Originally from India, Nomita Joshi-Gupta brought with her a worldly perspective when she moved to Louisiana to attend LSU’s architecture program. She now lives in New Orleans with her husband and teenagers, adding local flair to her global aesthetic, which, together, give her design a style that she likes to call “international modernism.” Though Joshi-Gupta’s resume also includes architecture, preservation and urban planning, her passion is interior design and, especially, wallpaper, and she owns a business in each of these areas. Nomita Joshi Interior Design offers interior solutions for both business and home, and Spruce Wallpaper provides fabric and wall coverings in fun prints — from birds to bananas.
Bon Vivant: How are you navigating the COVID-19 crisis (in business and personally)?
Nomita Joshi-Gupta: Business-wise, as a retail store, we have to be closed, and that has affected us tremendously in number of sales, as clients and customers have not been able to come in for design appointments. Also, we did not receive compensation from the various money sources, so that has been hard on my business. But I used this opportunity to make our business even better. We reorganized our design library, worked on our customer lists, redid our websites and worked on our marketing strategy for the fall. These are all ‘to dos’ that we never get to do during busy times, so I used this downtime to be productive and stay positive.
Personally, I do like the pause, as I have had time to spend with my teenage kids and husband and attend to my home like I like to: making creative meals, gardening, long walks, podcasts, spring cleaning and watching my favorite movies and shows. I am basically treating this as a summer with amazing weather!
BV: What creative methods are you discovering in order to continue to serve clients?
Joshi-Gupta: I became a de facto web designer and updated both my shop website sprucenola.com and design website nomitajoshi.com. We added online booking services, so that clients can book a session via phone or by appointment, and they can see the variety of services we offer and the quality of work we do by perusing our install gallery and portfolio. In the showroom, we have adopted a strict protocol of washing hands, face masks, cleaning between appointments and distancing, as a way to effectively meet with our clients if they prefer to see our wallpaper and fabric in person.
BV: Who or what is inspiring you right now and why?
Joshi-Gupta: Nature. This pandemic has brought us down to our knees, and nature has reclaimed her space by putting us all at home and [our] cars off the streets. Sustainable, mindful living has re-asserted itself, and this has given me inspiration to be more creative with resources we have and reuse as much as possible in our design and construction of the built environment.
BV: What is the most helpful piece of career or life advice you’ve ever received, where did it come from, and why was it so impactful for you?
Joshi-Gupta: A few years ago, when I was at crossroads with my retail store, a friend told me that all I needed was to find a focus and be an expert at it. I decided to focus on my obsession — wallpaper — and my business has had a successful second life since.
BV: Guilty pleasure?
Joshi-Gupta: I love sitting around with piles of design magazines, sipping Earl Grey tea.
BV: If readers did only one thing to enhance their interior, what would you suggest?
Joshi-Gupta: Lighting and dimmers. Everyone and everything looks really good in perfect lighting. Dimmers create moody dramatic shadows — an instant scene.
Find and follow Nomita Joshi-Gupta at sprucenola.com or nomitajoshi.com, on Instagram at @sprucewallpaper or @nomitajoshi.interiordesign and on Facebook at facebook.com/Sprucenola or facebook.com/nomitajoshiinteriordesign.