Name: Laura Kostanich
Business: Studio S. Interior Design
Designer Who Inspires Me: Cortney Bishop
Laura Kostanich has been constantly rearranging her living space since childhood ー but realizing she loved interior design was a slow process.
“I grew up in an old Victorian farmhouse that my parents were always renovating and working on, and they really let me do what I wanted with my bedroom,” she says. “I was always painting it and moving my furniture around, but it took me a while to make that connection of ‘Oh, this is what I want to do with my life.’ But once I did, it clicked.”
Kostanich, the owner of Studio S., an interior design firm based in Pittsburgh, graduated from Mercyhurst University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in interior design. She started out working in commercial design, but quickly realized it wasn’t for her.
“I wanted to get to know the people I was designing for, and really be able to be inspired by them to create the space,” Kostanich explains. “I wanted to have them really connect and love the space that they’re living in, whereas commercial design could be a more cold, distant relationship with the interior that I was designing.”
Since she founded Studio S. in late 2016, Kostanich says she has realized just how personal of a project it is to design someone’s home. But getting to know her clients on a deep level is still one of her favorite parts of the job.
“It’s a really intimate process,” she says. “You really get to know who they are, what inspires them, what kind of values they have, and then taking all of that information and applying my design aesthetic to give them a space is actually truly theirs.”
In addition to working with a myriad of clients, Kostanich won Best Renovated Kitchen for Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2022 Best of Design contest for her own Mt, Lebanon kitchen, which was noted for its California-cool aesthetic and clever design to maximize space.
Kostanich describes her own design style as laid-back, lived-in and collected, which she applies to her clients’ needs when designing their home.
“I feel like each of my interiors are meant to be lived in. I’m very textural,” she says. “I start with a clean aesthetic and then add in pretty fixtures and the textural elements, and finish off with all the accessories that give the space a little bit of fun.”
Kostanich says one of the secrets to creating a comfortable space is having a signature piece that ties the room together.
“I try to find one key piece to really invest in and work that design around that, whether it’s a sofa or like a really cool credenza or commissioned art,” she says. “Finding one piece that you really love can really shape the way the rest of the room is going to turn out. It inspires the rest of the space.”