Featured Architects

The Best Residential Architects and Designers in Washington DC

Overview

The range of unique residences in Washington DC is astounding, and produces a great desire for folks to find the best residential architects and designers to produce amazing homes. From historic DC rowhouses to charming colonial country retreats in the surrounding suburban areas, the DC metro area boasts some beautiful homes. Many top residential architects in this area are intrigued by the introduction of modern elements in historic structures. There are even a few who are passionate fans of classical architecture. The architects on this list enjoy working with homeowners who have a vision, and they work to collaborate with them to bring that vision to life. This list of the best residential architects and designers in Washington DC is comprised of top firms that are winning awards for their ability to transform unique homes.

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The Best Custom Home Builders & Design-Build Firms in Washington DC

Overview

This list of the best Custom Home Builders and Design-Build Firms n Washington DC represent a diverse group of designers. They are full-service design build firms that both design and construct. Across the board, they are committed to completing the unique vision of their clients. They’re sensitive to the historic preservation necessary in many of the residences of the DC metro area. Additionally, these luxury design-build firms in DC are dedicated to sustainability and look to include eco-friendly elements whenever possible. The Washington DC custom home builders on this list have all grown their business due to word of mouth from former clients. The wide range of projects — from additions to renovations to custom home designs — are all expertly executed and have been featured in several print and online publications.

Top Home Builders

10
We Design Build

Architects:
Kaya Biron

Address:
2920 M Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20007

About We Design Build

With offices in Virginia and DC, We Design Build is a much sought-after design-build firm in the DC metro area. They have a passion for working in the area because of the different styles represented, from Italianate and Greek Revival to Georgian and Victorian. They understand what each style needs, especially to keep it similar throughout a remodel. Committed to sustainability, We Design Build is familiar with the various complex building codes in the area. The firm is owned by architect Kaya Biron, who leads a team of 20-plus. They specialize in high-end traditional homes. Three other architects design on staff, and the firm has served the area since 1990. We Design Build has had their work featured in several publications, including the Washingtonian.

Featured Projects

A kitchen remodel in Washington DC is an excellent design example from We Design Build. While they usually specialize in more traditional and classical styles, this kitchen is sleek and minimalist. There are stainless steel appliances that immediately upgraded the kitchen. A new island was included with a simple sink and white granite. Additional cabinet space was added above the refrigerator to provide extra storage. Another featured project is a stunning backyard space, complete with a pool. The exterior of the house was painted a warm yellow to give brightness to the outdoor environment. They also included beautiful backyard furniture for an optimal gathering space in their design. The backyard has a calming feeling and upgrades the entire property.

9
Synergy Design and Construction

Architects:
Mina Fies
Mark, Fies

Address:
11501 Sunset Hills Road, Suite 250, Reston, VA 20190

About Synergy Design and Construction

Founded by Mina Fies, Synergy Design and Construction aims to make every client feel cared for throughout the design and construction process. Through her experience in the real estate, sales, and design fields, Mina was able to understand in what areas homeowners were feeling frustrated. Along with her husband, Mark Fies, they developed the Renovation Roadmap to ensure that every step was planned out and understood by the client. Mina has also served as a president of the National Association of Women Business Owners (NAWBO) Greater DC chapter. Mark Fies is the COO of Synergy and has served as both chairman of the board and president for the area’s chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). NARI is the only association in the country to focus solely on remodeling.

Featured Projects

Synergy worked on a whole-home renovation in Arlington, Virginia. The renovation included a game room with a pool table and bar area. The bathrooms were redone to add more space and light. A crisp white was used as the color palette, with a few warm color accents. The kitchen had a custom backsplash and new appliances, with an island for added space. Another recent project was an addition to a residence also in Arlington. The exterior included white trim to match the original home. A small deck and stairway was included on the rear of the addition. Several windows were included to ensure enough light in the new rooms. The single-level addition adds a considerable amount of space to the home, without sacrificing all of the backyard.

8
EnviroHomeDesign

Architects:
Marta Layseca

Awards:
Arlington County Green Home Choice Awards,
The Capital COTY Merit Team Awards

Address:
4822 3rd Street N, Arlington, VA 22203

About EnviroHomeDesign

EnviroHomeDesign is an award-winning design-build firm based in Arlington, Virginia. Their specialties are low environmental-impact kitchen, bathroom and basement remodeling; additions; and custom homes. With over 20 years of experience, EHD is especially suited to design green-certified projects, including Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Homes, National Green Standard, and EarthCraft certifications. EHD was founded by Marta Layseca, who earned her architectural degree from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and a Master in Sustainable Architecture from the College of Architecture at the University of Arizona. She is especially interested in using natural materials, as well as merging traditional styles with modern technology. Layseca has designed in both Argentina and the United States.

Featured Projects

A recent featured project is a remodel of a traditional Spanish colonial home in Arlington’s Lyon Village neighborhood. They did a full-scale green renovation with a second floor addition. A new staircase was added in the center of the home to better connect all of the rooms. A new skylight on the staircase ceiling adds both light and ventilation. Colorful tiles and iron accents were used throughout to reflect the Spanish colonial style. EHD also designed a remodel for an Arlington home in Rock Spring. The well-built home was originally built in the 1950s. The remodel integrated the indoor and outdoor rooms to achieve the owner’s goal of creating a favorite place to have her morning coffee. Energy conservation strategies were used through the inclusion of new insulation.

7
Four Brothers LLC

Architects:
Ben Johnson
Alfred Johnson
Leroy Johnson
Kent Johnson

Address:
4009 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20011

About Four Brothers LLC

Architects, designers, and craftsmen are all a part of this full-service design-build firm. Located in DC, Four Brothers was founded by Ben, Alfred, Leroy, and Kent Johnson in 2006. All raised on a commune, they apprenticed in the woodworking factory on site. They continued this craft all throughout college and continued to work on homes in their free time until they founded their firm. They founded the firm on seven core principles: courtesy and respect, communication, cleanliness, accountability, integrity in design, quality craftsmanship, and accessibility. Today, Tamar King is the Head of Design at Four Brothers. She graduated from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University with degrees in Architecture and Civil Engineering. She is involved in every project of the firm. Four Brothers been widely reviewed positively on many sites.

Featured Projects

Four Brothers recently renovated a 100-year-old DC row house in Logan Circle. The interior was completely gutted, with new floor designs on each level and a systems upgrade throughout the home. They collaborated with the owners to design an open floor plan, lots of light, and a mixture of classical and contemporary finishes. A special feature was the rear glass retractable Nanawall. Custom cabinetry was added in the front to provide storage and an aesthetically pleasing entry area. Four Brothers also did a full house historic home remodel on the Wilton residence. The house was originally built in 1763 but had never undergone any major renovations. The biggest challenge was adding modern amenities while preserving the historic nature of the home. The greatest change to the home was adding a kitchen and three bathrooms.

6
Hanlon Design Build

Architects:
Chyrssa Wolfe
Jack Hanlon

Address:
4927 Eskridge Terrace, Washington, DC 20016

About Hanlon Design Build

Founder Chyrssa Wolfe brings almost 40 years of residential construction experience to Hanlon Design Build. She aims to bring together a unique group of architects, designers, engineers, artisans, and craftsmen to create homes. Wolfe studied art in college and was intrigued by the beautiful architecture in her native city, Washington DC. Her partner, Jack Hanlon, is the engineering mind in the firm. His specialties are structural engineering, mechanical system design, waterproofing technology, and the latest advances in sustainability. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the University of Maryland. Hanlon Design Build is especially focused on green-oriented designs. They boast that they have done more geothermal installations than any other builder in DC. They look to include Energy Star elements whenever they can, as well as using recycled materials and doing everything possible to decrease their carbon footprint.

Featured Projects

An excellent example of their eco-friendly designs is their work on Q Place NW in Washington DC. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Green Certified and Energy Star Qualified, this home has solaris architectural roofing and utilizes icynene foam insulation. Recycled brick exterior, wrought iron, and glass doors were used. A sleek kitchen design, as well as an open floor plan, gives the home a contemporary vibe. Another project is their renovation of a 31st Street, 150-year-old DC rowhouse in Georgetown. The aim of the renovation was to preserve (and update when needed) most of the original framework, such as the fireplaces, double hung windows, and millwork. New high-efficiency equipment was added to update the systems in the house. The pine flooring was restored and brought back to life.

5
Cahill Design Build

Architects:
Christopher Cahill

Address:
5011 Olney-Laytonsville Road, Suite B, Olney, MD 20832

About Cahill Design Build

Twenty-eight years ago, Christopher Cahill founded a landscape architecture firm, Botanical Decorators. As it grew, he started designing more architectural elements in the backyard scaping. After a client suggested he start a separate residential construction company, Cahill Design Build was born. Although based in Maryland, Cahill has worked on homes in Washington DC and Virginia as well. They offer a variety of services, from interior design and landscape architecture to design-build services. The company has grown mainly from word of mouth recommendations. The firm has been recognized by outlets such as My Fox DC, The Washington Post, Curbed DC, ResidentialArchitect.com, and the Washingtonian. Cahill Design Build was also invited to participate in the prestigious DC Design House in 2014.

Featured Projects

One of their most well-known projects was their room for the 2014 DC Design House. Cahill was asked to design the first-floor pool dressing room and bathroom of an almost century-old house in Rock Creek Park. The design was centered around an etched glass door that was reused as a backlit art installation. Teal lockers were installed to include extra storage. Another noted project is their interior and exterior renovation on a residence in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia. Although the home needed modern updates, Cahill wanted to preserve the charm of the original space. A new eat-in area on a kitchen island is a great feature. The interior style is classical, with a tailored white throughout. Softly colored granite was used on the kitchen countertops to add subtle warmth.

4
Carnemark Design + Build

Architects:
Jonas Carnemark

Awards:
Chrysalis Award,
Home & Design Magazine Award of Distinction

Address:
7550 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 120, Bethesda, MD 20814

About Carnemark Design + Build

Since 1987, Carnemark Design + Build has served clients in DC and the metropolitan area. Jonas Carnemark is the owner and founder of the firm. He studied physics and engineering at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Carnemark is a certified remodeler and certified kitchen designer and is considered a leader in the industry. The firm is dedicated to introducing green elements in their design, such as heated floor tiles, light dimmers and motion sensors, bath exhaust fans, low VOC paints, and a variety of recycled materials. They try to use deconstruction, rather than demolition. Carnemark’s work has been featured on outlets as varied as Good Morning America and the Food Network’s Ultimate Kitchens. Carnemark recently landed on the cover of April 2014’s issue of Remodeling Magazine.

