Our Executive Team
The Design Loop offers everything you need for your design and building project: unique products and services not found elsewhere, expert advice, and a convenient location.
West Berkeley has the highest concentration of independent design and building professionals and home improvement merchants in the Bay Area. You can design and construct a home or building from the ground up with the resources we offer, and furnish it too. From concept to completion, foundations to finishes, lumber to lighting, you’ll find it all here.
The Design Loop is a group of local merchants, designers, consultants, and builders, teamed up to improve your experience.
Each of us is an expert in our field, eager to advise you on your latest project. We work together in the spirit of
"co-opetition” - helping you to find the best solution for your vision. If one member doesn’t have what you need, they will direct you to the best resource in our extensive and growing network.
A design project can be daunting, but we aim to make it fun and accessible. Visit The Design Loop and make your project as unique and interesting as you are!
Get in The Loop!
Lawrence Grown founded the West Berkeley Design Loop and was a charter member of Buy Local Berkeley. He founded Metro Lighting in 1993 along with his wife and business partner Christa Rybczynski. Lawrence has been an Executive Board member for Nia House Learning Center, the Berkeley High School PTSA, and the Berkeley High Academic Choice Advisory Council, (ACAC). He earned his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Cincinnati, and is a graduate of both the East Bay Leadership program and the Inner City Advisors Entrepreneurship Institute.
Our Executive Team
Chief Financial Officer
Nina is the head of finance, operations, and human resources at Ecohome Improvement, taking care of the many wheels that support a business. Prior to starting Ecohome Improvement, Nina had a career as a Research Scientist. She studied Pharmacy in Berlin, Germany, obtained her PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and spent the next decade researching infectious diseases and how to combat them.
She has been living in the Bay Area since 1996 and enjoys living with and co-creating the vibrant Berkeley community.
Rachelle Padgett is the owner of Synthesis Interiors & Color, a full-service interior design and color consulting firm with a focus on eco-friendly principles practices and materials. She brings to WBDL a background in event planning and non-profit project management, along with a love of connection in all its forms.
Lynn is a graphic designer and marketing professional who has been working in the industry for 25 years.
She has been living and working in Berkeley for 30 years and received her degree from the California College of the Arts.
Jennifer Newman is the Administrative and HR Director for Studio KDA, an architecture and interior design firm in Berkeley. Prior to her time at Studio KDA, she was heavily involved in the arts in Bellingham, Washington, including serving as an Arts Commissioner for the City and held numerous volunteer positions at local non-profits. Being community minded has always been important to Jennifer, so she is excited to have the opportunity to help build connection in the West Berkeley design community.
Arkin Tilt Architects
Anni Tilt is a principal of Arkin Tilt Architects, an ecologically-focused design firm in Berkeley, CA. Established in 1997, ATA’s work has been recognized nationally and internationally for excellence in the intersection of sustainability and design.
Across a wide range of project types, ATA focuses on modern, low-carbon natural building, particularly straw bale and earth, as well as the integration of salvaged materials. A fourth-generation Californian, Anni holds a M.Arch from UC Berkeley and a Civil Engineering degree from Princeton University. She lives in Albany with her husband and partner, David Arkin, and their energetic pup Frida. Anni is excited about being ‘looped in’ and helping create a strong, connected West Berkeley design community.