At Spruce Eco-Studio (2043 Magazine St., 504-265-0946; www.sprucenola.com), a 1,200-square-foot interior design studio and retail store, all the products are sustainable, fair trade, eco-friendly, recycled or recyclable, handmade, made in Louisiana or a combination. "We try to look for one or more of those values when we select products from our vendors," says owner Nomita Joshi Gupta.
A former architect and city planner, Gupta took on a different role as a designer when she opened Spruce in 2008. "Interior design is more natural [than architecture]," Gupta says. "I really love it."
Spruce's services include architectural and renovation planning, residential and small commercial interior design and color consultation. Gupta visits clients' homes and gives them a free estimate, and she designs anything from one room to the entire house.
"Kitchens and baths are my specialty," Gupta says.
Spruce carries home accessories by local and international designers. "[We carry] German, French and English designers who are not well-known in the U.S., but are world-class and international designers," Gupta says. "Amanda Talley is a very well-known local artist and we carry her fabrics and her wallpaper." The store also offers Flavor Paper, a luxe wallpaper brand that originated in New Orleans and now has its headquarters in Brooklyn, New York.
The interior design studio is filled with tabletop fireplaces, shadow lanterns, candles and mugs, among other home accessories with a wide array of price points. "We have small table napkins and candles from $20 to $30, all the way to the fireplaces, which are thousands of dollars," Gupta says. "We have something to fit every budget."
Gupta takes pride in her inventory of one-of-a-kind objects. "[There are] no mass-produced or mass-market artists," says Gupta, who plans to include more work by local artists in the fall. "I feel like there's a lot of modern local [art] that's happening that is not as homemade ... This would be a good place for [the artist] to be represented."
Gupta says it's hard for her to choose a favorite store item, but right now she is partial to Otomi cloth, a versatile, hand-embroidered Mexican textile. "People can use it as a bedspread, make it into a headboard, upholster your chair — it's multi-use," Gupta says. "You look at it and you feel happy."