North Carolina is one of the most popular states to live in the country. The “Triangle” region of the state, which includes Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill, provides visitors and residents with a myriad of reasons to enjoy the state. It has a diverse culture, rich history, and a wide array of job opportunities. Scenic mountain vistas, pristine beaches, and fantastic weather make it a thriving area.
The state is home to vibrant communities filled with adventures. With a population of over ten million people, North Carolina is the ninth biggest state in the country, and it is still growing. For those considering relocating to the region and those seeking to upgrade their North Carolina homes, the best residential architects are necessary.
The list below showcases the best residential architects in North Carolina. These firms were selected based on their experiences in residential designs, awards won, years in the industry, and media coverage, and they are the best in the industry.
502 Rigsbee Ave, Suite 201, Durham, NC 27701
BuildSense is a leading architecture firm that never fails to give each client’s dream house a distinct style and perspective. Buildsense Architecture and general contractor BuildSense Inc offer a comprehensive service to take projects from initial design concept to construction completion. The firm believes that the essential basis for a remarkable home is a strong understanding of the client’s goals. This dedication to grasping the vision of a project, along with the firm’s two-decade experience, enables the company to commit to each project. As a result, the firm provides unique design solutions that surpass the expectations of its clientele.
BuildSense primarily focuses on residential new home construction and significant renovation and/or additions. Their work encompasses a vast array of styles from historic preservation to new modern homes, from mid-century modern to classic and contemporary farmhouses. Overall, BuildSense drives to deliver a project in the style as desired by the clients whom they serve. These styles are present throughout the firm’s portfolio, which has been recognized with national and local awards.
Featured above is the Urban Courtyard, one of the firm’s remarkable projects in Durham, North Carolina. BuildSense focused on choosing materials for this fantastic residential home that gave the room a feeling of strength and tonal colors, complementing its green setting. The two-story home welcomes its residents with a unique living space filled with natural light and modern design, set in a striking environment.
4022 Market Street Suite 201, Wilmington, NC 28403
Kersting Architecture, founded in 1995 by Michael Ross Kersting, AIA, is dedicated to elevating the living space and impacting a community. Through a personalized, streamlined, and efficient design approach, the firm achieves this and provides clients with attractive residential spaces, tailored to their needs.
Michael is the driving force behind the firm’s progressive nature. He embraces the challenges of turning a client’s vision into their dream home. As an NCARB-certified architect, he leads the firm’s team in providing the best design solutions. The firm has received eighteen awards, including being in Ocean Homes Top 50 Coastal Interior Designers in 2020.
Nestled on a natural landscape with a view of the beach’s rolling waves, the firm aimed to harmonize this featured home with the scenic environment. Mobius House is a modern beach house that reflects a complex yet subtle combination of materials and space, from the wooden deck and functional outdoor pool to the sleek kitchen and living room. The house is decorated with numerous glass windows to provide its residents with a stunning view of the beach and the environment from every vantage point.
STITCH design shop
630 N. Liberty Street, Suite 301, Winston Salem, NC
Since its inception in 2013, this award-winning architectural and interior design has delivered highly-personalized and fresh design solutions to clients in Winston Salem, Greensboro, and neighboring cities. STITCH design shop was established to bring its clientele novel concepts that represented their unique character while exceeding expectations for a project.
The firm is constantly one of the premier design studios in the Southeast, developing new and groundbreaking ideas for residential homes. Its devoted and professional staff has gathered over twenty design accolades in a short period. Among these awards are the North Carolina Merit Award and the North Carolina Honor Award from the AIA in both 2020 and 2021. The firm was also recently featured in the Triad Business Journal, Metropolis, and Winston-Salem Journal.
The Fala Residence is one of STITCH design shop’s noteworthy residential homes in North Carolina. This house makes the most of its natural surroundings through a well-lit, flexible, modern design that incorporates high-quality wood graining and clean lines. The house’s interior offers bright and minimalistic areas that utilize the architectural dynamic, which is enhanced with creative furniture. This modern home, amid a green landscape, honors the undervalued relationship of the living environment with nature, aided by the firm’s distinctive and enduring approach.
