Photo by Sarah Essex Bradley
Spruce New Orleans – a Retail Showroom and Interior Design Studio, specializing in modern and contemporary design – 2043 Magazine Street, New Orleans, LA 70130
What is Spruce all about? Spruce is a beautiful retail showroom and interior design studio in New Orleans, LA and is situated on historic Magazine Row – an area popular amongst local designers, and shoppers. Spruce is a great local resource featuring a large selection of wallpaper, drapery, custom fabrics, modern furnishings, sustainable decor and accessories all carefully put together and curated through Nomita’s personal travels, her love of art and culture and her global appreciation.
Describe your design style. Organic Modern – and by that I do not just mean being sustainable by using eco-friendly product and such but also incorporating organic soft and modern shapes and as a result creating a space that not only feels comfortable but also a non-sterile and a lived-in environment.
Do you feel a well designed and inspiring work space changes how people work? Absolutely, just going to work is a pleasant feeling. No one likes to walk into a messy space and spend their entire day there. An inspiring work space is great because the owner created a space he / she can be proud of but it also helps your employees, they enjoy coming to work, they are more productive and efficient as they don’t spend all their time searching for things but actually getting things done, they are more creative and may even stay longer with you as they enjoy the work environment.
Do you think you are fairly organized and what do you do to stay
organized? I believe I am highly organized not only in my business but also in my personal life, juggling those two isn’t always easy but can be done with a little planning. I have no problem letting go of things I no longer need and de-clutter each season, I also am quick to toss papers that are no longer necessary. I love Swap-Boutique by now they have three locations in New Orleans and one in Baton Rouge, you get to donate your clothing for a good cause and get some money back when your items get sold, they make the process super simple and I pretty much take all our clothing there.
When it comes to my design projects, there isn’t one space I design where I don’t think about storage and organization. I ask myself who is using the space, what do they need / want and what type of work is being done in the space . . . answering all these questions on the front end help define work and resting areas, source the right storage containers and also makes sure you have a space for everything. Many people don’t think about it but a lot of de-cluttering happens during design projects but it’s just a step that makes sense. To dispose of building materials I use THE GREEN PROJECT, (I am a board member) where you can drop off building materials and for larger items they come and pick up anything you no longer need. They take items from nails, to shower curtains to paint etc. pretty much anything that can be re-purposed and/or sold in their retail location. It’s a great organization and helps items by giving them a second life instead of simply ending up in a landfill.
Are you a list maker? Paper or Tech? I would have to go with paper here. I am a list maker no question about it and I love writing things down. I do however also use Google Tasks for my business just because I am able to add tags to things as it helps me and my assistant to quickly find things and it’s also a great way of keeping things together when communicating with my assistant as well.
What is your favorite productivity tool? My notebook and my sticky notes for sure. Just like I mentioned before, I love writing things down, it helps me remember things better and I know everything is in my notebook. I also recommend everyone keep one notebook only.
If there is one thing you could improve on what would that be? I saw this great tip on how to make better use of your notebook. My notebook has notes all organized by project. I write each task for each project down on sticky notes and when I’m done I toss each note and what remains stays to do the next day. This helps not only save time but also keep the notebook looking much neater. I love this tip but haven’t implemented it 100% just yet but I am working on it.
Do you have a favorite design tip you would like to share? Yes! One of my all-time favorite design tips is: When you design a space, go out and find the biggest rug that fits the space instead of chopping the space up by using smaller scale rugs, helping create a larger scale and statement.
What is the best advice you have ever gotten? That’s easy – Hire a bookkeeper! A fellow designer mentioned this a long time ago and has been one of the best investments I have made in my career. Running your own retail store and being an influential designer takes a lot of time, effort and creativity. Hiring a bookkeeper enables you to be the best you can be and allows you to delegate the rest.
Do you have an all-time favorite designer that you look up to? And if so, who is it? As a designer it’s really hard to narrow things down as you can find great inspiration everywhere but you can never go wrong with the classics when it comes down to it. I love Kelly Wearstler – who is known for her world class interior projects and her global lifestyle brand that is iconic and envelope pushing.
To name one other who I have been greatly influenced by since my architecture days – Antoni Gaudi who is a Spanish/Catalan Architect whose amazing buildings can be seen all over Barcelona and whose style can only be described as amazingly distinctive.
Now it’s your turn – Would you love to be featured in our interview series? Do you own a retail store? Or do you have a beautiful office that you would like to showcase? Comment in the comment section below and I will be in touch.
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