This list includes both licensed architects and residential designers who can both design stunning homes but differ in other services offered. Architects are trained in design, engineering, and project management and have passed a licensing exam. Residential designers typically don’t manage projects and plans will need to be approved by a structural engineer. Whether you choose to hire an architect or a residential designer will depend on your project needs and complexity.
Todd L. Heirls
Kevin H. Anderson
Denver Mayor’s Awards
1525 Raleigh Street, Suite 320, Denver, CO 80204
About ArcWest Architects
ArcWest Architects is an emerging player in the Denver architecture and design scene. At the core of the firm’s philosophy is the belief that design should be progressive and innovative. Since 2006 ArcWest has created an impressive portfolio that includes residential spaces, as well as commercial, restaurant, warehouse, and corporate structures. A hands-on principal, founding Partner Todd L. Heirls collaborates directly with senior management and even gets involved in the project execution of some of its works. As an expert welder, he often steps in to complete custom steel details. ArcWest’s other founding partner, Kevin H. Anderson, brings over 25 years of experience as a licensed Colorado architect and enjoys working on a wide scope of projects that represent the diversity of the field. The firm’s overall portfolio introduces a versatile and cutting-edge take on residential design. It includes new homes, porches and patios, and additions and renovations.
The design for the Antelope Lane residence was intended to take full advantage of the stunning views to the west of the Rampart Range and Pikes Peak. Colorado architects need to understand how to maximize visual access to the outdoors: ArcWest is always up to the task. Blending a contemporary and Craftsman aesthetic, the structure features a wraparound porch, handsome wainscot on the foundational layer of the home, and plenty of glorious, large, glass windows. For another project—the N. Pecos Street home in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood—the firm focused on the home’s efficiency and modern appeal. Exterior spaces were designed to make use of passive winter sun and to provide shade relief from summer heat. The ground-level patio accesses both the living and dining areas, and a balcony connected to the master bedroom creates a private lounge area. Two-tone, hard stucco siding, a stone wainscot, and a lower-level fireplace creates an undeniably inviting, yet chic space.
3316 Tejon Street, Suite 105, Denver, CO 80211
About Davis Urban
Davis Urban remains one of the most recognized architectural firms in Denver, with awards and press features constantly highlighting its contribution to the city’s unforgettable residential landscape. Modern in Denver, Denver Life, and Home Magazine emphasized the firm’s ability to deliver living spaces that embody the individuality of its clients while blending the home’s design elements with that of its surrounding landscape. The result is a graceful dialog between structure and environment. The firm’s work for the residential market—single-family and multi-family homes—are characterized by luxury and innovative, efficient performance. Principal Matt Davis is an award-winning designer and architect who founded and led the boutique design firm to its present success. Many of Davis’s projects are scattered across Northwest Denver neighborhoods, most of them are urban homes that fit well with Denver’s vibrant and dynamic metropolitan lifestyle.
Perhaps one of the most notable projects completed by the firm is the 900 Penn, a luxury condominium complex that recently earned the 2019 Mayor’s Design Award and the AIA Colorado Award of Distinction. In the previous year, the design also won the Residential Architect Design Award. The firm’s portfolio also consists of several multi-awarded single-family residential designs, some of which are located in Denver and nearby cities in the region. The Alley House, for instance, is a sophisticated urban haven carefully fitted, as its name suggests, in a forgotten alley, tucked into one of the city’s most dynamic neighborhoods. The home’s modern, minimalist design features contrasting elements of bold, striking lines and a neutral color palette. Another work, found in Denver’s River North Arts District, is the RiNo Residence that was featured in Modern Denver. The publication described the home as a stunning view in the district, celebrating the residence’s “clean design and forward-thinking aesthetics.”
Doerr Architecture Firm
Mayor’s Design Award
4848 Curie Court, Boulder, CO 80301
About Doerr Architecture Firm
Doerr Architecture Firm is another Boulder firm that has greatly contributed to Denver’s housing landscape. The company is a full-service design firm that focuses on a portfolio of ecological design that is also expressive, innovative, sustainable, and contemporary. The firm’s green building practices and sustainability principles have earned critical acclaim. Over the years, the company’s green home innovations have included projects with passive solar building designs, historic renovations, urban infill development projects, and net-zero energy homes. The firm’s projects have been featured in LOCALE Magazine. Its work on the Finch House won the Mayor’s Design Award and was cited for dynamic aesthetics, great passive solar design, and various other energy-efficient measures. Principal architect Thomas Doerr has a rich background in sustainable architecture. Aside from his experience teaching a Green Building course at Naropa University, he also authored the “Green Architecture Checklist” for residential designs.
