Like many other cities, Long Beach is filled with homes that vary in styles. While many condos are sold to homeowners desiring a relaxing life, single-family homes are still the most popular type of property on Long Beach’s home markets and carry a median home value of $431,300. Most homes in this list, however, were designed in a way that the homeowners would always have a spectacular view of the ocean.
The architects in this list are highly capable of designing homes in various styles and have memberships in industry organizations including the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Many have also been featured in publications such as Coast, Custom Homes, HGTV, and Long Beach Press-Telegram. Some of these firms have designed homes that have been recognized with awards like the Society of Registered Architects (SARA) award and the National American Institute of Architects (NAIA)’s housing awards.
Several of these architects have only been active for a few years, while others have been around long enough to create ties with city locals with the potential to become referral clients. So far, the longest-standing firm in this article has been in operation for more than 100 years. Aside from the firm’s ability to design beautiful custom homes, some also have experience in building structures for the hospitality market which adds to the respective firm’s ability to design unique homes.
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.
Gulian Design Inc.
5855 East Naples Plaza, Suite #212, Long Beach, CA 90803
An architectural firm that has designed projects mostly for clients in Long Beach and Sunset Beach, Gulian Design Inc. is known to provide various services aside from designing luxury custom homes. These other services include major and minor residential renovations, interior and kitchen designs, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing engineering.
Under firm principal Edward Gulian’s guidance, this 118-year old firm has designed homes in the contemporary, Spanish, Mediterranean, Floridian Mediterranean, Bahama or Island style, Cape Cod, and Spanish Mediterranean styles. A great example of the firm’s work is this contemporary home on the Peninsula. A three-story home 2,560 square feet, it exhibits an ultra-modern combination of cement, glass, and polished wood. Surrounded by wide glass frames, the home has an open floor plan that’s perfect for enjoying scenes at the beachfront.
Aside from designing luxury homes such as this, the firm also has experience in designing commercial and mixed-use projects and can complete tenant improvements and construction management.
1322 Coronado Ave. Suite C, Long Beach, CA
Established in 1990, Interstices Architecture has done residential and commercial architectural, planning, and interior services for clients throughout Southern California specifically Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Orange county. In its years of existence, the firm was able to design homes in the contemporary, mid-century, and modern styles. One of the firm’s most notable works is a contemporary home that exhibits the Interstices Architecture’s unique blend of aesthetically pleasing designs that still boasts functionality under a carefully planned process and budget. Because of such homes, the firm was able to gather awards including the AIA Long Beach/South Bay’s Honor, Merit, and Citation awards, the National American Institute of Architects (NAIA)’s housing Awards, Gold Nugget awards, and the Long Beach Preservation awards.
This recognition is the result of a skilled team and the firm’s highly capable founding principal Jonathan Glasgow. So far, Glasgow has served as the president and director of advocacy for the Long Beach/South Bay chapter of AIA.
3827 Long Beach Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90807
In its 31 years of designing, Kelly Sutherlin has designed and directed a wide range of projects which include the revitalization of old homes, civic and commercial work, and historical preservation. One great example of the firm’s capabilities is the historical Bentz house. Serving as the home’s project architect, Kelly Sutherlin is in charge of developing a master preservation plan for the repair and restoration of many of the home’s exterior elements and the long-term preservation of the historic home.
Currently, the firm has founder Kelly Sutherlin Mcleod at the helm. Mcleod is known for his skill in creating unique designs that are not only for historic preservation, revitalization, and renovation but are also for new construction and adaptive reuse projects. Aside from being a fellow of the AIA, Mcleod is also a member of many other industry organizations which include the Urban Land Institute.
Kollin Altomare Architects
4265 E. Conant St., Ste #101, Long Beach, CA 90808
Kollin Altomare Architects, a 24-year-old firm, is recognized for being one of the best hospitality builders, but its skill in crafting such structures is also evident in the firm’s ability to design the few luxury custom homes in its portfolio. With a team of highly skilled architects, it has designed homes in contemporary, Mediterranean, and modern styles. One example of these beautiful homes is the SARA award-winning Blumenthal residence. A contemporary home featured in Coast’s 2016 issue cover and Custom Homes, it has a palette that mirrors a pristine white beach’s shallow sandy coast. Aside from the 5,200 square foot main house, this residence is accompanied by an adjoining three-level 3,200 square foot guest house.
Kollin Altomare Architects has a trio of architects guiding it: founder and CEO Michael Kollin, partner and COO Paul Altomare, and principal Christopher Alex, all of whom are affiliated with the AIA and the NCARB. The firm currently holds a certification in the NCARB and LEED for building design and construction. Alongside these, Kollin Altomare Architects is also affiliated with the AIA, the American Hotel and Lodging Association (AHLA), and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).
296 Redondo Ave., Long Beach, CA 90803
A family-owned and female majority firm, Jeannette Architects has been featured in the Long Beach Press-Telegram and Bisnow’s 2019 issues. It also boasts membership in the AIA, Build It Green, USGBC, Long Beach Heritage, and Palm Springs Modern Community. The firm’s Mission is to craft beautiful homes, guide their clients through a detailed and organized process, building trust, and providing support from design through construction. They create innovative and sustainable designs that bring pride and happiness to their clients.
Aside from its multiple accreditations, Jeannette Architects is most known for its versatility at designing differently styled homes, including the Mid-Century Modern, Beach Cottage, Spanish, Craftsman, Victorian, Cape Cod, Mediterranean, and Tuscan styles. The firm is also capable of building modern homes composed of concrete, steel, and glass. Jeannette Architects serves many different locations, including Long Beach and the surrounding areas.
