“What appeals to us about building a home is constructing something that reflects our own preferences, nuances, and sensibilities and that hopefully creates a lasting legacy to be enjoyed for years by our family and then by those that live there in the years to come. Specifically, we wanted a structure that had high impact visual appeal, that blended into the landscape, and at a high enough elevation would create the perception when the morning fog rolled in of a 'house in the clouds.' From the house we wanted a diversity of views and vantage points including the ocean, the mountains and the city below. Around the house we wanted a degree of seclusion. We looked at several properties that fit these criteria so, when it came to making a decision, we really needed to understand whether or not what we wanted to do was actually feasible. That is where Clay and his team came in. They performed drone surveys and due diligence pulling all the applicable reports and provided recommendations based on our goals. They even did a very rough preliminary design so we could really envision what was possible. The information they provided allowed us to confidently pull the trigger on a purchase.”

- Joe Leveque - Homeowner

“Often my clients are starting from square one without even having a lot picked out, only general ideas of what they may want to build. I highly recommend working with Clay, Principal Owner of AB design studio. Apart from being able to create and execute beautiful building plans, he is incredibly knowledgeable about the entire process from purchase to permitting; has extensive experience working with all the builders in town; and can basically answer any question or concern you or your client may have related to any building. If you're a REALTOR, he basically sells the land for you! --as long as it can facilitate the client's ultimate building goals. Clay and the AB design studio team do a wonderful job listening to client's preferences and provide realistic guidance on whether the desired outcome can be achieved based on budget, proposed land, and any other goals the client has.”

- Kami Love, Residential Realtor - Santa Barbara Brokers

"I am writing to share my gratitude for your work and collaboration in the final design and construction of MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation. When I arrived to work for MOXI in March 2015 I joined a project already in progress; 19 days after I arrived, our foundation was poured, and we were officially out of the ground. I was encouraged in meeting with your team – primarily, both of you and the Project Captain, Aramis Arciga – that the architect-client relationship was in good shape and would be one of clear, continuous, open communication. Over the course of the 2 plus years until completion of our building, I found those initial impressions to be accurate, with two key additions: your dedication to creating a top-notch public facility that would, itself, draw visitors to see; and your ability to relate to our organization’s needs as the project progressed and our needs evolved."

- Steve Hinkley - President/CEO, MOXi - Museum of Exploration and Innovation

"It is a pleasure to write a recommendation for Clay Aurell and the AB Design Studio architectural firm. We have been working with AB Design Studio since October 2006 on a remodel project for our 1950's house and have nothing but positive things to say about this firm and their staff. Clay is a rare combination of an architect who is both creative and an absolute master of details. We have been very impressed by the skillful way in which he maximized the amount of square feet in our house while creating some really beautiful features, like the imaginative entryway to the house. At the same time, he is compulsive about details such as soils analysis and even placement of electrical outlets. He is also a shrewd negotiator with County Planning and City regulatory boards--ask him about the Great Fire Hydrant Controversy which he managed very well for us. He has kept the project on schedule, in steady progression, and close to the original budget. AB design studio is a young and rapidly growing firm; its associates are competent and cheerful. We would have no hesitation in recommending the firm and its associates to any client, residential or commercial with any level of complexity."

- Vern and Hannah Bengtson, Homeowner

"I built a large contemporary home in Hope Ranch. The home was completed in 2003. The architects responsible for the design of the house were Robin Donaldson and Jorge Adler. Clay Aurell was at the time employed by Robin Donaldson. Clay was the architect in charge of the day-to-day monitoring of the construction of the home. Both, me and my wife interacted with Clay on a regular basis. Clay was competent, professional and a pleasure to deal with. He was respected by all the subcontractors on the project who continually sought his advice. If I was to construct another home I would not hesitate in hiring Clay as the architect."

- Leon Presser, Homeowner

"Josh is an excellent, creative architect that combines a modern understanding of architecture with a good understanding of classic Santa Barbara style. He has done extensive remodeling work for us as well as worked on the design of a new beach house. highly recommended!"

Mike & Nancy Sheldon

"I have had the privilege of working with AB Design Studio since the inception of my project last year. I am a dentist and after working many years as an associate, I wanted to take things that I knew didn’t work in other offices and make it work in mine. In my opinion office design is one of the most integral aspects of a successful office. Patients judge the space before talking to staff or dentists. Space is part of corporate identity. In addition, efficiency of repetitious tasks performed in the office is closely related to the harmonious and creative union of spatial components. Efficiency precedes productivity. My intimate involvement in the project was on top of my list of criteria in choosing an architectural firm. A close second was cost. Dental design groups are mostly concerned about selling equipment and the architecture comes to them almost like an afterthought. They have a “we know better” attitude that isolates the dentist from the process. The enthusiasm and commitment of AB Studios in contributing to my vision was incredible. I have spent many hours in their studio going over solutions to unique challenges presented by the City, the space and my own financial limitations. At the end, they took what I had envisioned and made it better. I am grateful to them for their talents and their integrity."

- Armand Begian DDS

"Clay, I visited the Exeter job site last week and was impressed to say the least. The attention to detail while maintaining the architectural integrity of the structure surpassed my expectations. You nailed it with the concept, the contractor did beautiful work, and the owner held to the vision. Congratulations on a beautiful job. Rye"

Rye - Taylor & Syfan Consulting Engineers Inc

"The relationship between builder and architect is paramount throughout the construction process. At Allen Associates, we have a long history of working with many local and out of town architects. Our relationship with AB Architects, specifically Josh Blumer and Clay Aurell, has been an extremely positive experience. AB design studio's designs are creative and innovative. They are versatile and budget conscience. Their approach to a successful project always begins with good communication. We have been involved with Josh and Clay in preliminary meetings and recognize their ability to listen to the client’s wants and needs from the start. AB Architects plans are detailed oriented CAD drawings that are clear, concise, and complete. When questions have arisen during the bidding or construction phase, we have found them approachable and readily able to answer these questions promptly. We recommend Josh and Clay wholeheartedly. Please call me with any further questions."

- Ian Cronshaw, General Contractor, Allen & Associates

"I am writing in reference to our experience with AB Design Studio on the 717 Market Street Lofts project. Our construction and estimating teams worked with AB Design Studio for approximately 12- months during the preconstruction phase of this 50 unit loft project on Market Street in San Francisco. AB Design Studio’s ability to provide a high level of detail on their design and construction documents allowed our firm to competitively bid multiple scopes of work and generate a very accurate assessment of the cost of construction. The level of detail provided by AB Design Studio minimized the number of questions coming from our subcontractors and allowed us to effectively interpret the intent of the drawings. Clay Aurell worked well with our MEPS design build teams to produce a set of construction documents that facilitated their needs and would have likely minimized unforeseen costs resulting form architectural and mechanical coordination. It was a pleasure working with Clay Aurell and AB Design Studio throughout the preconstruction phase of this project."

- Brad Denney - Webcor Builders

"As a Landscape Architect, it is rare to find an architect to work with that understands and appreciates the importance of not only creating beautiful and functional architecture, but also realizes the connection that piece of architecture has to the greater context of the landscape it inhabits, and the everyday experience of the people that inhabit the space.  AB Design Studio embraces the most-important element of creating successful architecture...‘bring the outside in, and the inside out‘.  It has been a real pleasure to work on the AB team over the last 5 years and I hope it continues for many years to come.  If you’re thinking about modern-style living for your California property, think AB Design Studio."

- Christopher Gilliland, Landscape Architect – Principal, Common Ground