Featured Projects

Their design for a small kitchen earned the firm an Award of Distinction – Small Kitchen from Home & Design Magazine. The clients needed a new kitchen after they had recently moved to a retirement community. They wanted a sleek look with updated amenities, as well as wheelchair accessibility. New flat-panel cabinetry was installed with easy-to-reach hardware. A compact oven was installed, along with many low-level drawers and fold-down cutting board. Another award-winning design was their whole home remodel of a Bethesda, Maryland residence. A standing metal roof and completely redesigned basement were included in the new design to combat the constant flooding. A partition between the kitchen and dining area was removed to allow for more open interior space. An extensive lighting plan was also used.

3
Moore Construction Group

Architects:
Nate Moore

Address:
3335 Duke Street, Alexandria, VA 22314

About Moore Construction Group

Located in Alexandria, Virginia, Moore Construction Group is a full-service design-build company with licenses for building, plumbing, and electrical. CEO Nate Moore leads his team to renovate 15-25 properties per month. Their specialty is large-scale remodels with a focus on efficiency. Reviewed positively by many on HomeAdvisor and Angie’s List, Moore Construction Group provides a complimentary on-site consultation. The firm services DC, Virginia, and Maryland. They also perform construction operations for their sister company, Express Homebuyers. The firm offers four options for their design packages: designer, traditional, builder, and artisan. Former clients note the excellent workmanship, timeliness, and price of the projects completed by Moore Construction Group. They have an A+ BBB rating.

Featured Projects

One of their recent projects was 10th Street NE. The six-month project involved a complete renovation and a new top-story addition with a deck. New plumbing, HVAC, and electrical systems were installed. The interior underwent a complete re-design, and a new bathroom was also added. The kitchen was completely redone, and the exterior siding was also updated. Another featured project is the Lustre kitchen. Before, the wood paneling on the cabinets was dark, taking much of the light out of the room. First, they expanded the space. Then, Moore added a kitchen island to provide more counter space. Updated stainless steel appliances were included. A desk nook was also included in the design. New light fixtures and windows brought more light into the space, and beautiful granite was chosen to add more warmth.

2
Landis Construction

Architects:
Chris Landis
Ethan Landis

Awards:
Professional Remodeler Design Awards,
NARI Metro DC Capitol CotY Awards,
Chrysalis Awards

Address:
7059 Blair Road, NW Suite 300, Washington, DC 20012

About Landis Construction

One of Washington DC’s premier design-build firms, Landis Construction is led by two principals who happen to be brothers. Chris Landis heads up design, while Ethan Landis leads construction. Chris earned a B.A. from Vassar College and an M.A. in Architecture from Columbia Architecture School. He also served as a board member for the DC Historic Preservation Review Board and is a past president of the DC Metro area chapter of NARI. Ethan went to Swarthmore College and received his MBA from George Washington University. LEED-AP certified, Ethan also serves on the District’s Construction Code Coordinating Board and the Mayor’s Green Building Advisory Board, which oversees DC’s Green Building Act. Landis Construction has received two Mayor’s Sustainability Awards for their leadership. In 2016, thirteen of their projects won awards.

Featured Projects

Their work on a Forest Hills, DC residence involved renovating the dining area and adding a pizza oven. Along with adding more windows to include more light, warm colors were added to the interior. Landis’s work earned them a Merit Award, Addition from COTY in 2016. They also worked on a whole-house renovation in Shepherd Park, DC. An entire outside patio area was added with custom stonework. The living area was redesigned to allow for more flow, and thus, a more cohesive space within the central part of the home. A countertop area was added to the kitchen with space for barstools. New light fixtures were added throughout the home. They also earned a Merit Award for Large House from the COTY Awards for this project.

1
Case Design/Remodeling

Architects:
Fred Case

Awards:
Master Design Award,
MCBA Award of Excellence

Address:
1327 14th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20005

About Case Design/Remodeling

Founded in 1961, Fred Case worked on his own until 10 years later, when he hired his first employee. A firm of designers, project managers, architects, craftsmen, Case has three branches: the design/remodeling firm, FRED, and ibby.com. FRED is the home-improvement team, with in-house plumbers, electricians, and craftsmen. Ibby.com helps owners virtually plan, design, and price a bathroom in minutes. Case is one of the top design-build firms in DC and has been featured in The Washington Post, Professional Remodeler, and the Washingtonian. They were named as one of the Top 500 Remodelers in 2013 and received a Master Design Award in 2014. They were also voted as one of the best places to work in DC in 2014 by The Washington Post.

Featured Projects

One recent project earned Case an Award of Excellence for Outstanding Addition from MCBA. The Washington DC addition included a kitchen and living area expansion. Custom built-in shelving was added to a new kitchen island, accented by dark wood and white cabinetry. Enough space was added for a table for four. Another recent project was a Mid-century modern kitchen remodel. The kitchen was redesigned to open up to the family gathering areas. The new kitchen included an island with a waterfall quartz counter. Unique cherry and bamboo finishes were used as accents throughout the kitchen. Updated appliances were added, as was a seaglass backsplash. This notable design earned Case another award: The 2014 MCBA Award of Excellence for Outstanding Kitchen over $75,000.

The Best Office Architects in Washington DC

Overview

Washington DC houses many kinds of offices — from startups to established global companies and government agencies. The best office architects in Washington DC know how to address the individual needs of each company and deliver them in creative ways. Many offices are housed in historic buildings, so special attention to preservation and zoning is necessary. The firms on this list have won several awards and created designs for workplaces all over the world. They are involved with every step, from evaluating a current space and finding new real estate to developing a master plan. Concerned with sustainability, these architects look to find the best way to lessen each company’s footprint.

Top Architects

10
WDG Architecture

Architects:
Managing Principals: Bob Keane, Durwood Dixon, Eric Liebmann, Jeff Morris, Rick Hammann, Sean Stadler, Siti Abdul-Rahman
Principals: Buddy Woerner, Hiro Isogai, Howard Weiss, Steven Schwartzman

Awards:
AIA President’s Award,
AIA Young Architects Award

Address:
1025 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036

About WDG Architecture

WDG is a multi-service firm that offers architecture, master planning, and interior design. With a staff of over 150 employees, WDJ has created over 500 designs, including 400M square feet of office space. The DC- and Dallas-based firm has worked in all sectors since their founding in 1938. Every level of the firm has LEED-accredited professionals. Steven Schwartzman is a principal in the DC office. Sean Stadler is the managing principal and has earned the American Institute of Architects (AIA) President’s Award and the 2011 AIA Young Architects award. In 2009, he was named one of the “rising stars of the AEC industry” by Building Design + Construction Magazine. Buddy Woerner is another principal in DC.

Featured Projects

WDG’s work on the Tompkins Builder Headquarters created a warm and accessible environment for the company. Wood and stone were used throughout the design to help reflect and diffuse lighting. A sleek lobby gives a sophisticated first impression, while the workspace area is efficient and open. Flexible aluminium-framed partitions with glass and wood doors allow for even more lighting in the central part of the workplace. WDG is also in the midst of designing Midtown Center, a 857,753-square-foot, 14-story office building located in the heart of the Central Business District. Three bridges connect the two wings. The exteriors were constructed for optimal glare mitigation and solar gain, while also allowing for maximum daylight experience. Smaller scale retail space on the ground level allows for connection into the community. A focal point of the neighborhood, Midtown Center is a new landmark in the city.

9
Hickok Cole

Architects:
Michael Hickok
Yolanda Cole

Awards:
NAIOP MD/DC Award of Merit,
IIDA Mid-Atlantic Silver Award for Interior Architecture

Address:
1023 31st Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

About Hickok Cole

Since its founding, Hickok Cole has designed over 60 million square feet of commercial and residential space. Michael Hicok is the founder of the firm and senior principal. Known for his expertise in commercial space, he has extensive experience working with many local district approval agencies, such as the Historic Preservation Review Board, the Office of Planning, and the Commission of Fine Arts. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Yolanda Cole is the other senior principal and merged her firm with Hickok Cole in 2003. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Ohio State University and her Master of Architecture from Columbia University. The firm uses a combination of innovative software tools, the model shop, and extensive research materials on every project and put an emphasis on collaboration with everyone involved.

Featured Projects

Hickok Cole’s recent worked on Shift + Link, a 500k-square-foot office space in Washington DC. The design has two towers, with shifted floorplates on the wider tower to contrast dramatically with the narrower. The two, differently sized towers allow for maximum flexibility in the workplaces. A sky conference room bridges the towers. Another project is Star and Laundry, a three lot space on 14th Street to the north of Thomas Circle. HC preserved much of the historic framework while adding a modern facade. The main office space is now occupied by Compass, a real estate company. A concurrent construction schedule took the current occupiers’ needs into consideration. The architecture reflects the lively feel of the neighborhood.

8
INTEC Group

Architects:
Keith Switzer
John Cooney

Awards:
Corporate Culture Award

Address:
1800 M Street NW, Washington DC 20036

About INTEC Group

In 1984, INTEC Group was founded — one of the first firms to integrate architecture and interior design. Today, they have offices in Fairfax, Virginia; Washington DC; Charlotte, North Carolina; and, coming soon, Raleigh, North Carolina. Keith Switzer is the president and CEO of the INTEC Group and earned his Bachelor of Science in Housing, Interior Design and Management (HIDM) at Virginia Tech. He is also a founding member of the Washington Executives Association and the Real Estate Executive Services Alliance. INTEC Group recently acquired JCA Architects, led by president and CEO John Cooney. They truly believe that architecture and innovative design can improve the human condition. Not only do they do great work, the company is also a great place to work; SmartCEO honored them with a 2017 Corporate Culture Award.

Featured Projects

INTEC Group designed PhishMe’s fun and open office space. The offices encourage collaboration and community. There is an interactive meeting and gaming area that even includes a full-sized shuffleboard. There’s also a “swag store” where employees can redeem points they have earned on the job. The new space helped the company earn the title of the “Number One Best Place to Work” by the Washington Business Journal. INTEC also earned the $1.43M bid for the ICA Language Services offices in Arlington, Virginia. The 17k-square-foot space has private areas and open gathering areas to reflect the aesthetic of the company. Glass and sliding doors were included to give more light to the classrooms. The two floors of classrooms are joined by an open stairway and public atrium.

