Category Archive: Company News


  1. ID Studios Summer Picnic

    ID Studios Summer Picnic 2022
    ID Studios having fun at the summer picnic!

    This summer we brought back a summer favorite, the ID Studios Family Picnic! The entire ID Studios team, along with our friends and family, came together at San Dieguito Park for an afternoon full of fun in the sun. It was fantastic seeing everyone’s family again after a two-year hiatus and getting to meet our new employees’ family and friends. We enjoyed amazing tacos, some fierce games of Cornhole and a very competitive egg race! We learned many of our friends and family are just as competitive as our ID Studios Team! A big congratulations to our raffle winners, Heather & Rich.

    Check out this fun recap!

    We can’t wait to continue this tradition, grow our ID Studios family and celebrate our team!

  2. ID Studios Really is, The Best Place to Work in San Diego

    Group shot of ID Studios Employees

    For the third year in a row, the Best Place to Work organization included ID Studios in the top 100 Best Places to Work in San Diego . This program recognizes outstanding companies whose benefits, policies and practices are among the best in the region. Our leadership strives to make sure the culture at ID Studios is a warm and friendly place to work, and that the benefits are competitive. In turn, our employees thrive on making sure our clients receive an environment that fits their culture and that the process is enjoyable.

    Thank you to the San Diego Business Journal for recognizing the important work done in San Diego’s Architecture and Design community! We’re excited to be included in the best of it’s ranks.

  3. Ten Year Anniversary of WBENC Certification

    ID Studios Principals, 2020

    This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of being certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC) as a Women’s Business Enterprise (WBE). As an organization founded by women in 2005, Deborah Elliott and Amy Morway, exemplify what it means to be a leader. They have passed their leadership skills and company goals to new Principals, Jill Russell and Rich Guerena.

    A firm’s culture starts at the top and as their employees, we believe that the principals, have created a one-of-a-kind design studio with the right mix of talent and personality. They inspire and promote an authentic approach to design and cultivate an amazing design experience for both clients & our team. They deserve to be celebrated because of their relentless drive to improve the lives of everyone they encounter and have done so with style & grace. As a design firm, their goal is to connect with clients to learn their culture in order to create an engaging design process & provide a positive impact for those who inhabit the new space.

    We plan on continuing to maintain certification with WBENC for many years to come and thank them for their efforts and resources to help women-owned businesses thrive.

  4. Welcome Heaven & Jeni

    Our team is expanding! We recently brought on two employees that we’re very excited about and can’t wait for you to get to know them.

    Heaven Heatherly, Administrative Assistant | Jeni Champion Bauer, Project Manager and Senior Designer

    We’d like to introduce, Heaven Heatherly! She’s our newest administrative assistant and will be the first smiling face you see when you enter. She is helping everyone, especially Sophia, to keep our office running smoothly. Heaven grew up in Virginia and moved to San Diego to attend SDSU. She recently graduated with a BA in Interdisciplinary Studies which, in part, included Interior Design. She likes hosting dinner parties with her friends and is currently taking classes in floral design. We’re so happy you decided to join us, Heaven!

    Our second addition might be familiar to you, Jeni Champion Bauer, CID, NCIDQ has returned to ID Studios. She worked for us for eight years before she moved to Montana with her fiancé to spend more time under the “Big Sky” in the wild outdoors. Since then, she and her beau have gotten married, and while Bauer has been added to her name, she’s still the multi-talented “Champion” Designer and Project Manager we all know and love. Jeni is based in Montana and will regularly be back in San Diego for important project milestones. We’re thrilled to have Jeni back!

  5. SDBJ Book of Lists and Women of Influence in Architecture

    ID Studios is a Growing Architecture and Design Firm in San Diego. When the San Diego Business Journal recently released their special edition, “Women of Influence in Architecture and Design,” ID Studios had lots to cheer about. Three of our principals were celebrated, recognizing their amazing work in the design community.