Grant Bizios Architecture
1502 West NC 54, Suite 602, Durham, North Carolina 27707
With over three decades of experience, Grant Bizios Architecture has offered the region of North Carolina excellent architectural design and planning solutions. The firm has worked on a wide range of projects, including modest homes, massive estates, religious institutions, renovations, remodels, additions, and new construction. This has only diversified and enhanced its expertise in designing. The firm’s work is clearly recognizable through its competent designs of farmhouse, cottage, and contemporary homes. Its consistency, high-quality designs, and efficient planning services have made it one of North Carolina’s leading design firms.
Brian Grant, a Master of Architecture graduate of North Carolina State University’s College of Design, is one of the firm’s leaders who provides significant insight into the residential projects the firm manages. Brian and his team deliver unique yet effective design concepts that meet their clients’ objectives by utilizing a comprehensive, tailored, and sustainable approach. His works in the past have been featured in various publications, such as The News Observer.
This featured project is the Lakkas Residence, a beautiful home nestled in the neighborhood of Raleigh, North Carolina. This house blends well with the area’s eclectic and modest scene through its large screened porch and simple balconies. The firm pays extra attention to the natural light by grouping the kitchen, dining area, and living room in a spacious and light-filled design.
The Raleigh Architecture Company
716 S. Saunders St., Raleigh, NC 27603
Since its inception in 2012, The Raleigh Architecture Company has progressively built a solid reputation as one of Raleigh’s premier residential design firms. Along with its independent partner, the Raleigh Construction Company, this firm has provided Raleigh’s clientele with outstanding contemporary and modern house designs and high-quality general contracting services.
Founders Robby Johnston and Craig Kerins have been behind the firm’s propel to success over the last decade. In addition to extensive backgrounds in modern design, Mr. Johnston was involved in the first LEED-certified buildings in the region, recognized by multiple awards, and Mr. Kerins’ furniture design has been featured at Design Within Reach and the Fine Contemporary Craft Biennial in Raleigh. Their combined experience has allowed clients to trust in the firm’s environmentally relevant and inspiring designs for homes. In recent years, the firm’s awards include the 2020 AIA South Atlantic Regional Honor Award, the 2020 AIA NC Honor Award, and the 2019 AIA NC Merit Award.
Featured above is the private home situated in a mixed-use urban area, the Chappell-Smith Residence. Its sleek design takes that of an emphasis on minimalism which accentuates modern living. The home features a carefully-designed interior to fit the owner’s in a living space, including a double-height residential area with garden views.
Louis Cherry Architecture
222 North Bloodworth Street, Raleigh, NC . 27601
Louis Cherry Architecture is a responsive architectural practice that treats every project as an opportunity to enrich the human experience and improve communities. Each task is handled by a talented team with understanding and devotion that results in excellent design solutions. With its skilled and sustainable design approach, the firm has worked on various projects in less than a decade, from libraries and restaurants to schools and residential spaces.
Principal Architect Louis Cherry, FAIA, LEED AP, spearheads the firm with his holistic and refined design approaches. Louis brings over three decades of experience in modern residential homes and commercial spaces to the firm. Louis has been active in the arts community serving on the boards of North Carolina Museum of Art and the Contemporary Art Museum in Raleigh.
Featured above is the Modern Country House, a lovely home nestled on top of a green landscape that blends well with the natural environment it reflects. The home features a sleek interior design filled with natural light and a spacious backyard that includes an outdoor pool. The home is carefully designed to maximize connection to the outdoors with light and views.