7
Wingate Hughes Architects

Architects:
Gavin Wingate Bowie
Gavin Hughes Daniels

Address:
1010 Vermont Avenue, Suite 700, Washington DC 20005

About Wingate Hughes Architects

Wingate Hughes Architects is dedicated to “shattering the norms” of conventional interior architecture and are known for their out-of-the-box office designs. They’re especially committed to relationship-driven designing, attracting many of the entrepreneurial companies in the DC metro area. Founded in 2010, the firm always incorporates sustainability into each one of their designs. With over 17 years of architecture and interior design experience, Gavin Wingate Bowie is the co-founder and principal of the firm. He is the Architect of Record for all Wingate Hughes projects. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business and Fine Arts from Skidmore College and a Master of Architecture degree from the University of Maryland. Gavin Hughes Daniels is the other co-founder and principal. He specializes in commercial interior architecture and studied at Texas A&M University at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Featured Projects

Their work on iStrategyLabs is some of the most exciting on this list. Because the company creates digital and physical experiences for some of the biggest brands in the world, the space had to reflect that — and it does. Every corner is unique, complete with hidden passageways, a library, a hardware workshop, a production studio, a 1960s van that serves as a conference room, and a bar in the kitchen for those Friday happy hours. Their Optoro project is also excellent. The 27.5k-square-foot space is located on G Street NW. The new conference rooms have glass rolling doors that mimic those of a warehouse and give transparency to the space. There is also a multi-functional kitchen space that is used for all sorts of events, with a beautiful Garden on the Wall on the ceiling.

6
DCS Design

Architects:
Douglas Carter

Awards:
AIA Walter Taylor Award,
AASA Award,
National Energy Conservation/Owens-Corning National Award,
Northern Virginia AIA Award of Honor

Address:
8614 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 800, Tysons, Virginia 22182

About DCS Design

DCS Design calls itself one of the largest locally owned architectural and interior architectural firms in the DC Metropolitan area. Named one of the Top 50 “Rising 100 Giants” by Interior Design Magazine in 2017, they offer a variety of services and have plentiful experience in the workplace arena. Founding principal of DCS Douglas Carter has over 40 years of experience designing projects for Fortune 500 companies and educational and commercial clients. Under his leadership at DCS, the firm won over 90 awards, such as the Walter Taylor AIA and AASA Award and the National Energy Conservation/Owens-Corning National Award. Carter received the Northern Virginia AIA Award of Honor in 1998. The firm is also committed to sustainability and hosts a yearly sustainability summit in DC.

Featured Projects

One significant project is their design of CustomInk’s headquarters. The goal of the design was “community,” and connectedness is present in every aspect of the design. The 70k-square-foot office has distinct “Neighborhoods” for the different teams. The office is designed as a streetscape, with different parks, food places, and gathering areas. An outside patio is an excellent perk. Another DCS project is the ASTRO health clinic and nonprofit in Arlington. Winning a Best Interiors CREW DC award, the 30k-square-foot space offers a calming and timeless design for the oncology office. Natural materials, such as stone and wood, were used throughout the space, as well as sculptural elements in the waiting area to reflect the shape of the double helix.

5
Page

Architects:
Robert Burke
rturo Chavez
Mattia Flabian
Michael Mace
Thomas McCarthy
Lawrence Speck
James Wright

Awards:
AIA Firm of the Year,
AIA Design Award

Address:
615 M Street, NW Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036

About Page

Originally founded in Austin but now located all over the world, Page is a leader in visionary architecture. It has undergone revolutionary change as a company in its 100-year history. The Washington DC office was established in the early 1990s. Since then, they have taken on a considerable amount of commercial and government-market projects. One of their first big urban projects was The Navy League Building, which was the first Page building to achieve Silver LEED certification. Their leading presence in DC has helped them to become the go-to architects for the Department of State, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the General Services Administration. SST Planners recently joined the DC office, bringing their award-winning experience in laboratory and design planning. Page was recently named as one of the Top 30 Architect Firms in the US by Architectural Record.

Featured Projects

Located in a confidential location on the East Coast, the United Airlines Data Center was a massive project for Page. Special attention had to be paid to correctly and safely construct the data center infrastructure. The 308k-square-foot project has many phases involved, but Phase 1 includes the backup Emergency Operations Center for the main OPS center. They also completed an entire interior renovation for OPS’s own offices, which is also the headquarters of Page in DC. The 16.2k-square-foot project is a single-level office located at 1615 M Street. The design was carefully created to best reflect the multi-disciplinary firm and to ensure that it would last for many years to come. The space is mostly a neutral white, with seven bright accent colors. A benching workspace solution was used for the open office plan.

4
OTJ Architects

Architects:
Lance Jaccard
Roger Sola-Sole
Ania Leeson
Tony Martin

Awards:
AIA Virginia Award,
IIDA Mid-Atlantic Chapter Award,
NAIOP “Best Interiors” Award

Address:
555 11th Street NW, Suite 200, Washington DC 20004

About OTJ Architects

With offices in New York City and Washington DC, OTJ Architects is an interior architecture firm specializing in workplaces. They’ve worked with offices of all sizes, from startup to well-established firms. Seven different partners lead OTJ. Lance Jaccard, Roger Sola-Sole, Ania Leeson, and Tony Martin are the four studio directors. When working with a company, OTJ focuses on five factors: rate of change, real estate costs, technology, renewal or relocation, and wellness. They have also won several awards, most recently a 2017 AIA Virginia Award, a 2017 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Mid-Atlantic Chapter Award, and a 2015 NAIOP “Best Interiors” Award. Their workplace designs have also been extensively featured in Inc. Magazine, as well as Fortune Magazine.

Featured Projects

One of their most notable recent projects is Alarm.com’s new headquarters in Tyson’s Corner. It required collaborative, showcase, and workplace areas. One of the biggest perks of the office is the oxygen room, which houses live plants and trees enclosed in glass. There’s bench seating so employees can enjoy the calm atmosphere. The office kitchen also has a 350-gallon pond in the center. OTJ also worked on the renovation and expansion of the Adobe offices in DC. Because Adobe is so vibrant and technology-oriented as a brand, these aspects were incorporated into the design. Finding new ways to integrate Adobe’s technology into the design was a significant part of the process. Pops of color dominate the interior. They also had to address security needs in the design so that work would not be hindered in the future.

3
Shalom Baranes Associates

Architects:
Shalom Baranes

Awards:
AIA Award of Excellence,
DC Preservation League 45th Anniversary Award

Address:
1010 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20007

About Shalom Baranes Associates

DC-based Shalom Baranes Associates is an impressive firm in the area and the world. Founded 36 years ago, they have created projects totalling over $7B and 30M square feet. The firm has received an astounding 140 design awards. Shalom Baranes is the founding principal of the firm. His interest in revitalizing the urban landscape has made him an expert in the DC area and has made Shalom Baranes Associates a force in the historic preservation and urban planning fields. Baranes has been involved in creating designs for several skylines in the area, including Rosslyn and Baltimore, among others. One of the youngest architects ever to be inducted into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, Baranes earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture from Yale University. He also chaired the DC Architectural Review Panel.

Featured Projects

Shalom Baranes Associates worked on the ambitious Union Market Office and Theater, which reflects the food distribution and food markets that have traditionally been a part of the neighborhood. The buildings have an industrial feel and comprise of three uses: food markets (215k square feet), a theater (42k square feet), and office space (112k square feet). The market building was able to remain open during the construction. Another project is 655 New York Ave, NW, an 11-story office space located in the Mount Vernon historic district in the center of DC. There are 10 levels of above-ground office and retail space plus three levels of below-grade parking. Achieving a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold rating, the building honors the height of the other buildings in this historic district.

2
Studios Architecture

Architects:
Todd DeGarmo

Awards:
NR Mid-Atlantic Award of Merit: Office/Retail Mixed-Use Developments

Address:
1625 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

About Studios Architecture

Internationally known, Studios Architecture’s Washington DC office is a force in the area. They work with local, federal, and foreign governments, law firms, financial firms, schools, and various businesses. The firm’s CEO, Todd DeGarmo, has worked with his diverse clients (such as the Pentagon and Dow Jones) in every step of the design process. He was educated at the University of Cincinnati. A member of several boards and organizations, DeGarmo is also GSA Design Excellence Peer Reviewer and a fellow in the American Institute of Architects, and he was inducted into Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2007. The Washington DC office is located in a renovated historic school building in DC’s Central Business District. In addition to office architecture, Studios Architecture also specializes in workplace strategy to aim for top efficiency.

Featured Projects

Studios Architecture worked with Arent Fox, a DC-based law firm, to examine their current space. Studios determined that another space would serve the firm better, and they designed a new office environment. New elements included a formal reception area, a visitor-focused conference center, a seating auditorium with increased capacity, breakout areas, and reception areas for both casual and formal events. Another significant project is the Politico office space in Arlington, Virginia. After a test fit process, a building was selected for the new headquarters. The lower level is open and houses the editorial staff. Recording studios are on the wings of that level, flanking the newsroom. An interconnecting stair was constructed to lead the main level to the “collaborative zone,” a space for Politico employees.

1
Gensler

Architects:
Art Gensler
Andy Cohen
Diane Hoskins

Awards:
#1 ENR 2016 Top 150 Global Design Firms,
#1 Architectural Record 2016 Top 300.

Address:
2020 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

About Gensler

Considered the largest and one of the leading firms in the world, Gensler is a powerhouse. With over 600+ million square feet of sustainable work, Gensler is committed to sustainability. They partner with community organizations all over the world to affect social change. Co-CEOs Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins lead this formidable firm of 5,000+ employees creating in 44 offices who serve clients in over 100 countries. Cohen and Hoskins both made the Business Insider’s elite “Creators” list, a collection of the world’s 100 top creative visionaries. Gensler is an expert in workplace architecture. Gensler recently topped the list at No. 1 of the ENR 2016 Top 150 Global Design Firms. They also were the No. 1 architecture firm for Architectural Record 2016 Top 300.

Featured Projects

One of their notable workplace designs is Fried Frank, an international law firm in DC. The space has great views of the White House, which were maximized by floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Gensler also worked to add more light throughout to counter the darkness of the old office. Efficiency and flexibility were the foci of the design, as demonstrated by convertible conference rooms. Another project is their design for The Washington Post’s headquarters. Gensler took down many walls, opening up the floor plan to promote more connection and dynamic flow. A black and white color scheme is dominant, with some color pops. Open ceilings, exposed columns, and concrete capture the raw architecture of the space. Newspaper graphics and headlines are sprinkled throughout the office.

The Best Restaurant Architects in Washington DC

Overview

Washington DC is becoming a major hub for innovation and creativity in the restaurant industry, and the restaurants themselves reflect that. With a high immigration rate and the lowest median age in all states as of the 2010 census, DC residents and visitors alike flock to the varied cuisines the city has to offer. Many of the DC restaurant architects on this list have renovated historic spaces that restaurants now inhabit. They’ve also created interesting fusions of style that mirror the food being served. We’ve put this list of the best restaurant architects in Washington DC together based on the architect’s ability to deliver high-quality, award-winning, customized spaces where diners can enjoy themselves, and restaurateurs and chefs can shine.

