Residential Design
Interior Design



Besides our own satisfaction and happiness with the house, we get lots of compliments and comments from others. Folks who come inside routinely say it is spacious, yet warm and cozy. Folks who just see it from the outside are also impressed. A neighbor that we don't know well just commented a few days ago that the house was "exquisite." It is a great house!

- Dave Anna

I agree with Dave's thoughts Hutch. We LOVE this house. We could not be more pleased.

- Sue Anna

Hutch Johnson has a great ability to freehand sketch his design ideas and requires his client to participate in each step of the design process. The result is one that reflects his capability and includes the client's desires. Through four such experiences, we have the highest regard for his work.

- John and Lee Arwood

We have been living in our beautiful home for almost five years. We worked with Hutch Johnson over a two-year period of time in developing and designing our custom home. During that time, Hutch was able to transform our vision into an extraordinary design and plan. He further assisted us in all phases of the building process and was available for any questions that arose. We consider Hutch a valued professional and a friend. Our home design and building experience was rewarding and genuinely positive because of Hutch's involvement and we highly recommend him.

- Nona Breeland & Frank Maness

Details, details, details! Hutch pays attention to them all. His vision for our Durham renovation, as well as our new construction in Maine, has allowed us to realize our dreams. His understanding of our lifestyle truly reflects in his designs. His placement of the new house on the rugged Maine property could not have been more perfect. We are fortunate to have such a talent to work with.

- Denise E. Carr

Hutch has helped us with numerous renovations over many years. He is a visionary about potential ways to change space in efficient and practical ways, while at the same time providing a crisp, aesthetically pleasing new look without it looking like an addition. He also saved us from making many costly mistakes. We would never make any major changes without his guidance.

- Nancy Dougherty

We're very pleased with our house design process with Hutch. His professionalism, attention to detail, and fun sense of humor were present in each of our interactions. We have fond memories of the time spent planning and building our beautiful home and would not hesitate to use Hutch for our next building project.

- Claudia & Dave Frost

I would say that you are easy to work with, insightful and most responsive. You are also great with attention to details, along with your creativity.

Mean all that.

- Anna Ho

Dear Hutch,

Twice, our dream was converted into beautiful and functional rooms with your vision and creativity. Thanks for providing us with living spaces that fit so warmly and well.

And that ain't hype — it's a fact.

- David McClay

Hutch has been the architect for two additions to our house — a great room and, most recently, a downstairs master bedroom, bath and laundry room. We feel both added value to the house and, most importantly, they do not look like additions! For us, Hutch creatively combined what we already had with what we wanted. He listened to our thoughts and came up with plans that we love living in.

- Allison Haltom

We loved our house and location, but our kitchen was tiny. After many years of thinking about remodeling our kitchen or building an addition and expanding the kitchen, Hutch was recommended to us by friends who were thrilled with Hutch's design of their new home. Hutch's design reconfigured rooms next to our kitchen that we rarely used. We now have a wonderful kitchen that is large enough to hold our entire extended family and friends. Hutch's design maximized the new space with wonderful features that we only dreamed about before. We absolutely love our new kitchen!

Hutch's relationship with our builder throughout the entire process made the remodeling process very easy for us. We highly recommend Hutch for any design work and we will definitely use him ourselves for any design work we need.

- Lisa Hazen


I want you to know what a pleasure it was to work with you during our design and building process. Countless times we have remarked how well everything is laid out, and how the smallest details have proven to be some of the most noticeable.

Everything from room size, to window size, to molding choices has been remarkable. We are proud of the home you helped us create, and feel as though all our thoughts and wishes were noted and blended in extraordinary fashion.

Thank you for your professionalism throughout the process; as we encounter friends who are going through the design process we cannot help but try to hide a smug look, realizing some of the smallest intricacies were noted by you. These are the same things their architect struggles with. We were lucky to have you in our corner and feel as though you were our "Ace in the Hole." Thank you again for your dedication and thoughtfulness in designing our home.

- Eric, Laura, Andrew & Sarah Montross

In the early 1990's, Anne and I bought a grand but somewhat abused old home in Hope Valley, a Durham neighborhood. The house had wonderful "bones" but was outdated, beat up and lacking in several fundamental dimensions. We were introduced to Hutch as the "premier" architect in the Triangle area, and together we set about to enhance this grand old dame.

What Hutch did was nothing short of spectacular. Without disturbing the classic country French front of the house, he seamlessly added a whole new two story wing in the back, providing a new family room, solarium, master bedroom, master bath, dressing rooms, a terrace, and a new garage/potting shed. At the same time, he repaired and updated problems with the existing portions of the house, giving us a beautiful new kitchen, butler's pantry, rear stairway, rear mud room and laundry. The end result was a gracious, comfortable "new/old" home that retained the charm and elegance of the 1938 original, but added space, flow and amenities that the house previously lacked. For us, one of the supreme compliments was always the reaction from guests who could never quite tell what was original and what was new. That was really cool.

