Located on the northwestern shore of San Francisco Bay, San Rafael is the oldest and biggest town in the county and known for having fantastic weather all year round. The city is also famous for its beautiful scenery and exceptional architecture, including the stunning Falkirk Cultural Center. San Rafael, California, makes an ideal place to reside thanks to its excellent medical facilities, highly-rated public schools, an abundance of restaurants, and plenty of employment opportunities. If you want to build your dream home in the town, below are 13 of the best residential architects in San Rafael, California.

Kirley Architecture

444 Magnolia Avenue, Suite 102, Larkspur, CA 94939

Kirley Architects is a residential and commercial architect building one-of-a-kind projects in the Bay area since 2015. The firm employs a collaborative process, listening to client’s needs to create highly customized solutions that cater to their demands. The firm takes pride in working with creative and expert licensed architects committed to tailoring beautiful, functional designs. Kirley Architects’ extensive experience in high-end residential design has enabled it to assemble a diverse portfolio with a wide range of traditional and contemporary styles.

Kirley Architects operates under the oversight of Keith Kirley, AIA. He is the firm’s managing and founding partner, specializing in high-end residential work. He is a third-generation licensed architect and actively serves on the Kentfield Planning Advisory Board in Marin County. The firm has been featured by numerous media outlets, including The Wall Street Journal Mansion Section.

Wright Architecture

632 Manuel T. Freitas Parkway, San Rafael, CA 94903

Wright Architecture is a residential architecture firm operating out of its office in San Rafael, California. The firm was established in 2017 and has focused on developing elegant and practical homes that stand the test of time. It believes that great design is a product of excellent collaboration. Thus, Wright Architecture strives to work with clients closely and ensure open communication to make their dreams come to life. The firm works with industry-leading contractors and engineers to guarantee outstanding results.

Wright Architecture was born from the sisterhood of Heather Wright Foye and Megan Wright Matthews. The former is a licensed architect in California and built the firm in alignment with her design vision centering around clean lines and honesty of materials. Meanwhile, Megan is a licensed structural engineer in California and has a keen eye for aesthetics.

DomA Architects

PO Box 2240, San Anselmo, CA 94979

DomA Architects is a residential architecture practice with a proven track record of over 75 custom residential projects throughout California. The firm was formed in 2001 and has combined its clients’ programmatic needs, design integrity, emphasis on details, and tailored service. The firm prides itself on building spaces that enhance its customers’ lives. It offers a full range of professional services, including architectural design, programming, construction administration, interior architecture, and finish selection.

John Dorr and Ryann Marlowe founded the company 21 years ago, and opened an additional Sonoma. Together, they have over 60 years of combined experience designing homes. John is the firm’s president and the company’s primary design force and inspiration. Meanwhile, Ryann is the CEO and provides leadership and motivation to the team. DomA Architects has been featured in numerous magazines, such as California Homes.

Holder Parlette Architecture + Landscapes

1010 Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, Suite 204, Kentfield, CA 94904

Holder Parlette Architecture + Landscapes is an award-winning firm that has been specializing in residential and commercial architecture for 16 years. Headquartered in Kentfield, California, it extends its services to Napa and the Bay Area. Since its inception, the firm has had an unusually diverse range of experience. Its success is built on its innovative solutions and being thoughtfully responsive to every client’s demand, whether about their project’s constraints or other concerns. Holder Parlette Architecture + Landscapes is committed to listening to its clients and guiding them to ensure excellent results. Their ultimate goal is always 100% customer satisfaction.

Kenneth Holder and Chris Parlette are the firm’s managing principals. Both principals completed their master’s and bachelor’s degree in architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Before establishing the company, Kenneth worked for numerous San Francisco and Berkeley firms and studied Ecological Architectural principals for a year in Santa Fe. Meanwhile, Chris served as the lead architect at wadesign.com for 20 years.

Polsky Perlstein Architects

469 B Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur, CA 94939

Polsky Perlstein Architects has designed hundreds of homes throughout Northern California over the past forty years. With a diverse portfolio of completed projects, the firm works comfortably across a range of design idioms, whether stylistically contemporary, transitional, or more traditional, while personalizing each project to fit each client’s particular lifestyle. Their design process makes extensive use of virtual modeling (three-dimensional virtual imagery) to help clients visualize the design and how they can benefit from it.

Initially established as Jared Polsky and Associates, the firm was re-named Polsky Perlstein Architects early in the millennium. Since then, the principals have been furthering the firm’s design accomplishments with a team of veteran architects and designers. With the office’s combined skills and expertise, PPA is recognized as one of the premier residential architectural firms in Marin County. The office has been featured in many publications over the years including Northern California Home and Garden, Sunset, Food and Wine,  American Bungalow, Custom Home, Traditional Home and  Better Homes and Gardens, as well as the Marin Independent Journal and the S.F. Chronicle. They’ve also had projects featured in and several books including “Dream Homes”, “The Art of Lighting: An International Profile”,   and “Adding to a House: Planning, Design and Construction”.

Architecture Studio

316 Sycamore Avenue, Mill Valley, CA 94941

Elida Doldan Schujman’s Architecture Studio is a residential and commercial architecture firm building designs perfectly suited to clients’ needs and lives. It serves families across Marin County, Sonoma, Sacramento, and New York. The projects include contemporary buildings, custom homes, historical preservations, outdoor living and interiors, and furniture designs. The firm’s projects display unmistakable architectural and interior design continuity, and the designs reveal the commitment to maintaining a clear sense of harmony with the environment.

