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Designer Spotlight: Katie Hackworth

Architectural and Interior Designer

Article by Susan George

Photography by Kara Mercer

Originally published in Bellevue Lifestyle

Architectural and Interior Designer, Katie Hackworth, designed her own home and firm from the ground up in 2015. We caught up with her in her gorgeous, highly-publicized home in Medina to discuss her process, love for the craft, as well as how she got to where she is today. 

BL: When did you first realize you had an eye for design?
KH: As a child, I was always extremely particular. I preferred my room picked up and dolls perfectly dressed. I remember having a distinct palette that I still love to this day… blues and greens, blush tones, with accents of brick red, mustard yellow... (The neon craze was very hard for me fully understand!)

That said, my focus was far from design. My family knew business and medicine, so those were my options. After receiving a Zoology degree from University of Washington, I had an "ah-ha moment", realizing I could actually enjoy my career of choice and I made a clean pivot into earning a Graphic Design degree. My internship at an advertising agency led to my first job as a “designer”. Not long after, I found myself desiring something that felt more permanent and less commercial. I landed quite comfortably in high-end book design. This is where I really learned to appreciate negative space, crisp lines, and dedication to the craft. 

My obsession with architecture and interior design began when I purchased my first home in 2006. It was a simple 1950’s cottage style home that felt familiar but needed a full overhaul. The remodel process was exciting for me. I loved seeing my vision come to life and quickly gained an understanding and appreciation for architecture and my desire for authentic materials and forms.

BL: What made you decide to start your own company?
KH: Shortly after completing the renovation, we sold, purchased another lot, and I set forth designing the next, the Modern Farmhouse, which to this day is still one of my favorites. My work spoke for itself and inquiries began to come in. During construction this second time around, I took a leap of faith and started a boutique-style design-build company… and that is where it all began. I took on a mix of designing new custom homes to kitchen remodels, working alongside my team to achieve my mission, "To create beautifully unique spaces with a nod to historical details and high-end craftsmanship that will stand the test of time while simultaneously embracing the modern amenities and clean lines of design today."

I’ve learned so much along my career path. Building a home has many components. If one component is weak, the project is at risk. Know your team – general contractors, subcontractors, architects, etc. – and make sure to hold each other accountable for their role throughout its entirety.

In my experience, I felt that I needed to break from the design-build format and focus on guiding and advocating for the project’s aesthetic, inside and out. In 2017 my company shifted into what it is today. Katie Hackworth, Architectural Design and Interiors, with my focus being designing new homes from the ground up. My client knows to contact me at the forefront of the project. From inception to completion, I love each and every phase, from studying the lot and its surroundings, to creating the initial schematic forms and exterior elevations, to working out floor plans, interior elevations, and yes, to finally placing the last piece of artwork. 

BL: Does living in the PNW inspire any of your work?
KH: The first step in designing a new home is researching the landscape and neighboring community. I pride myself on designing homes that are authentic to both. Living in the Northwest has such an advantage. The year-round lush green, proximity to lakes and mountains… There is so much to be inspired by. 

BL: What do you usually turn to for inspiration?
KH: I love pulling ideas from historical cities, both rural and urban, European and American. From the simple forms and materials of an old farmhouse to the deliberate juxtaposition of a modern structure attaching to a restored (or new) stone or brick structure. Combining the best of the best, old and new. That is what makes my homes both timeless and modern.

BL: What do you aim to accomplish when working with a client’s space?
KH: Every client is unique, just as their home should be. My goal is to create a client’s dream home, filtered through my mind and process. I work with each individual client dependent on their comfort and needs. Some prefer to give me all their trust and meet monthly for an update. Others prefer to be part of the process and meet on a weekly basis to help in the selection of each individual piece. The design and build of a new home is a 2-3 year process. The earlier in the process I can get involved, the more value I can bring to the project – as so many critical decisions are made before anyone lifts the first shovel or hammer.  I am there for the long haul, advocating for my client and the integrity of the home and its surroundings. 

I’m forever grateful for the opportunity my clients give me. Their trust means everything.

For more information about Katie Hackworth visit