Member Spotlight: Samantha Struck


Name: Samantha Struck
Company/Position/Years?: StruckSured, Principal/Owner, Lead Designer
IIDA member since: 2013

What are you currently working on?:
Since recently passing the NCIDQ, we have shifted more towards the commercial side, working closely with an engineering firm in Hood River who is heavily invested in projects serving VA hospitals and clinics across the West coast. We have a couple of projects ongoing for the Portland VA Hospital, and are in the midst of negotiating several out of state projects for healthcare facilities. Aside from that shift, we are always working on residential projects throughout the Gorge, and will continue to be accessible to our local residential community while we engage more in healthcare.

Some of our favorite projects in the Hood River Valley are old farmhouses, typically from around 1910, where we get to breathe a second life into the house, and design it to meet the needs of the current family. It’s great when we get to work on a family home, on a family farm, that one of the owners grew up in, or that has been in their family for generations.

Tell us a bit about your creative process:
Our creative process involves a lot of investigative work on the front end. We spend a significant amount of time getting to know our clients and taking all that information to form the vision/story we want to share. From there, we start with conceptual design and preliminary case studies for the client to get a sense of direction. After those are approved, we bring in the plans and detailed elevations in CAD and start to form ideas on material selections. After another round of client approval, we finalize all the details and selections, and put together the specifications and relevant installation detailing. The final documents are put together for the contractor and client and then we transition into project management mode to see the design through completion.

Why do you support interior design licensing?:
Licensing opened up a whole sector that was not approachable without certification. Although that may seem like a stumbling block, it made me/my team determined to pass the NCIDQ and secure our place within that professional sphere. Knowing that we had to demonstrate that we understand and can consider the health, safety, and welfare of occupants for the projects we are a part of is a privilege that we feel honored to be able to claim. There is so much more to what we do than aesthetics. I can’t tell you how many times we have had to fight for professional recognition on the construction site, or to the general public. Licensing takes away the confusion between Interior Design and interior decorating. Both are important, but ID requires so much more technical knowledge and code based awareness. We are big believers in letting credentials speak for themselves, and not feeling like we have to explain what we do. I remember when I received my confirmation email. I cried. It was a big deal to me to be a solopreneur with a team of ladies, a mom and wife, and be 8 years out of school and have the chance to pass the exam. I am so grateful for that.

What does being a designer mean to your life?:
Design and order are in everything around us. I consider myself highly discerning and sensitive to the environment. I had a client last week tell me that he had never felt so known by someone during a first encounter. Because of my sensitivity to space and people, I can often take away a lot about people from subtle cues and a short discussion. I feel a deep sense of purpose to bring this craft to the world and humbly offer it to my community. Although a significant amount of the work we do comes from being situated in a lifestyle town with a high percentage of second home owners, we have always made ourselves accessible to local families, and those who may have to really save to splurge on design services. For us as a team, being a designer means that we listen, we see, and we serve those around us. 

On a typical Saturday where can we find you?:
On any given Saturday you might find me, my husband, Jordan, and my son, Granger, walking amongst our families 5th generation orchard in Hood River. We’re also in the midst of building our forever home on the family farm. We spend a lot of our free time trying to slow down and be present with our kiddo. In addition to a 9-5, my husband is also an entrepreneur/cider-maker, and has been crafting cider for the past several years (you might spot it at your nearest New Seasons or Whole Foods, it’s called Rivercider). It is all small batch, with apples we grow, and made in our owner cider barn, and it tells the story of a difficult agricultural climate in which farmers are needing to find value added products to keep the farm afloat. So, if you happen to be at any cider festivals or brew fests in the area, you just might find me slinging cider on the weekend as well.