Top Architects

//3877

Address:
3333 K Street NW, Suite 60, Washington, DC 20007

About //3877

A boutique DC-based firm, //3877 is, as one of its clients says on its website, “more than an architecture firm.” It takes into consideration all aspects of experience within a space and infuses that into the design. David Shove-Brown, partner, received his education at The Catholic University of America. He is a guest faculty member at his alma mater and has traveled throughout Europe with the Catholic University School of Architecture and Planning. Shove-Brown has received awards from the American Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) + Washington Architectural Foundation, and the American Architectural Foundation. Also earning his Bachelor of Architecture and Bachelor of Science in Architecture at the Catholic University of America is partner David Tracz. He has a special interest in hotel and restaurant design and has led several of those projects at //3877. Aside from its restaurant work, the firm has also taken on several health, wellness, hospitality, and residential projects.

Featured Projects

One of the firm’s best projects is The Smith, a New York restaurant opening its first location in DC. The design was inspired by Union Station, and that inspiration can be found in details like subway tiles that line both the floor and walls. Another interesting project was its work on Matchbox on 14th Street. The space had a long and storied history since its opening in 1907. It was once an automobile showroom, a celebrated jazz club, and, after a period of abandonment, a rehearsal space for a local theatre company. //3877 used the skeleton of the building and many of the materials on-site to bring new life to it. The 8500-square-foot, three-story restaurant has a 25-foot bar and wood-fired pizza ovens. Reclaimed wood and steel accents make up the majority of the design elements inside the brick structure.

Collective Architecture

Address:
1025 Thomas Jefferson Street NW, Suite 170B, Washington, DC 20007

About Collective Architecture

DC-based, award-winning Collective Architecture is headed by three principals. Alex Hurtado is a founding partner and principal-in-charge of design. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Howard University and later returned as a professor. Some of his former students have eventually ended up working with him at Collective. Charles Plymale is responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the firm, while Olivia Millar, who merged her firm Millar + Associates with Collective in 2016, is principal-in-charge of operations. Collective Architecture is the proud recipient of the Honor Award for projects between 60,000 and 100,000 square feet, and The Pinnacle Award—the premier award of the evening—at the 2017 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Premiere Design Awards. It has also been recognized for its other work, including winning a National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) VA Award of Excellence.

Featured Projects

DC-based, award-winning Collective Architecture is headed by three principals. Alex Hurtado is a founding partner and principal-in-charge of design. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from Howard University and later returned as a professor. Some of his former students have eventually ended up working with him at Collective. Charles Plymale is responsible for leading the day-to-day operations of the firm, while Olivia Millar, who merged her firm Millar + Associates with Collective in 2016, is principal-in-charge of operations. Collective Architecture is the proud recipient of the Honor Award for projects between 60,000 and 100,000 square feet, and The Pinnacle Award—the premier award of the evening—at the 2017 International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Premiere Design Awards. It has also been recognized for its other work, including winning a National Association of Industrial and Office Properties (NAIOP) VA Award of Excellence.

CORE

Address:
1010 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 405, Washington, DC 20007

About CORE

DC-based multi-disciplinary firm CORE architecture + design was founded in 1991 and has won over 150 awards since its inception. Principal Dale Stewart co-founded CORE. He specializes in projects in the DC area and brings nearly four decades of expertise to the table. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Maryland. Allison Cooke, principal and director of hospitality design at CORE, earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Miami University of Ohio. While leading CORE’s restaurant design projects, she is also rocketing to the top of the restaurant design industry and is constantly in demand for various speaking engagements around the country. They are joined by David Cheney, principal and director of operations. Many of the other architects on this list have worked for this firm at one point. CORE is perhaps best known for the complexity of its designs and its ability to take on projects regardless of scale. Further, it brings a spirit of exploration to each project and utilizes a “co-creative” design process which integrates client vision throughout the duration of a project. Aside from restaurants, the firm also showcases skills for mixed-use developments, public buildings, large-scale office, and residential developments. It services the entirety of the Washington metropolitan area and has also worked on numerous projects across the country.

Featured Projects

CORE has designed a multitude of restaurants within the DC metro area. Barmini, by chef José Andrés, is one of their most notable projects. Cooke notes that it has a surrealist Salvador Dalí feeling to it. The firm played with form and function by creating surprising pieces, including a comfortable, fabric chair that has the appearance of marble slabs. Its work on fast-casual prototype CAVA Grill earned them a Merit Award from AIA-Washington, DC Chapter, Fast Food from ARE, and a Gold Key Finalist, Fast-Casual Dining from Interior Design Magazine. The all-natural Mediterranean grill was built with simplicity in mind, with an edgy and industrial design. CORE’s diverse portfolio also includes the Think Food Group, Centrolina, Astoria, Founding Farmers, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace, Schlow Restaurant Group, Garces Group, Sweetgreen, Silver Diner, Mariott International, and Hilton.

Design Republica

Address:
1635 Connecticut Avenue NW, Third Floor, Washington DC 20009

About Design Republica

Formerly known as Beltran Design Group, Design Republica was founded by principals Francisco Beltran and Jeanne Jarvaise. The firm specializes in restaurant, hospitality, and retail design, especially in the DC area. While earning his Bachelor of Architecture degree and an Arts and Sciences degree from the Catholic University of America, as well as two honors programs in Europe—the Rhode Island School of Design in Italy and L’Ecole Des Beaux-Arts in France—Beltran waited tables and learned about the hospitality industry from the inside. He brings that experience to all of his designs and has worked in the restaurant architecture industry for over two decades. Design Republica has been featured in several DC publications, such as Architecture DC, the Washingtonian, and the Washington Business Journal. It offers a full and comprehensive range of services and specializes in not only architecture but also interior design and business development.

Featured Projects

Design Republica’s re-design of the restaurant Nooshi took the neighborhood’s changing demographic into consideration, and the restaurant’s revenue tripled after the reopening. The upscale lounge-feel of the restaurant makes patrons at ease, while also appealing to a sentiment of fine dining. The simple yet crisp decor, including the hanging lanterns, minimalist booths, and communal-style tables, perfectly blends function and formality. The firm’s design for the Edward Marc Chocolatier near the Pentagon helped the establishment become the highest-grossing location for the company. Design Republica likely took the product itself into consideration when designing the interior, with deep brown structures, walls, and furniture evoking the chocolate itself. Hanging light fixtures spotlight the products being sold, and the relatively open floor plan allows patrons to peruse the shop without bumping elbows.

Division 1 Architects

Address:
4106 46th Street NW, Washington, DC 20016

About Division 1 Architects

Division 1 Architects was formed in 1994. Since then, they have worked on a variety of projects and a growing number in the hospitality industry. They often take what they learn in one sector and apply it to another. Ali Reza Honarkar is a co-founder of the firm. Honarkar was educated at the University of Maryland College Park. He notes that he always rebelled against his conservative college professors, and, since then, he looks to find new ways to use space creatively. The principals and team members emphasize their philosophy: “Define architecture with distinctive, innovative and unexpected design solutions.” They use their projects to speak for themselves.

Featured Projects

Barcode is a notable project that architecture lovers enjoy for its use of granite on the ceilings. The neon lighting makes it a favorite among those that frequent the establishment. The firm also worked on the bar and nightclub Lima, which features a three-story floating wall. The wall is made of reclaimed wood, by which Honarkar has always been fascinated. Division 1 has also designed Vetro, an exclusive and sophisticated dance club located within Lima. Ping, an Asian-fusion small plates restaurant and bar in Shirlington, Virginia, also has been noticed for its elegant design. Division 1 also provided the designs for both the Naples, Florida, and Centerville, Virginia locations of Charlie Chiang’s. Their work has been featured in publications such as DC, Objekt, Deco, Home & Design, and the Washingtonian.

Grizform Design Architects

Address:
1311 Naylor Court NW, Washington, DC 20001

About Grizform Design Architects

Grizform Design Architects, founded in 2003, is a firm specializing in the hospitality design industry. Griz Dwight is the founder and principal. He first earned his Bachelor of Arts, majoring in Studio Art, from Williams College. He then went on to earn his Masters of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania. Dwight earned the 2008 AIA|DC Emerging Architect Award and was chosen as one of the Wave of the Future designers from Hospitality Design Magazine. Dwight works closely with Brittany Schapanski, Grizform’s Director of Interiors. She received a bachelor’s degree in interior design at the Colorado State University. The firm has been reviewed and mentioned in publications such as DC Magazine, Interiors & Sources, and The Washingtonian. One of their unique specialties is custom furniture, which can be seen in many of their designs around the city.

Featured Projects

Grizform honored the history of the 14th Street Corridor with their design of Radiator. Because the street was once home to staples of the automotive industry, the design reflects that with garage details and car parts on display throughout the restaurant and bar. There are several semi-private spaces for groups, as well as an outdoor space for gathering in the warmer months. This 4,000-square-foot restaurant boasts a bar area with 57 seats, as well as an outdoor shuffleboard court. Grizform’s design of the new District Distilling Company is causing everyone to pause upon walking in the door. Accents include framed paper drawings of the distilling process, wall sketches of distillery parts, and, of course, rows upon rows of bottles.

Grupo7

Address:
1322 14th Street NW, 3rd Floor, Washington DC, 20005

About Grupo7

Grupo7 was founded in 2002 by founding principals Jose Toha and Jim Cronenberg. Born in Mexico City, Toha received his master’s degree in architecture from Catholic University and has had the honor of having his work published both locally and abroad. Cronenberg, on the other hand, earned his master’s degree from Yale University and earned the AIA Henry Adams Medal upon graduation. They met each other while working at the firm ColePrevost, and have a diverse client list in the DC area, including specialty restaurants, recording spaces, unique fitness centers, and office headquarters. Like many on this list, this firm combines architecture, interior design, and as with the case with some, branding. Grupo7 has made it into many lists and into many DC and national publications, including Architectural Digest, The Washington Post, Washingtonian, Eater, Dwell Magazine, DC Modern Luxury Magazine, and more. It has also been featured on FOX 5 and on the TV program Push Pause.

Featured Projects

Zagat calls Masseria one of the Top Ten Sexiest Restaurants in DC, noting Grupo7’s collaboration with chef and owner Nick Stefanelli. The restaurant, which earned a Michelin star, has a secret patio with cozy couches and a fireplace. Industrial elements, such as a massive rust-color door, are balanced with delicate details, such as custom Mediterranean tile and Carrara marble. The outdoor eating area feels as if it’s a restaurant from another city. The bar in the restaurant has earned special acclaim Grupo7 also designed Cities, a restaurant and lounge that featured indoor and outdoor dining space in the International Square Building. Now closed, the 800-square-foot restaurant featured 310 seats with 130 of those outdoors. A long panel of backlit art ran throughout the main dining area.