Based on our previous experience in Durham, when we decided 10 years later to build a new house in Amelia Island, Florida, Hutch was our natural choice to do the plans. Hutch was able to come up with a design that accommodated our rather awkward lot dimensions, and also reflected our desire for an informal "shingle style" home. The house today is at once elegant, well proportioned, graced with large windows and natural light, and eminently livable. We appreciate, among other things, the main living areas all on one floor, the house's capacity to comfortably absorb large family visits and sizable social gatherings, and Hutch's trademark "Christmas light outlets." Hutch has a wonderful eye and sense of proportion, a love of light and large windows, and an understanding of what makes a house both aesthetically pleasing and comfortable to live in.

- Anne & Kenneth Otis

Dear Hutch,

A brief note to tell you once again how much we are enjoying the house. It has been a joy to live in. And we get a continuing stream of compliments about the architecture, the molding, the tray ceilings, etc., etc.!! We could not be more pleased and I just wanted you to know Ann joins me in sending our very best to you, Kate and the family.

- Charles A. Sanders

Dear Hutch:

Sylvia and I had friends over to play bridge this past Saturday night and I swept off the front porch and did a little long overdo brass polishing earlier that afternoon in preparation for the arrival of our guests later that evening.

Brassoing the nameplate on the front door of our house brought back a flood of wonderful memories from the past... -Looking for years to find that "perfect" home -Finding The Valley and purchasing our lot -Meeting you, The Valley's architect of choice -Working with you to design our home (within our very modest construction budget) -Feeling very inadequate and overwhelmed with the entire design/build process -Having you to do multiple tracing-paper renditions of the elevations as we worked to reduce the amount of roofline and the price tag

And most of all we remember your Christmas present to us in December 1983 — the floor plan of the home that we were ultimately able to build…

I felt compelled to write today to tell you how much we have enjoyed our home throughout these many years now. We moved in on October 1, 1984, so I guess that will make it 23 years this October. I don’t know if we ever adequately expressed our sincere thanks to you for the very kind and patient assistance that you gave us as we sorted through ideas and as we made what at that time were very big decisions for us. You were always most gracious, most giving, and most kind to us and we will be forever indebted to you for your friendship and for your talent at that time in our lives.

Much has changed in The Valley over the past 23 years. We have lost some wonderful friends and neighbors throughout these years, to both moves and to death. Sylvia and I, to the best of my knowledge, have now lived in The Valley longer than any of its other present residents (I think that we arrived prior to Betty and Dick Joyner.)

So, while I had you on my mind… I had to write to say many thanks for all of your help those many years ago. We have truly loved our home, and even after 23 years we would make only very minor changes to the floor plan if the lot size would accommodate and The Valley’s architectural guidelines would permit — I would truly love to have a two car garage.

In closing, and again — many, many thanks for the many wonderful memories and the enjoyment that you have given to us both throughout these many years!

I hope that this letter finds you and yours enjoying a great summer!

- Don White


I have always enjoyed building a "Hutch Johnson Home.” The plans are ALWAYS finished and detailed. His little "Hutchisms,” though not always inexpensive, set his homes above the others. He is very easy to work with for my subs, my clients and myself. When I build a Hutch Johnson house, I know that my clients will end up satisfied. I would not hesitate in recommending Hutch for the next project.

- Clay Thomas — Builder and Client

Hutch does a great job designing houses that work well, are comfortable to live in, and look great. He's got a great visual sense of what will look good and is quick to steer clients towards tasteful decisions.

Hutch is experienced at working the design of a home to fit well with site conditions, including solar orientation, elevation, and views from the home, the street, and approach to the home. His drawings are clear and easy to understand. Should a question arise, Hutch does a good job problem solving and communicates easily. I have thoroughly enjoyed the projects I have worked on with Hutch and the clients have always been pleased with the results. It is a pleasure to recommend Hutch Johnson and WHJ Design.

- Andrew C. Krichman - Krichco Construction Inc.

From a builder’s perspective, it’s a pleasure to work with a talented designer who has a solid understanding of the technical side of residential construction in addition to exceptional design skills. Hutch’s ability to understand and be guided by his clients’ particular requirements combined with his willingness to advocate for important design principles result in excellent finished projects that still look attractive and live graciously twenty-five years out.

