Founded in 1999 by Jonathan Starr, SDG Design + Development has become a leading design and planning firm in Southern California successfully marrying the casual lifestyle of iconic beach communities with innovative and cutting-edge design.

We pride ourselves on offering clients personal attention and service, with an approach that is both professional and friendly. We offer a trusted alternative for clients seeking the highest standard in design services in the context of everyday living.



Jonathan Starr

Jonathan Starr is a native of the California coast, and recalls at a young age marveling at the power of design to capture the personality of an entire community. Today Jonathan leads a team of experienced designers who have developed a robust portfolio of residences and commercial properties spanning the Southern California coast. 

Jon has spent most of his life in the beach areas of Southern California, from Laguna to Hermosa to Rancho Palos Verdes, where he currently lives with his wife and two children.

Stefan Schmandt

Stefan Schmandt has been an integral part of SDG since _____

Stefan grew up in Germany and has gone to school for architecture in both Germany and Spain.

He has had over 15 years in the construction industry in the US, Germany and Australia. His extensive world travels allow him a unique perspective on contemporary architecture and design. 

Stefan enjoys developing innovative design solutions for the challenging sites in Southern California’s South Bay.

Amy Holms

Amy Holms met Jon in grad school, and has been working for him since 2000. A Southern California native, she went to college in Massachusetts and has lived abroad in both Sweden and France.

She was originally inspired by the work of the early California Modernists, but loves to keep abreast of current work. Her moodboards earned her an early interview on Pinterest, where she currently has a following of over 2 million.

In 2015, when her twin girls graduated from high school and went off to college, she moved to a rural area in Washington State, where she works remotely and lives on the beach of the Strait of Juan de Fuca with her husband, a dog, 2 cats, and 11 chickens. She still loves creating beautiful homes as she has for over 25 years, but loves the rural lifestyle, where she is involved in competitive rowing with a local club.

Your Home: Less Work, More Play

 When designing and building your home, leave the work to us. 

Once design has been put to paper, our job has just begun. We serve as your eyes, ears, and many times, your voice at every stage of construction. We remain onsite to ensure consistent communication among contractors and to avoid costly mistakes. We sweat the small stuff while keeping an eye on the big picture. The result is a quality residence that offers you lasting value.

Some may call this approach “value-added”—we call it just good business sense. Our approach means we’re:

Trusted – Our client relationships are based on trust and friendship. We respect your ideas and your needs. And we leverage our experience to ensure we meet, and exceed, your expectations.

Accessible – We keep our egos in check, because we know your home is only about one thing — you. We dream big, but only on your behalf.

Resourceful – Blueprints are only the beginning of building a home. We care about the details, and no challenge is ever too small or too large for our team of creative thinkers. 

Committed – We are involved in every aspect of the design and construction of your home. We make an effort to work collaboratively with designers and builders to ensure your vision is carried out. Correctly.