    The publication also included the annual Architecture Firms, Book of Lists, which ranks firms by number of local staff. This year we jumped from spot #27 in 2021 to #17 in the 2022 Architecture Firm Listings!

    If you’ve worked with us, you know how hard we work to do the right thing for our clients and our employees, and we’re excited to be a growing part of the San Diego Architecture community. Congrats to everyone here at ID Studios for being recognized!

  6. Welcome: Kim Burleigh, Graysen Hart, and Greta Ervin

    portraits of Kim Burleigh, Graysen Hart, and Greta Ervin
    Kim Burleigh | Graysen Hart | Greta Ervin

    Kim Burleigh is a San Diego native and joins ID Studios with 10+ years of commercial interior design experience and a degree in Interior Design from San Diego Mesa College. As a Senior Interior Designer, Kim loves to create spaces for people to experience and interact with first-hand. When it’s sunny outside you can find her on the golf course, and if it’s in Hawaii, that’s even better. Her number one priority outside of work is being a mom to her young son. She along with her sisters, her husband, and two of her best friends are all adopted and she believes these similarities drew them together.

    Graysen Hart graduated from Mississippi College with a Bachelor of Arts in Interior Design and has gained her experience while working in Alabama, Virginia, Washington DC, and now San Diego on many Corporate Office projects. She enjoys making things beautiful through creative expression. Watching a project come to life is why she loves her job. Graysen is an avid gardener and worked at a vegetable farm in New Hampshire before landing her position in Interior Design. She and her husband will be welcoming their first child into their home in June.

    Greta Ervin grew up in Arizona and Colorado. She moved to San Diego to earn a Bachelor of Fine Art in Interior Design from the Design Institute of San Diego. Greta loved San Diego so much that she made it her home. The majority of her work has been in the Corporate Office market segment of Interior Design and she also has experience in the Hospitality and Multi-Family sectors. Greta has two French bulldogs and recently welcomed a kitten into their household! She and her husband have 2 children and enjoy spending time at the beach and indulging in their favorite flavors of ice cream. When it comes to dining out, she is always looking for the spiciest dishes she can find!

  7. Congratulations to our New Principals

    Promotions from within

    Rich Guerena and Jill Layman, Principals

    We are pleased to announce that Jill Russell-Layman CID, NCIDQ, and Rich Guerena, AIA, LEED AP have been elevated to Principal | Owner. “In addition to directing some of ID Studios’ most significant projects, both Rich and Jill have been participating in the day-to-day business operations of the firm since being promoted to Associate Principal in January 2020. We are thrilled that both Jill and Rich are continuing to expand their leadership roles at ID Studios, the positive impact they have had in their leadership position will only increase in their new role,” says Principal Amy Morway.

    Jill Russell-Layman is a Certified Commercial Interior Designer with 20+ years in the industry. She has extensive experience in Corporate, Technology, Education, and Civic Tenant Improvement projects with an emphasis on Strategic Planning. Jill has provided indispensable leadership on some of ID Studios’ most prominent projects in her 16 years with the firm. As a Principal | Owner, Jill also focuses on Business Operations, Human Resources and Business Development, alongside Principal Rich Guerena and Founding Principals Deborah Elliott and Amy Morway.

    Rich Guerena is a Registered Architect with 25+ years of experience and has been promoted to Principal at ID Studios after leading as an Associate Principal for 2-years. His expertise includes Corporate and Life Science Tenant Improvements as well as Building Renovation & Repositioning. Rich has been a key leader and mentor at ID Studios since joining the firm in 2014. Over the last 2 years, Rich has led over a dozen Life Science projects for ID Studios. In his new role as Principal, Rich will oversee the Life Science Market sector for the firm and will continue to participate in business operations, alongside the Founding Principals.