HapstakDemetriou

Address:
2715 M Street NW 4th Floor Washington, DC 20007

About HapstakDemetriou

An architecture and design firm, HapstakDemetriou takes on projects of all sizes. Its founders, Olvia Demetriou and Peter Hapstak III, lead its team with a wealth of experience and knowledge. Demetriou graduated from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art and is now considered one of the experts in Washington’s growing hospitality scene. In 2000, she was selected to be in The College of Fellows of the AIA, becoming one of the youngest architects ever to be chosen for this honor. Hapstak received his Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He was actually one of the founders of CORE, another firm on this list. The founders of HapstakDemetriou used to be rivals but ended up joining forces in 2011. Now, the firm has become a trailblazer in the industry, known for its hands-on approach that emphasizes the importance of overseeing a project from start to finish.

Featured Projects

An especially noteworthy project is Capitol Hill’s Rose’s Luxury, which embodies the feeling of a French cafe in a renovated DC rowhouse. Whitewashed brick walls and exposed concrete create a soft, sophisticated atmosphere. A stunning bar area juxtaposes exposed brick, softly painted white cabinetry, and a vibrant, lime green marble countertop. The design has certainly contributed to the restaurant, which has earned several awards for food and ambiance. Its collaboration with chef Mark Furstenburg led to the creation of Bread Furst, a “baker’s workshop” in the Connecticut Ave neighborhood. The bakery has a classic minimalist feel, with top to bottom windows that allow passersby to watch the breadmaking process in real-time.

KUBE Architecture

Address:
818 18th St. NW Suite #600, Washington DC 20006

About KUBE Architecture

Kube Architecture specializes in modern designs and is best known for its designs’ emphasis on the importance of light, color, texture, and materiality. It embraces the challenges that come with daily life and commits itself to craft solutions geared towards spaces that cater to working and living in the built environment. That said, the firm makes use of only the best materials and the latest industry techniques. It is composed of a talented team of professionals who bring a unique conglomerate of experiences and various skills. The firm is also a green advocate and takes extra measures to further the movement. Whenever possible, it utilizes green elements, ensuring that its projects are energy efficient and highly sustainable. Aside from its restaurant and commercial endeavors, KUBE has also worked on several residential designs of all scales, urban design, educational facilities, religious buildings, community centers and office tenant fit-outs. Kube Architecture specializes in modern designs and is best known for its designs’ emphasis on the importance of light, color, texture, and materiality. It embraces the challenges that come with daily life and commits itself to craft solutions geared towards spaces that cater to working and living in the built environment. That said, the firm makes use of only the best materials and the latest industry techniques. It is composed of a talented team of professionals who bring a unique conglomerate of experiences and various skills. The firm is also a green advocate and takes extra measures to further the movement. Whenever possible, it utilizes green elements, ensuring that its projects are energy efficient and highly sustainable. Aside from its restaurant and commercial endeavors, KUBE has also worked on several residential designs of all scales, urban design, educational facilities, religious buildings, community centers and office tenant fit-outs.
Given this impressive background, it comes as no surprise that the firm is the proud recipient of a multitude of awards. Some of these include distinctions from the AIA. KUBE is also no stranger to media attention and has been featured in Washingtonian Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, and Home & Design Magazine /p>

Perkins & Will

Address:
8985 Venice Blvd., Unit I, Los Angeles, CA 90034

About Perkins & Will

Perkins and Will operates out of a number of offices nationwide and is known for its complete and comprehensive range of services. Its DC outfit is led by principal Tim Bakos, an experienced professional who works as the firm’s operational director for its Washington, DC and New York studios. Under his supervision, the firm’s work in the nation’s capital has further contributed to its image as a leading architectural firm. It has had the opportunity of working on some of the most multifaceted projects that demand skill and expertise, in addition to designing some of the area’s most sustainable and historic buildings. The firm’s team is present throughout the entire process and works closely with its clients. Perks and Will extends its services to a variety of markets, which aside from the restaurant and hospitality industry include the corporate, civic, cultural, health, and transportation sectors, to name a few. Its expertise for restaurant projects is best seen in its work for Bacchanalia and its gourmet market, Star Provisions. For this, the firm’s team drew heavy inspiration from the client’s cuisine and came up with this open and barn-inspired space that has a day and evening side.

Queue Design Agency

Address:
818 18th St. NW Suite #600, Washington DC 20006

About Queue Design Agency

A boutique firm based in Los Angeles and DC, Queue Design Agency has designed some of the most intriguing bars and eateries in DC. Educated as both architect and interior designer, Michael Francis is the founding principal of Queue Design Agency. Like another architect on this list, Francis also waited tables through college, learning about the restaurant industry from behind the scenes and understanding what restaurant spaces needed. He also splits his time between Los Angeles and DC, and that bi-coastal vibe can be seen in his designs. Francis is also the founding principal of PH Living, which focuses on sustainable, site-fabricated home design. Before opening his own firm, Francis worked for EEA-Erick van Egeraat in Europe and Core. Under his direct supervision, the firm offers a full and comprehensive range of design and branding services for commercial, hospitality, and residential design projects with a particular focus on concept-driven bar, restaurant, and nightclub designs. Its team is made up of not only architects but also interior designers, lighting designers, craftsmen, and LEED accredited professionals.

Featured Projects

The firm’s most well-known project is perhaps Maketto, an expansive restaurant, retail, and coffeeshop space on H Street NE. It is a 6000-square-foot revolutionary marketplace, featuring a second-story courtyard and lots of communal gathering space. QDA’s design certainly helped Maketto top many lists, including a finalist spot in the RAMMY awards and a semifinalist spot for the James Beard award. Its design for Denson Liquor Bar was inspired by a 1920s hotel and looks every bit the part. The Art Deco design features glass that was salvaged from the historic Hecht’s warehouse. Another alluring design was created for the hidden bar Harold Black. It was recognized by Architectural Digest as one of the best designed underground bars in DC.

Streetsense

Address:
1750 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 200, Washington, DC 20006

About Streetsense

Branded as a “design collective,” Streetsense is a top restaurant architecture firm in Washington DC. Brandon Diamond, the director of architecture, has worked on several large-scale projects in the city and across the world. Diamond holds three architecture degrees: one from the University of Illinois at Chicago and two from Catholic University. Bruce Leonard is the managing principal and the leader of the Architecture and Planning Studios at Streetsense. In 2014, Edit Lab, co-founded by Lauren Winter and Brian Miller, merged with Streetsense. Their specialty is chef-driven restaurants and specialty bars in diverse neighborhoods throughout DC. In addition to new restaurants, the firm has also worked with well-known brands such as Starbucks, Chipotle, Organic Avenue, and Chop’t.

Featured Projects

Streetsense has designed many of DC’s most-loved restaurants. Their work on Tail Up Goat, a 3200-square-foot, Caribbean-inspired restaurant, reflects the spirit of the US Virgin Islands. Chairs and booths were painted in yellows and blues, and murals in seascape colors evoke a pleasant maritime sentimentality. Restaurateurs and chefs often frequent Tail Up Goat, and the restaurant recently earned a Michelin star. Streetsense’s design for All-Purpose helped to make the welcoming and warm restaurant a staple in the Shaw neighborhood. The Italian pizzeria features an open kitchen, deep blue booths with wood dividers that reach the ceiling, and a custom hex tile pattern on the floor of the dining area.

The Best Commercial Architects in Washington DC

Overview

Washington DC is full of historic buildings. Many of these buildings have been preserved and revitalized for a new generation. Architects in the DC metro area are especially sensitive to restoration, as well as sustainability and creative additions to the landscape. The height of the city is limited, as dictated initially by laws inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s goal to make DC the “American Paris.” Thus, if builders are looking for fewer height restrictions, they usually go directly across the Potomac River to Virginia. Since DC is such a major city, many of the firms on this list are global. All of them, however, have put their unique stamp on the city through their designs and have worked for some well-known clientele.

Top Architects

dp+partners

Architects:
Paul S. Devrouax
Marshall Purnell

Awards:
AIA/DC Merit for Sustainability

Address:
400 7th Street, NW, Suite 204, Washington, DC 20004

About dp+partners

Paul S. Devrouax founded his first firm Devrouax and Associated in 1973, and he soon partnered with Marshall Purnell. Since then, the firm dp+partners has grown to work on projects all over the country. Their commitment to sustainable design can be seen in all of their projects, especially in the DC area. Both Devrouax and Purnell have been inducted as fellows of the American Institute of Architects. In 2006, Purnell was elected president of the National American Institute of Architects. By designing the Freddie Mac headquarters, they became the first African Americans to design a Fortune 500 company headquarters.

Featured Projects

While dp+partners is a smaller firm than some of the others on this list, they have worked on massive projects in DC. They provided the designs for the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Silver-certified Washington Nationals Baseball Stadium, which garnered them an AIA/DC Merit for Sustainability in 2008. The ballpark was built on track and on budget in 23 months. Dp+partners also built the $182M Verizon Center, which included state-of-the-art space for athletic events, live events, and office space. The design included a technologically advanced arena for NBA/WNBA Basketball, NHL Hockey, and other events, such as the circus. There is also 20k square feet of office space for the owner, restaurants, retail, and a sports museum, plus parking on two levels and underground connection to the Metro.

Hickok Cole

Architects:
Michael Hickok
Yolanda Cole

Awards:
NAIOP MD/DC Award of Merit,
Shaw Contract Group Design Is… Award,
IIDA Mid-Atlantic Silver Award

Address:
1023 31st Street, NW Washington, DC 20007

About Hickok Cole

Since its founding, Hickok Cole has designed over 60M square feet of commercial and residential space. Founder and senior principal of the firm, Michael Hickok is known for his expertise in commercial space. he has extensive experience working with many local district approval agencies, such as the Historic Preservation Review Board, the Office of Planning, and the Commission of Fine Arts. He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Pennsylvania and his Master of Architecture from Harvard University. Yolanda Cole is the other senior principal and merged her firm with Hickok Cole in 2003. Her high-rise building design skill is evident through her work on the high-profile Chifley Tower in Sydney, Australia. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Ohio State University and her Master of Architecture from Columbia University.

Featured Projects

Hickok Cole is currently developing a redesign of the International Spy Museum. At 800 F Street NW in L’Enfant Plaza, this landmark museum houses the largest number of artifacts from espionage across the globe. The new museum will boast 140k square feet and double its floor space, making room for a multi-use lecture hall and theater, as well as a multifunction event space. With its soaring height, it will provide breathtaking views of the city. The first phase of construction is currently underway for Hickok Cole’s work on the American Geophysical Union, which involved complex preservation issues. Their work on the Democratic National Committee Headquarters earned them a NAIOP MD/DC Award of Merit, Best Urban Renovation in 2006. Hickok Cole’s design work for NPR’s headquarters won them the Shaw Contract Group Design Is… Award for Large Office and the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) Mid-Atlantic Silver Award for Interior Architecture, Educational and Institutional.

