Designer Spotlight: Kroesser + Strat

Our love-affair with Brooklyn-based design mavens Anna Kroesser and Amelia Strat (@KroesserStrat) began as a severe Instacrush. It’s hard not be completely enamored by the duo’s elegantly crisp, minimalist vibe that always feels exceptionally livable and never fussy. By consciously mixing modern and vintage design elements, Kroesser + Strat are united by an innate love of a life well-curated and well-lived.

We spent an awesome day shopping for stone, discussing motherhood (check out K+S’s Instagram hashtag #momprenuer) and sourcing vintage inspiration at Greenpoint staples, Brooklyn Curated and People of 2morrow. Get to know Anna and Amelia, learn their secrets for creating savvy, bold spaces and see all the pretty photos below!

ABC Stone: What was the impetus behind E-Design, and what are your thoughts generally on the democratization of your medium?

Kroesser + Strat: We wanted to create a service that didn’t require full interior design or the cost associated with it. We really believe that you don’t need to be a millionaire to have a beautifully designed home. If someone came to us and said we could only use IKEA, we could create a pretty amazing space, and it could be done virtually, to boot. Spatial awareness isn’t something everyone has, just like we all can’t go put together a presentation for an advertising firm or a lesson plan for a classroom. But that doesn’t mean it can’t be accessible to everyone, with any type of budget. We still have pieces from IKEA in our homes that we love—trust us, we aren’t out there buying a twenty-thousand dollar sofa for our homes, so we get that there’s a gap to be filled in terms of affordable design.

ABC: To what extent does research play a role in your creative process?

K+S: The most important research we can do for a project is with and for the client. What is their ideal aesthetic? What did their home look like before? Do they have existing furniture that they want to reuse? And what’s the most important part of this process to them—do they want to have a completely casual, lived-in space, or do they want it to be elegant and streamlined?

ABC: Does fashion design have a significant influence on your work?

K+S: Fashion always has an influence on our work. HonestlyWTF, this amazing blog, if you don’t read it yet, does a great job featuring trends in fashion and how they make it into the interior design world. If it’s on the runway in the fall, you’re going to see it in one or two seasons on a pillow.

ABC: For whom do you design, and why?

K+S: We design for our client, but always try to make sure that Kroesser + Strat vibe is in there. Some clients are more traditional, and that’s okay! But we are going to do a killer piece of marble on that 1920’s fireplace!

ABC: Can you talk about obstacles you encounter in your work?

K+S: The most common obstacles are logistical. Examples are: a client’s expectations in terms of how fast a project can be completed; or that custom costs more; that sometimes a piece of furniture gets stuck in customs for weeks, or that it was damaged on the way over from Europe. We have our pulse on all facets of our projects, but keeping the contractor and their subs on schedule can be tricky. We always try to tell our client that it’s going to take longer than the contractor says, and that it’s going to cost more than they say. These are the realities of a project, especially a renovation. But creating a trust between us and our clients, letting them know that no matter what happens they are going to have a gorgeous space in the end, is our most important goal in this all.

ABC: You use the hashtag #momprenuer in your Instagram posts. What does that mean to you?

K+S: We think being a #mompreneur means we don’t have just one baby, we have two babies: our business + our real, live baby-babies (well, three if you count our husbands… haha!) and everything we do, we’re doing in an effort to leave something wonderful behind for our sons. We both have boys, and think it’s important, especially in this day and age, for our sons to see us as strong, independent women who they can be proud of and look up to as role models. And that, although our boys truly are the center of our universe, there’s more to us as women than simply being “mom”.

Palissandro Bronze fireplace surround creates the perfect update on a 1920's hearth

Palissandro Bronze fireplace surround creates the perfect update on a 1920’s hearth

ABC: You talk a lot about seasons on your blog: in what ways if any do they influence you?

K+S: Seasons are a time for change. At the end of the summer, everyone’s waiting for that crisp fall weather to hit so they can throw on their coziest sweaters. And when winter keeps dragging on and on and on into April, we all just want to throw our boots in the fire and put on some sandals. The same applies to interiors: in with the old and out with the new. Summer means lots of light, fresh art on the walls, and winter requires Moroccan wedding blankets on our beds, and lots and lots of throw pillows to curl up on.

ABC: You’ve said you “understand how personal (and sometimes stressful) creating a client’s dream space can be, and you pride ourselves on making it a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.” Can you talk a little bit about bringing a client’s vision to fruition, how you accomplish this, what it entails?

K+S: At the end of the day, we want our clients to be happy. Truly, it is something that means more to us than clients tend to believe. We love putting together a presentation for a new project—we are so excited for that day where we walk our client through design inspiration, materials, fabrics, finishes; but that first meeting is so important. It sets the tone for the project. If we don’t more or less nail it, the client is not going to be excited, and already that trust we talked about building hits an immediate road block. So what we know is that really listening to a client about their vision for a space is step one, and then we take it up a few notches. We will show them the dream and then scale back from there.

ABC: Complete the sentence, a well-designed home has to__________.

K+S: Be comfortable. Not every piece of furniture has to be slubby and cloud-like, but you need to be able to walk into that space and feel good about being in there.

ABC: Who/what are some of your “design muses”?

K+S: Our #1 muse is, and always will be, Kelly Wearstler. She is a risk taker, fearless and there is no question what the Kelly Wearstler brand is.

ABC: What are some of your favorite decorating sources?

K+S: We have two huge sources we use right now. Etsy + Instagram. Some of the absolute best furnishings, lighting, textiles, etc. are coming from designers on Etsy. And because it is a global website, you’re getting access to more than just what’s at your local retailer. Instagram is everything, and for sort of the same reason. We are seeing what design is looking like in Belgium, Morocco, Australia, and let us tell you: there’s some really amazing design happening out there!

ABC: Who/what is inspiring you right now?

K+S: Maybe because of our obsession with Etsy, we are really into handmade pieces. If you walk into our own homes, you’re going to see pillows from Thailand, a chandelier made by some guy in a rural town in the Pacific Northwest, and because we have a really amazing woodworker in the family: a crib, changing table; dining table and cocktail table, all made with so much love.

ABC: Do you have any parting words of wisdom?

K+S: This might change by tomorrow, but be true to who you are and what your brand stands for. Know that you can try to make everyone happy, but that you won’t, so it’s okay. And when things get really hard, try to find the fun, even if that requires a bottle of tequila to help you do so. Oh, and sleep! As new-ish moms running a small business, we realize more than ever how important sleep is in order to be a functioning member of society. So sleep, sleep, sleep… when you can.

Want to be in the Spotlight?
If you’re an architect or designer and have completed a project using stone from ABC, we’d love to hear from you! Each month, we feature a design professional and a space they’ve created that features our product. We’ll share it on social media, on our website and in our e-newsletter. If you’d like to be considered for an upcoming Designer Spotlight, drop us a line:

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