Located in Denver, The Finch House embodies the firm’s expertise in green and energy-efficient designs. The project was featured in Passive Solar Simplified for its innovative take on sustainable residential spaces. Aside from its eco-conscious design, the home is also charming and functional. The progressive artistic vision evident in this structure shines in the dynamism of some of its design choices: the vaults, the circular staircase, the exposed wood connector beams, and the appealing overall curvature of the building—not to mention, its shaded southern windows and thermal mass make for sturdy insulation. This beauty features excellent daylighting, a highly efficient furnace and appliances, green materials, and passive solar design. On another project, the updates, and addition that Doerr Design implemented on a 100-year-old Denver Victorian emphasized its ability to maintain character, adapt for energy efficiency, and complement pre-existing aesthetics seamlessly. The design of a passive solar sunspace that acts as a free furnace warms the house and creates a gorgeous lounge spot and plant room. The home features natural convective cooling and is considered a Green Historic Remodel.
Ekman Design Studio
Stephen P. Ekman
AIA Denver Chapter Architect’s Choice Award
550 8th Ave, Denver CO 80203
About Ekman Design Studio
Ekman Design Studio is a boutique architectural firm that specializes in unique and fine homes. Located in the center of Denver, the studio has been bringing highly recognized, elegant design to the Rockies since 1995. Ekman Design Studios prefers to discover the unique inspiration that emerges with each residence rather than lock into a particular architectural style. The firm’s designs value maximized views, daylight, and harmony with the construction’s pre-existing surroundings. The company received the AIA Denver Chapter Architect’s Choice Award in 2014 and its work has been featured more than once in Luxe Magazine. AIA member Stephen P. Ekman is a graduate of the University of Colorado with degrees in Small Business Management and Environmental Design. He currently serves as a board member for the Littleton Historic Preservation Board and the Board of Historic Denver.
Some of the firm’s most notable works are commended for their sophistication and respect for its surrounding landscape. The Wellshire Contemporary home, designed as an empty nester’s retreat, is the epitome of luxury, style, and privacy. Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired, this gem features an entry courtyard, whole walls of glass windows, ledge stone, wood, and steel. A poolside patio, an entertaining terrace, and a roof deck primed for sunset make this home a truly unforgettable haven. On the perimeters of the St. Claire neighborhood, with an 1890s black and white photograph as a guide, Ekman Studio completed a full restoration design on a gorgeous Queen Anne Victorian. Highlights of the project include a new main floor guest suite, a private elevator, a classic kitchen with a hearth room, and a renovated master suite.
Hart Studio Residential Architecture
AIA Mayor’s Design Award,
CARE First Place: Interior Remodel Award
P.O. Box 460003, Denver, CO 80246
About Hart Studio Residential Architecture
Hart Studio is one of Denver’s boutique standouts, founded by the principal architect and AIA member, Tomas Hart. In the past, Hart led another successful firm, The Architecture Studio. Today, Hart’s architecture company takes on a wide range of design projects, from remodels and basements to moderate additions, pop-tops, and new houses square one. The firm has worked in neighborhoods with varying aesthetic characters: Victorians and Denver Squares in Capitol Hill, Bungalows in Wash Park, and Tudors in Park Hill. That range of experience allows the company to showcase its ability to provide design solutions that fit the unique demands of its sophisticated clientele. In the last decade, the firm has received multiple recognitions for its works, including the Mayor’s Design Award and the CARE First Place: Interior Remodel award.
In Denver’s Hilltop neighborhood, Hart Studio brought to life a historically inspired Spanish Mission Revival residence. Faithful to this timeless architectural style, the home features an arched porch, eave brackets, wrought iron balcony railings, a red tile roof, custom pre-cast concrete details, and a stucco finish. The second-floor addition was designed to house four bedrooms, four French balconies, and two baths. This graceful ode to a grand historic style is nothing less than regal. For another project, the Park Hill Victorian, the firm conducted a full-scale remodel. With additions and remodels as two of the firm’s expertise, it was not surprising that Hart Studio delivered a highly commended and equally impressive work. The firm partnered with GO Builders to complete this project. The project highlights a sky-lit entryway that leads to a new kitchen, a light-filled breakfast nook, two additional upstairs bedrooms, and period-appropriate, salvaged stained glass, well-paired with hip, modern lighting fixtures.