DCS Design

Architects:
Douglas Carter

Awards:
AIA Walter Taylor Award,
AASA Award,
National Energy Conservation/Owens-Corning National Award,
Northern Virginia AIA Award of Honor

Address:
8614 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 800, Tysons, VA 22182

About DCS Design

DCS Design calls itself one of the largest locally owned architectural and interior architectural firms in the DC metropolitan area. It was just named one of the Top 50 “Rising 100 Giants” by Interior Design Magazine in 2017. They offer a variety of services and have plentiful experience in the commercial arena. A founding principal of DCS, Douglas Carter has over 40 years of experience designing projects for Fortune 500 companies and educational and commercial clients. Under his leadership at DCS, the firm won over 90 awards. Some of those were the Walter Taylor American Institute of Architects (AIA) and AASA Award and the National Energy Conservation/Owens-Corning National Award. Carter received the Northern Virginia AIA Award of Honor in 1998. The firm is also committed to sustainability and hosts a yearly sustainability summit in DC.

Featured Projects

One of their featured projects is their LEED Gold-certified design for the 55 M Street SW project. DCS constructed a flexible office space built over an existing and operative transit station. A nod to the transportation landmark is incorporated into the design by a 55-foot cantilever over the entrance. The space itself is 350k square feet, with an 85k-square-foot garage below grade. Close to the Washington Nationals Stadium, the space is integral to the Half Street Development. Another notable design is the 635k-square-foot Human Genome Sciences building in Maryland, which boasts an atrium with a human cell garden. The undulating reflective glass on the exterior was chosen to reflect the creative energy coming from within the building. Special attention was paid to conceal the ventilation systems and hoods from the biotech laboratories.

GTM Architects

Architects:
Richard Conrath
David Konapelsky
Jeff Whitman

Awards:
FRED Modern Masterpiece Award
Frederick County Landmarks Foundation Historic Preservation Award
NAIOP Award of Merit for Best Renovation
AIA MD Award
Pro Remodeler Silver Design Award

Address:
7735 Old Georgetown Road, Suite 700, Bethesda, MD 20814

About GTM Architects

GTM Architects is a full-service design firm with offices in Bethesda, MD and Washington, DC that specializes in commercial and residential architecture. The firm is set up as collaborative studios headed by the experts in those specialized areas. Their commercial studio has completed diverse projects, such as retail, restaurant, transit, and recreational facilities. George T. Myers is the president and founder of GTM Architects. He holds a Bachelor of Science and Master of Architecture from the University of Maryland. Rick Conrath, the principal who leads the Commercial Studio, received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Houston and a Master of Science in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University.

Featured Projects

One of GTM’s current noteworthy projects is DC’s Union Station. Since it is a National Historic Landmark, Nationally Registered Historic Place, and National Treasure, GTM was involved in a long review process to renovate the 386k-square-foot Main Hall. GTM donated their services to restoring the Avalon Theater, built in 1922, which is the oldest surviving movie theater in Washington, DC. They used historical documents and photographs to best replicate the original design in the new work. Winning several awards for their residential and historic preservation work, GTM’s commercial studio was recently awarded the 2020 FRED Modern Masterpiece Award, 2019 Frederick County Landmarks Foundation Historic Preservation Award, 2018 NAIOP Award of Merit for Best Renovation, and the 2016 Silver Design Award for Commercial Remodel from Pro Remodeler Design Awards. Having already completed Phase I, they’re currently working on Phase II of Union Mills, a 53k-square-foot mixed-use complex in Frederick, MD.

Quinn Evans Architects

Architects:
Mike Quinn
Diane Cho
Anath Ranon

Awards:
Baltimore Heritage Award,
DC Office of Planning and DC Preservation League State Historic Preservation Officer’s Award,
AIADC Award of Excellence,
AIADC Award in Architecture,
AIA Potomac Valley Honor Award

Address:
2121 Ward Place, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20037

About Quinn Evans Architects

Starting as a two-man studio, Quinn Evans Architects has grown to boast 22 principals with offices in four major cities. Their specialties are extensive, including adaptive use, cultural landscapes, and modern era preservation. Diane Cho, a principal who uses this integrated approach, recently won the Baltimore Heritage Award for her project Open Works, a two-story warehouse providing space for manufacturing, artists, and startups. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from Cornell. Another principal, Anath Ranon, combines her interest of historic preservation with a passion for adaptive reuse. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Architecture from UC Berkeley and her master’s degree from Harvard University.

Featured Projects

Featured projects demonstrate QEA’s trademark integral approach. Their work on the National Academy of Sciences received several awards, such as the 2013 State Historic Preservation Officer’s Award, DC Office of Planning and DC Preservation League, and 2014 the Award of Excellence in Historic Resources, AIADC. They also completed the Mosaic Community services project, which was a 30k-square-foot renovation for a community-based mental health facility. QEA renovated the Old City Hall in Richmond, Virginia, by putting a contemporary twist on an old design through sustainability and restoration. QEA modernized the Benjamin Franklin Museum, set on the site of Franklin’s home in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which earned the 2014 AIADC Award in Architecture and 2014 AIA Potomac Valley Honor Award.

Studios Architecture

Architects:
Todd DeGarmo

Awards:
NR Mid-Atlantic Award of Merit

Address:
1625 M Street, NW Washington, DC 20036

About Studios Architecture

Studios Architecture is an international firm, but their Washington DC office is a force in the area, working with local, federal, and foreign governments; law firms; financial firms; schools; and various businesses. Todd DeGarmo is the firm’s CEO and has worked with his diverse clients (such as the Pentagon and Dow Jones) at every step of the design process. He was educated at the University of Cincinnati. A member of several boards and organizations, DeGarmo is also GSA Design Excellence Peer Reviewer, a Fellow in the American Institute of Architects, and was inducted into Interior Design Magazine’s Hall of Fame in 2007.

Featured Projects

Studios Architecture’s commercial projects are varied and numerous. Their Association of American Medical College’s 265k-square-foot headquarters project in DC earned the firm a ENR Mid-Atlantic Award of Merit: Office/Retail Mixed-Use Developments in 2014. Their innovative renovation work on the Pentagon gives the the space the capability to change every four years with every new Joint Chief of Staff. In 2009, they were awarded the design contract to relocate the Non-Governmental Organization’s Treasury and Finance Departments (named Project 2010). In doing so, they planned every aspect of the building, which was LEED platinum certified. An interesting study Studios Architecture recently completed was the American Institute of Architects Headquarters in Washington DC. Recognized by their peers for their design excellence, Studio Architecture designed a renovation that would aim for carbon neutrality by 2030.

Shalom Baranes Associates

Architects:
Shalom Baranes

Awards:
AIA Award of Excellence, DC Preservation League 45th Anniversary Award

Address:
1010 Wisconsin Avenue NW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20007

About Shalom Baranes Associates

The stats of DC-based Shalom Baranes Associates are impressive. Since its founding 36 years ago, the firm has created projects totalling over $7B and 30M square feet. Shalom Baranes Associates has received an astounding 140 design awards, including recognition from the AIA, DC Preservation League, Washington Building Congress, Design-Build Institute of America, and the Mayor’s Award. Shalom Baranes is the founding principal of the firm. His interest in revitalizing the urban landscape has made him an expert in the DC area and has made Shalom Baranes Associates a force in the historic preservation and urban planning fields. One of the youngest architects ever to be inducted into the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows, Baranes earned his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Architecture degrees from Yale University. He also chaired the DC Architectural Review Panel.

Featured Projects

This major firm has designed and completed many complex projects in the DC metro area. Their work on the National Landmark 575k-square-foot American Red Cross Historic Headquarters won them an Award of Excellence for Extraordinary Achievement in Historic Preservation from AIA in 2006. They also renovated the Warner Theatre, constructed in 1924, two blocks away from the White House. Now a mixed-use complex, the design won several awards, including a recent 45th Anniversary Award in Historic Preservation from the DC Preservation League. Another unique undertaking was The Yards at Southeast Federal Center, in which the firm revitalized the underused waterfront and turned it into an outdoor area for the community. It was one of the first projects in the country to receive a LEED Gold certification for Neighborhood Development.

Baskervill

Architects:
Bob Clark
Burt Pinnock

Awards:
Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design, Architectural Record 300, ENR 500

Address:
1010 Vermont Avenue NW, Suite 400, Washington DC 20005

About Baskervill

Founded in Richmond, Virginia, in 1897, today Baskervill is one of the nation’s oldest continually operating architectural firms with a growing global footprint. We offer creative architectural, interior design, and MEP engineering solutions to a varied client base, from hotels and resorts, to workspaces, healthcare facilities, higher education institutions and more. While a sense of history grounds us, it’s the idea that design can solve problems of the future that keeps our creative teams inspired. That’s what’s continued to connect our firm with exceptional clients resulting in award-winning work over our 120 years in business. Today, we’re more than 145 employees strong, with a 94% repeat-client base. Those numbers matter.
We design spaces that empower ideas & connect people. We’re not defined by a particular aesthetic; instead, we work with clients to make their space a reflection of who they are. We believe great design is the result of asking the right questions, listening with an open mind, and creating with our clients – not for them. As a multi-disciplinary design firm we offer a mix of services tailored to the needs of our clients and their individual projects.

Featured Projects

One of the firm’s most notable projects in an addition and renovation to the Virginia Capitol in 1904, which added the eastern and western wings to increase space for the growing government. More recently, the firm was honored with two finalists in the Gold Key Awards for Excellence in Hospitality Design for the Glass Light Hotel & Gallery, Autograph Collection Hotels in Norfolk, Virginia and the AC Charlotte SouthPark in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as a GRACRE Real Estate Award for Industrial Project of the Year for Polykon Manufacturing. The firm is currently working on diverse projects including William & Mary’s Memorial to the Enslaved, the Pamunkey Indian Tribe’s Norfolk, Virginia casino, and the Better Housing Coalitions Colbrook housing development, among many others.

Beyer Blinder Belle

Architects:
John H. Beyer
Frederick A. Bland

Awards:
American Architecture Award,
Associated General Contractors of America National Merit Award,

Address:
3307 M Street NW, Suite 301, Washington, DC 20007

About Beyer Blinder Belle

Beyer Blinder Belle was founded on the principle of architecture empowering people—and how it moves and functions within their world. The firm is based both in New York City and Washington, DC. John H. Beyer is the founding partner and Frederick A. Bland was the first partner to join the founders. Beyer earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture from Harvard University, while Bland earned both at Yale University. The firm has been featured in several publications, such as Surface Magazine, Contract Magazine, Interior Design Magazine, Architect Magazine, and Time Magazine. It has also been honored with awards from the AIA, Washington Building Congress, Docomomo US, Society of American Registered Architects, Historic House Trust, and to name a few.

