Designer Friday: An ASPIRE Exclusive Interview With Chris Brandon

Since 2009, Chris Brandon has arranged spaces that encourage better living for clients through his well-tailored design and environmentally sensitive footprint. By following the three “I’s” (inform, inspire, and implement) the Brandon Architects team is able to fully transform any project from conception to completion. This strategy has led Chris to create unforgettable homes that have been featured in many publications such as Home & Gardens, Home Builder Digest, and Modern Luxury Interiors California. The homes he is inspired to create stem from his environmentally conscious efforts and strong will to have create sensible and interesting residences. Introducing this week’s Designer Friday, Chris Brandon.


The pocket doors, wine cellar, and open floor plan is everything one could ever truly want in a dream home. By the help of Brandon Architects, this West Coast family was able to achieve that dream.

Andrew Joseph: What is something you hope to see trending in design in the future?
Chris Brandon: As designers of custom homes we’re acutely aware of people’s needs and desires for their personal spaces. I think one of the interesting outcomes from this current crisis is going to be how we rethink the way we live in our homes and what we really need from them. I would love to see the design community step up to the challenge and start a positive dialogue that can help us overcome what’s happened and better understand our needs at home in the future. I think we’re already seeing some interesting DIY solutions and I love the creativity.


This incredibly built Newport Beach, contemporary home sits atop of a serene and private hill. Built by RDM General Contractors; Photographed by Manolo Langis.

Andrew: What are your ideal weekend plans?
Chris: Our kids are at such a magical age right now (7 and 4) where they just want to be with us and it’s a joy to experience the world through their eyes. I’d say an ideal Saturday would start with a morning bike ride through the Back Bay then a long afternoon at the pool.


Named “The Farm,” this home delivers a neutral setting with earthy tones, rich textures, and natural metals. Above are caramel-toned ceilings and disappearing walls on each side of the mantle. Built by Patterson Custom Homes; Designed by Brandon Architects; Photographed by Manolo Langis.

Andrew: What was your first job?
Chris: From an early age, I always wondered how things worked or how they could be manipulated. Pairing that with my artistic abilities, my parents did a good job fostering and encouraging those interests: architecture being a marriage between the two. I grew up in a small town in Northeastern Oregon and in high school, I had a great drafting teacher who had secured a grant for new computers. Together we helped pioneer some of the first CAD classes at the school, only furthering my access to the world of design. I went on to receive my bachelor degree in Architecture from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2002 and landed my first job doing custom residential work in Newport Beach. I worked for a couple small firms before forging ahead on my own to found Brandon Architects in 2009.


Located on a hilltop in Santa Ynez, California, this single story home combines the indoor and outdoor areas for this West Coast family to embrace all things nature.

Andrew: What would your dream project or dream client be right now?
Chris: It’s such a loss that he has passed, but I have always been fascinated by Steve Jobs. He was an incredible visionary when it came to technology and design. It would have been a pleasure to design his personal home and collaborate with genius.

Andrew: How would you define your work in three words?
Chris: Inspired, personal and timeless.


About The Designer | Chris is a registered California architect and member of the AIA with a Bachelor’s Degree from California Polytechnic University in San Luis Obispo. Since childhood, he’s been fascinated by the built environment and the creative possibilities that art and architecture have to offer.

Spending his formative years in a small town in Northeast Oregon, Chris learned to value the beauty in nature at a young age. This continued to inspire him through his education and into his career. His talents have been most appreciated in the design of many beautiful custom homes and happy clients. His approach has always been to first better understand a client’s dreams and unique project constraints in order to create more informed and inspired designs. Chris has used his exceptional design talents and years of experience in Southern California to create a truly unique and progressive architectural practice.


Andrew Joseph is a regular contributing editor for ASPIRE DESIGN AND HOME magazine. See more of his work here.

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