Mermans Architecture & Design, PLLC
2108 South Blvd, Suite 103, Charlotte, NC 28203
Established in 2008, Mermans Architecture & Design, PLLC is an architectural and design firm devoted to delivering design solutions founded on innovation and timelessness. In the past thirteen years, the firm has been a prominent figure in the residential industry for its diverse experience in designing homes of varying styles: modern, contemporary, English revival, dutch revival, and ranch. The firm’s works have been featured in several publications, including the Charlotte Business Journal and Rue Magazine.
This custom home in Charlotte’s Foxcroft area is an English Revival house beautifully designed by the firm. The parge-finish brick facade with dark shiplap accents and the high, arching rooflines produce a timeless exterior in the neighborhood. It also features an elegant driveway that eventually connects the home to the surrounding community.
Kevin Pfirman Architect, PLLC
307 Martin St., Wilmington, NC 28401
Kevin Pfirman Architect, PLLC is an architectural firm that delivers AIA-accredited projects and complete architectural design and planning services throughout the region of North Carolina. The firm specializes in complex projects with a high degree of client service and specific attention to the environment, climate, and building site.
The essential concept in each project the firm undertakes is to provide the best design quality to its community while also leaving a lasting and positive impact on the environment. This sustainable approach has allowed the firm to be featured in several publications, including WECT News and SALT Magazine.
This featured project reflects the firm’s commitment to delivering excellent design solutions. The design of this project, the Bald Eagle’s Nest, is a combination of iconic old Nags Head/Outer Banks vernacular beach cottages from the early 1920s and the late 1800s California Craftsman style. The house’s interior was designed to use the best solar orientation, vistas, and breezes and provide its residents with a grand environment of spaciousness.
Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect
440 Bayberry Dr., Chapel Hill, NC 27517
What separates multi-award-winning firm Arielle Condoret Schechter, Architect, from the other architects is a clear understanding of how each project is about more than designing an exceptional space. Each project has the capacity to enhance peoples’ lives and lifestyles, and this small firm is dedicated to doing exactly that.
The woman behind the firm and its success is Arielle Schechter, AIA, a registered architect whose artistic passion and devotion have led her to pursue architecture and eventually establish her top-tier firm. Her speciality lies in Modern designs, sustainable and practical methods, and incorporating natural light in each home’s interior.
A fine example of the firm’s accomplished projects is Wolf-Huang Residence on Lake Orange, a unique and special home in its location and neighborhood. This modern home is situated beside a lake and is designed to face the beautiful view of the lake, landscape, and sunset beyond it. It has high-end materials and furniture and premium amenities that promote the stylish yet calm lifestyle entailed within the residence.
Don Duffy Architecture
301 Providence Road, Charlotte, NC 28207
For over twenty-six years, Don Duffy Architecture has provided custom homes that have never failed to exceed its clients’ expectations. It values its relationships with its clients and seeks to build long, trustworthy bonds with them to pave the way for repeated businesses with loyal customers. These clients also note the several positive reviews on the firm’s timeless designs and seamless design planning. The AIA, Institute of Classical Architecture, and Congress of Residential Architecture in Charlotte are several organizations that commend the firm for its positive efforts and splendid architecture.
This featured home above is CLASSIC, a residential property that blends beautifully with the nature around it. The house’s exterior utilizes wood and bricks as the primary components and is colored with a light theme for a warm atmosphere. The interior of the house uses wood for most of the space, employing a primarily rustic theme. These are found in the vinyl floors, wooden fixtures, and cozy furniture. Some parts of the house also include marble and granite as the primary materials, which add to that premium experience.
Pursley Dixon Architecture
311 Atherton Street, Charlotte, NC 28203
Pursley Dixon Architecture focuses on bringing fresh designs and ideas that contribute to beautiful and thoughtful spaces that elevate the residents’ lives and experiences. It employs an adaptive approach of adjusting to clients’ needs and offering comprehensive solutions to their problems to design meaningful homes that are suited for each one of them.
Due to the firm’s committed performance and quality service, it has stayed in the spotlight long enough for several known publications to recognize it officially. These include Traditional Home, Luxe Interiors + Design, The Classicist, and Beautiful Homes. It has also earned awards like the Southern Living Home of the Year award in 2015.
