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Behind the Design: Ally Gwozdz

Ally Gwozdz Curate Interiors San Francisco Interior Design Ivy

 


Designer Spotlight:  Ally Gwozdz of Curate Interiors, San Francisco, CA


 

How did you get where you are today?

 

I grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Soon after graduating from college, I drove to San Francisco to start my life here. I was drawn to the international influences, stunning natural beauty and diversity of San Francisco. Before starting Curate Interiors I worked in advertising, financial services, and retail.

 

For several years I worked at Pottery Barn corporate in their catalog division as a merchant. I learned so much about running all aspects of a business – developing product, marketing it and presenting it in the most compelling way on photo shoots for the catalogs. It provided a phenomenal foundation to go out on my own and launch an interior decorating business. Design satiates my creative and entrepreneurial appetite; I’m an aesthete to the core. I love when clients are thrilled with their spaces and we’ve achieved or exceeded what we’ve set out to do for them.

 

Ally Gwozdz Curate Interiors San Francisco Interior Design Kitchen herringbone floors Ivy

 

DESIGN

 

The moment I knew I wanted to be an interior designer was when…

 

The items I brought back from Brimfield Antiques Market and the Rose Bowl Flea Market were of great interest to friends and acquaintances. When my husband (then boyfriend at the time) and I would entertain, I’d field constant questions about the furniture, finishes and art in our home. It wasn’t a sudden “aha” moment so much as an evolution of my skills and interests and the timing too.

 

The most memorable space I’ve ever been in is…

 

Little Kulala Lodge in Namibia. It’s in the Namib Desert which is the oldest desert in the world. The lodge and villas are spectacular and unforgettable. It inspired many of the finishes and materials I use in my work.

 

I get to know a new space by….

 

Spending time in it, seeing how it’s used or not used, looking at the light during different times of the day, understanding how it fits into the flow of the home.

 

Ally Gwozdz Curate Interiors San Francisco Interior Design kitchen and bathroom Ivy

 

My favorite city for design inspiration is…

 

Paris abroad, and Los Angeles state-side.

 

When I design I feel…

 

Energized and motivated!

 

 

LIFE

 

Every morning I…

 

Cherish the chatty time at breakfast with my kids before we walk, bike or drive to school. It starts our day off in a very connected way. I cannot forget my beloved Illy espresso then a good workout before I sit down or run around for clients and focus on our projects.

 

“I define success by having the balance you desire and optimism to try new things.”

Ally Gwozdz Curate Interiors San Francisco Interior Design kitchen and bathroom Ivy

 

I treat myself by…

 

Watching Netflix in bed, going on annual girls trips, traveling with my family.

 

My personal style is…

 

Boho chic. My design style is on the contemporary spectrum yet consists of curated styles and textures. I strive for creating comfortable, authentic and timeless spaces.

 

My tips for staying organized are…

 

List-making and quarterly purging.

 

I never leave home without…

 

My iPhone, sparkling water in hand and a sweater or jacket. San Francisco weather changes several times a day!

 

Ally Gwozdz Curate Interiors San Francisco Interior Design Living Room Ivy

 

BUSINESS 

 

My role models are…

 

My parents. My dad was an entrepreneur and my mom showed such compassion and interest in every person she encountered. They showed me how to take risks and be selfless.

 

My business mantra is…

 

Be professional, fair and honest. Doing the right thing leads to success in the end.

 

For interior designers new to the business, I recommend…

 

Developing as much or more business acumen as creative vision.

 

I define success by…

 

Having the balance you desire and optimism to try new things.

 

The best advice I have received is…

 

Trust your intuition.

 

The biggest lesson I’ve learned working in the interior design business is…

 

You should obsess over the hundreds of details on a given day.

 

Ally Gwozdz Curate Interiors San Francisco Interior Design Living Room Ivy 2

 

WHY IVY

 

Why did you decide to start using Ivy?

 

I needed to streamline my business and improve efficiency. Ivy saved me, and I’ve been able to greatly reduce admin time and therefore pass along savings to my clients, which is nice!

 

What’s your favorite feature on Ivy so far?

 

I love easily converting client proposals to vendor purchase orders without doubling the work. Plus it’s amazing to be able to have Ivy automatically track due dates, production timelines, and every aspect of tracking projects I would normally have done manually in my calendar.

 

In one word, what do you hope Ivy will bring to your work life?

 

EFFICIENCY

 


 

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