    Deborah Elliott, President of ID Studios, notes that Jill and Rich have proven track records with ID Studios in leading both the design and technical arenas.  They also have an incredible mix of personal and professional leadership skills, honed in their roles as Associate Principals. “We are very excited about this next chapter of leadership at ID Studios”, says Elliott, “Jill and Rich are the perfect match for our firm that is both employee-driven as well as known for its personalized client services and design solutions”.

    We would like to extend a sincere congratulations to them both!

  8. A Big Welcome: Thao Do and Joleen Hultberg

    Fantastic additions to our creative and talented design team

    ID Studios continues to grow! We recently added a new Project Architect and a Senior Designer to the ID Studios “work family”.

    Thao Do, RA, Project Architect & Joleen Hultberg, Senior Designer

    Thao Do first earned a BA in Architecture with Distinction from the Massachusetts College of Art, and then went on to earn a Master of Architecture (M.Arch.) with Distinction from the University of Michigan. Immediately following graduation, she spent a year in Vietnam before heading state-side.  A few years later, she was inspired to move to San Diego and continued her Architecture career working for MW Steele Group and Tucker Stadler Architects until she joined ID Studios in 2021. Thao’s outstanding skills are currently focused on life science projects for a confidential client, a corporate headquarters, and a shell and core repositioning for a building near Petco Park. 

    Joleen Hultberg was born and raised in South Africa before moving to the US to attend William Rainey Harper College where she earned a BFA in Interior Design. With family spread across five countries, she has traveled around the world many times, but her favorite place is Mulback Austria where her father was born. She spent the last 16 years at Catalina Design Group where she was the Interior Design Manager with a focus on multifamily and hospitality projects before joining ID Studios. Joleen is engaged in the strategic planning stages of a locally headquartered company, and business development at ID Studios.

    Thao and Joleen continue the tradition of excellence ID Studios brings to our clients and we hope you get a chance to work with them soon.

  9. Congratulations to our New Associates

    Growing our own talent

    Kelsey Held & Mike McDonald, New Associates at ID Studios
    Kelsey Held, NCIDQ, Associate & Senior Designer & Mike McDonald, Associate and Project Manager

    Kelsey Held graduated from Cal State University Long Beach with a BFA in Interior Architectural Design. She strives to inspire, excite and enhance the experience of the people inhabiting a space by learning about each client’s business and their unique culture in order to bring relevant solutions to the table. A great example of this approach is her design leadership of Swinerton Renewable Energy’s office. While furthering her career in Interior Design, Kelsey and her husband are also wholeheartedly raising their two pre-school-age boys.

    Mike McDonald received a BFA in Interior Design from the Design Institute of San Diego. Currently, he is leading the management of several life science lab projects in Los Angeles and the Bay Area. Mike brings real-world solutions to his clients and team members through his exemplary management and creative skills. He is engaged in the community in a variety of ways and has recently joined the NAIOP Developing Leaders program. Mike and his wife have two young daughters and he has taken on the extreme challenge of coaching his 5-year-old daughter’s soccer team.

    Mike and Kelsey have proven their design, management, and leadership ability and are of great value to the ID Studios team. Congratulations to them both!

  10. Life Science Market Segment Update

    Last October we announced an alliance between ID Studios and ORANGEWALLstudios. This partnership was formed specifically in response to the increased demand for highly qualified lab planning and cutting-edge workplace design services in the Life Science sector. As soon as we made the announcement, life science project coordinators recognized the potential. We were quickly able to make connections and start work on projects up and down the west coast.

    To date, we have seven active life science/lab projects including two with Ligand Pharmaceuticals. These projects include scopes such as core and shell upgrades, lab planning, space planning, and TI projects.

    Neurelis, Design by ID Studios, Photo by Pink Media
    Neurelis “…founded to license, develop, and commercialize product candidates for the broader central nervous system (CNS), including epilepsy and psychiatry.”

    We’d love to partner with you on your upcoming life science and/or lab project and show you how the alliance between ID Studios and ORANGEWALLstudios can be of benefit to you. See more of our completed life science projects HERE and Contact Us to get started!