North Carolina boasts a rich tapestry of architectural styles, and whether you’re envisioning a modern marvel or a timeless classic for your dream home, finding the right residential architect is paramount. Our exploration begins in Charlotte, the Queen City, where southern charm converges with a dynamic cosmopolitan ambiance. As the largest city in the state, Charlotte not only offers a flourishing job market, top-notch schools, and diverse cultural experiences but also serves as a hub for architectural innovation and excellence.

In the pursuit of turning architectural dreams into reality, we’ve curated a list of the premier residential architects in North Carolina. Each architect featured in our selection has been meticulously chosen, and their work has been evaluated based on a synthesis of portfolio strength, expertise, client testimonials, and industry accolades. Renowned for their meticulous attention to detail, groundbreaking designs, and unwavering commitment to transforming houses into living masterpieces, these architects stand at the forefront of shaping the architectural landscape in North Carolina. 

Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson Architecture

320 South Tryon St, Suite 222, Charlotte, NC 28202

Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson Architecture, established in 1979, draws inspiration from clients’ unique experiences and passions. Adopting a holistic design approach, it seeks a synthesis of classic style, regional character, and individual needs. Crafting architectural responses tailored to each client and site, the firm aims to enhance daily life through timeless design. Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson delivers functional and aesthetically pleasing designs from new front doors to total house commissions. Comprehensive services, spanning site evaluation to construction management, facilitate seamless project realization.

Affiliated with AIA Charlotte and the Institute of Classical Art and Architecture (ICAA), the firm has earned recognition, including being a 2022 Gold List Honoree in Architecture by Luxe Interiors + Design. Principal Architects Sam Greeson, T. Mark Paullin, Matt S.E Benson, Chris Barth, and Eric Binder contribute diverse expertise and extensive experience, ensuring the firm’s commitment to quality design and client satisfaction.

The Home Builder Digest team examined data from Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement to identify recent Meyer Greeson Paullin Benson Architecture projects. In October 2023, the company secured a remodeling permit (348725016) for a project involving the addition of a rear extension to an existing home, showcasing its ongoing commitment to architectural transformations.

ThoughtCraft Architects

331 W Main St, Suite 204, Durham, NC 27701

ThoughtCraft Architects, renowned for its diverse portfolio in single-family, multi-family, historic, commercial, and public projects, takes a personalized approach to each undertaking. Guided by a consistent process, it manifests unique visions within specified budgets. Engaging clients in meaningful design discussions, the firm transforms spaces into enduring, distinctive places.

The firm maintains an ongoing dialogue with clients, specializing in custom home design. This continuous conversation, rooted in attentive listening, shapes the core questions that the design seeks to answer. The client and architect unveil a home’s essence through the thoughtful orchestration of space, views, materials, and light.

Affiliated with the ULI Triangle Housing Committee and the Chapel Hill Community Design Commission, ThoughtCraft Architects holds the prestigious 2022 Residential Architect [RD] Magazine Award. It is also recognized by Chatham Magazine. Jason Hart and Chris Johns are the founding partners leading the firm. Hart’s extensive experience spans national and international projects, and he manages operations in North Carolina’s Triangle area. Meanwhile, Johns, leading the Boston studio, brings over two decades of award-winning design and construction expertise.

Lisle Architecture & Design

614 Market St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Lisle Architecture and Design, based in Wilmington and Raleigh, North Carolina, has been a dedicated full-service firm since 1998. Specializing in design and construction for commercial, public, institutional, and residential projects, it has consistently delivered high-quality and comprehensive design services. Lisle emphasizes problem-solving through inventive solutions, ensuring client needs are met with a focus on efficiency. Led by Principal David Lisle, a seasoned professional with over 25 years of experience, the team combines expertise with a passion for delivering quality design and practical construction administration.

The trust of repeat clients and referrals reflects the firm’s commitment with a track record spanning 22 years. Affiliated with the American Institute of Architects, Lisle Architecture and Design has received many accolades, including the 2014 Best of Homes of Distinction award from Wrightsville Beach Magazine for its work on a home in 2008. The firm’s work has also garnered attention in the Wilmington Business Journal.

Romero Architecture

210 Greenfield St, Wilmington, NC 28401

Established in 2000 by Rob Romero in Wilmington, NC, Romero Architecture is an innovative firm delving into diverse projects encompassing retail/commercial, residential, renovation, and medical/dental office design. Principal Architect Rob Romero, a University of New Mexico graduate, brings a wealth of experience from his time at Antoine Predock’s office. Romero’s commitment extends beyond blueprints; he believes site analysis is crucial, immersing himself in each location to inform his design intuition. 

Affiliated with the Historical Preservation Commission in Wilmington, North Carolina, Romero leads the firm in embodying a collaborative spirit. This has led to the firm’s being acknowledged in Wrightsville Beach Magazine. Its priority remains understanding spaces and creating environments that resonate with purpose and aesthetic sensibility.

The Home Builder Digest team examined data from the Development Services Department of the City of Wilmington to highlight recent projects by Romero Architecture. In October 2022, Romero Architecture secured a new house permit (294272076) with a valuation of $608,249, showcasing its expertise in residential construction.

Salt + Light

400 Roselawn Pl, Charlotte, NC 28211

2018 Salt + Light emerged as a family venture, organically evolving into a unique architecture/builder hybrid entity. Guided by David and Laura Wales, the company integrates David’s architectural expertise and construction acumen with Laura’s extensive real estate knowledge, establishing a dynamic design and build firm based in North Carolina.