The firm fosters collaboration on each project and the team has a contagious enthusiasm that creates long-lasting relationships. Elida leads the team as the managing and design principal and has been overseeing the firm since 1983. She has wide experience with a variety of architectural styles, building types, and building sizes. Of the many awards that she has received, one of the most meaningful was in 2007 when the firm received the Design Award of Excellence from the City of San Rafael.

JF Architecture

1 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 106, Novato, CA 94949

JF Architecture is an architectural design firm specializing in residential projects across the San Francisco Bay. Since 1995, the firm has undertaken many high-end custom home projects and renovations of existing residences. It focuses on creating energy-efficient and environmentally sensitive designs and also provides green building consultation services to clients, contractors, engineers, and architects. The firm takes pride in supporting clients in each step and making their dream spaces come to life.

JF Architecture runs under the oversight of Joseph Farrell. He is the firm’s managing principal who obtained his architectural license while working in the architectural/engineering firm of Telfer Chiesa Dunham & Johnson in Novato, California. He was exposed to design and construction at a young age and worked for a builder during high school and college.

Hubbell Daily Architecture + Design

469C Magnolia Avenue, Larkspur, CA 94939

Established in 2003, Hubbell Daily Architecture + Design is an architecture firm serving clients throughout San Francisco. It specializes in residential projects, ranging from minor residential remodels to new home construction. Since its founding, the firm’s philosophy has been creativity, communication, and collaboration. Doing so allows the team to create appropriate solutions and build uniquely designed projects that carefully observe clients’ budgets and timelines. It also ensures that client education and communication are at the center of each project.

Brad Hubbell and Suzanne Daily are the managing principals of Hubbell Daily Architecture + Design. The husband and wife team followed their entrepreneurial instincts in owning and managing their company. Brad has worked for multiple firms in California, including Michael Rex Architects and Polsky Perlstein Architects. Suzanna worked for Geoffrey E. Butler Architecture and Planning, Thompson Studio Architects, Turnbull Griffin Haesloop Architects, Backen Gillam, and Michael Rex Architects.

Stewart K Summers Architect

1852 Fourth Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

Headquartered in San Rafael, California, Stewart K Summers Architect is a design firm specializing in residential and commercial architecture since 2007. It offers a wide selection of services, including pre-design, architectural design, construction documents, construction administration, and green build consulting, to clients across Marin County and the Bay Area. Since its inception 15 years ago, the firm has grown from only having a sole architect to a team of two licensed architects in California and two drafts people. 

Stewart Summers founded the firm and continues to lead the team. He has over two decades of experience working for various architecture firms in the Bay Area. Stewart is a member of the City of San Rafael’s Design Review Board and a Certified Green Building Professional.

Castor Architecture

1925 Francisco Boulevard E, Ste #7, San Rafael, CA 94901

Castor Architecture is one of Marin County’s best architectural firms. The firm serves homeowners across Marin County and Wine Country as well San Francisco, the Peninsula, Southern California, and beyond. The firm offers a wide range of services, including initial consultation, programming, site analysis, design review, design development, bidding and negotiation, and construction administration. Over its 15 years in the industry, the firm has established an impressive portfolio of new custom homes and renovated quite a number of existing structures. Castor Architecture is slowly expanding its work to include mixed-use, multi-family, affordable, and manufactured/modular housing projects.

Castor Architecture operates under the direction of Daniel Castor. He completed his bachelor’s degree in architecture at Princeton University and his master’s in architecture at Harvard University. He also won the Rome Prize in Architecture which included a year of research at the American Academy in Rome.


1035 Las Gallinas Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94903

Founded in 2013, AplosGroup is a premier architecture firm specializing in residential and commercial construction. The firm operates across Marin and Sonoma Counties, providing commercial architecture, office, retail, restaurant, green building, and residential design services. The firm believes that architecture goes beyond structures and buildings—architecture is really about people. The firm creates buildings that interact with their environment and keep clients’ ideas at the center of the design process. AplosGroup’s outstanding commitment to excellence led to it being named one of the 15 best residential architects in Larkspur, California, by Home Builder Digest.

Each project is overseen by Sharon Kovalsky, the firm’s managing principal. She has worked on various residential and commercial projects, everything from apartment renovations to restaurants to offices. She is a licensed architect in California.

VMI Architecture

637 Fifth Avenue, San Rafael, CA 94901

Located in San Rafael, California, VMI Architecture is a mid-sized architectural firm providing comprehensive and reliable architecture design services in the Greater Bay area, including San Rafael, Ross, Kentfield, Sausalito, Novato, and Sonoma. Established 27 years ago, the firm specializes in residential, commercial, and restaurant projects and works with each client closely throughout every step of the construction process. The firm uses state-of-the-art technology and the most relevant project management solutions to ensure all projects are delivered right the first time and on schedule.

Hugh Murphy is the president and principal architect of VMI Architecture. He brings over 25 years of experience building single-family homes, fitness facilities, offices, retail facilities, and restaurants. After 15 years of employment with a local architecture firm, Hugh joined his wife and her business associate as a partner at Vincent & Murphy in 1998.

Kappe Architects

801 D Street, San Rafael, CA 94901

Kappe Architects is a San Rafael architecture firm that has been specializing in civic, residential, and commercial projects for over three decades. The firm provides innovative and forward-thinking design work as it brings clients’ dream spaces to life. Since its founding, Kappe Architects has been committed to achieving the highest design quality on every project. Each project is tailored personally, enabling the firm to offer imaginative solutions within customers’ budgetary and programmatic constraints.

The firm’s managing principal, Ron Kappe, believes that attention to detail makes the crucial difference on a project. Thus, he directs every project carefully, providing insight and vision from personal experience. He is a second-generation architect who learned a lot from his father and the firm’s founder, Ray Kappe.