Meet Hilah Stahl

Co-founder and CEO of Spoak

Meet Hilah Stahl - illustration 1

Portrait of Hilah Stahl © Holly Wampler

New York-based Hilah Stahl is the co-founder and CEO of Spoak, a virtual interior design tool. Having been called one of the best interior design tools in the world by Architectural Digest, startup Spoak has taken the creative world by storm. Join Artsper in learning more about the Renaissance woman behind the brand!

1. Hi Hilah! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your brand Spoak?

Yes! I'm Hilah, I live in the Hudson Valley, and when I'm not working, you can usually find me reading fantasy novels, designing (and re-designing) my house, making amateur ceramics, or somewhere outside with my dog, Mika.

When I am working, you can find me working on Spoak! Spoak is an interior design platform offering anyone – from everyday design lovers to professional interior design firms – the tools they need to make designing a space easier. Think visualizing, rendering, floor planning, budgeting, organizing, and more.

2. What drew you to interior design?

I've always been drawn to beauty, style, and self-expression (I was dressing myself as soon as I could point), and interior design is a natural extension of those same core values – I've always loved it. Even beyond the beauty, I have strong beliefs about the healing properties of your own cultivated “space" and how important the spaces you spend time in are for your overall well-being. Figuring out how to balance the two (style and function) is one of the most fun creative challenges I can think of!

Meet Hilah Stahl - illustration 1
Meet Hilah Stahl - illustration 1

Photographs of Hilah's home, on the left: setup for an outdoor summer dinner party, on the right: living room © Hilah Stahl

3. You're based in Hudson, How does location impact your design choices? Is there anywhere that you feel especially inspired?

My style is constantly evolving, both personally but also because I try to adapt it to the environment I'm in. My previous apartment in Berlin and our house now in Hudson look nothing alike design-wise! Berlin-me would've never believed that I'd want a skirted kitchen. In my life's current season, I've been finding inspiration from old English and French country-houses, the antique shops and architecture of Hudson, and the landscape of the Hudson Valley.

4. Art is integral to design— we're biased! How do you incorporate art into what you do? What's the importance?

Art *is* design, no?! I'm not really sure where art begins and design ends. Art is how a room comes together; but it's also how delightful software looks and feels; and the creations people make using Spoak's tools. I would be half as motivated as I am if I wasn't surrounded by so much art every day.

5. Do you have any artistic movements or mediums that particularly inspire you at the moment?

I've always loved Impressionism and that hasn't gone anywhere, though I of course now find myself gravitating towards the Hudson River School style. I've always been drawn to dinner scenes (basically forever trying to channel the energy of a dinner party in every corner of my house), and floral themes as well. I love a still life.

Meet Hilah Stahl - illustration 1
Meet Hilah Stahl - illustration 1

On the left: Spoak Vizi by Hilah © Spoak, on the right: photograph of Hilah buying rugs in Marrakech © Ben Stahl

6. Spoak is a one-of-a-kind interior design platform. Tell us about the intersection of the tech and creative worlds.

Perhaps this is a controversial opinion, but I don't think the tech and creative worlds are at odds. Most of my career was in the tech world, so I've spent a lot of time around software, and I always felt that technology was at its absolute best when it was empowering the human using it – that can mean making their life easier, saving them time or money, fulfilling them somehow, or some combination of the three. I felt that, before Spoak, a lot of the tech surrounding the interior design world was built to make design cheaper and faster, but not to necessarily fulfill or empower the designer behind it. I wanted to try and change that.

I think technology is a beautiful and empowering thing, and watching the creativity of our Spoak members blossom as they use the tool has been one of the more fulfilling experiences of my life thus far.

7. Finally, what's next for you and Spoak?

World domination! (Just kidding.) But hopefully, when we're done with it, the design world will never be the same.

Their favorite artworks

Photography, Couli #1, From Lullaby Series, Salvatore Arnone

Couli #1, From Lullaby Series

Salvatore Arnone

Photography - 127 x 88.9 x 0.3 cm Photography - 50 x 35 x 0.1 inch


Painting, Queen Ann's Lace Along The Riverbank, James Scoppettone

Queen Ann's Lace Along The Riverbank

James Scoppettone

Painting - 101.6 x 152.4 cm Painting - 40 x 60 inch


Photography, Plateau de Valensole II, Shengqi Tang

Plateau de Valensole II

Shengqi Tang

Photography - 40 x 60 x 1 cm Photography - 15.7 x 23.6 x 0.4 inch


Painting, Summer picnic, Aleksandra Mato

Summer picnic

Aleksandra Mato

Painting - 100 x 80 cm Painting - 39.4 x 31.5 inch


Painting, Samghebro, George Abramidze


George Abramidze

Painting - 96.5 x 68.6 x 5.1 cm Painting - 38 x 27 x 2 inch


Painting, Nature morte en Hiver, André Lac

Nature morte en Hiver

André Lac

Painting - 50 x 61 x 3 cm Painting - 19.7 x 24 x 1.2 inch


Painting, After Noah, Shiva Ahmadi

After Noah

Shiva Ahmadi

Painting - 92 x 153 cm Painting - 36.2 x 60.2 inch


Painting, Camomilles, Karina Lara


Karina Lara

Painting - 33 x 24 cm Painting - 13 x 9.4 inch


Painting, Flowers and crystals, Beatriz Sánchez

Flowers and crystals

Beatriz Sánchez

Painting - 50 x 50 x 1 cm Painting - 19.7 x 19.7 x 0.4 inch


Painting, Lunch with Garden View, Mike Hall

Lunch with Garden View

Mike Hall

Painting - 35 x 29 x 1 cm Painting - 13.8 x 11.4 x 0.4 inch


Painting, Calzedonia: bocadillos de chorizo, Antonio Asensi

Calzedonia: bocadillos de chorizo

Antonio Asensi

Painting - 100 x 100 x 4 cm Painting - 39.4 x 39.4 x 1.6 inch


Painting, Buntes, Nina Lanner


Nina Lanner

Painting - 90 x 60 x 1.5 cm Painting - 35.4 x 23.6 x 0.6 inch


Painting, Le mimosa, Laurence Gasior

Le mimosa

Laurence Gasior

Painting - 61 x 46 x 2 cm Painting - 24 x 18.1 x 0.8 inch


Painting, Les baigneuses, Liliane Paumier

Les baigneuses

Liliane Paumier

Painting - 40 x 40 x 2 cm Painting - 15.7 x 15.7 x 0.8 inch