Unlike other professions such as medicine where clients come to you through necessity, or accounting where they return annually, Architects deal with clients who often only need architectural services for one specific project.

Consequently, the reputation of an Architect is the most valuable marketing tool to continually generate new clients through referrals.

Having been in the position of appointing other Architects to undertake projects, I understand better than most the importance of testimonials and references in helping to select the best Architect suited to the specific project.

Therefore I am very appreciative of the positive testimonials provided by past and present clients and professional colleagues, and am more than happy to provide their contact details should you require any further endorsement of my ability to assist you with your project.

John Lea has designed our family home. His knowledge, experience and professionalism combined with his creativity, attention to detail and excellent communication skills has made the design process most enjoyable.

John’s use of visualisation technology such as 3D modelling and the VR experience has been extremely valuable as we have been able to see the spaces in our home.

John is a very impressive architect, we are thrilled with his work and would not hesitate to recommend him.

Megan Chesser

As owner builders we were constructing houses on neighbouring sites to one of Lea Design Studio’s designs which was being built at the same time. We were impressed with the quality of the design and the selection of materials used. Based on the positive referrals provided by both the owners and the builder of this residence, we contacted John to discuss designing our next home.

Our brief was limited to setting an approximate building size and schedule of required rooms, relying largely on John’s experience and design skills to produce a solution that will maximise the potential of the premium site we are developing.

We found the entire design process to be relaxed and enjoyable, and we are extremely happy with the design outcome. We’d highly recommend John to anyone wanting to design a bespoke new home.

Emma & Jamie Moloney

So lucky to found John to work on our house renovation, it was great through the whole process. As a first-time renovation, I was unsure of the process. John was so supportive throughout and helped us with every step of the renovation. We couldn’t be happier with our home design.
Anyone engaging John will be in very good hands.
Highly recommend!!

Pattaree Jiranuchaiwattana

Amazing experience and pleasure dealing with John. From our first meeting through to our final review for my home renovation I’m so happy in every step with Lea design studio. Extremely reliable, service on time, with honest and professional advice. We’re so lucky to find John Lea. Very very highly recommend!!

Vitchaya Hastawet

We found John Lea Designs from Houzz and are very impressed by their professionalism and helpful attitude. We chose him over architectural companies from his previous impressive designs and what his previous clients said about him and that didn’t disappoint! John is very good at what he does and listens well to what we wanted. He also help us deal with a very difficult body corporate with patience and professionalism. Thanks John we hope to start the building process soon.

Nicki Titze

We moved to the Gold Coast recently, and were looking for a reputable Architect to design our new beachfront home.

We found John via Google on the Houzz website and were impressed by the very good reviews from his previous clients.

John was chosen as our preferred candidate after meeting with him and a couple of other Architects with experience in upmarket residential design.

John presented us with a very detailed proposal from initial sketch design through to building completion giving us good visibility of all the steps in the process.

Since engaging John, the design experience has been very interactive and he has always responded positively to our input.

We’ve found the 3D modelling and Virtual Reality tours particularly beneficial in allowing us to experience and understand the design.

We have no hesitation in recommending John to others looking for an Architect who will provide attentive service and outstanding design results.

Shirley & John Huberts

John was recommended to us and our creative design journey with him has been exciting and rewarding. Being experienced builders, John has exceeded our expectations; tailoring a design outcome and documentation service, to suit our specific needs in designing our new home.

The constraints of a small and irregular shaped site for our residential home – a fan shape with two street frontages- gave John plenty of opportunity to demonstrate his high skill set and creativity in transforming our initial sketch into a unique, functional and aesthetically charming home design. Each meeting with John has been exciting, as he continues to amend and develop our vision; where the design is now almost at completion. From 3D Design Modelling to Virtual Reality walk through presentations, we’ve found the entire design experience to be an impressive revelation of the benefits provided by the cutting edge technologies that Lea Design Studio offer.

John has enthusiastically guided us towards a range of building products and appropriate websites to assist us in our building finishes, whilst always considering the constraints of our budget. In addition, he has been active in coordinating with the engineer, town planner and certifier to move our design towards submission for approval. John is nothing short of professional and it was clear from the outset that he is very passionate and dedicated to arriving at the optimal outcome.

He is a sincere and friendly person who makes communication easy and meetings pleasant and enjoyable. We wholeheartedly endorse John and Lea Design Studio for the exceptional skills, talents, capabilities and professionalism they bring to any customised architectural project!

Kerrie & Reg Smith

I first connected with John almost 2 years ago. We are now so close to starting the build of our once in a lifetime dream home. John has been a huge asset and has lead the way through the entire process. He has not only delivered a home that will fit perfectly on our property but it will also fit perfectly with our family which was a priority for us. John is as professional as they come, from finding the right builder, landscape designer and interior designer, to taking the lead at meetings. John listened to our needs and incorporated every little detail. Our vision and Johns vision finding synchronicity.

