Behind the Design: Claire Hurwitz Staszak of Centered by Design
Designer Spotlight: Claire Hurwitz Staszak of Centered by Design – Chicago, IL
How did you get where you are today?
I’m living and working in Chicago, IL. I’m a Midwestern girl with a West Coast vibe. I’ve lived and worked in both California (2008) and New Zealand (2011) and I’d be on a coast if I weren’t married to a guy who loves Chicago and will never leave.
Interior design is a second career for me. I started an Associates program in design in January 2015 and went to school full-time for one year, taking several internships at respected firms and started my own company along the way.
Centered by Design is known for using a holistic design process coupling a refined aesthetic with wellness principles. How do you apply your years of experience as a yoga and meditation instructor into your design process?
Yoga and meditation help me do my job with more empathy. I try to work with clients to get them to understand that they can find personal sanctuary at home and we can improve their life through good design. Meditation also pairs well with visualization techniques, which I try and coach my clients through at times. I also just remind them to breathe!
What’s the design scene like in Chicago? Can you name some of your favorite local shops?
Which colors, materials and textures do you like to use to create “sanctuary-like” spaces?
Everyone has a different version of “sanctuary”. For some, it might mean softer colors, textures and neutrals. For others, it might mean bold and filled with pattern. That’s what I love about the job, uncovering the style that people feel is truly “them.”
How does designing make you feel?
Like I have the best job in the world.
What’s your business mantra?
Find your personal sanctuary.
The Centered by Design logo truly embodies the essence of your brand. Who designed your logo? In your opinion, how important is a company’s logo and branding?
Thanks for noticing! A friend and I collaborated on the logo (here’s a blog post about branding from my site). It’s loosely based on the color wheel and the idea of center. I think logo and branding set the tone for your business, very important stuff!
Your website is also stunning – which website solution do you use and what do you like about it?
I use WordPress. I had experience with it from a past job and I find it’s the most flexible platform in terms of design capabilities, and, it gets better Google ranking (from what I understand). I do have a web guy on call for things I can’t figure out myself, but I can do most things aside from coding.
How much time do you allocate to social media, email/newsletter marketing and content marketing for your interior design business?
I allocate at least 30 minutes per day to Instagram, and send a newsletter twice per month. I try to blog at least once per week, and I use almost every project as content so you could count those photo shoots as well. Marketing never ends when you’re a small business owner in my opinion.
You’ve been published in Rue Daily, domino, Homepolish, HGTV, Design Sponge, Apartment Therapy and MyDomaine to name a few…what’s your secret to getting published?
Style your photos well! Good photography, good styling and persistence with pitching your work to editors and online magazines gets you published.
Why did you join Ivy?
I was desperate for a designer/accounting/project management software.
What have you learned from the Ivy Designer Network?
Tons! The Ivy Designer Facebook Group is incredible and makes me feel like I’m less alone.
How does Ivy help streamline your day-to-day workflow as an interior designer?
Yes, I seriously love Ivy and the Ivy team. You guys are revolutionizing software in the industry.
What’s an Ivy feature you can’t live without?
Changing proposals to invoices with one click – what a time saver!