Though it excels in designing these different styles for remodels or new home construction, one of the firm’s most notable projects is a Craftsman-styled home in Long Beach. Originally built in the 1970s, this home was transformed into an authentically accurate Craftsman house. The home’s entirety is quite breathtaking, but its most striking feature is the low red brick walls wrapped around the house, simultaneously highlighting the home’s warm and homey atmosphere and the firm’s attention to detail.
Company Principal, Jeff Jeannette also contributes widely to the firm’s skilled reputation. Serving as its lead architect and designer, Jeannette has certifications from the National Council of Architectural Registration Board (NCARB), American Institute of Architects (AIA), United States Building Council (USGBC), Certified Green Building Professionals (CGBP), and Build It Green. After 12 years as Architect Advisor to the board for The Reuse People, a non-profit organization aiming to reduce the solid waste in landfills by deconstructing homes and donating materials to Habitat for Humanity and other venues for reuse, Jeannette has been recently elected as a full Board Member. For more information about Jeannette Architects, you can visit their website here.
325 Roycroft Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90814
Featured twice in Long Beach Architecture, Mark Wheeler has designed over 200 custom homes, renovations, and remodels with its two decades of architectural experience. The firm has designed homes in the bungalow, Spanish revival, Craftsman, Mediterranean, and modern styles. One of the firm’s most notable works is the Tanaka residence in Long Beach’s Belmonte Heights. A Spanish revival style home, it is a good example of company CEO Mark Wheeler’s take on an architectural style that emphasizes casual comfort and efficient living in locations that highlight architectural designs.
Though the firm is based in Long Beach, it has also completed numerous projects in various locations including Seal Beach, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, and the surrounding coastal communities.
Grisafe Architecture Inc.
3750 Schaufele Ave., Ste. 150 Long Beach, CA 90808
A full-service architectural firm, Grisafe Architecture Inc. is known for designing residential and commercial structures. In the residential market, the firm has designed homes in modern and Craftsman styles. One great example of the firm’s abilities is a Craftsman-style home called Las Casas. The project mostly involved removing the majority of the existing single-story home and building this new two-story luxury residence in its place. With an open floor plan, this home exudes a beach house vibe highlighted by the pure white facade of clean and sharp details. Though the home boasts many luxurious amenities, perhaps its most notable feature is the roof deck, which provides the homeowners with a spectacular ocean view. Grisafe Architecture Inc. has Mark Grisafe guiding it through operations; so far, the firm has been recognized as one that thrives on referrals from past clients. For more information about Grisafe Architecture, you can view their website here.
4117 E 4th St Long Beach
Founded in 2007 by Daniella Carter, who has 15 years of design experience, Pretty Smart is recognized as a full-service multi-disciplinary firm. As an architecture firm, it has designed homes in the ranch, modern, farmhouse, and Craftsman styles. The firm’s work is most influenced by design history along with mid-century styles, which blend with the firm’s sense of clean lines and functionality. One great example of Pretty Smart’s projects is the Holmby Hills Estate. A project priced at $2 million, this modern style home has a pool accompanied by multiple outbuildings that open into a wide, modern garden that’s perfect for large family gatherings and parties.
To add to the firm’s credentials, Pretty Smart is affiliated with the Society of American Registered Architects (SARA) and the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). Aside from these affiliations, the firm has been featured in HGTV’s House Hunter Renovation and Stunning Poolside Patios.
5500 East 2nd St., Suite 2, Naples Island, Long Beach, CA 90803
A ten-year-old firm, Sennikoff Architects has designed projects for clients in Newport Beach, Costa Mesa, San Diego, Henderson, Long Beach, and Los Angeles. Alongside designing custom homes, the firm also made designs for residential remodels and additions, ADUs, residential care facilities for the elderly, and residential developments. One of the firm’s most notable projects is a Craftsman-style home dubbed Campher. A two-story home, the residences exhibit clean lines and sharp details highlighted by the facade’s elegant monochrome palette. Aside from homes styled in this manner, the firm also has experience designing homes in the Mediterranean, Spanish revival, and modern styles.
Beautiful homes like these are the result of experience gathered by the firm’s lead architect, Steven Sennikoff. After working for different companies, Sennikoff was able to pool together creative knowledge for unique designs and created building types that gained various awards throughout the years. Alongside Sennikoff is the firm’s assistant architect, Chris Straiter.
1327 Loma Ave., Long Beach, CA 90804
A boutique architectural and design firm, Ultra Unit was established in 2004. Since then, it has been recognized as a firm offering both design and construction services. Though the firm only designs a few projects at a time to ensure high-quality results, Ultra Unit has experience in designing and building for different sectors including the community and commercial markets. One of Ultra Unit’s most notable projects in the residential market is the guest house for the Skeeter family’s Spanish bungalow. A contemporary adaptation, this guest house salutes cubist methods. Elements such as the home’s columns were recomposed and fragmented while the arched windows were shortened and wall surfaces were subtly shifted. This guest house was designed to function as both an art studio and a garage and book storage. Aside from its striking architectural design, the guest house also has a beautiful skylight that allows not only for advantageous lighting, but also for a vantage of scenery that can inspire any artist.
Ultra Unit is currently headed by Cameron Crockett. An American Institute of Architects (AIA) and LEED-certified architect, Crockett has the experience that has given him a place in the board of directors for the South Bay chapter of AIA, the Long Beach, California, East Anaheim Street Business Alliance (EASBA), and the Long Beach Art Exchange.
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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
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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.