Nationals Silver Award for Best Architectural Design,
950 Spruce Street, Louisville, CO 80027
About KGA Studio
John Knudson founded KGA Studio in 1977. Today, the firm is a nationally recognized company that specializes in residential design. The firm is composed of two design studios: one that focuses on custom homes while the other takes on production housing for other residential markets, including affordable housing, multi-family homes, and urban infill projects. While the firm is based in Louisville, it has also established a reputation in Denver through its modern, timeless, and unforgettable residential designs in the city. KGA prides itself on collaboration and unique attention to the specific needs of the clients and what their project requires. The firm’s performance as a professional has produced lifelong relationships with its clients and a majority of its projects come from repeat businesses. Its portfolio showcases multi-awarded works, many of which earned industry recognition. These include the 2017 Nationals Silver Award for Best Architectural Design of a Single-Family Detached Home, the MAME 2016 Best On The Boards Design for a Custom Home, the CARE 2016 BEST Architectural Design (Remodel), the MAME 2016 Best Architectural Design of a Model, the 2016 MAME Award for Active Adult Home of the Year, and the 2015 MAME Award for Best Custom Home Over 5,000 Square Feet.
TheOne of the firm’s unforgettable projects is a BALA Award winner, The Chanin Residence. The work emphasized the firm’s ability to deliver a modern residential space that showcases modern design elements for modern living. The cutting edge, rectangular construction shape, the open staircases that rise between floor-to-roof glass windows, and the bright modern kitchen are only some of the highlights that go along with the upper patio and the lower covered patio. The Urban Traditional pizzaz of 4,107 square feet of farmhouse-inspired beauty includes a wrap-around porch, a window seat breakfast nook, a floor-level patio, and a country-style kitchen. In Denver, the firm also designed a modern single-family home for one of its production projects for Highland Development. Clean lines, massive windows, and a contrasting palette for the home’s façade exude modern and traditional design elements combined to produce a contemporary structure that represents its own unique brand. These projects embody the firm’s versatility when executing modern takes on old, cherished styles.
AIA Colorado Denver Awards of Excellence
6030 East Smith Road, Denver, CO 80216
About Meridian 105
Meridian 105 was founded by Chad Mitchell, who received his Bachelor of Design from the University of Florida, as well as his Master of Architecture. When Chad first relocated to Denver, he practiced as an associate with Oz Architecture, focusing on mid- to large-scale residential and commercial mixed-use projects. He founded Meridian 105 in 2010, with the mission to pair fantastic developments hand in hand with each client’s financial and philosophical goals. Meridian’s work has been featured in several domestic and international publications. Their design for the Denver Pallet House received the AIA Colorado Denver Award of Excellence in 2017, and their sculptural work and a video presentation was on display as part of the Time-Space-Existence exhibition at the 2016 Venice Architecture Biennale.
The 33rd Avenue House in Denver’s LoHi neighborhood is corner property that features boxy modern accents, skylights, three full levels, and ample backyard privacy. Raising the first floor nearly 6 feet above the sidewalk served the dual function of creating separation between the main living space and the street and providing a partially submerged garden level. This stunning contemporary home includes exterior roof deck access from the master suite and views of downtown. Warmth is added by the smooth-faced shiplap Western red cedar of the home’s exterior, stained a handsome, dark brown. Featured in The Journal of the American Institute of Architects, Meridian 105’s created a cutting-edge design for what is known as the Pallet House. In the Sloan’s Lake neighborhood, this house grabs attention with its module of wood shipping pallets, which craft a screening component for the front porch and the interior spaces. The home gleams with White Venetian plaster coats and features operable screen panels, a sky atrium, and glass walls in the master suite. The Pallet House won the AIA Colorado Design Award of Excellence in 2017 for residential.
Roth Sheppard Architects
AIA Architecture Firm of The Year,
AIA Young Architect of the Year
1900 Wazee Street, Suite 100, Denver, CO 80202
About Roth Sheppard Architects
Since Roth Sheppard Architects’s start in 1983, it has earned over a hundred awards from AIA, ASID, IIDA, and other local and national design associations. Through the years, the firm has been making its mark in Denver. Its past wins as the AIA Architecture Firm of The Year awards for both Denver and the state of Colorado secured its place in the city’s residential design industry. Herb Roth and Jeffrey Shepard founded the firm and both now serve as principals emeriti, inspiring mentors to the firm’s next generation of architects and designers led by Adam Harding, AIA, LEED AP, and Brian Berryhill, AIA. The firm’s overall portfolio is composed of over 65 law enforcement facilities and over 80 architecture projects for the luxury residential industry, retail and commercial sectors, and the restaurant industry. These works are products of the firm’s unique design process that emphasizes the importance of listening to the needs of each client, doing the right research, and ultimately transforming the design concept into functional and timeless architecture.
