Respect, empathy, connection

These three words define my residential architectural practice. 

Respect– for history, for the environment, for my clients, for the builders and craftspeople who complete the project

Empathy– for the difficulty of renovating, for wanting a place to call home, for accommodating family through time

Connection– the connection between spaces, the connection to the neighborhood, the connection to nature, 

You have an old house that you love.  You would like to bring it into the 21st century and beyond while respecting its history.   You want to  minimize your carbon footprint and energy consumption.  Local materials and new technologies are a priority for you.  

Our mission at dEmios Architects is to help homeowners plan and execute their sustainable renovation.  “Sustainable” can apply to a variety of aspects of the project- systems, materials, construction methods, and design strategies.  

dEmios was born in a storefront in Cushing Square, Belmont in 2003, a reincarnation of MacPhail Architectural Collaborative- the firm started in 2000 with husband Michael MacPhail. We wanted to change our name to reflect the interactions we were having with the public and the arts community at the time. For several years we held design competitions, book readings, demonstrations and art shows for local artists. That storefront was a realization of a dream that we had had in graduate school, to integrate an architect’s studio into the community and to act as a link to art.

dEmios first office

Katharine White MacPhail  is an old house architect in love with new technologies and helping people achieve their dreams.

She is the principal architect at dEmios Architects.  She is an involved member of EntreArchitect, facilitates a mastermind group for architects and is the co-host of Context and Clarity, a weekly interview show with Jeff Echols and also of the Context and Clarity podcast, covering issues that matter to small firm architects.  Her own podcast, Talking Home Renovations with the House Maven, is part of Gabl Media and headed into its fifth season.  

She is a registered architect in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and a Leed Accredited Professional.  She received a Master of Architecture from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) in 1996.

Katharine also holds a BA in Art History from Mount Holyoke College where she fell for classical antiquities and later completed some graduate work in Historic Preservation at Boston University before pursuing a career in architecture. 

Katharine was involved with local politics for a number of years, recently finished 13 years of homeschooling her 3 children, plans parties and events for a number of non-profit groups, serves as the Secretary for the Boston Scottish Fiddle Club and plays with the Boston Scottish Fiddle Orchestra. She is the manager for the all-girl string quartet Scottish Fish.

Michael MacPhail has rejoined dEmios after a 16 year detour to higher ed. He is currently designing and producing plans for accessory dwelling units available through Compact Residential. Welcome back!