Featured Projects

Beyer Blinder Belle is involved in a large amount of civic, cultural, and commercial projects. An especially notable project is their work on the US Diplomacy Center and Museum, which is located at the State Department Headquarters in Washington DC. The design includes exhibits that display real-time information between the embassies and other exhibits around the world. The 15,400-square-foot lobby opens up into an expansive exhibition pavilion and gallery spaces. BBB also completed a Comprehensive Building Plan for the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. These plans have included repairs, capital projects, and upgrades through 2022. The multi-disciplinary project includes many aspects: building systems, theater functionality, and acoustics. Every component of this state-of-the-art performing space was examined.

Gensler

Architects:
Art Gensler
Andy Cohen
Diane Hoskins

Awards:
#1 at ENR 2016 Top 150 Global Design Firms,
#1 at Architectural Record 2016 Top 300.

Address:
2020 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20006

About Gensler

Considered the largest and one of the leading firms in the world, Gensler is a powerhouse. With over 600M square feet of sustainable work, Gensler is committed to sustainability. It takes the time to partner with community organizations all over the world to affect social change. It is led by Andy Cohen and Diane Hoskins, two formidable co-CEOs. They lead over thousands of employees, creating in 44 offices, and serving clients in over 120 countries. Cohen and Hoskins both made the Business Insider’s elite “Creators” list, a collection of the world’s 100 top creative visionaries. Gensler topped the list at #1 of the ENR 2016 Top 150 Global Design Firms. It was also the #1 architecture firm for Architectural Record 2016 Top 300.

Featured Projects

Gensler has several noteworthy projects in their esteemed portfolio. Partnering with the Pentagon Memorial Fund, they created a series of plans and a capital campaign book for the 9/11 Pentagon Visitor Education Center. Gensler’s work with the Federal Government Agency has not only provided the agency with renovations and relocations, but has also saved it over $29M in real estate costs over 10 years. A recent exciting project was a collaboration with the Washington 2024 to propose designs for Olympic facilities for the 2024 US city bid. Another recent interesting DC project is 99M, a high-end commercial space in the booming Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. An interesting feature of the exterior is folded, staggered metal panels that serve as a contrast to many of the standard buildings in the area.

KUBE Architecture

Address:
818 18th St. NW Suite #600, Washington DC 20006

About KUBE Architecture

Kube Architecture specializes in modern designs and is best known for its designs’ emphasis on the importance of light, color, texture, and materiality. It embraces the challenges that come with daily life and commits itself to craft solutions geared towards spaces that cater to working and living in the built environment. The firm also makes use of only the best materials and the latest industry techniques. It is composed of a talented team of professionals who bring a unique conglomerate of experiences and various skills. The firm is a green advocate and takes extra measures to further the movement. Whenever possible, it utilizes green elements, ensuring that its projects are energy efficient and highly sustainable. Aside from its commercial endeavors, KUBE has also worked on several restaurants, residential designs of all scales, urban design, educational facilities, religious buildings, community centers, and office tenant fit-outs.

Featured Projects

Its best work is embodied by the project above. Completed for the Woven Culture Peace Corps, this space won the firm the 2017 Northern Virginia AIA Award and the 2016 AIA/DC Unbuilt Merit Award. It features a wooden bamboo structure that serves as an active place of social interaction, tying the site together. Bamboo was selected for its sustainability and quality.

OTJ Architects

Address:
555 11th St. NW Suite #200, Washington DC 20004

About OTJ Architects

Operating out of offices in Washington, New York, Florida, California, and Massachusetts, OTJ Architects is a premier architecture firm best known for its award-winning designs and complete range of services. It has been in business for the past three decades and is known not only for its commercial projects, but also its endeavors in the corporate, government, arts and entertainment, as well as nonprofit sectors. The firm is led by its CEO Lance Jaccard, an experienced professional who received his Masters in Architecture from Clemson University. He is joined by a talented team that includes a fellow of the AIA and several green-certified professionals, making its projects both sustainable and energy-efficient. Together they have worked on a multitude of interesting projects and do not limit themselves to any particular designs, showcasing a rich portfolio of varying complex themes.

Featured Projects

The firm’s craftsmanship may be best seen in its work for the Howard Theater. First built in 1910, this theater was once at the center of a vibrant African American community. It has had the privilege of being the stage of legends like Ella Fitzgerald and the Supremes and with the firm’s guiding hand throughout its latest renovation, now features its original exteriors and an all-new 600-seat multi-purpose, performing arts hall.

The Best Interior Designers in Washington DC

Overview

The interior designers on this list are not only the top designers in Washington DC, but also in the nation and worldwide. Many note that their style is influenced by both classical and modern elements. Statement furnishings, as well as custom fabrics, are go-tos for these interior designers. Many of these designers have also collaborated with home furnishing companies, as well as started their own unique collections. Perhaps not so surprisingly, a few of these designers started their professional careers as lawyers before switching to interior design — reflective of one of DC’s top industries. That breadth of knowledge and precision is present in their designs. Their work has been published in a variety of websites and print magazines.

Top Designers

10
Residents Understood

Designer:
Kiera Kushlan
Jessica Centella

Address:
2126 Connecticut Ave NW #9, Washington, DC 20008

About Residents Understood

A firm founded by two young professionals, Residents Understood’s focus is on clients like them in the bustling city of Washington DC. Kiera Kushlan and Jessica Centella both founded the firm. They met at the University of Florida, where they attended graduate school for interior design. Kushlan calls herself a wallpaper connoisseur, while Centella has a fondness for fonts. They offer various levels of service for demographic, including a “remote redesign” option to assist people virtually. They’re especially interested in providing people a personalized design process. Though a relatively new firm (founded in 2010), their projects have already been featured in the Washington Post, Modern Luxury DC Magazine, Refinery29, Southern Living Magazine, Better Homes and Gardens Refresh Magazine, and the Washingtonian.

Featured Projects

Kushlan’s own design for her personal apartment is especially creative. The 1,200-square-foot apartment is in a building from 1910. The design honored the original moldings and wood floors. Because the space was renovated multiple times, many original elements had been stripped away, so herringbone floors, molding, five panel doors, and the fireplace were included in the vision. Residents Understood also designed a Wesley Heights home. A dark-navy Shaker style in the kitchen was the original jumping off point for the design. A unique, hand-painted clay backsplash is a favorite feature there. The family room was also painted in dark blue to complement the kitchen’s cabinets. They also removed a breakfast nook to create more pantry space and a bar area for gatherings.

9
Lauren Liess

Designer:
Lauren Liess

Address:
Great Falls, VA

About Lauren Liess

Lauren Liess runs her interior design firm and textiles company with her husband, David, right outside DC in Great Falls, Virginia. Their style is self-described as “relaxed luxury.” Liess’s childhood love of botany led to her creation of her own fabrics. Wildflowers and unique plant life are of special interest to her. She’s known for including these organic elements in her designs in order to relax the typical tailored style in the DC metro area. She started her popular blog Pure Style Home in 2008. Liess also wrote a book, Habitat: The Field Guide to Decorating, which was published in 2015. Lauren and David are also done with the new HGTV pilot Best House on the Block, which focuses on giving suburban homes a face-lift through creative interior design, and currently working on the first full season.

“Just out of college I was working in public relations and began decorating my first apartment. One day I realized I realized how much more I loved decorating than my job and decided to make a change. I enrolled in a distance learning design course at the New York School of Interior Design and eventually began taking on clients. My hope was for it to be a part-time career but that didn’t last long and eventually, we grew to the point where my husband decided to leave his job and come work for the company too.” – Lauren Leiss

Featured Projects

Their Fox Vale project is an especially beautiful and dear design, as it was the home of Lauren and David themselves until 2 years ago. The house was built in the 1970s, and they stripped it down to the studs. With the use of wooden details and one-of-a-kind textiles, the space is warm and inviting. A gorgeous light fixture in the living area is a noteworthy aspect of the design, as is wall-to-wall bookcases in the library. The master suite features a curated wall of framed pictures. The home was featured in Domino Magazine in 2014. Another project is their Consulate Revival. By removing dropped ceilings, old carpeting, and commercial finishes, this former consulate took on a whole new style with new fabrics and finishes, as well as re-upholstery and repainting.

“Nature. I don’t think there’s anything more beautiful than what’s outside. I love to bring the outdoors inside by using natural elements and attempting to blur the lines between in and out through architecture.” – Lauren Leiss

8
Zoe Feldman Design

Designer:
Zoe Feldman

Address:
1052 Potomac Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

About Zoe Feldman Design

A boutique interior design firm in Washington DC, Zoe Feldman Design has been recognized nationally. Feldman studied design at Parsons School of Design. After school, she worked for four years as a designer for Alexa Hampton at the top NYC-based design firm, Mark Hampton, Inc. As an iVillage Home and Garden expert, she has written several pieces on decorating and appeared on the television show iVillage LIVE. She has also appeared on the Today show. She earned a “One to Watch” award from the DC Design Center in 2011. Most recently, she has designed houses in the Washington DC area, NYC, the Hamptons, and South Florida. Her work has been featured in Best of DC (Runner-Up for Best Interior Decorator), The Washington Post, Lifetime, and Apartment Therapy, among others.

Featured Projects

For her DC DesignCenter Dream Home room inspired by a gold and diamond ring from Shah and Shah Appraisers, Feldman started with marbleized gold, silver, and cream wallpaper in this master suite. She then dressed the bed in luxurious covers, which she notes is one of the most important features of a bedroom. Gold accents are present throughout the room, especially in a unique coffee table. Yellow accents provided by benches at the foot of the bed give a pop to the room as a whole. Feldman’s own apartment has been featured on several websites. Feldman started with the paint colors throughout the 1,200-square-foot apartment. Each door was repainted to be a decorative point in the home. Classic furniture is paired with eclectic artwork.

7
Lori Graham

Designer:
Lori Graham

Address:
1412 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

About Lori Graham

Lori Graham founded her firm and lifestyle showroom in Washington DC. She has described her style as “old warm charm with urban flair” and “SoHo-Boho.” She rocketed to the top of her industry when one of her projects landed on the cover of Metropolitan Home in 2007, and she was designated as one of five top young designers of the “Who’s Next” issue. More recently, Luxe + Gold named her on their 2014 Gold List — a collection of top designers across the nation. Her showroom contains unique collections from all over the world, in addition to her own collection, LG Place. Graham studied art history at Georgetown University and design at the Corcoran School of Art. Prior to designing, she practiced law in Washington DC.

