When Amber McDermitt met Mary Bell in the summer of 2013 they were working on a Lloyd Wright house in Pacific Palisades. Hired separately, they found a natural connection and were inspired to start Spruce Design & Organization.
“We worked in collaboration as designer and organizer for a complete remodel of the interior and exterior,” says Ameber, referring to the Lloyd Wright residence. “And we instantly meshed, personally and professionally.”
Bell says once they made the decision to open their own business, they started by researching competition online but couldn’t find anyone concentrating specifically on design and organization.
“When you’re organizing a space, you want a certain aesthetic,” says Bell. “But it’s sometimes scary to say ‘I’m going to get a designer for the house’.”
The duo want accessibility to be what differentiates their business—located in a home studio on Gower St.—from a traditional interior design firm.
“We want to appeal not just to the extremely wealthy, but also to young people with limited time. We want to be available for a wide range of projects,” explains Bell.
One way Spruce has simplified the process of working with a designer is an upfront pricing model: “We wanted to keep it simple. We didn’t want it to be intimidating,” explains McDermitt.
Services are $100 per hour for one Sprucer, or $150 per hour for two, with a four-hour minimum for each project. In addition to design and organization services, clients also get access to trade discounts at participating retailers.
“You can purchase hours and then control how, and when, you spend them”, says McDermitt. “We thought this was the most straightforward way of doing it.”
Bell stresses that their services aren’t only for complete remodels: “sometimes it’s just making a space more livable.”
Spruce divides its services into four categories: Get it Together, Refresher, The Whole Shebang, and E-Design.
“When you hire an interior designer they can help pick furnishing or fabrics, but they’re not going to put together a complete package,” says McDermitt. “We offer unique services like estate and office manuals for organizing a space, which is different than what you would get at a design firm.”
For more information on services provided at Spruce, visit spruceyourspace.org.
By Billy Taylor