DESIGN SCHOOL: Katie Hackworth

March 20, 2018

I don’t know Katie Hackworth personally but I’m certain she is one badass lady. You can tell from the absolutely stellar lighting she picks for every project! You can tell a lot about a designer by their lighting choices (I think – wink, wink). In all seriousness, I’m in love with Katie’s eclectic style and originally came across her work in this Architectural Digest/Clever article featuring the coolest kitchen nook. I always love west coast vibes and Katie’s eponymous firm, Katie Hackworth Architectural Design + Interiors is located in Seattle. Originally trained as a graphic designer, Katie is a self-taught architectural and interior designer, who oversees each and every details within the homes she creates. Take a look at her amazing attention to detail in these beautiful interior shots below and enjoy her Q+A. Thanks for stopping by this edition of DESIGN SCHOOL. 

The most difficult aspect of my job:

I think owning your own company in general can be scary and exhausting at times. There are no set weekly paychecks, paid sick days, or vacation time. It’s all on you! I’m most comfortable when I have a full year of work pinned down ahead of me. That helps me breath a little easier.


My secret styling trick: I prefer interiors to feel lived in, collected, and somewhat informal. Furnishings and decor need to make sense, but I don’t feel restricted by rules or trends. Instead, I prefer to experiment and have some fun mixing, matching and repurposing.


My childhood bedroom would have this:

A wooden dollhouse. Perfectly arranged (then rearranged) at all times, right down to the miniature fruits placed into the miniature fruit bowl.

One of the hardest things for new designers to learn:

I think finding who they are as a designer can be tricky for many new to the field. There is a lot of noise out there with all of the design blogs and social media outlets surrounding us and telling us what is in and what is out. Knowing what makes your design unique and what you innately respond to is what will set you apart from the rest.


 The biggest misconception about what I do:

I think the biggest misconception I hear most is that I simply furnish and decorate spaces. This is actually just one of the many steps that go along with designing and building a home from scratch. Architectural design is at the forefront of what I do, day in and day out. Rather than your textbook college degree, I’ve been lucky enough to learn from some of the best in my region. I’ve applied that skill and knowledge in a way that, on its own, sets me apart in its approachable unassuming nature. Designing a home from inception to completion. That is the foundation of what I do and what I really excel at.

If I could design anyone’s home it’d be:

Honestly, designing my own home is the most fun and rewarding. I can take more risks along the way and layer the interior to my heart’s content. Until I’m ready to move… then I get to start the process all over again.


When I’m uninspired, I turn to:

More often than not, I find myself turning to my own boards on Pinterest. In addition, I love flipping through my design books and backloads of Living Etc. and Elle Decoration magazines.


My favorite part of a project is:

Photoshoot day! That’s usually the day everything comes together just as you had imagined it.

My most prized possession:

A piece of artwork by Kai Samuals-Davis.

I’ll be happy if I never see another:

A 6” can light.


The paint color I’ve used more than any other:

Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, with Chimichurri a close second due to green’s popularity these last couple years.

My favorite person to follow on Instagram:


I dread when a client says this:

I dread when a client asks to do a project in phases. More often than not, this can cause trouble with overall continuity and end up costing a lot more in the end. Save, save, save…then do it all at once. If this is out of the question, I recommend designing the project completely and then constructing it one phase at a time. Of course, this is for design + build projects only. You have much more flexibility when furnishing and decorating a home, and I probably prefer the collected over time look and feel.


 My all-time favorite clients are:

Any client that gives me their full trust. It’s pretty amazing and I’m so lucky to have them. 

I always encourage clients to get rid of:

Everything. Haha. 

The best advice I’ve ever received about maintaining a work/life balance:

No matter what, my two girls come first. I don’t know that this was actual advice I received from someone, but more so this is just how I have always felt. I work hard to provide for them in every possible way and to give them the understanding that women can do anything we set our heart and minds to.


The project I’m most proud of is:

Up until this point in my career, my latest has always been my greatest. I’m constantly being exposed to new ideas and my aesthetic will always be evolving. One day I hope to look back and say that I have a small handful of homes that standout in my mind for one reason or another. I think my Modern Brownstone project could be one of them. 

The pattern that I’ll never tire of is:

It’s a three-way tie between stone mosaic hex bathroom floor tiles, herringbone patterned wood floors, and staggered subway wall tiles. All classically timeless.

My favorite up-and-coming designer:

Rachel Chudley out of London. She follows her own quirky instincts and I love that about her. Rachel’s work is colorful, unique, layered, and anything but serious.

One question you would like to ask your favorite designer:

What would I ask Ilse Crawford? I might ask if I could shadow her for a week. I’d absorb anything and everything I could! Editors note: (Watch this series Abstract episode on IIse Crawford).

katie hackworth interior design
Photo Credit for all images: Belathée Photography

A big thank you to Katie Hackwork for sharing a bit about herself and her process. Follow more of Katie Hackworth’s work on Instagram

Until next time, 


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  1. […] The fabulous Katie Hackworth was interviewed for Design School. I just love how she sees design… “I prefer interiors to feel lived in, collected, and somewhat informal. Furnishings and decor need to make sense, but I don’t feel restricted by rules or trends. Instead, I prefer to experiment and have some fun mixing, matching and repurposing.” -Katie Hackworth […]

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Meet Claire

Claire’s creative energy comes from her unique perspective on the world as both a trained interior designer and a passionate yoga teacher. Her affinity for kitchen design, timeless style and eclectic decorating are shared here, along with lots of interior design education and tips. Thanks for being here, please enjoy!

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