About Sharkov Design Studio Lizzie-1-300x225

The Firm’s Founder and Principal Elizabeth Bougart-Sharkov Intl. Assoc. AIA, is sought after by clients who look for highly experienced professional advice, ideas and painless solutions that bring the clients the quality of life they will enjoy for years.

Sharkov Design Studio was established in Los Angeles as a full-scale design and consulting firm specializing in Custom Residential Design and Small-Scale Commercial Design and Interiors.

The firm engages in an intensely collaborative design process with their clients, leading to functional, sustainable and personal solutions.

Elizabeth Bougart-Sharkov, International Associate AIA, brings her combined extensive professional experience of over 30 years in Europe and the US to her work.

 “Tzar Samuil Fortress Memorial”

Elizabeth Bougart-Sharkov, Architect

Bulgaria, 1982

In commemoration of

1300 Years Bulgarian State  Anniversary

Not merely head of the department, Elizabeth was personally involved in the design of new structures within often restrictive environments where national historic and architectural significances were predominant substance. In 1987 she was able to make a professional (and personal) transition to the United States. Three years later, in 1990, she established Sharkov Design Studio in Los Angeles.

Elizabeth’s philosophy is to pursue and achieve her clients’ satisfaction based on distinctive timeless design, precision to detail, job site specificity and established budget. Sharkov Design Studio is the place where a potential client can receive an initial consultation, plan for the future project and work with Elizabeth as an equal partner during each step of the way toward achieving the dream project.

Elizabeth is dedicated to listening and paying close attention to her clients’ needs. Based on her long time professional practice, Elizabeth brings two very important skills to bear: creating distinctive client-oriented architectural environment and managing all phases of the process. From initial consultations and architectural sketches through design and construction supervision, Sharkov Design Studio provides services in the following areas:

  • Single family custom residential design and remodeling
  • Design and tenant improvement for commercial properties and small-scale health care facilities
  • Adaptive reuse
  • Restaurant design
  • Kitchen and bath design
  • Historic preservation and restoration
  • Landscape design consultation

She received her Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Architecture, Civil Engineering and Geodesy in Sofia, Bulgaria. For the last ten years of her professional practice (as a licensed architect) in Bulgaria, Elizabeth was engaged in historic preservation, renovation and adaptive reuse of architectural landmarks.

Contact her at Elizabeth@SharkovDesignStudio.com or call 323-662-4741.


“Women excel at designing to a human scale and have incredible artistic sensibilities. Their influence secures a holistic approach to architecture, and, in our experience, often refrain from getting lost in technical solutions and details. Architecture must create connectivity between people, and women are important in shaping and developing these designs.”

— Frida Ferdinand & Mette Kynne Frandsen, Henning Larsen Architects, Copenhagen

Some very useful information for potential clients:

Compensating Your Architect: Fee Structures –
Source: American Institute or Architects California Chapter (AIACC)

Building in today’s marketplace is a complex undertaking, requiring many different skills and extensive knowledge of materials, products, systems, and methods. Your architect understands these complexities and works with you to design an appropriate and satisfying response to your requirements—and to assure that it is built according to plan. Adequate compensation for the architect is in your best interest, as it assures the type and level of services needed to fulfill your expectations.
Architects’ fees are project-based; they vary with project scope, size, location, duration, complexity, and uniqueness. Most architects offer several options for calculating fees and include some flexibility to re-negotiate as changes occur over the life of the project. Fee structures and payment schedules should always be written into your contract with the architect, along with a process for resolving any billing conflicts.
Most architects calculate fees using one or more of the following methods:

  • Hourly: based on time spent for a designated activity. Each architectural firm will have its own hourly fee schedule, noting rates for each level of staff experience and skill.
  • Hourly not to exceed: billed hourly, but with a guaranteed maximum total fee.
  • Time plus materials: hourly plus the cost of materials, such as for architectural display models.
  • Fixed lump sum: agreed upon sum for project/activity delivery.
  • Percentage of construction cost: based on square footage or estimated cost of construction. Inclusions for sub-consultants (e.g., structural engineer) and other variables can be added. Most often used for projects valued at $500,000 and above.
  • Unit costs: based on construction cost of one unit (ex: an apartment in a condo) multiplied by the number of units.
  • Royalty: a share of profits derived from the completed project.

