When we sat down to brainstorm a list of a few of our current favorite interior designers, one name that instantly popped up was Katie Hackworth, founder of H2 Design + Build. Tackling both residential and commercial projects with a background in graphic design, Katie has been building her stellar portfolio for over a decade with diverse projects in a range of mediums. As a self-taught architectural and interior designer, we love Katie's natural confidence and eye for authentic and concise styling. Her choices always feel fresh but cozy and never overly-flashy. We chatted with Katie about her design aesthetic, influences and of course, got the low-down on her top Schoolhouse favorites for herself and her clients.
Describe your aesthetic when it comes to decorating. What styles draw are you drawn to personally?
"I find myself channeling different aesthetics for different clients and their personal tastes, from midcentury modern to eclectic traditional, and I have an appreciation for each and everything in between. I see a common thread throughout all of them, however; a sense of timelessness, unfussy layers, and whimsical touches."
What’s your top design trick to share?
"Follow your instincts. That is what will make your home unique."
Where do you find most of your inspiration and who are your influences?
"When I think about people who have influenced my style... Isle Crawford, Barbara Sallik, Steven Gambrel, and Thomas O’Brien immediately stand out in my mind. I find inspiration daily, whether I’m flipping through a design or fashion magazine, watching a movie, sitting in a new restaurant... design is all around us."
Favorite projects you’ve done?
"All of our projects designed and built from the ground up are the most rewarding for me. The architecture, flow, and use of natural light in a home have so much effect on the way the pieces within it play off one another and translate to the eye. Our Modern Farmhouse really put us on the map and our Eclectic Classic was a show stopper, but at the moment, I'm most partial to our Modern Brownstone. Completion photos will probably be taken late Spring, so stay tuned!"
What are some of your go-to basics when it comes to decorating a space?
"There is just something about the Saarinen Table. I think it is the perfect combination of pairing somewhat cold and masculine materials alongside it's feminine form. It can be dressed up or down and only gets better with age. You can’t say that about many things."
Tell us a little about your process when it comes to designing a space for clients:
"I’ve found that clients reach out to me and H2 Design + Build to get my own take on their dream home or space. I can usually acquire a good sense for what a client is drawn to by flipping through books, magazines, and Pinterest boards with them, in addition to stepping into their current home. From that point, I edit and hone in on the common parts and present to them what I think they are looking for. And then it begins… a step by step process of approvals starting with the form of the structure down to every last detail."
Favorite design trends or timeless looks that you love?
"I try not to pay too much attention to design trends. I prefer to focus on timeless design combined in a new or unique way. A traditional wallpaper paired with a bold patterned cement tile, for example, or a vintage inspired faucet placed on a modern floating bathroom vanity. I have fun playing with the old and the new."
Least favorite design trends?
"I actually don’t have any. I try not to pay attention to them!"
Favorite color palette or materials to work with?
"I'm drawn toward palettes reflected in nature. Rich and moody greens, blues and grays... dusty pinks, brick reds, and mustard yellows. When selecting materials, I try to stay authentic. Indestructible manmade products aren’t my thing. I like working with materials that age over time; marble, soapstone, wood, and untreated metals."
What’s your dream design project?
"My dream project... I would love to one day build an impeccably designed home, while still paired down and humble, on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I would have to keep it for myself, of course."
Finally, what makes a house a home to you?
"It sounds cliche, but the people in my house make it a home (and my dogs). My family has moved so many times this past decade (10 to be exact). Whether we were in a two bedroom apartment with a door opening out to the a city bus stop, an old house infested with ants and problematic sewage pipes, or the spacious new house we get to call home today... Having all of us around the dinner table or curled up on the sofa watching a movie, that is what makes it a home."
Images via: Belathee Photography