The philosophy of Purple Cherry Architects is guided by a desire to create exceptional homes for our clients. From the initial client inquiry through to project completion, our design team is devoted to being creative servants.

Through active listening, we achieve a true understanding of our client’s needs and vision. Guiding the client step-by-step through the design process, we ensure a positive synergy in the client-architect relationship. Our design team’s sensitivity to lifestyle, scalability, and living patterns not only informs the design concept, but supports the values and characteristics unique to each client. We seek to understand not only the physical, but also the emotional relationship our client will have with a particular space or structure, and how that translates to design.

Demonstrating both flexibility and passion for creating environments that transcend visual beauty, our design strategies contribute to a sense of comfort and serenity in the home. Coupled with views, detailing and planning strategies, we create homes that are awe-inspiring.

“Simply incredible! Wonderful experience all around! Creative design, thoughtful solutions, assertive yet diplomatic municipal negotiations, efficient collaboration, and above all of that, a fun experience.”
-Private Waterfront Residence, Severn River

“Our experience with Purple Cherry Architects was one of the most efficient, satisfying, and ultimately rewarding, professional experiences of our lives.”
-Private Waterfront Residence, Aberdeen Creek


Established in Annapolis, Maryland in 1996— and grew to include newly expanded offices in Charlottesville, VA, Middleburg, VA and Greenbrier, WV — Purple Cherry Architects is a high-end residential architecture and interior design firm serving the Eastern United States. Guided by principal Cathy Purple Cherry, our firm specializes in custom, luxury residential projects featuring elegant architectural detail and beautiful spaces that excite and reflect our clients.

Our design team has extensive knowledge and experience with the intricacies of working on waterfront properties and critical areas. Moreover, as a LEED accredited professional, Cathy Purple Cherry has the knowledge and capability of integrating sustainable strategies into the design of clients’ homes at their request. Through its proven design philosophy and process, our firm has built an impressive portfolio of custom residences. We also support our residential project clients in the design of their commercial ventures as an extension of services and successful relationships.

Additionally, at the heart of the firm’s non-profit work is our Purposeful Architecture studio. Visit purposefularchitecture.com for more information.

Cathy Purple Cherry

Grounded in faith and driven by a passion for art and architectural design, Cathy Purple Cherry has been honing her craft since early childhood. Painting lessons at age five were a mere precursor for her later studies at the Corcoran School of Art, University of Colorado, Boulder, and University of Maryland. Since graduating with her architecture degree in 1989, Cathy has demonstrated time and again her innate ability to wed form and function.

Through her guidance as Principal and founder, Purple Cherry Architects has grown into a leading luxury custom residential architecture firm serving the Eastern United States.

Consistently praised by clients and colleagues for her leadership qualities and problem solving prowess, Cathy is able to quickly develop exceptional design solutions, “Cathy’s creativity and enthusiasm knows no bounds. She is thoughtful in her approach, considering lifestyle as much as aesthetics.” As a wife and mother of three, her eldest a special needs child, Cathy deeply understands the need to design dream homes that are not only beautiful, but that support the values and characteristics of clients. As a tremendously talented architect, visionary, and three-dimensional thinker, she is able to marry clients’ dreams with the reality of the built environment.

“Cathy’s intuition, order, commitment, and passion has made this project a joy and I would highly recommend Purple Cherry Architects for anyone looking for the best of the best.”
-Private Waterfront Residence, Harness Creek

While she revels in the intricate design opportunities presented by high-end residential architecture, Cathy is equally passionate about her philanthropic efforts and her work serving the special needs community through the firm’s Purposeful Architecture studio. A true embodiment of a “creative servant”, Cathy Purple Cherry is unfailing in her efforts to positively impact those around her, “Her heart is huge, but is only out-shadowed by her amazing talent.”



Alan Cook, LEED AP

With a deep understanding of environmental design, coupled with over sixteen years’ experience, Alan Cook brings to each project a valuable interdisciplinary perspective. A graduate of Syracuse University School of Architecture, Alan has extensive experience with custom residential, historic preservation, office, and retail projects. He shares, “My passion for architecture comes from the satisfaction of problem-solving combined with the thrill of creating something beautiful and new.”

Ashley Marshall

Ashley Marshall, a graduate of The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning, pursued architecture with the hope of making a positive impact on peoples’ lives. Concentrating her studies on the Sacred Space, she now specializes in the firm’s Purposeful, non-profit, and special needs projects. Ashley is living the dream, “I am changing the world one building at a time, and my passion for architecture grows every time I put my pen to paper.”

Brian Bassindale, RA

For nearly 30 years, Brian Bassindale’s primary focus has been high-end custom residential architecture. A graduate of the Washington University School of Architecture and the former President of the AIA Chesapeake Bay Chapter, Brian thrives on, “Taking a great design concept and turning it into a set of expertly-crafted drawings that faithfully describe the myriad of ideas and details necessary to produce great buildings.”

Doug Kuchta

With an architect father, and a childhood home often under construction, Doug Kuchta has long been intrigued by the technical aspects of how structures are built. A graduate from Morgan State University School of Architecture, Doug’s experience includes both commercial and residential projects. Always ready to roll up his sleeves, Doug explains, “When you can use architecture to overcome a challenging design situation and create something beautiful, purposeful, and balanced, it is amazing.”

Tammy Sweeney

With nearly two decades of marketing experience advancing national brands such as Ethan Allen and L’Oreal, Tammy is a skilled communicator and savvy negotiator. A graduate from the College of New Rochelle, Tammy holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies. An avid runner and a 2013 and 2014 Boston Marathon Finisher, Tammy finds many parallels between running and an effective marketing plan “Running an impactful campaign can be like running a marathon—and goals are my mile markers along the way, leading to me to the long-desired finish line.”