One of the firm’s notable works, included in its portfolio, is the English Garden Cottage. Both the interior and exterior evoke a striking and natural home feeling. Residents can live both inside and outside because the home includes garden rooms. Several of the house’s amenities include an open courtyard, a pool house and pool, a master bedroom, and outdoor spaces.
James S. Collins, Architect
1700 N. Elm Street, G4, Greensboro, NC 27408
Operating for over two decades, James S. Collins, Architect remains passionate about the architectural context and craft produced in each project. Specializing in custom residential homes, the firm has numerous services to offer, from a simple addition or renovation project to the entire design of dream homes. Among the associations that have accredited the firm is the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, North Carolina Chapter, and NCARB.
The incredible architect behind the firm is President James Collins, who has an exceptional work history. Before establishing the previous firm, he has worked with several others who are also successful in the architectural industry and have actively participated in other firms. Now that he has his firm, he uses the knowledge gained from these activities to hone his craft.
James Collins has taught classes on classical and vernacular design at the Parsons School of Design, Moore College of Art, and Philadelphia University College of Architecture. His firm’s projects have been featured in New Old House, Period Homes and Washington Life Magazines. His firm’s work has also appeared in A Decade of Art and Architecture and The Classicist No. 13 which is devoted to Contemporary Traditional Architecture of the American South. He was President of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, North Carolina Chapter.
Featured is Georgian Residence, an eye-catching federal revival-style home that emphasizes simplicity in living. With a simple, rectangular shape, the home offers a compact yet organized space that provides just enough space for residents to feel at ease. It also has a neutral color scheme of mostly white, with a few hints of black for contrast that adds to the clean atmosphere.
Harbinson & Associates Architects
1311 Brookstown Avenue, Winston Salem, North Carolina 27101
Harbinson & Associates Architects is an architectural firm that highlights flexibility and personalization. It offers services that range within varying complexes and sizes, and it consistently meets its clients’ needs and desires. It also values each client’s home and always makes it unique to the individual.
For sixteen years, the firm has been outstanding in serving the area and its people. For this reason, it has been featured in multiple publications such as The New York Times, The Luxury Home, Architectural Record, and ENR. It has also won the AIA Design Award, AIA Religious Architecture Design Award, and NC AIA Design Award.
Rustic Stone Cottage is one example that meets the standards that the firm sets. This cottage-style home features wood and stone materials as the base and primary components; these add to its earthy feel. It is set on a hill landscape, with an overview of the lovely, tranquil scenery just outside the wooden doors and stone doorstep. Its interior also includes classic, rustic furniture, which contributes to the inviting atmosphere.
Dawn Christine, Architect PLLC
701 East Chatham Street, Suite 205, Cary, NC 27511
For clients looking for reliable, outstanding architectural services, Dawn Christine, Architect PLLC is one of the top choices. With a specialized team of experienced personnel, the firm visualizes a client’s dream home and actualizes it to perfection. From conceptualization to construction, the firm is happy to guide clients in every step.
The firm has won multiple awards during its nine years of service, with awards including the International Property Award in the category of Residential Interior Private Residence for Standard to Stately for North Carolina (2020), Architecture Award Winners (2020), and Rethinking The Future Awards (2020). It has also been certified by AIA and LEED.
The firm mainly manages the home styles craftsman, bungalow, and modern, and it has the skill set to incorporate other styles in its projects. Such an example is Colonial Craftsman, a home that takes on the two styles as its design. The firm carefully planned the project to be built on the landscape around it and to let in natural light. It emphasizes modern living and has the proper design and amenities to accentuate it.
Sophie Piesse Architect
302 W Weaver Street, Suite F, Carrboro, NC 27510
Sophie Piesse is an incredible architect dedicated to serving the people by creating thoughtful and intensive designs. Wanting to accomplish a more customer oriented and personalized practice, she decided to establish Sophie Piesse Architect P.A in 2006, and since then, she has aided and served her community through architectural services.
