Testimonials

From Silly Little Things Kitchen Remodel

Austin and his team are AMAZING. Austin has an incredible method of getting to the root of your wants and needs and helps in bringing out the most soulful designs based on your innermost unconscious desires. And Donatella and Luis did an amazing job translating our vision into extraordinarily functional designs. We did a kitchen remodel with them. We have a historic Spanish style storybook home, with lots of intricate details and aesthetic touches. And my wife is a chef, and we have kids, and I’m an artist/photographer, so our individual needs were causing us to argue over our differing visions. But Austin was able to tap into the deeper desires and Donatella and Luis come up with several iterations of designs that incorporated our individual fantasies to create a cohesive, functional, and beautiful design to fit the existing architecture. Even if you don’t end up working with Austin, just to meet and talk with him is an inspiration. -Thomas Kuoh, Professional Photographer


I am chef and cook professionally out of my home, only my kitchen was divided into into two small rooms and had little counter space.

I also wanted to cook more with my kids but the space felt totally cramped with anyone but me in there.

A close friend recommended that I consult with the team at 3 Lights Design. Wow, what an experience! They listened carefully to all our need and wishes and even took us through this really cool interview process, which help me to look at the potential for my kitchen in a whole new way.

They produced plans and 3D models that really helped us understand the space and be comfortable with it before we started building.

Our new kitchen is amazing! It has everything I need as a chef and the flow of it works great. Now not only do I get to enjoy it professionally, but I also get the joy of cooking side by side with my kids, feeling creative instead of cramped.

Thank you Austin, Donatella, and Luis! -Jill Oringer, Chef

From Abiding Light Remodel and Second Story Addition

We love the house and are grateful for all that you did to help us get here. -Alexis Chettiar

From Controneo Garage Legalization

Austin and Luis are amazing!!  They helped me with drawings for work that was already done without permits.  Getting permits after the fact is not fun and very stressful.  They got my illegal garage conversion issues with the City of San Pablo back on track, permits issued, and at a minimal cost!! I highly recommend them and will use them again without hesitation, great communication, fast response, professional, pleasant.  Thank you guys for all your knowledge and assistance!! -Rachael Controneo

From Vaniman Remodel

I worked with Austin and his team to finally bring to light a renovation at my home in Lafayette. The whole team (Austin, Donatella and Luia) were extremely personable, talented and really took the time to understand me and what I wanted to accomplish with the remodel.

They worked fast and were almost below the low end of what they had quoted for the job!

I would recommend them in a heartbeat, they where such a pleasure to work with and everything went incredibly smoothly. -Ines Vaniman

From Energy Solutions Headquarters

[3 Lights Design] was great! They helped me with a 10,000 sf office TI in Oakland and the whole process went very smoothly.  They took care of final programming, schematic drawings, permit submittals, and construction RFI’s & revisions.  I appreciated their high-quality drafting abilities, building code knowledge, punctual turnarounds, and sincere interest in the project.  They are now one of my top go-to teams…  -Sean Mckinley, Project Manager, Energy Solutions

From Prana del Mar Retreat and Wellness Center

Thank you for creating such a peaceful, inspiring, caring place with such exceptionally positive energy. The attention to detail in the yoga space, rooms, and gardens has made Prana del Mar a true “oasis” of a retreat in this world of options. I’ll look forward to returning. –Lynne Bairstow, Punta Mita, Mexico


It is with pleasure that I can recommend Austin Shaw as an architect and design consultant. I worked closely with Austin on the design and implementation of a retreat and wellness center in Los Cabos, Mexico, and feel that he made invaluable contributions to the eventual success of our project.

Austin created the design and architectural plans for four of our buildings, as well as our pool and deck area, and associated structures. He also revised our existing fifth building in order to integrate it functionally and aesthetically with the rest of the retreat center.

Austin offered both practical problem-solving acumen and nuanced creative insight to synthesize function and form in a harmonious whole. We get comments everyday from guests who notice and appreciate the unique touches and attention to detail that he infused into our resort’s design.

Austin proved himself committed to meeting important deadlines and delivering an exceptional product that balanced many competing variables. He has a talent for distilling the essence of an idea and using that as a cornerstone that informs and integrates with the project as a whole.

I am confident that he would be a valued contributor to any creative endeavor that seeks to synthesize aesthetic sensibilities with practical realities.

I would welcome the opportunity to work with Austin again on future projects – and, in fact, have done so when we added a second yoga studio to our facility – and recommend him without reservation. – Erik Singer, Owner and Developer of Prana del Mar

Village Chiropractic and Wellness Center

Austin’s design and efficient use of space in converting what was once a garage into the Village Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Montclair (Oakland) is commensurate to a Salvador Dali creation, i.e., highly imaginative, emotionally rewarding, the closer you look the more you discover. Austin’s work, as guided for his love of client and project, is clearly manifested in the offices of Dr. Matt Green, DC (worthy of a look).  –Robert Heger, Certified Business Broker


Just yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting the NEW office of my favorite chiropractor at Village chiropractic in Montclair. OMG the place is a Zen oasis sent from heaven!!! Then I found out that Austin was the vision and designer behind this amazing space. I want him to design my home, my office, my life… Talent is an understatement. Visionary is more appropriate. –Kerri Naslund, Real Estate Agent


I’m a chiropractor who is starting a new business.  I’ve been around long enough to know that I need to get the big picture first; a mission statement / vision / purpose before I start getting into the minutia of building a business.  Austin coached me through an NLP process that had me get in touch with my deepest, most creative self in a matter of about 30 minutes.  (That’s fast!)  What I came away with was that who I truly am is an “Unconditional Loving Host”.  Now, no matter what decision I have to make, I always say, “What would the Unconditional Loving Host do?”  It has made this whole process connected and meaningful. Austin is one of my most favorite people in the world.  He has such an amazing ability to stay calm and centered AND not take himself or others too seriously.  His reflections can be sharp as a knife and they can be soft and empathetic.  –Dr. Matt Green

From Vivian Nguyen, owner of Nails by Vivian

My name is Vivian Nguyen, am the owner of nails by Vivian. At the time I needed an architect I looked around for different estimates, and to make sure I could get a good feel for each ones character. Many architects that I contacted before Austin did not seem invested or professional. They would take long periods of time to contact me back and would add questionable charges. Then I found Austin on yelp, he had great reviews so I contacted him, he was very prompt on a response. He immediately came to my salon gave me a very straight forward and honest estimate and has been great to get the job done on an agreed deadline. He is very professional and I’m great full I found such a stand up honest person who truly invests himself with his clients. If you come across him when you need an architect look no more, he is your guy. -Vivian Nguyen

From Cathy Weisz, Director of Retail Store Design, Patagonia Corporation

[Austin’s] design, impeccable layout, and mechanicals made the project seemless from start to finish.   –Cathy Weisz