Danny Meyer Southern California food chain Tender Greens has finally found its way to Union Square. Last month I attended their grand opening and tried their Luke's Maine Lobster tail salad. The greens were fresh and mixed with crunchy thinly sliced apples, celery, radishes, citrus herb bread crumbs tossed with tarragon dressing. While I was indulging in my feast I had the pleasure of meeting Brooke Spreckman. Brooke is a 26 year old LA based interior designer that works in-house designing Tender Greens restaurants. At a young age while her parents were buying a house, she started drawing up floor plans for any potential house they saw. In this interview we discuss her creative process, design concepts for Tender Greens, other projects she has worked and more.
How did you come up with your design concept for Tender Greens?
I design Tender Greens restaurants all over, so each one of them is based on location. What's the climate? What does that neighborhood like? This NY location was co-designed with architectural designers Carpenter and Mason. We went off of the idea that we were bringing California to New York and wanted to make you feel like you were in a chefs kitchen. A place that is bright and airy but also can be a nice hang out over a glass of wine at nice. The materials selected are elegant but not too pretentious.
Tell me about Design Hutch...
Design Hutch has become my own personal platform to share my work. At one point I thought it'd turn into a tag like 'all design, one hutch' since I have experience across all niches - residential, commercial, hospitality. I was doing freelance for a while too, taking on my own projects - so this became my DBA. Right now I'm an employee doing full time design for a company, so Design Hutch is pretty much my personal portfolio to share the story of my own personal brand.
You design office spaces as well, can you give me a description of an office space you recently decorated?
I started my career doing offices, specifically tech offices in San Francisco. I was on the team that design Airbnb HQ back in 2013. A more recent office project I completed was for a tech company named Verba. They're a fun bunch of people and we made sure that each conference room got some sort of theme related wallpaper.. pineapples, lemurs and Hawaiian floral. Other priorities were their pool table, which we had re felted to match the public lounge, and a keg-Erator for them to dispense their own beer. Also, lots of napping space and private phone pods - all of which we custom designed and built in their space.
What are some tips you can share on when it comes to decorating a home, restaurant or office space?
Lay down the law for what your inspiration is first. Design is a process - so start with step one. Pick your general direction for meaning, overall scheme, and loose palette options. From there you can become more specific. It's easy to get lost with too many ideas. If you're going for a modern beach house, start with images of what that means to you, get your loose perspective. Going too far into detail too early can limit your options.
What are some your favorite stores to shop for decorating spaces?
In terms of decorating, I don't do a lot of styling with major accessories.. trinkets like that typically become dust collectors So, to decorate a restaurant, it comes down to the artwork and lighting. In our NY location, we used customized work by Rich Brilliant Willing. I also love the lighting by Cedar & Moss, they have a line at Rejuvenation as well. Last, I've become really into furniture by the Hem - they have quality goods and a simple aesthetic.
Name some designers or people to whom you look up to and why?
I look up to Sayre Ziskin - she's a designer I used to work for and I really appreciate her style ethics. She doesn't follow trends and really creates her own unique, timeless look. Her background is in art, and you can tell she works hard to balance the spaces she creates. Also, I love the work of Masquespacio - a design studio in Spain, their work is extremely unique and FUN.
What can we expect next from Brooke Spreckman?
More restaurants! This next year I'll have 3 more restaurants designed and completed with Tender Greens.