At Salt+Light, a collaborative team of architects and contractors operates under one roof, fostering a seamless and integrated approach to construction. This distinctive collaboration streamlines the construction process, minimizing delays and delivering exceptional results. Its comprehensive services encompass full-service architecture, planning, design, and new construction builds, catering to clients striving to realize their design and construction goals.

Salt+Light’s journey is rooted in David’s career as a commercial architect with Perkins + Will in Charlotte, NC, from 2005 to 2018, focusing on the higher education, healthcare, and transportation sectors. The transformative project, the Bobby Lane House, acquired in 2014, marked the inception of Salt + Light Properties in 2015, later evolving into Salt + Light Builders. David founded Salt+Light Architecture in 2017, commencing a journey to commission his design projects.

The Home Builder Digest team examined records from Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement to identify recent projects by Salt + Light. In June 2023, Salt + Light initiated an ADU new construction project at 465 W Worthington Ave, Charlotte, NC 28203, with a permit ID of 346579284 and an undisclosed valuation. Additionally, in November 2022, they undertook a residential new construction project at 9924 Minnie Lemmond Ln, Mint Hill, NC 28227, with a permit ID of 346579285 and an undisclosed valuation. 

Pfahl Architects

4431 Monroe Rd, Charlotte, NC 28205

Pfahl Architects, led by Kevin and Susan Pfahl, stands as an award-winning design team, embodying mastery in the art and science of superior function and exquisite design. Years of focused dedication to clients and projects bring a commitment to quality and fine craftsmanship. The principals, with extensive experience as general contractors, provide Pfahl Architects with a comprehensive understanding of the entire building process, seamlessly translating dreams into reality.

Honored with the 2023 Reader’s Choice Award for Best Home Design and Remodeling by South Charlotte Lifestyle Magazine, Pfahl Architects has left an indelible mark in the industry. Kevin and Susan Pfahl, pioneers in designing, building, and renovating since the mid-1980s, have shaped countless homes and commercial projects. Their portfolio spans a diverse range, from retail and condominiums to YMCA renovations, restaurants, churches, and offices. Through years of intensive study and hands-on experience, Pfahl Architects exemplifies how quality and design excellence transcend any price range.

The Home Builder Digest team reviewed remodeling permits issued by Mecklenburg County Code Enforcement for Pfahl Architects. On July 18, 2023, Pfahl Architects initiated a project with permit ID 343207628, adding a primary bedroom and bathroom to the back right corner of a residence, while permit ID 341863542, issued on July 3, 2023, involved extensive renovations at 6810 Old Providence Rd, Charlotte, NC 28226, including the removal of a rear covered porch and the creation of a new sitting room, kitchen remodeling, lighting upgrades, and other interior modifications. Additionally, permit ID 348208808, dated September 27, 2023, sanctioned Pfahl Architects to expand 808 Brookside Ave., Charlotte, NC 28203, with a family room deck, screened porch, and a lower floor comprising a bedroom, bathroom, living room, office, and kitchenette.

DMA Architecture

380-H Knollwood St, Suite 174, Winston Salem, NC 27103

At its core, DMA Architecture strives to simplify, transform, and inspire. Committing to placing people at the forefront, it endeavors to enhance the human experience through unique and tailored approaches to each project. Driven by a profound desire to contribute positively to humanity, DMA simplifies the architectural process, transforms expectations, and fosters human connection. DMA’s creations aim to elevate the overall human experience by specializing in innovative design within sustainable spaces.

The firm’s team comprises creative thinkers and strategic designers who embark on each project with a profound understanding of the client’s vision. This approach results in functional environments meticulously crafted to serve the individuals interacting with them.

Led by Craig Dishner, DMA Architecture benefits from his extensive 30-year professional journey. As the owner and lead designer, Dishner’s architectural expertise and a Bachelor of Architecture from Virginia Tech solidify DMA’s commitment to delivering transformative and inspiring design solutions.

Jennifer Benson Architecture

735 Matthews Township Pkwy, Matthews, NC 28105

Jennifer Benson Architecture prioritizes creating personalized designs that uniquely align with client needs, style, and budget, emphasizing environmental responsibility and energy efficiency. Its collaborative philosophy integrates clients into every design stage, fostering close cooperation with relevant professionals. With a detail-oriented approach, the firm meticulously crafts high-quality designs that surpass client expectations. Customer service is paramount, building enduring relationships grounded in trust and mutual respect.

Founded in 2010 by Jennifer A. Benson, a member of the AIA, a seasoned architect with a Bachelor of Architecture from Philadelphia University. Having 15 years of pre-JBA experience on the East Coast, Benson has become Charlotte’s trusted residential architect. Her success stems from a robust referral and repeat client base, establishing her as the go-to architect for numerous local general contractors. Focused exclusively on residential design, Benson brings a wealth of expertise, ensuring each project reflects the unique essence of its inhabitants.

The Home Builder Digest team cross-referenced data from the Mecklenburg County Land Use and Environmental Services Agency and discovered that Jennifer Benson Architecture obtained a remodeling permit (Permit ID: 341396076) on June 27, 2023. The project involves a 6×6 room extension on an existing home, with the valuation currently unspecified. This recent permit application showcases Jennifer Benson Architecture’s ongoing commitment to residential remodeling projects.