When interior designers Jamie Niblock and John Krenek of Spruce Design + Décor were renovating their personal guest cottages in the upstate hamlet of Hurley, the first thing they did was to work with what they had, which were two side-by-side, mirror-image, identical spaces. However, they said to themselves, “Why make them the same?” The outcome was two completely different spaces with individual personalities. The Spruce Design + Decor designers approached their own two-sided guest cottage reno with their inimitable and breathtaking blend of 20th-century American and European furnishings, art, lighting, and decorative objects. They pride themselves on their passion of “collecting and seeking out the rare and unique.” The juxtaposition of design within each of the two guest spaces is a sort of “guest-a-position,” offering their visitors a choice of livability and comfort tailored to their own particular tastes and personalities.
A NATURAL CHOICE
With their furnishing and décor boutique, Spruce Design + Décor, which opened in High Falls in 2003 and then relocated to Rhinebeck, it was only natural that their artistic prowess would evolve into an interior design business two years later.
The admiration and desire to secure their skills and artistry further blossomed following a ten-page spread in the December 2007 issue of Elle Decor that featured one of their design projects—joined by subsequent features in New York Home, Interior Design, and Domino Magazine. This dynamic-design duo were in demand, coast-to-coast, from private residences of high profile clientele to commercial properties and showrooms. They even designed luxury carpet maker Edward Fields’ showrooms in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Dallas.
Their upbeat professionalism and creativity combines seamlessly with their eye for spatial imagery and unparalleled sense of décor. “We honestly live and breathe the Spruce Design + Decor aesthetic,” Krenek says.
THE “LIGHT AND AIRY” SIDE inspired them to play with the light that filters brightly through the windows with a whitewash over wood-plank flooring and a mid-century vibe, featuring objects from trips abroad and brightly colored art and accessories. “It gives it a more worldly feel,” says Niblock.
THE “DARK AND MOODY” RIGHT-SIDE of the guest abode was designed with a sophisticated cabin edge with a “more woodsy ” feel to reflect the nature of its streamside surroundings. Says Krenek, “It’s more rustic and natural, complementing a monochromatic backdrop,” which the designers agree has a more masculine, sexy aura.
INTERIOR DESIGN 101
START WITH THE BASICS Niblock and Krenek recommend starting with the basics. Comfort tops their list. The pair agrees that good quality, comfortable choices for bigger pieces of furniture, such as the living room sofa and chairs, are the backbone of a room. Accent pieces—pillows, rugs, lighting, and small pieces of furniture—provide beauty plus function.
A NEUTRAL PALLET
With paint being the most effective quick fix, they suggest planning a neutral pallet that can be accented with complementary pops of color from furnishings, art, and objects d’art. “Incorporate the things that inspire you and ones that you love,” says Krenek, adding, “Each piece selected should be used. Homes are not museums.” Says Niblock, “We love mixing periods. It’s about creating timeless spaces—designing with pieces you’ve picked up along one’s journey through life and keeping the concept throughout the entire home—not just in one room.”
The ultimate design of a space is to start with the allocation of each room’s function. Says Krenek, “Utilize each space to its fullest—even making it multi-purpose.”
Of course, they urge anyone approaching a renovation to always work with a contractor that can be trusted. Get as many recommendations as possible to choose from. People are always happy to share their success stories.
TRUST YOUR INSTICTS
Most importantly, trust your instincts on what you like. Take risks, enjoy the process, and have fun!
Spruce Design + Decor is located at 20 West Market Street, Rhinebeck. For more information about the shop, interior decorating services, or to schedule an appointment, please call the designers at 845-876-5864 or go online to sprucedesigndecor.com
For reservations or inquiries to rent these beautiful, private guest accommodations call Jamie Niblock at 1-917-520-4772 or John Krenek at 1-917-406-9836.