Even as a relatively small town, Scotts Valley offers a diverse housing scene—its streets and hills are populated with a range of traditional and contemporary houses.

Taken with the charm of the city, our editorial team when looking for the best architects who can offer clients the chance to express their personality and vision through their homes. We came up with this short, but powerful list of the best residential architects. Their specialties range from designing stone villas to curb-side traditional homes, and all of them have established a great reputation and have the impressive portfolios and exclusive accolades to show for it. 


Fuse Architects

512 Capitola Ave. Capitola, CA 95010

Fuse Architects creates inspiring and functional spaces that come directly out of the client’s vision. The firm describes its approach as “architect-led construction” from conceptual design to high-quality completion. From their extensive portfolio of contemporary houses comes this 3,988-square-foot Teresita residence.

It is located on the north slope of the Santa Cruz mountains. Fuse Architects completed the house in 2012. Its team wanted the house to offer panoramic, unrestrained views of Silicon Valley while embodying a more contemporary take on home-living. Its amenities include a limestone deck and an infinity pool looking out to the valley. The firm worked alongside Maggetti Construction and Tamara Harmon Interior Design to build and fully-furnish the home. 


Lattanzio, Inc.

750 Baker Road, Aptos, CA 95003

Fred Lattanzio of the Lattanzio, Inc. has completed a variety of complex projects around Santa Cruz county neighborhoods. One of the standouts from its portfolio is the Martis Camp, conveniently concealed by towering pine trees that, interestingly, do not obstruct the views of the land below.

The team wanted the camp to look rustic through its brick and wooden accents but remain functional and up to date through modern amenities. Fred and his team created a unique building program for each of their projects to make sure that their client’s vision is fully realized through thoughtful design solutions. Aside from single and multifamily residences, the firm is also notable for its commercial work, namely the Seascape Resort and Conference Center, Seascape Village in Aptos, and the Gault Street Townhouses. 


Daniel Silvernail Architect, Inc.

501 Mission Street, Suite #2, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Daniel Silvernail Architect, Inc. has established itself as one of the top firms in Santa Cruz County for its work in architecture. The firm offers sustainable service from design to completion, and that approach extends to the interior design. The firm’s overall goal is to provide spaces with high levels of environmental stewardship. 

Below is the Viewpoint House in Aptos, California. Daniel Silvernail’s team wanted to keep the construction efficient and environmentally friendly. The client requested a 60s style home. The matra “Modernism Rediscovered” was the firm’s reference for understanding the style of home the client wanted. The team used cement plaster, honed quartzite, and oiled redwood.


Stephanie Barnes-Castro Architect

424 Laurent St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Stephanie Barnes-Castro Architect offers a diverse range of projects with a commitment to sustainable design. The firm offers designs based on Mediteranean, Japanese, Contemporary, and rural-style themes. The variety of designs that can be seen in her portfolio is a direct result of principal Stephanie Barnes-Castro’s ability to listen. She takes her client’s dreams and desires into account right from the beginning of the process. By approaching each project without preconceived imagery, each home is uniquely its own and is designed to reflect the natural landscape coupled with the client’s personality and lifestyle.

Stephanie’s goal in design is to seamlessly tie the natural environment to the built environment by integrating light, air, proportion, scale and attention to detail in an effort to create both aesthetically pleasing and energy efficient designs. Above is a Craftsman-style designed home, offering a classic aesthetic with traditional wood details.


MV Architect

P.O. Box 1098 Los Gatos, CA 95031

Below you’ll find the completely remodeled Saratoga residence. Situated on a sloping property, the firm designed the roof in a way that extends the overhangs and reduces the high solar gains that don’t require using blinds or sacrificing the views of the valley and bay. The interior includes a simple finish, providing various pieces of furniture from wooden cabinetry and rattan seats. The simple furnishing offers a clean aesthetic, complementing the exterior’s design. 

Since 1988, owner Michael Vierhus has assisted people in fulfilling their projects with a creative and functional approach. Over 30 years of being in the business, the firm has worked for numerous people including homeowners, government agencies, engineers, builders, and interior and landscape designers. The firm tackles any project regardless of property size or budget, always focusing on providing the best quality finishes. 


Jim Stroupe Architect

P.O. Box 388 Aptos, CA 95001

Owner Jim Stroupe has an extensive background working for numerous firms in Philadelphia, Chicago, Houston, and San Francisco. More than 500 of his projects were built in the Bay Area, featuring classic, timeless residences. Interestingly, Jim does not focus on a single style, he prefers to be flexible. He adjusts his work with what the client wants and matches their specifications. He approaches each project using 3D modeling and combining sustainable methods to make sure the process is effective and smooth. 


Below is the Sandy Lane residence offering a contemporary design with modern furnishings. It has a simple clean exterior while providing a balance of bright and dark furniture for a straightforward interior design. Its overall look is simple, and it provides a clean aesthetic that is comfortable yet sophisticated.