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The Best Residential Architects in Memphis, Tennessee

8 Min Read

Memphis is one of the largest metro areas in the Southeastern U.S. Yet it retains a small-town atmosphere that fosters the kind of close-knit community that’s perfect for families. As a center of global transit and a crossroads for distribution, Memphis offers a lot of job opportunities, making it a great residential area for rising professionals since homes in the area have a median price of $85,900.

Don’t let the affordability fool you: Memphis is full of beautiful homes. Many of them have been designed by the firms in this list. These firms have been honored with industry awards for their striking designs and have been featured in national publications like Architect Magazine, Architectural Record, Dwell, and Engineering News-Record (ENR). Many maintain affiliations with industry organizations like the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), and the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA). 

If you are thinking about building a residential 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. On the other hand, if you want to learn more about the cost of building a custom home in Memphis, check out our cost guide article.

brg3s architects

396 N Cleveland St., Memphis, TN 38104

This firm’s high profile reputation started off in the healthcare sector where it thrived with a long and rich history that began in the 1950s. Over the decades, the firm became first regionally known for its work, then nationally known. The firm had the opportunity to collaborate on every type of project from laboratories and outpatient surgery to large-scale residential healthcare facilities. Soon enough, it expanded its work to civic work, higher education, restaurants, retail, and multi-family or single-family residences like the Tutwiler House in Memphis. An infill within the neighborhood, this small but simple and elegant house carries a contemporary style. Homes like these are a great example of the firm’s 119 years of design excellence.

With its team of architects, designers, and planners, the firm provides inspiring timeless designs that are both aesthetically pleasing and positively impact the larger community surrounding it. The firm has been featured in several industry publications like Memphis Business Journal, Architect Magazine, Memphis Magazine, and Archinect. The firm is managed by founding owner Stephen Berger whose diverse projects can be found all over the world: Europe, China, and the Middle East. 

Carlton Edwards

171 Racine Street, Memphis, TN 38111

Established in 2005, Carlton Edwards is a company filled with talented professionals of skill and ambition. With its talented team, this boutique design firm has offices in Asheville, Nashville, and Memphis. Over the years, the firm has been recognized for designing projects that are shaped by its keen understanding of the past. Using history as a context, the firm has proven capable of creating fresh, innovative, and timeless forms in various styles, including modern, cottage, and French.

We really liked the Revere—a French Eclectic house that presents the charming elements of French architecture in several areas.  Combining modern and traditional elements, all the living spaces are reminiscent of old-world homes that may be worn and storied but still works as a livable and contemporary space. Antiquity is also scattered throughout the space. From the light fixtures to the vintage Steinway pianos to a fireplace that’s over 600 years old. To perfectly tie everything together, custom finishes with eclectic details are spread throughout the home to blend the old with the modern. With elegant homes like this in its portfolio, the firm has been featured in publications such as WNC Magazine, Carolina Home and Garden, Cottage Living Magazine, StyleBlueprint, and CH&G Magazine. Aside from designing luxurious and aesthetically pleasing homes that garner recognition, the firm also designs sustainable and green architecture.


431 S. Main St.,#202, Memphis, TN 38103

Founded in 2013, Designshop is an open studio of collaborative designers who have built an impressive number of projects on time, on budget, and to the satisfaction of clients in the Midsouth. So far, the firm’s portfolio mostly consists of contemporary and modern homes. Its most notable one is the House for Five in Munford. Located at the end of a small-town street, the house has a rear yard bound on two sides by the house while the remaining two sides are defined by the natural tree line. This home won the AIA’s 2016 Award of Merit and has been featured in Archdaily, Dezeen, and Curbed. 

Photo by Chad Mellon at

Homes like these are guided to completion by principals Scott Guidry and Tim Michael. For the past 20 years, Mr. Guidry has been involved in projects ranging from multi-million dollar facilities to bath and kitchen renovations, and most everything in between. Michael, on the other hand, has served as an instructor in both undergraduate and graduate studies at the University of Memphis. Combined, these two principals have won over 25 AIA design awards on the local, state, and regional levels in a variety of project types and scales.

Looney Ricks Kiss

50 South B.B. King Blvd., Suite #600, Memphis, TN 38103

Founded in 1983, Looney Ricks Kiss is a nationally recognized full-service architecture, interiors, planning, and urban design firm. Over the years, it has become a firm with such renown that it has expanded its office from Memphis to Dallas, Philadelphia, Princeton, Little Rock, Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Celebration. With so many projects to present, the firm has been featured in publications like Engineering News-Record (ENR), Architect Magazine, Memphis Business Journal, and Archinect among many others. These features have been directed at homes like the private residence in Memphis.

Designed for an active family, the home transitions from public, family, and private zones. Those transitions allow the scale around the front to maintain a neighborhood character, bring balanced natural light into key spaces, and provide for defined yet separate areas for outrooms, lawns, auto circulation, and storage. This elegant residence is just one of the many homes the firm has designed. Aside from this one, Looney Ricks Kiss has designed homes in the federal, plantation, cottage, tropical, and farmhouse styles. 

McClure | Architecture

530 Oak Court Drive, Ste. #321, Memphis, TN 38117

Established in 2015, McClure | Architecture is a small boutique firm focused on high-end custom residential work. Though it is small and has one office located in Memphis, the firm has been able to work on projects across the Southeastern United States. So far, the firm has completed various projects including new residences, existing home alterations and additions, pool, garage, and garden structures, and has even designed furniture. Such work has gained the firm features in magazines like Memphis Magazine, At Home, and Midsouth. The McClure portfolio emphasizes the federal, plantation, farmhouse, and Tudor styles.

Currently, the firm is managed by company principal Mark McClure. A professional who has worked on medical, residential, and commercial projects in the U.S. and Europe, McClure is a member of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) Tennessee Chapter’s Board of Directors. He also worked with local architect Oscar Menzer for 23 years where McClure focused on upper-end custom residential work.

Shapiro & Company Architects

4646 Poplar, Suite #517, Memphis, TN 38117

Shapiro & Company Architects has been in the industry since 1999 as one of the best architects and designers. After years of experience, the team has gained a high level of housing expertise that includes land planning, custom homes, speculative homes, and multi-family homes. With its level of skill, Shapiro & Company Architects has designed custom residential homes, multi-family buildings, and entire residential neighborhood developments. Among these is the Georgian colonial residence in Heron Oaks which was featured in the September 2010 issue of MidSouth Magazine. Currently, these projects are guided by the experience of founding principal Brad Shapiro.

An active participant in several national and regional building-related conferences and seminars throughout the year, Shapiro is a member of numerous industry associations. These include the American Institute of Architects (AIA), the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), and the Congress for the New Urbanism (CNU).

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 residential 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.