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- Spoak is an online interior-design community that offers user-friendly interior design tools.
- Members can use Spoak to create mock-ups, color palettes, and mood boards.
- I tried Spoak for a few months, and it’s a great tool for those looking to decorate their space.
If you’ve struggled to find helpful tools for mapping out your new apartment, you’re not alone. Spoak, an online interior-design platform, provides its members with powerful design tools; informative design classes; and a way to interact with other design enthusiasts in a safe, private space.
Founder and CEO Hilah Stahl created Spoak after being unable to find the proper tools to help her decorate and furnish her first New York City apartment with her now husband. At the time, Stahl was working in product management and used her background in tech and product development to build Spoak. “I wanted to basically combine both of these problems, the fact that there was no great tooling and also that there was basically no area to explore design as a creative pursuit or passion without taking an enormous financial and time leap,” said Stahl.
Spoak currently offers three membership tiers that range in price from $14.99 to $24.99. Each tier caters to people at varying levels of design interest, from beginners to those ready to start a career in the industry.
In addition to testing Spoak for several weeks, we also spoke with Stahl to learn more about Spoak’s creation and its best features.
Pricing and tiers
Spoak has three membership tiers, DIY, Growth, and Designer. Each is suited for members with different levels of design experience, with included features to match. All membership tiers offer unlimited project designs, mockups, floor plans, and mood boards, as well as access to a private
community, design club events, and the Thingology social-media-style feed.
The DIY tier is $14.99 a month and “is really for someone who is primarily interested in designing their own space,” said Stahl. It’s very functional and will work best for those who aren’t looking to explore interior design outside of decorating their own home. While this tier includes design tools and access to Spoak’s private Slack community, it doesn’t give you access to Spoak’s library of classes or many of the tools needed to earn money from designs.
The Growth tier is $19.99 a month and is an excellent fit for those passionate about design and who may have already helped friends or family design their spaces. “I think they would aspirationally want to make money off of interior design but not yet as their full-time job,” said Stahl. This tier includes full access to all BeSpoak School classes, which cover various interior design topics. While this tier was created to help facilitate building a career in interior design, it does not include access to Spoak’s earn features, which allow members to profit off of their designs. I tested the Growth tier for this review, as it is the most recommended membership option.
The Designer tier is $24.99 a month. “The Designer tier is for someone who’s really taking the leap,” said Stahl. “They’re either really trying to make this a side hustle that makes them a decent amount of money, or they are starting a design firm or a design practice or trying to become full-time.” The Designer tier offers members full access to all features, including a job board, inbound messaging, custom project branding, and more. The tools and resources available at this tier are built to help members get clients, build a portfolio, and launch or grow their design businesses.
After selecting your membership tier and creating your account, you’ll learn the platform’s basics. Spoak offers helpful instructions on how to use more advanced features such as Viz, the floor-plan tool. If you’ve opted for the Growth or Designer tiers, you’ll also get access to the entire BeSpoak class library. While maneuvering through the site for the first time, you’ll receive several onboarding tasks, such as starting your first design project and creating a color palette. Another fun onboarding task is the site’s Spoak Sign quiz, to determine your design style based on your personality and decor preferences.
You’ll also be able to join Spoak’s growing Slack community, where members communicate about all things design and can get in touch with the support team with any issues or questions.
Stand out features
One of Spoak’s main goals is to demystify the complicated and often gate-kept interior-design industry. “It’s not intended for people who have spent 20 years in the industry; it’s a consumer product,” said Stahl, who designed Spoak to combine the joy of the design process with easy-to-use tools and resources.
While testing Spoak, four main features immediately stood out to me: The BeSpoak School, Thingology feed, Viz mockup tool, and the community.
BeSpoak School: Stahl developed the BeSpoak School courses with the help of interior designer Lisa Galano, who has since joined Spoak as a formal advisor and mentor. Classes are assigned by goal, which you choose when you first set up your account. I found the courses approachable and easy to digest. I could revisit the courses after completing them and go through them at my preferred pace. Each course has an accompanying practice exercise that will help you apply the new skills you’ve just learned. Some classes that are currently available for members include Intro to Design Styles, Furniture Planning, Art Styling, Lighting, and more. The course library offers a great value, especially when compared to the costs of taking professional courses elsewhere.
Thingology feed: The Thingology feed serves as an in-house social media feed that allows you to see what other members are creating. I especially enjoyed scrolling through the feed when looking for inspiration and new design ideas.
Viz: Arguably the most essential Spoak feature, the Viz tool lets members create Vizi’s, or realistic floor-plan renderings. As someone who doesn’t have much experience using Photoshop, CAD, or other professional rendering tools, I found Viz very intuitive to use. While it does have a slight learning curve, I appreciated having immediate access to an easy-to-navigate tutorial library where I could find quick explainers.
Some of my favorite Viz features include being able to remove the background of any image; the ability to lock furniture in place while moving other elements of the rendering around; and the option to add furniture directly from store sites, Google, and Pinterest.
Community: Community is another central element of the Spoak membership. In the private Slack community, members connect about their current interior design interests, share new furniture finds, and plan in-person meet-ups. Outside of Slack, Spoak also hosts monthly Q&As, Wine and Designs, and member spotlights on its Instagram account.
“There’s an unbelievable joy in bonding with people over a shared passion,” said Stahl.
Overall, I had a very positive experience using Spoak and highly recommend it to anyone moving into a new space or looking to revamp their current home. With a combination of rendering tools, educational resources, and access to a community of design lovers, Spoak’s membership is well worth the monthly cost. You can also cancel your membership any time, which is great for those who just want to design a few home projects.
Pros: Great value, Membership offers multiple benefits
Cons: Learning curve, monthly membership cost can add up over time