Last name: Laura Kostanitch
Company: Studio S. Interior Design
Designer who inspires me: Bishop of Cortney
Laura Kostanich has been constantly rearranging her living space since she was a childーbut realizing that she loved interior design was a slow process.
“I grew up in an old Victorian farmhouse that my parents were constantly renovating and working on, and they really let me do whatever I wanted with my bedroom,” she says. “I was still 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, owner of Studio S., a Pittsburgh-based interior design firm, is a graduate of Mercyhurst University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in interior design. She started working in commercial design, but soon realized it wasn’t for her.
“I wanted to get to know the people I was designing for and to be able to really draw inspiration from them to create the space,” Kostanich explains. “I wanted them to really connect and love the space they live in, whereas commercial design could be a more cold and distant relationship with the interior I was designing.”
Since founding Studio S. in late 2016, Kostanich says she’s realized what a personal project it is to design someone’s home. But getting to know her clients in depth is still one of her favorite parts of her job.
“It’s a really intimate process,” she says. “You really learn 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 that truly belongs to them.”
In addition to working with a myriad of clients, Kostanich has won Best remodeled kitchen for Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2022 Best of Design competition for her own kitchen in Mount Lebanon, which was noted for its California aesthetic and clever design to maximize space.
Kostanich describes her own design style as relaxed, lived-in, and collected, which she applies to her clients’ needs when designing their homes.
“I feel like each of my interiors is meant to be lived in. I’m very textured,” she says. “I start with a clean aesthetic, then add pretty light fixtures and textural elements, and finish with any accessories that give the space a 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 a key piece to really invest in and work this design around that, whether it’s a sofa or like a really cool credenza or a commissioned piece of art,” she says. “Finding a piece you really love can really shape the rest of the room. It inspires the rest of the space.