For the renovation and remodel to the 1950s 3,000-square-foot Hughes/Brody Residence in Denver, the firm chose a high ceiling concept, paired with modern design elements that include a wall of glass windows in the dining room and long windows in the living room. The artsy, modern-contemporary aesthetic is emboldened by clean, simplistic, angular visuals. A private, partially covered patio creates a welcoming outdoor space that feels seamlessly integrated into the home’s layout. The same intimate and thoughtful design approach can be found in the firm’s other projects. For instance, the 1,480 square-foot addition to a low 1950s suburban ranch house in Lakewood uses double sets of windows, an open lower and upper level, and a bathroom fireplace to cultivate a visual that mingles themes of contemporary mountain spa with a progressive urban add-on.
1830 Blake Street, Denver, CO 80202
Modern, forward-thinking, sustainable, and endurings designs are just some of the characteristics that describe Rowland+Broughton’s portfolio as a designer of custom residences. As a leading figure in Denver’s green design movement, the firm is a member of the USGBC and it has a team of LEED-accredited experts that incorporate sustainable solutions into every project that the firm delivers. Aside from architecture, the firm also specializes in urban design, planning, landscape design, and interior design. Its two locations in Aspen and Denver allows it to serve a large client pool, mostly from the residential, hospitality, commercial, and cultural markets. This impressive scope of services has shaped the firm into a multidisciplinary and progressive organization and led to tremendous growth since its founding in 2003. The firm’s quality designs and impressive run as a player in the architecture industry haven’t gone unnoticed—organizations like the International Interior Design Association (IIDA), AIA Colorado, Historic Preservation Commission have recognized the firm’s work. And the firm is no stranger to press attention: Luxe, Interior Design Magazine, and Mountain States Construction Magazine have all featured the firm’s most stunning works.
The firm’s Denver and Aspen offices have produced multiple award-winning full residential and interior design projects, both for the single-family and multi-family residential markets. The Ridge House, for instance, is a custom home design that earned the 2019 AIA Colorado Homes & Lifestyles Editor’s Choice Award. The same residence also won the Luxe Red Award. In 2018, it won two CARE Awards and a Crystal Award for its outstanding whole house remodel and kitchen renovation design. In Denver, one of its most recent works in architecture and interior design is the Modern Prairie residence. The project gave the firm an opportunity to exhibit its depth of expertise; the team adapted the Prairie Style architecture to produce a contemporary home that not only answers to the modern functional needs of its homeowners but also pays tribute to its neighborhood’s historic context.
Semple Brown Design Firm
Sarah Semple Brown
AIA Denver Firm of the Year,
AIA Design Awards,
AIA Merit Awards,
Historic Denver Award of Honor
1160 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO 80204
About Semple Brown Design Firm
For over three decades, Semple Brown Designs has been championing highly-integrated interior and architecture designs that primarily highlight the importance of establishing a connection between the structure and its surrounding ecology. The firm has followed the same path since its founding in 1982. Sarah Semple Brown, FAIA, one of its co-founders, leads the firm with Rusty Brown, AIA member, and NCARB-certified architect. The firm’s staff are composed of several LEED-accredited professionals.
The company prides itself on its team-based approach and its ability to cultivate community through a strong sense of place. Aside from being named Firm of the Year for both AIA Denver and AIA Colorado, many of the firm’s works have been featured in multiple publications. Its versatility as a professional as well as its wide spectrum of markets is represented across Denver, in the form of cultural icons to ground-up, modern, single-family homes.