The Beginning of Your Project

When I meet with my potential clients at the job site (their home, their business, or their office) I offer my professional expertise pertaining to the client’s project. It is a Low Commitment Consultation (LCC).
For a small fee I access the design potentials of the property, based on its existing conditions, zoning and building codes restrictions and the clients’ NEEDS. This consultation provides a clear vision of all design possibilities and an ability to establish a realistic budget boundaries.
The Low Commitment Consultation (LLC) is an integral part of the effective homework you as a client need to do prior to embarking on your project. It will save you lots of possible frustrations and tons of money down the road. You better know all the conditions and possible obstacles before spending money on something that may not buildable. Or you secure a smooth navigation down the road It will bring you a mere satisfaction for making a wise investment that brings you the quality of living you have been looking for!

Scheduling Fee Payments
Projects are completed in phases, and payment of fees is typically distributed in accordance with those phases. Many architects will ask for a deposit (retainer) when the contract is signed. Some firms invoice monthly, while others invoice by project phase. Your architect can create an outline for each phase of the project with services rendered and the percentage of the overall fee that will be charged at that point. The range of percentage of total fees associated with each project phase might typically look like this:
Schematic design 3-25%
Design development 12-25%
Working drawings 35-45%
Agency approvals 3-7%
Bidding/contract negotiations 3-7%
Construction administration 15-35%
Keep in mind that these are general ranges and that the percentage of cost per phase can vary widely, depending on the nature of your project.


Elizabeth redesigned our entire grounds landscape and managed the entire process to completion. She worked with our board in developing a design consensus, converting our incongruous open spaces into one integrated expanse of both beauty and utility. All this started in the winter rain, but was finished in time for our Easter celebrations. I often receive compliments about our garden from parishioners and guests alike. She kept costs to an absolute minimum, and even recycled our old concrete material in creating inviting, comfortable seating areas. I highly recommend Elizabeth.

V. Rev. Nicolas B.

Elizabeth helped with the redesign of my corporate office space. She did an amazing job redesigning the layout and redecorating with current pieces of furniture as well as new pieces. The end result truly improved the flow, the space perception (feels bigger), the functionality and the overall look. She is really a pleasure to work with, I definitely recommend her.

Fabiana G.

Elizabeth is a wonderful architect. I hired her because I was stuck – it was my first home improvement project and I had had very bad experiences with incompetent contractors and designers. I called Elizabeth, hoping she could straighten out all the things that had gone wrong, and come up with some good ideas to help me finish my house and put it back together.


She listened to my ideas, then came back with drawing and ideas that were much better than what I had envisioned. Her primary goal was to create something workable, aesthetically pleasing, moderately priced and easily accomplished. Her fee was quite reasonable, and to tell the truth, saved me much more than I would have spent if I had tried to design the project myself.

She was always prompt and pleasant, and I looked forward to her visits as a ray of sunshine in the otherwise tense and anxious atmosphere of home remodeling. She dealt with hiring the contractor and supervising the workmen. If her standards were not met, they were ordered to redo the work. I was impressed.

I can’t recommend a better person for any project than Elizabeth. She is honest, straightforward, creative, respectful, realistic and elegant. Give her a call, you will be glad you did and she will get the job done.

Doug T.

A Little Story…

Back in the days when I was about 5 years old…

I remember – one of my most favorite things to do when I was a little girl was to pull out a roll with blueprints from my father’s closet and look at them dreaming… for hours… Dreaming as only a child can do…

Those were the drawings by a prominent architect who my father had hired in the past, to design a summer house for our family in the outskirts of the city where I was born and we were still living at that time.

I used to “assign” each of the bedrooms – to my parents (the master’s, of course), the other one to my older sister, and the one I liked the most to myself! I was able to visualize the building and its surroundings by looking at the beautiful drawings. I must have been no more than 5 years of age at that time. The project was never realized. For years, this “exercise” was one of my most favorite; it grew on me and when I was about 15, I knew that I want to be an architect and nothing else!

Getting into the Architecture School, in the country I was still living in, was an impossible task if your family didn’t have “special political privileges”. Nevertheless, it was not enough to stop me dreaming again and pushing for becoming an Architect.

So, after many years of practice, here I am. My dream and the meaning of my life gives me the opportunity to see how I am making a positive difference in my clients’ life – every single day. And make me feel that dreams are not impossible!