Joanne Handler

With over 21 years of experience in accounting and human resource management in the architectural field, Joanne Handler is a well-seasoned industry professional.  A graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Joanne holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting. Joanne believes that teamwork is what a firm’s strength is all about. “We’re all individuals that offer special talents to a team—however, we don’t need to work alone to shine. Teamwork makes it happen!”

Carla Edmonds

Growing up in a neighborhood of various architectural styles, Carla has been fascinated with residential design from a young age. A graduate of The Catholic University of America School of Architecture and Planning, and holding her Masters of Architecture from Boston Architectural College, Carla pursued architecture for her love of solving puzzles. “Architecture is one big puzzle, full of different details and when it is assembled it becomes a masterpiece.” Carla brings nearly 10 years to our team in both residential and commercial projects.

Katie Carlin

A native of the eastern shore of Maryland, Katie obtained her interior design degree from the CIDA accredited design program at High Point University. Using her formal education and almost ten years of experience in the industry, Katie thrives on mastering beautiful interiors that are reflective of the homeowner’s personal aesthetic and lifestyle. Katie shares, “My goal for each client is to create a home that is a true reflection of their self.”

Jason Clapp

With a deep understanding of high-end residential design, coupled with fifteen years’ experience, Jason Clapp is driven in the exploration of how technology enhances the client-architect-contractor relationship to visualize the project throughout the design process. Holding a Masters in architecture from Washington State University, Jason shares a passion for classic, timeless architecture and has designed an extensive and impressive body of work with luxury residential projects across the country. When asked what excites Jason, he shares, “The ongoing process of learning the craft of architecture and the development of intentional design that can transport the individual to experience new and unique spatial experiences.”

Shawn Martin

With a mechanic father and a carpenter grandfather, Shawn’s curiosity for how things that function well are built and designed, started at a young age. A graduate from Syracuse University, Shawn’s experience encompasses residential and commercial projects. His passion for architecture and interior design is evident the moment you meet him. He shares, “We spend so much of our lives inside built spaces that I’m inexorably intrigued by how we respond to them. Architecture provides a unique opportunity for original ideas to be tangibly realized, so it’s very exciting to engage in that process every day.”

Nina Swigert

Nina Swigert, a graduate of Liberty University, holds a degree in the field of Communications studies. Specializing in advertising and public relations, Nina has the drive to find the most effective and creative ways to reach an audience. Her concern for helping others and promoting a positive lifestyle are daily motivating factors. “I strive to find at least one way to make a positive impact on someone’s life each day.”

Annie Kersey

Annie Kersey, a graduate of Syracuse University’s School of Architecture, is well-versed in 3D software and is passionate about interior architecture and interior design, allowing her to make significant contributions to our design studio with a particular flair for details. What does Annie most look forward to when working on her projects? “Understanding the passion our clients bring to each project, and creating spaces that exceed their greatest expectations.”

Kellen August

A graduate from Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design, Kellen has an advanced understanding of 2D and 3D architectural design software, as well as a keen interest in high-end custom residential architecture and designing for the special needs community. Ever since Kellen was a child, she always had a curious and creative mind on how buildings and objects are built and go together.  She shares, “I love architecture because I believe that when every single design decision has a clear purpose and reason behind it, architecture can influence humans in ways they never imagined.”

Mitchell August

From small scale model building at a young age, to furniture building later in life, most of Mitchell’s life has revolved around design. A graduate from Virginia Tech School of Architecture and Design, he has a knowledgeable background in BIM and commercial architecture, but a true passion for custom residential with a keen eye for detail. He believes that, “the built environment plays an extremely crucial role in an individual’s well-being, and as an architect, I love being able to affect that in a positive way.”

Cait Walls

Cait Walls, a native of Maryland, had a desire at a young age to create. As such, she began to pursue this passion more seriously in college, and received a degree in fine arts with a concentration in product design from Towson University and later received her degree in interior design. What does Cait enjoy most when working on projects? “From construction to décor, I’m driven to inspire clients by helping their style and story be seen through the form and function of their home”. Cait is working toward becoming a certified ASID professional by completing the NCIDQ requirements.

Maria Groben

A graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design’s School of Building Arts, Maria pursued a degree in architecture and architectural history. There she gained a passion for residential design and a love for details, having been surrounded by the historic homes in the city. Maria likes to enjoy the little things in life and relates that to architecture, saying, “It’s exciting to solve the smallest details and spaces and see how they fit together to create the overall home.”

John Daly

A graduate of the College of Architecture, Design and Construction – Auburn University, John is an architect with over twelve years of diverse experience, including as a contractor, associated with a list of high-end residential projects. John shares a passion for classic, timeless architecture and has designed an extensive and impressive body of work with residential projects across the mid-Atlantic and even as far away as the US Virgin Islands. Having grown up around construction and under the mentorship of a talented architect, John naturally gravitated toward the industry. “I am completely revved when working through design challenges, from master-planning, to building schematics, right on down the finest detail. It’s all exciting for me.”

Linsay Holly

Growing up on a historic horse farm in Charlottesville, Linsay developed a love of beautiful farmhouses and the vernacular architecture of Virginia. As a natural creative, she spent a decade working with adults with disabilities in therapeutic art settings, but grew troubled by the lack of inclusive design choices her clients were facing. She moved to Chicago to pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design degree from Harrington College of Design and spent several years post-graduation working in the city on a variety of large-scale commercial and public use projects. Linsay is thrilled to have the opportunity to bring together her professional experience and personal passions at Purple Cherry.