The Duncan Residence in Denver’s Bonnie Brae neighborhood represents a well-executed sculptural, modern, light-filled space. For this project, the firm worked closely with its owner—a collaborative process that has always been emphasized by the company as a significant part of its work. Wood-paneled ceilings, a covered outdoor patio, several walls of windows, and an open upstairs walkway create brightness, warmth, privacy, and an ample openness. Modern light fixtures, an outdoor, lighted water feature, and boxy angles cultivate the home’s progressive, artistic appeal. Another project, the Kerr Residence in Cherry Hills, required a design that honors Colorado’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle, while also integrating some of the characteristics the owners came to admire during their time living in the Lone Star State. The result is a well-organized floor plan that provides access to porches and grand views of the surrounding landscape. The space is divided between public and private areas; these separate quarters are connected via a daylight-infused hallway and foyer. Oversized glass windows and doors bring added sparkle to the home’s elegant interior.
Sexton Lawton Architecture
Sarah Sexton and Matthew Lawton
AIA Denver Merit Award,
AIA Colorado Merit Award,
2011 AIA Colorado Honor Award.
1627 Gilpin Street, Suite A, Denver, CO 80218
About Sexton Lawton Architecture
Sexton Lawton Architecture is a full-service firm founded and run by business partners Sarah Sexton and Matthew Lawton. The two principals attended Cornell University and worked in award-winning design firms in San Francisco, Philadelphia, Albuquerque, and Denver. After their years of establishing their own brand as architects and designers, they founded their own firm. During his university program, Matthew Lawton was able to study in Italy, where he received the Charles Goodwin Sands Memorial Medal for the top thesis project. Today, the firm is licensed in the states of California and Colorado and its core design principles are guided by its belief in environmental responsibility, local product sourcing, and hands-on collaboration with clients. The firm received the 2011 AIA Denver Merit Award as a Sustainable Stuart, the 2011 AIA Colorado Merit Award, and the 2011 AIA Colorado Honor Award.
The Belcaro Residence is a fabulous display of what a well-executed renovation and expansion can do to make a midcentury ranch sparkle with modern appeal. The inclusion of operable glass walls to link indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as custom storage walls, makes the space highly functional and open to abundant natural light. Original flagstone chimneys were extended horizontally to create an exterior fireplace, giving the residence a polished, yet rustic aesthetic. In order to integrate well with the Craftsman style of the existing Congress Park structure, Sexton Lawton had to take specific design considerations while installing the 1,100-square-foot addition. Including a new kitchen, a children’s study area, a mudroom, and a second-floor master suite, their work was crafted to have a light impact on the formal living spaces in the existing house. Interior and exterior finishes were selected to fit the home’s original character perfectly.
AIA National Young Architect Award,
AIA Colorado North Chapter Merit Award,
AIA Colorado Citation Award,
AIA Colorado YAAG Built Architecture Award
3222 Tejon Street Studio C, Denver, CO 80211
About Tomecek Studio
Tomecek Studio aims to remain on the cutting edge of their profession by constructing visionary spaces that use light, surface, and material to cultivate unique beauty and structural integrity. LEED-certified and AIA member Brad Tomece founded Tomecek Studio. The establishment of his own firm is one of his most significant milestones after graduating from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Design and a Master of Architecture. His work has been highlighted in Architectural Record, Architect, and Builder Magazine. In the past, Brad served as AIA Denver’s president and was recently recognized with the AIA National Young Architect Award. His firm’s residential design is contemporary, deeply rooted in artistry, function, and innovation. Tomecek Studio has also completed award-winning work in smaller commercial architecture categories. Its residential creations demonstrate the breadth of the firm’s skill set but also the adaptability of its vision. Though Tomecek has done residential work largely in Boulder and other parts of Colorado, his residential design footprint is already leaving a trail of awards in its wake as he makes his mark in Denver.
Awarded with Builder Magazine’s Grand Award, AIA Colorado North Chapter’s Merit Award, AIA Colorado Citation Award, and the AIA Colorado YAAG Built Architecture Award, the Denver 32nd Street modular is often described as “high-quality design meets factory” setting. The home, at its foundation, is two boxes that slide above one another to allow for outdoor living space and a lower, covered rear entry. This spacious, light, inviting structure includes an open concept kitchen. The design features an effective balance of wood and more industrial-looking iron and metal to present a modern and comfortable vibe. Another example of the firm’s work earned AIA Colorado YAAG Unbuilt Architecture Award. The Shield House is a handsome blend of rectangular living space and contrasted, curved circulation space. Tomecek Studio used a potential limiting factor from the bulk plane restrictions to their advantage and got creative with a tall, curved metal wall. An added bonus is that it provides privacy from the adjacent public decks of a three-story triplex. An amazing upper deck and the tasteful use of exposed wood beams and long windows make this space feel open and bright.