Tanya McCorry

John Lea is an absolute professional. From initial mood boards to final design the quality of his work has been terrific and has exceeded all expectations. He has listened carefully to what matters to us and has skilfully combined our voice with what is practical and aesthetically pleasing. John has aptly applied his extensive design experience to our residential build and has embraced the challenges of a remote coastal site to design something that will be robust, beautiful, unique and most importantly, has liveability front-of-mind.

His use of traditional presentation techniques augmented with 3D imaging and fly-throughs have really helped us to envisage what will be our home and business. We’ve ‘walked’ through our design queries and just as importantly, these clever technologies have helped to sustain a level of excitement throughout what will be an 18-month process.

Thanks to John we have a design that we love to look at, that fulfills our brief and that can be built within our budget.

Rebekah Rosser

Head of Venue Business,
Cricket Australia

When my husband and I decided to add another storey to our family home, we decided we should engage an Architect to assist us.

We found Lea Design Studio through Houzz.

John has guided us successfully through the design process and created a well resolved extension that we are excited to be commencing soon.

We provided to John an initial budget and builders have returned to us estimates within this.

We’d highly recommend John to anyone considering undertaking a major renovation or designing a new home.


We had been planning our new home for 11 months and had come to the realisation that we needed professional assistance to distil all of our ideas into a successful design outcome. Having never used an Architect before, we discovered John’s Studio through a comprehensive online search.

Lea Design Studio appealed to us because he checked out. It is as simple as that. I feel his multi-faceted experience has given him an understanding of the intricacies of the whole process, not just the “Architects” point of view. There is a lot more to designing a home than we anticipated but with John’s guidance and support, not to mention his contacts this has been a rewarding journey. John’s professionalism and integrity has been evident throughout the project not only in his design but also more importantly in his ability to listen and amend the design to our requirements without pushing his own agenda.

The design solution that John created exceeded all of our expectations. He has taken our sketch, which contained multiple square boxes within a larger rectangular box with kilometres of hallway and deciphered what my wife and I were trying to achieve. I am still blown away with how he took what we proudly presented to him at the time and created our dream home. A home that not only looks beautiful but is functional too. His guidance and co-ordination of the entire design process has made the journey a very positive and enjoyable experience. We’d have no hesitation in endorsing John and Lea Design Studio to anyone looking for architectural assistance with the design of their new home or other projects.

James & Alesha Anderson

Gold Coast Residents

I have worked closely with John for over 10 years on numerous prestige Development Projects throughout Australia. He is an extremely talented Architect creating award winning designs in his own right, but also skillful at directing and refining the work of other Architects where required to ensure the very best design outcome for any project.

He is an excellent listener, understands his brief and is attuned to working with Developers or Property Purchasers to establish a clear understanding of their specific needs, and then translating them successfully into well resolved design solutions.  He has been very successful in working with us in conjunction with our builders to ensure we deliver the quality and cutting edge design to suit the clients. 

John is professional, courteous, clever, hard-working and is unique in the Architectural services he provides to his clients.  I could not recommend John Lea any higher to potential new clients.

David Higgins

Residential Director,
Colliers International

We have worked with John Lea on many projects for the past 5 years and John’ s approach to his designs, along with his full appreciation of his clients “needs and wants” provides a refreshing change to the industry. His early collaboration with builders to provide input to functional constructability, Project costs and value engineering initiatives ensure that he gives that extra level of service to his clients throughout the project.

John has a wealth of experience and his designs are as much innovative as they are impressive and one of John’s key strengths is that he co-ordinates between his client’s and the builder’s to ensure that the scope is fully understood and delivered to the brief.

Paul Maddison

Program Director,
PM Concepts

John has done an outstanding job in designing two homes for us. His ability to marry stunning architectural form with exciting yet functional internal planning maximising the potential of our riverfront sites, has resulted in houses that have been a joy to live in. 

We are regularly complimented on the spectacular design of our current home by visitors experiencing it for the first time. They often have trouble believing the house was built 14 years ago.

We now count John and his wife as good friends whom we keep in touch with on a regular basis. We have absolutely no hesitation in recommending John to other clients looking for a dedicated and talented Architect to design their new home. 

Tony & Terry Bawden

Joint Founding Director,

My wife Di and I commissioned John to redesign our waterfront entertaining area to incorporate a 15m lap pool, spa and BBQ pavilion on a difficult sloping site. We had a few attempts to find an Architect who would listen to the brief and interpret the style and design that we liked.

We engaged John who took into full account the attributes of the home and blended it in seamlessly with the prominent north facing waterfront block where our home is located.

