxwood to be featured in several magazines including Vines Magazine, Vancouver Magazine, Niche Magazine, Wines & Vines Magazine, and On the Grapevine Magazine. Its recognitions have earned the company a reputation as a leading architect in Seattle. 

Brandt Design Group

66 Bell St. Unit #1, Seattle, WA 98121

Brandt Design Group was established in 1997 as an architectural design studio serving the residents of Mercer Island and its neighboring cities. The AIA-accredited firm blends art and functionality to create beautiful spaces that reflect environmental awareness and responsibility. Firm founder Colin Brandt believes that a great design should incorporate green design and sustainable building practices. 

Colin’s background is focused on the residential, retail, and hospitality sectors. He graduated with a degree in Architecture from the University of Oregon focusing on sustainable architecture. Clients and peers recognize him for his unique design philosophy and collaborative approach. His extensive portfolio includes multiple projects throughout the Puget Sound region, California, Pennsylvania, King County, Idaho, New York, Alaska, San Juan Islands, and British Virgin Islands. In 2014, Colin was joined by Bree Medley, who founded Bree Medley Designs in 2008 before joining Brandt Design Group. 

Under their leadership, the design studio quickly earned a reputation for its top-notch design and its expertise in handling the complex building codes throughout the country.

Suzanne Zahr

2441 76th Ave. SE, Suite 160, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Suzanne Zahr has been transforming spaces into stunning environments for homeowners in Mercer Island for over five years. Her trips to the northern region of Senegal has inspired and helped her develop a design philosophy of blending natural lighting and textures to create memorable spaces. Her firm offers design-build services focusing on contemporary and modern farmhouse designs. To add to the breadth of her firm, Suzanne also formed Rêve Development with real estate lawyers Michael D. Ross and Rob D. Spitzer in an attempt to attract investors in property development. With the combined experience of design, design-build and real estate, the firm is equipped to build and manage developments for the community and beyond. 

Over the years, Suzanne worked on numerous design and construction projects specializing in residential, retail, and corporate design. Within five years of operations, the firm has received attention from the media for its outstanding works and has been featured in several magazines including Luxe and Northwest Home and Garden. Suzanne Zahr is accredited with the AIA and is certified with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). 

Ectypos Architecture

4212 W. Mercer Way, Mercer Island, WA 98040

Since 2001, Ectypos Architecture has been providing a full scope of architectural design services for residents across Mercer Island. The name Ectypos was derived from the Greek word ektypos and is translated as “the primary essence of”. Ectypos Architecture was established to reflect timeless designs in contemporary architecture. For 19 years, the firm has worked on national and international projects gaining a reputation as one of the top residential architects in Mercer Island. Part of its success is due to its unique process that entails a deep understanding of how clients utilize the space. This enables the firm to curate designs that are functional, practical, and beautiful. 

Firm principals Michele Marquardi and Lucia Pirzio-Birolo oversee a creative and talented design team. Through the years, the husband and wife tandem has worked on numerous projects focusing on residential properties. Whether the project requires remodeling or new construction, Ectypos is known for delivering high-quality results. Aside from residential projects, the firm also caters to mixed-use properties and commercial units. 

Ectypos Architecture has been featured numerous times across various publications including FOKaL Design and Décor, The Wall Street Journal, and The Seattle Times. Since its inception, the firm has earned accreditations from the Mercer Island Planning Commission, AIA, and is certified with LEED.  

Baylis Architects

10801 Main St. Suite 110, Bellevue, WA 98004

The award-winning Baylis Architects continues to provide superior design and architectural service for residents across Bellevue and its neighboring cities. Since its inception in 1989, the firm has specialized designing contemporary-style spaces, including various types of properties for families and business owners in the Pacific Northwest and the Pacific States. Composed of veteran designers who are highly experienced in architecture, construction and customer service, the firm has established many strong relationships with a diverse range of clients and boasts many successfully completed projects. 

Baylis Architects has won multiple awards including the 2015 and 2019 Associate Builders and Contractors (ABC) Excellence in Construction, 2017 Golden Nugget Merit Award for Best Mixed-Use Development, and the 2014 Excellence in Masonry Design Award. Its stunning designs have gained attention in the media and were featured in 425 Magazine, Bellevue Magazine, Seattle Magazine, Metropolitan Home Magazine, and Seattle’s Daily Journal of Commerce. In 31 years, the firm has earned accreditations from various organizations including the ABC, AGC, AIA, National Builders Council, and the National Association for Industrial and Office Parks (NAIOP).