Maria Abreu
Maria Abreu graduated in Brazil in Architecture & Urban Design in 1996. Maria is a licensed architect in Brazil and she worked there with residential, commercial, educational and institutional projects for eight years. Maria was also a lecturer at the School of Architecture, teaching environmental design, focusing in natural light and acoustic design. Maria moved to the US in 2004 and since then she has been working in residential and small commercial projects throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. She has been working with M.Designs Architects since 2007. At M.Designs Maria participates in all phases of projects, from as-build, to preparation of complete construction drawing packages and coordinating with the City. Maria is a very active person and loves the environment. She is a regular swimmer and in her free time she explores new places, loves hikes, bike rides, camping and enjoys other out door activities
Chip enjoy translating his client’s ideas and dream in to creative design that are both individualize and functional. His work experience resolved complex residential design challenges and management of commercial construction. His expertise ranges from small detail-oriented residential remodeling project to new homes, commercial and corporate projects of all sizes in Palo Alto, Los Altos and throughout the Bay Area. Chip received his architectural training at Stanford University where he also studies English and History. He graduated in 1970 and received his architectural license in 1981
Karen L. Ali
Karen Ali is Director of Operations at M•Designs reporting directly to the senior management of the Firm. She joined MDA in 2008, working initially as a drafter and bookkeeper. In addition to her other duties she continues to manage the firm’s bookkeeping and accounting activities. Karen is passionate about Green Building and environmental conservation. She is a Certified Green Building Professional and Greenpoint Rater (both through Build it Green), a HERS rater(California Building Performance Contractor Association), a Green Certified Professional (National Association of the Remodeling Industry), and is currently working on a Master’s Program in Green Building. She has served on the regional NARI board and was Vice President for Education from 2009 through 2011.
Ashley Macachor
Ashley has been working with M. Designs as the Office Manager and General Assistant to the Principals since 2011. Her duties include management of the firm's reference library and internet presence and she is often the first point of contact between the firm and potential clients, consultants, and vendors. She is one of the newest additions to the M. Designs team.
In her free time she enjoys playing music, yoga and hiking.
M.Designs Architects is a California architecture, planning and interior design firm specializing in sustainable residential design and office, commercial and industrial projects.
With more than 30 years of management experience in all aspects of designing, documentation and construction support, as well as an extensive background in construction and cost estimating for architectural projects. Our expertise ranges from small kitchen and office remodels to new homes, Eichler homes, town houses, villas, estates and large scale commercial projects.
Hallmarks of our services include a strong commitment and loyalty to clients, early and consistent interaction and negotiation with code enforcement agencies/city planners, in addition to close cooperation and coordination with all members of the project team.


"I've known Malika and Chip for years now, and have toured several of their projects. As a designer with the eye for details, I see the quality, and their projects are outstanding!! Unique one of a kind and personalized to fit the taste and needs of the family. They listen and provide a project that works for the home owner. Beautiful work. Very talented." --Patricia D, Woodside, CA

"...I never thought I could afford someone who added as much to the remodel as Malika did! Having her lead the design was the single most important decision in our remodel, and we think we got an amazing value for what she delivered.
Bottom line: If you are considering a small or large remodel, and could use some expert help on design or architecture or guidelines, you should at least interview M Designs. From our experience, your search should end there." --Sirish R., Sunnyvale, CA

"Working with Chip has been a pleasure, he was able to help us remodeling our small 50 year old home into beautiful work of art. His professionalism, and attention to detail was a valuable resource in helping us maneuvering through this huge project. He was always available, able to listen and guide us through some difficult decisions. We are very happy with the outcome of our home and would work with Chip and his design team again. We now have a beautiful, warm home and look forward to spending many happy years here. Thank You Chip!" -- Michelle S., Palo Alto, CA

"Malika was extremely professional with fabulous ideas. A pleasure to work with. Our home is exactly what we wanted but did not know where/how to start. Thanks, Malika." -- Barry D., Mountain View, CA

"We have done one addition and now, three years later, a major remodeling of our entire living space with M Designs. In either case, we have been truly satisfied by both the outcome of the projects and our interaction with Malika and Chip. It has been a very effective and creative collaboration: they listened carefully to our ideas, understood our needs, including budget constraints, and gave us the necessary advice and direction. At the end, they were able to translate our desires into a very nice and functional design that we are especially pleased with." – Anna D., Los Altos, CA

"Malika and Chip are the best. Hands down. We worked with them on a fairly significant remodel a few years ago. We had an excellent experience and are thrilled with the results. We thought we were going to work them just to develop some as-built drawings...but as things unfolded we worked with them to do a whole lot more. Our house started out as a pretty basic 3/2 California ranch...they took it well beyond that and have turned things into an amazingly live-able 4/4 home. Just today, almost 3 years later, I was saying to my wife how nice our house is. We owe it all to Malika and Chip...and the amazing contractor who took things from design to completion. You're nuts not to work with Malika and Chip!" -- Jeff B., Mountain View

"When remodelling a home you are faced with an incredible number of design choices. I was very clear about wanting a modern streamlined look for our home, but I had no idea how to go about achieving it. Luckily, I met Malika (I only wish I had met her earlier!), just as we were about to start with our remodel. Since we already had our plans in place, I needed her help with the interior and exterior 'look' of the home. She transformed the house completely from what it had been drawn up by making just a few tweaks here and there. Though the changes seemed subtle, the transformation was radical.
Malika has lots of great ideas that not only look great but are practical. She understands that everyone is on a budget and suggests ways to save money. She is never pushy with her suggestions, and would always be respectful if either me or my husband had reservations about going in a certain direction. You don't have to go to San Francisco if you want a modern architect. We have one of the best and brightest right here in the Bay!" -- Pooja S., Mountain View, CA

