Q-and-A with Local Author and Podcaster Katie Hutchison

Design Me a House podcast humanizes home design and provides design information.

What do your published books offer and what was the process behind writing those?

I’m a residential architect, designer and author in Warren. I have also published two books with the Taunton Press. My first book, The New Small House, was published in October 2015, and my second book, The New Cottage was published in December 2018. Both books share a similar format, featuring more than twenty houses or cottages (including some I designed) from across the country and highlighting ten design characteristics that the modest case-study dwellings exhibit. They are meant to inform and inspire a general audience who are interested in exploring smaller dwellings that captivate us and can compel us to live deliberate, authentic and empowered lives.


You have a new podcast, Design Me a House. What is it about?

I co-host the podcast with Bristol-based textile designer and educator Dawn Oliveira. The podcast appeals to a general audience interested in residential architecture and design. Both Dawn and I have multiple decades of experience in affiliated design disciplines and see the podcast as an opportunity to not only share with each other, in casual conversation, what we’ve learned and think about home design, but to share the conversation with a larger audience. The podcast is organized around five recurring categories or departments including inspirations, this with that, big ideas, shop talk and featured guests. Each episode is about a thirty-minutes long.


What is co-host Dawn Oliveira’s design background?

Dawn founded Oliveira Textiles in 2007 to introduce a collection of contemporary, locally printed fabrics marketed both ‘to the trade’ and to the general public. Using only sustainable materials like hemp, organic cotton, linen, and low-impact dyes, Dawn creates bold, nature-inspired patterns. After many years working in New York City designing ‘behind the scenes’ with very little connection to how, why, and where products were being produced, Dawn made it her company’s mission to create healthful textiles that consider environmental impact.


What do you hope to achieve with the podcast?

We aim to demystify and humanize home design. I think folks tend to believe that architecture and design are somehow not for everyday people and that it’s somehow esoteric. We believe that design is relevant. It isn’t an added extra, an extravagance, a nicety. It is a holistic process that drives the creation of homes that nurture and reflect our best selves to ourselves and within our communities. We want to reach a broad audience and provide design information that can make a real difference for people and their homes.


How often do you produce new podcast episodes? Where can you listen to them?

So far we’ve posted five episodes, one for each of the recurring categories. We hope to release a new episode every four to six weeks. You can find the podcast just about anywhere you get your podcasts, including Apple Podcasts, Google Play Music and more.


You can find Katie Hutchison’s architecture and design website here and Dawn Oliveira’s website here. To learn more about the podcast, click here.