A local designer finds inspiration at home and the office.
Photos by John Lewis
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Design is an everyday part of life for Vanessa Kreckel. As the owner of the custom-design studio Two Paperdolls, Kreckel creates eye-catching business cards, wedding invitations, stationery and more for a long list of clients.
The demands of heading a successful business mean some long workweeks for Kreckel, making her Wayne studio a home away from the real home she shares with her husband and son in Havertown. Two Paperdolls outgrew its original space on Louella Court, prompting a 2008 move to nearby West Avenue. “This location brought everything together under one roof,” says Kreckel of the spacious former dental office. “Our workflow is so much more efficient now.”
Though Kreckel was more than capable of handling the interior design for her new studio, she made the wise choice of putting that full-time task into someone else’s hands. “I had too much stuff going on,” she admits.
Kreckel chose Winnie King, knowing she’d have an active role as a consultant to ensure that some of the same design philosophies from her Havertown home found their way into the new studio space. While Kreckel agrees that mixing styles makes a room visually interesting, she prefers to keep things simple. “I like things to have a purpose,” says Kreckel. “I don’t like a lot of stuff; I like spaces to be clean.”
You won’t find many tchotchkes in Kreckel’s home or office. “I wanted [the studio] to be a calm space and not have a busy design that competed with our work,” she says. “The design didn’t need to inspire our work; we inspire each other.”
Transforming a sterile dentist’s office into a hip design studio was a tall order for King. “When I first came to the office, I couldn’t believe how pedestrian it was,” she quips. “There were still echoes of the sounds of the drill.”
King works mostly on residential projects, though she did design A Taste of Britain’s new tea shop and café in Wayne’s Eagle Village Shops. But she enjoys the unique challenges that come with commercial and office spaces. “This was a dream job,” says King. “Working with this talented group of designers required a strong approach to style, function and originality.”
When brainstorming ideas, King had more than the owner in mind. “A big part of Two Paperdolls’ business is weddings, so I knew that a lot of brides and their mothers would be coming in for consultations,” says King. “I wanted the space to appeal to both of those generations.”
A majority of client consultations and staff meetings take place in an open meeting space in the first-floor reception area. “I wanted the space to be both beautiful and functional,” says King. “All the fabrics, furniture, original artwork and accessories were chosen to reflect the festive events that the studio’s work represents.”
The room features soft blue-gray paint and enviro–friendly tiger bamboo floors. A pair of refinished vintage ballroom chairs, a set of high-back wing chairs and an ebony linen couch are positioned around a custom sawhorse worktable designed by Chester County furniture maker Bryce Ritter. A three-tier console table by Ritter sits nearby.