Designer Spotlight: Joe Berkowitz

In our ongoing Designer Spotlight Series, we talk with interior designers and architects to see what inspires them, and get insights to how they approach creating beautiful spaces. In this Spotlight we talk to Joe Berkowitz and learn about his process and experiences as a designer.

Stikwood: Introduce yourself! How long have you been in the interior design business for?

Joe: I have been involved in the interior design world for the past 36 years, and still heading in new directions with a passion. I have a full-service Design Studio on the main line of Philadelphia with a wonderful team. I love it!!

Stikwood: What inspired you to want to join the design industry?

Joe: I have always been interested in design and fashion. From a young age I would sit and design the exteriors of imaginary homes. I originally thought I would be an architect but after some pursuit of that, realized I was more interested in the interior design of residential homes and all spaces. To that end we do hospitality and commercial work as well.

Stikwood: What would you say is your “signature style”?

Joe: Eclectic and edgy, with multiple layers of texture, and varied materials.

Stikwood: You recently used Stikwood in one of your projects, how did that come about? Talk through that project.

Joe: Fabulous as always! We used Stikwood for the bed wall and sloped ceiling of a main suite in a luxurious beach home of a long-time client. My goal was to get some subtle texture with the slightest of rustic edge, all while staying understated and elegant. We chose Stikwood's Hamptons finish as it worked so well with the monochromatic esthetic we designed.

Stikwood: How do you maintain creativity?

Joe: That just comes naturally. My mind is constantly seeing new things in life and transposing that into my projects. I find inspiration from nature, music, travel, fashion, movies, and my own imagination.

Stikwood: What is your best piece of advice to offer someone who wants to get into interior design?

Joe: My suggestions are short and sweet. Number 1: Learn some form of sketch-up because any office you go to, they're gonna' want you to be able to get on a computer and do some form of a rendering.

But my best advice is this: Go and work for the largest and most successful designer that you can find or that you know. They will cut through all of the red tape and teach you invaluable lessons of how to design, how to deal with clients, how to manage money and run a business. You will never learn that as quickly as you will from someone who's experienced and has already set up a business and been through that.

Stikwood: Anything else you would like to share with us?

Joe: Interior Design is such a narrow term for what I do. My daily experience involves as much if not more running of the business than it does design work. It is a huge responsibility to take someone's hard earned money and use it wisely while considering what style to create for them. My goal is to create not only the physical space, but one that fulfills my client's expectations of functionality, practicality, beauty, and lifestyle. It can be extremely daunting and satisfying at the same time.

Stikwood: Where can people go to find out more about you and your services? (socials, website, etc)

Joe: I have a beautiful website that shows my skills as a designer and speaks to my personality. There are testimonials from many of my clients and a press page that I very proud of. I am also on Instagram and TikTok which I love. In addition, there is a link to the HGTV show I was on in its entirety. It is definitely a fun watch!! I won't tell you who won.