- Leon Meyers - L.E. Meyers Builders

Here's how I feel about working with Hutch:

Hutch provides an accurate, detailed, builder friendly set of plans. His wall dimensions use true lumber sizes rather than conveniently rounded figures that leave framers to guess at where the left over space should go. The scale of his elevations are so on point they make it almost possible to build from them alone.

The most important thing of all of is the interaction that is part of his approach to a job. He genuinely invites ideas and responds in a productive manner to issues as they arise. You might say that Hutch has a team effort approach to a project that makes for an interesting and pleasant experience.

- Joe Tarascio - Creative Carpentry & Woodworking, Atlantic Beach, N.C.

Having worked with Hutch for the past twenty plus years on many different projects, I have nothing but the highest recommendation for his work and commitment to each and every job. The scope of the projects we have worked on has varied from large home construction to multi-family neighborhoods to major renovations of existing homes. In every case, from the initial planning stage to the completion of the project, Hutch is always conscious of the client’s needs, balancing the design requirements with a continuing eye on cost and timeliness of the project. His knowledge of design and construction practices makes the building process enjoyable for both client and contractor!

- Carlyle C White - President, White Building Inc.

Not only do I enjoy Hutch's enthusiasm and energy, he makes my job easier by providing a great set of professional, well detailed house plans. His architectural ideas are common sense oriented, yet beautiful and inspiring. It has been a pleasure to work with Hutch for many years.

- Joel Williams - Williams Realty & Building Company, Inc.

Hutch has always been one of our favorite designers. He provides outstanding plans, great support, and is just plain fun to work with.

- Lane Davis - McLean Builders

Related Fields:

There is an important relationship between home design and the surrounding landscape. As a local landscape architect, I have had a long relationship with Hutch and the beautiful homes he has designed. Hutch's home designs are site sensitive and fit the context to the surrounding landscapes. Hutch is an excellent collaborator in working with other professionals in related disciplines.

- David Swanson, PLA, ASLA - Swanson and Associates, P.A. Landscape Architecture

I’ve had the opportunity to work with Hutch on various projects spanning a number of years. On two projects, I was the owner’s representative/project coordinator, so I have seen him through the eyes of a client. On others, I’ve worked on the contractor’s team as selection coordinator, and have seen him through the eyes of a peer. I also work for Hutch as a bookkeeper, so I see him as a business man, and I watch how he relates to all members on any project team.

Hutch is not a brand to sell. He is a creative listener who delivers what the client dreams of or requires. When reality sets in for the client, he helps harness the scope so that it fits the budget, but maintains the superior quality of design and function that are important to the client, regardless of scale.

I’ve also worked on projects with other designers. When on a “Hutchless” project, one thing I notice almost immediately (and miss terribly) is Hutch’s ability to know how a space will be used or lived in. His perception and foresight are far superior to many other designers. In addition, he knows how materials will function and esthetically relate to each other, so that spaces just plain work — and they look fabulous in the process.

Amazingly, with such focus on the design and esthetics of a project, he is forever cognizant of the structural integrity of a building. He knows what works, and what doesn’t.

Hutch is very good at guiding his clients through the process, which can be overwhelming. He’s realistic, he issues alerts when needed and he will do what the client insists upon in spite of his better judgment, so long as it does not produce an inferior or dangerous structure.

I look forward to working on more projects with Hutch, and to referring him to anyone who needs a thoughtful professional who is really good at what he does and loads of fun to work with. He takes his work seriously, but is anything but stogy!!

- Nancy Hardin

Oftentimes the expectations of achieving art in architectural design are lost when making the compromises necessary to produce a residential project. However, my experience with Hutch Johnson and WHJ Design has been exactly opposite. For the Watson Gap II project at Blue Ridge Mountain Club in Blowing Rock, N.C., Hutch was sensitive to our design criteria and budget considerations. He was able to improve the layout and interior rhythm of the residence, and designed a beautifully proportioned mountain-inspired exterior rooted in the vernacular of the region.  Bravo!!!

- Jim Pitts - General Manager, Blue Ridge Mountain Club, Blowing Rock, N.C.

One of the most important parts of building or renovating a home is having a good team in place that is both talented and fun. I have enjoyed being part of Hutch’s team on many projects and he is great to work with. I would highly recommend him.

- Lindsay Henderson - Lindsay Henderson Interiors

I have worked with Hutch Johnson on numerous projects over the past 20 years and find him to be both a responsive and creative architect. Hutch is very good at listening to the clients needs and their wishes, coming up with excellent solutions. He is very conscious of the client's lifestyle and makes sure the space fits their individual needs.

Hutch is a versatile architect, whether you are adding on to an existing structure or starting from scratch — he is very adept with either type of project.

- Lane Blank - Palley & Southard, Interior Designs