Working alongside Sophie is Luisa Pedrosa, a skilled designer whose passion lies in art, design, and nature. The firm works to strengthen the local community of skilled craft and trades people. As a result through various collaborations, extensive design processes and phases, and passionate performance they impact people’s homes and lives.
A notable example of the firm’s works is a modern home in Mebane. This project has a timeless style and is a seamless modern design. It is a mid-sized home with well-managed space and appropriate materials and furniture to complement its modern style. The home offers a welcoming feel and experience for residents to enjoy.
Vines Architecture Inc LLC
530 HILLSBOROUGH STREET, RALEIGH, NC 27603
Vines Architecture is driven by its passion for building strong and healthy customer-client relationships. It believes that forming a trusted bond between both parties and collaborating accordingly is critical in accomplishing successful projects. It stands on its principle of listening closely to each client for careful and comprehensive planning and designing.
Leading the firm is president Victor Vines, AIA, and LEED AP, who manages it and supervises the projects. He has an excellent work history and is becoming even more evident during his leadership at the firm. Under his management, the firm has managed to earn several awards such as AIA Triangle Honor Award (2019), AIA NC Honor Award (2019), and AIA NC Merit Award (2019).
Collins House is a beautiful residential work by Vines Architecture. This home results from an addition and renovation project that the firm executed to an existing traditional home. Initially, it was a house with many flaws and design errors, but the firm worked on the house to transform it into a visually appealing and practical home.
1124 Brookstown Avenue, Winston-Salem, NC 27101
Acanthus Architecture is a multifaceted firm that offers a wide array of architectural services over different market sectors. The firm typically takes on projects within North Carolina but also manages projects from outside of the area, which demonstrates its versatile nature. Also, it has consistently implemented a sustainable and practical approach to its projects to ensure that it has a positive environmental impact.
For over twenty-six years, the firm has accomplished several projects: colonial, craftsman, mid-century, modern, and classic styles of homes. Because of its carefully planned design methods, it has earned the praise of many, including the recognition of associations such as AIA and LEED.
A prime example of what the firm can accomplish is this elegant craftsman home, Steamboat Springs House. With entailed woodwork, the home employs a rustic atmosphere. The firm chose the location to suit the firm’s desire for a space that overlooks the slopes below it, pairing the rustic design with an earthy feel. It has multiple facilities like a dining room and kitchen, a spa terrace, and large recreation rooms.
Vellum Architecture and Design
188 Charlotte St, #3 Asheville, NC 28803
Since its inception three years ago, Vellum Architecture & Design has grown a following in the region for its innovative modern mountain residences. Leading the firm is founding principal architect, Mark Rudolf. Mark spent many years in the Colorado mountain region designing award-winning custom residences and internationally acclaimed resorts. His work is deeply rooted in the concept of “place making,” which recognizes the unique beauty of each site, and the importance of respecting and enhancing a project’s surroundings. Over the past six years, Mark and his team have instilled these concepts into their North Carolina projects, mostly in the mountains outside of Asheville. Their growing practice was recently named Best New Firm – South by The Architect’s Newspaper, a national publication for architects, planners, landscape architects, designers, and allied professionals.
Featured above is the Elk Mountain Ridge Residence located just north of Asheville along a popular road biking route leading to the Blue Ridge Parkway. The client, who is an avid biker, sought a modern retreat that blended into its surroundings. Utilizing natural materials and working with the existing topography, this beautiful home nestles quietly into its wooded environment. Strategically placed windows optimize the views and blur the division between indoors and outdoors. The house was also carefully placed in order to preserve many of the surrounding mature trees. This strategy even utilized steel piers to limit soil disturbance. The house is clad in local stone and thermally-modified ash (a process of toasting the wood to improve rot resistance and durability). The interior spaces are highlighted with warm wood tones and vast expanses of glass. Learn more about the firm at vellumad.com.