Featured Projects

A recent project was her work on a townhome. The family had four children under the age of 10, so Graham was tasked with making the space more open and kid-friendly, while still looking elegant. Graham focused on multi-functional spaces, such as a homework room/mudroom off of the kitchen. The walls pop with a deep turquoise and warm yellow. Her showroom, Showroom 1412, embodies a classy West Hollywood vibe, which is in contrast to the normal DC style. The showroom is a hybrid design boutique and art gallery. Graham’s idea is to have the space, which is full of chic pieces, inspire people when they come in and encourage them to bring those ideas back to their homes.

6
Paul Corrie Interiors

Designer:
Paul Corrie

Awards:
Traditional Home Favorite Young Traditional Designer of the Year

Address:
1739 Kenyon Street NW, Washington, DC 20010

About Paul Corrie Interiors

Established in 2005, Paul Corrie Interiors has been recognized both regionally and nationally. While his designs are more contemporary, they are still influenced by the elegant and historical style of the DC neighborhoods. Paul Corrie received the honor of being chosen as “Favorite Young Traditional Designer of the Year” by Traditional Home in 2010. The firm was added to Luxe Interiors + Design’s Gold List for 2014. In 2012, Corrie opened a brick and mortar home furnishings studio in DC. One can find one-of-a-kind vintage and antique goods that Corrie personally curates from flea markets, estate sales, and dealers worldwide. He is interested in making high-quality items available, affordable, and accessible. His work has been published in several publications, as well as on HGTV’s Small Space, Big Style.

Featured Projects

An exquisite design is the Mount Pleasant residence, Corrie’s own residence. Because the row house only receives light from the back and front, he started with a lighter color palette. This included furnishings with ivory fabrics and raw wood with lighter undertones. The living space boasts a tailored couch covered in Ultrasuede. A major renovation in the kitchen was necessary, and a white palette gave the space a modern update. Another noteworthy project is the Foxhall Crescent Renovation. Corrie transformed the five-bedroom, five-bath residence into a sophisticated space. Glamourous touches were included all throughout the home, especially a disco ball-like light fixture in the dining area. Unique window fixtures were installed to allow for more light.

5
Darlene Molnar

Designer:
Darlene Molnar

Awards:
Home & Design Hot New Talent

Address:
11317 Bright Pond Lane, Reston, VA 20194

About Darlene Molnar

Darlene Molnar founded her firm in 2011 after working at firms in the UK and US. Educated at Parsons New School of Design in Paris, Sotheby’s Institute of Art in London, and the Royal Academy in Copenhagen, she earned her Master of Arts degree in Interior Design from the Corcoran College of Art & Design. Molnar is NCIDQ certified and LEED accredited, with a specialization in interior design and construction. She has collaborated with Crate & Barrel and Umbra. Formally, a professional member of and national media spokesperson for the American Society of Interior Designers and an adjunct instructor in the Interior Architecture & Design Department at George Washington University, Molnar has also been featured on HGTV. She was also named a “Hot New Talent” by Home & Design.

“Ever since I was a kid I wanted to be an interior designer, but my got my professional start after grad school when I was laid off during the economic downturn in 2009. I started doing small projects here and there, which turned into bigger projects, referrals, and repeat clients that has grown ever since.” -Darlene Molnar

Featured Projects

Her design for her previous Mid-century residence holds a mixture of vintage finds, DIY items, and typographical details. An old DC metro bus map serves as a main focal point in the kitchen. Molnar collaborated with her father, a leather maker, to design a custom Bertoia chair. She also designed a quiet space on the small balcony of the unit, which overlooks the building’s courtyard. Her biggest splurge was reupholstering a Mies van der Rohe side chair in a wool plaid fabric by Paul Smith for Maharam. She also designed a bold kitchen for HGTV’s Showhouse Showdown. The kitchen featured painted lime green walls with stainless steel appliances. She also used prominent floral accents. New light fixtures were installed to make the space brighter over the island. Spacious cabinet space was installed to allow for maximum storage.

I can’t help but look at the backgrounds in movies and on tv shows.  I am currently loving the set of the new Will & Grace – it’s masculine and cozy and full of details. –Darlene Molnar

4
Kelley Proxmire, Inc.

Designer:
Kelley Proxmire

Awards:
Designers’ Choice Hall of Fame

Address:
4519 Wetherill Road, Bethesda, MD 20816

About Kelley Proxmire, Inc.

In her 20-plus-year career, Kelley Proxmire brings a passion for interior design that began in her pre-teen years as she observed interior designers transform her parents’ home. She went on to study the work of classic greats such as Billy Baldwin, laying the foundation for a design style that incorporates pretty, yet practical elements. Kelley has developed a matchless eye for crafting tailored traditional interiors, exuding warmth and hospitality while maintaining excellent balance, proportion and scale. Her love of color is combined with an appreciation for the sophistication of white and the elegance of black. Adept at mixing traditional pieces with unexpected finds, Kelley creates environments that are attuned to the client’s world and faithful to the architecture and setting of a home. Kelley was named the 2016 Designers’ Choice Hall of Fame Designer by Home & Design magazine and has participated in 25 show houses in 16 years. Her work has been featured in numerous local and national publications including Traditional Home, Southern Home, Southern Living, Luxe, Coastal Living, Washingtonian and The Washington Post Magazine, among others.

Featured Projects

A project featured in Home & Design is a residence in Vienna, Virginia. Proxmire started with a palette of mostly primary colors, which set the tone for the rest of the house. She connected the rooms through this flow of color, but decreased the intensity for the master bedroom with calming blues and greens. The children’s rooms are a bit more vibrant, and Lilly Pulitzer duvets inspired the design for one. Proxmire’s designs were featured in the 2016 DC Design House, which selects top DC designers to design a room in a residence. She designed the family room, which she painted a warm coral hue. Splashes of blue, white, and gray accent the room. There’s also a grand fireplace, one of five in the home.

3
J.D. Ireland

Designer:
Joe Ireland
Julie Weber Gligor

Address:
1508 19th Street NW, Washington, DC 20036

About J.D. Ireland

Founded by Joe Ireland and Julie Weber Gligor, this Dupont Circle-based design firm is well known and sought after. The founders met in 1991, and after discovering a shared love for design and a similar aesthetic, they decided to combine forces. Ireland is self-taught and learned as an apprentice, while Weber Gligor has a degree in interior architecture from Marymount University. J.D. Ireland’s work can be spotted in local and national publications. House Beautiful named them on their “Next Wave” of top national design firms list, and H&D Portfolio recently awarded them a Top Interior Designer honor. They have extensive experience designing interiors for both residences and retail spaces. Partner Edith Gregson and Senior Designer Claudia Sans Werner also contribute their knowledge and expertise to the team.

Featured Projects

Their work on a Woodley Park row house is outstanding. A granite-topped bar replaced a wall to the kitchen, and sturdy, kid-friendly furnishings were used throughout the home. The dining area is especially stunning, with a Grange table, transparent Philippe Starck ghost chairs, and a Baker pendant. Their design for their own firm’s offices in Dupont Circle are also excellent. The bright and airy row house needed some updates. The main level of the house is a library, and architectural columns were placed around the windows. There is also a 10-foot table that allows for maximum gathering space, as well as a private area to meet clients. They paid special attention to unique furnishings and striking fabrics.

2
Thomas Pheasant

Designer:
Thomas Pheasant

Awards:
Design Icon Award,
International Designer of the Year,
Architectural Digest Dean of American Design Award

Address:
1029 33rd Street NW, Washington, DC 20007

About Thomas Pheasant

With over 30 years of interior design experience, Thomas Pheasant is known all over the world. He opened his own firm at age 24. Based in DC, he was honored by Architectural Digest US with the distinction “Dean of American Design” in 2005. He has several furniture design collections, including the Thomas Pheasant Collection for Baker, Thomas Pheasant Collection for McGuire, and his own collection, Thomas Pheasant STUDIO. Notably, he was the first American designer invited to exhibit his custom furniture at the Pavillon des Antiquaires et des Beaux Arts in Paris. Pheasant was also awarded the Andrew Martin International Designer of the Year Award. In 2016, he received the Design Icon award. Notably, he has been named on the AD100 list several times. He also has published a book called Simply Serene: The New Luxury for Modern Interiors.

Featured Projects

One of Pheasant’s recent and most interesting projects is work on the Blair House, the President’s Guest House on Pennsylvania Avenue across from the White House. He had to account for earthquake damage and also revitalize the guest rooms with a modern flair. He also designed BET’s co-founder Sheila Johnson’s home in Virginia’s Fauquier County. The property, called Salamander Farms, contains various homages to the salamander. Pheasant designed the home to be a serene retreat for the non-stop businesswoman. He designed custom rugs with nature motifs to connect with the nature surrounding the 177 acres. The color palette includes chocolate, ivory, and pale blue. In the rear of the lower level is a gallery space with grand French doors to allow for the many gatherings Johnson enjoys holding. Pheasant also included oversize sculptures of apples, cherries, and oranges in the kitchen and the view-filled breakfast room.

1
Darryl Carter

Designer:
Darryl Carter

Address:
1320 9th Street NW, Washington, DC 20001

About Darryl Carter

Now one of the foremost and sought after interior decorators in the country, Darryl Carter has had an interesting path to interior design. Starting as a lawyer, Carter redid and flipped real estate on the weekends. After one of the properties he was living in was featured on the cover of Metropolitan Home, he received a number of calls asking for private commissions. He notes his style icon as a cross between John Pawson and Thomas Jefferson. His first book, The New Traditional, covers modern sensibility with a classical aesthetic. He also has a second book, The Collected Home. Carter has collections with The Urban Electric Company, Benjamin Moore, and Baker Furniture. Carter was named on the AD100 list in 2016 and his work has been featured in several publications, such as Architectural Digest, Metropolitan Home, Elle Decor, O at Home, and InStyle Home.

Featured Projects

Carter notes that one of his dream projects was designing his own showroom and design studio. He renovated a mid 19th-century building, which became the showroom, and a carriage house (some parts dated back to the Civil War), which turned into the design studio. In between the spaces is a courtyard with a gathering and gallery space. The existing masonry was kept whenever possible, and crisp, white walls brought a modern touch to the space. Another noteworthy project is the Darryl Carter Collection for Milling Road. Combining classical looks with clean lines, the mid-20th century furniture collection includes case goods, textiles, upholstery, lighting, and accessories. He incorporates juxtaposition into many of the items in the collection, which can exclusively be found at Baker in DC’s Cady’s Alley.