John throughout the entire process has been proactive in not only the design, but also in co-ordinating and hastening the structural engineer and other consultants to guide it successfully through the complex Council approvals process. We would certainly have no hesitation in recommending John for any project.  

Chris Otley-Doe


I engaged John to custom design a new multilevel house for my family on a large riverfront block on the Gold Coast. He produced a design that ultimately exceeded our expectations, and which proved to be a wonderful comfortable home to live and play in.

I’d highly recommend John to anyone looking for an easy going yet professional architect to come up with an innovative and stylish design for their new home.

Craig McDermott


Having purchased a 2 level 4 bedroom Penthouse off the plan in a new boutique beachfront apartment building on the Gold Coast, John acting as Design Manager for the Developer, worked closely with us to customise the design to suit our specific requirements.  He developed alternative design layouts for our consideration, and then co-ordinated the Architects and Interior Designers to incorporate the detailed design and finishes selections. 

John’s assistance ensured that despite us living overseas, the redesign process was well co-ordinated, and will result in a stunning apartment design that we will be very excited to see completed in the near future. 

We would highly recommend working with John Lea.

Nick & Andrea Gordon

Founder – Zintel Group

Northcliffe Residences Penthouse Purchasers

We engaged John in a Design Management role to assist us in refining the design of Cerulean, our latest high-rise residential project. John has undertaken a detailed review of the internal planning, and working closely with our Sales and Marketing team, has developed  more saleable layouts for the individual units and the penthouse.

John’s innate design skills combined with his first-hand Development experience has resulted in a product offering that we are excited to be presenting to our discerning buyers.

James Adam

Managing Director,
Portfolio Group

Over the years I have been involved in many projects with John where he has been engaged either as the Principal Architect, or in a Design Management capacity.  I have always found John to be a very practical Architect considering all aspects of design including constructability and economy, a necessity in ensuring the successful delivery of development projects for the client and end users.

Graham Goldman

Managing Director,
Eastview Australia
(Project Managers)

I have known John since he first joined Pacific Projects Group as principal design Architect 25 years ago.  At this time, together we developed a successful architectural practice undertaking a diverse range of projects including prestige residential homes and resort projects throughout Australasia. This practice eventually transitioned into a high end property development company where John was responsible for both designing and managing other Architects in delivering award winning projects throughout Australia.

John has a rare combination of skillsets for an architect with the wonderful ability to produce highly creative and innovative designs that are at all times functional and cost effective.

As a loyal colleague and trusted friend, I’d highly recommend John to any client looking for a highly skilled architect to turn their aspirations into an exciting reality.

Peter Madrers

Peter Madrers
Joint Group CEO &
Managing Director

Easily some of the finest homes I have filmed. All, with a timeless design that stand the test of time. Contemporary Queensland architecture at its best.

Brett Clements

Founder and Creative Director,
Platinum HD

We have worked with John Lea intermittently for the past 20 years. Over a number of apartment projects John has provided design advice and produced detailed documentation to provide a design resolution that satisfies our requirements both from a design and cost point of view.

He is a pleasure to work with as he listens to our requirements and then translates them into practical construction detail. One of John’s great strengths is that he has the experience to understand both the developers and the builders objectives and this has a very positive contribution during the construction of a project.

Simkin Holdings Group & Ros Dwyer Consulting Group

Property Developers

I have worked with John on a few occasions now and its always a pleasure. His Architectural showcases are always stunning and he shares my own drive to seek out new technologies which are disrupting the design/construction industries. A nice guy too to top it off!

Michael Williams

Managing Director,
CSD Group Australia Pty Ltd

Being from interstate we relied on an internet search to find the best Architect to design a major renovation of our Queensland holiday home.

We found John’s firm through an online search. He responded immediately to our inquiry and met with us on site when we visited  the Gold Coast several weeks later. We have been exceptionally pleased with John’s prompt attention to our project, the well resolved design outcome, and his assistance in co-ordinating the necessary consultants to obtain building approval.

We would highly recommend John and Lea Design Studio to family, friends and anyone looking for an Architect on the Gold Coast.

Mary Prowse & Paul Burke

An astute professional. Tracy and I thoroughly enjoyed each meeting and design session with John, designing and establishing a complete set of drawings, plans and strategies for our whole floor level beachfront renovation. The guidance, leadership and natural ability to listen to our ideas has seen John deliver a spectacular design that will indeed result in a world class new property. Thank you John, a fantastic outcome and a totally enjoyable journey! We loved it, and thank you for that.

Max Cooper & Tracy Thomas

Beachside Tower, Main Beach

John’s architectural experience across a number of decades and styles has always been some of most beautiful work I’ve witnessed in the property industry. His ability to bring a home to life or monetise a larger development is second to none. And, a perfect gentlemen.

Sarah Staerk

Gold Coast

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