"I wanted to do a remodeliing on my home and add some space for my family that is growing faster than I can imagine. I had an idea of what kind of design I like but Malika blew me away with her ideas. She listened to everything we told her about how we live and everything we didn't tell her that she observed, including how my pets lives and moves around in the house.
Malika not just architected a very modern design (which I love) but also modified my house into a Green / sustainable house. She and her team also helped me select environmentally friendly products and frankly helped me and my family into becoming a green family now. My energy bill has decreased by about 20%, even though we have added about 30% to our home. Highly recommended!" -- Frank R., Sunnyvale, CA

"Chip was a dream to work with. He spent an extensive amount of time getting to know us so that he could better design a living space that would truly fit with our needs and wishes. He adhered to our budget and was very realistic about what could and could not be done. The relationship we formed made the whole design process very easy. I never hesitated to ask even the most minute of questions. He also guided us through a difficult contractor situation and led us to Lynstar Construction (whom we were very pleased with). In the end, we have a gorgeous space that fits with the style of our home and fulfills our needs and then some. We never want to leave our kitchen as it is the best room in the whole house. Thank you!!!!" -- Kylee M., Palo Alto, CA

"Having had some luck with "design build" on a spec house, we gave a local well known design build firm the nod. $18,000 later they provided us a "concept" that neither met our needs, blew our budget and was bad design.
We then turned to M Design and were completely satisfied. The Principals met with us several times to define our needs and styles, and developed great plans. The project was guided through planning and there was great project support throughout. Chip was always accessible when "things" happened and the rebuild was a huge success.
We constantly get "oohs and aahs" when we entertain and love the space and style that M Design conceived of."-- Mike K, Mountain View, CA

"I have known Chip and Malika for several years now. I am a general contractor who specializes in energy efficient, non toxic and comfortable homes. I rated Malika's home for Green Point Rating a year or so ago and they did a great job on her home and were new to green building at that point. They have come a long way in thinking about ways to make their homes less toxic, more comfortable and more cost effective to build, maintain and live in, while still maintaining the wonderful aesthetic for which they are well known.
My company has only done one job with Chip and Malika, where they were the architects, and they did a great job. The house won the Environmental building award for the city of Menlo park in 2011 and will be the 5th greenest home in the state of California. They were on top of all the details for the home and really eager to see the project succeed. The clients loved them and project turned out great.
Besides everything else, they are really nice people." -- Dave E. , Santa Clara, CA

You probably know about M Designs because they create beautiful design. Malika stands out for me because she is a master of designing around her clients' lifestyles. This means she helps her clients figure out if what they're asking for will enhance rather than detract and distract from how they actually live their lives., -- Jane R., Mountain View

Both Chip and Malika are great Architects. They give their clients great design ideas and their final designs are vary detailed and flawless. I have worked with other designers which are also good, but M-Designs are a step ahead of other designers. It is also important to know that they are licensed architects not just a designer. We have already referred them to some of our friends., -- Simon I., San Jose, CA

M Designs helped us add-on to our Eichler without blowing the architectural integrity of our home. They gave us several ideas to choose from, all interesting, and we opted for the one that really kept our home exactly within the Eichler aesthetic. We wanted that, but we also felt it was important for our neighborhood. In our view, you can go off the reservation quite a bit with ranch houses, but with Eichlers you really need to keep design standards homogeneous. M Designs "gets it" though they didn't force that on us - it is what we believe.
Because our addition was classified practically like building a new house in Sunnyvale, we/they were faced with a great deal of code issues that impacted design, making it hard to add-on to the house "the right way:" In fact, Sunnyvale suggested changing the plans such that we could have built a monstrosity to meet the new codes in order to have the additional square footage classified as part of the house as opposed to an "out building" which would mean we couldn't sell our house - if we ever do - as the larger house it now is.
M Designs really helped us by pushing the City of Sunnyvale for us though we did have to make it VERY clear we were not going to settle for an "out building" permit. They went to bat for us with the City and prevailed. Sunnyvale really needs an architectural review committee. Of course, all you have to do is drive around the City to see that. I think the City is coming to that realization as well. Yay!
Sorry to digress. Regarding budget issues, we didn't have any with M Designs.
They also gave us a selection of contractors to talk to and obtain bids from. We were satisfied with their suggestions and the contractor we chose was great. We appreciated that they could screen contractors for us, since we moved here from NYC and didn't have anyone to talk to about referrals.
We have found any sort of home remodeling project to be a challenge. However, we would not hesitate to work with M Designs again. -- B.D, Sunnyvale, CA

We are more than thrilled with how the addition to our house came out. We interviewed almost 10 architects before picking Malik and Chip. They were the only ones who got the concept of what we wanted but who also brought some original thinking to the problem. Malika brings a real artists' eye to architecture. She is innovative and creative and can see possibilities beyond what you might think of. People are always complementing us on how nice our home came out and how it kept within the modern eichler-ish style of the neighborhood yet going beyond with a new interpretation of the style. She also had great advice on the interior details. Julie B. , Mountain View, CA

Malika and Chip are very talented and creative people. They listen to the clients wants and needs, and always proceed with knowledge, expertise and integrity. They are well known and respected by the different planning departments. I always recommend M Designs with confidence! , -- Lizbeth R. Palo Alto, CA

First off....I'm skeptical of most architects. They have their own ideas of how thing should be and don't really listen, much less stay within budget. I met Malika and Chip through a mutual friend and immediately noticed a refreshing attitude. To say I'm impressed with them is a gross understatement. Their work is phenomenal, and reasonably priced. Hiring an architect is very personal....they put you at ease and make the process easy. I've also spoken to others, who I respect, that equally sing their praises. Huge thumbs up!! -- Caelie B. San Jose, CA,