There’s nothing we love more than spending the day with inspiring creators in their private work spaces, and luckily Ry Scruggs and Nadia Yaron, the ladies behind Nightwood, were game for a little company at their Brooklyn studio. Using reclaimed wood and sustainable fabrics, their handcrafted, one-of-a-kind furniture and textiles take reuse and recycling to new and stylish heights. Oh, and did we mention they design interiors on the side? Turns out, these makers are just as cool and laid-back as the pieces and spaces they create.
Peek inside their work space below and find out how they got their start and what source of inspiration they turn to again and again.
What inspired you to start your own company?
“Moving back to Brooklyn from L.A. and discovering a beautiful brownstone apartment inspired us to start making our own furniture and explore decorating.”
Where did the name Nightwood come from?
“It’s the title of a novel by Djuna Barnes from the early ’40s and was quite literally appropriate when we started. Ry would look for discarded wood and furniture on garbage nights in the neighborhood.”
We could spend days in your magical studio. How did you go about setting it up?
“When we first moved into the space we had tight budget and time constraints. Since then we’ve been able to expose more of the store’s original architecture and add more of our signature wood wall treatments. We like to keep the arrangement fluid, so there are not a lot of built in displays—the furniture does the work for us. We just did a mini-redecoration of the store and thought we ended up with a clubhouse/fantasy-fort kind of vibe.”
How do the two of you split up your work?
“We currently operate out of two studios in Brooklyn. One is located within our store in Williamsburg where the woven products, upholstered items, and dyed, embroidered, and painted textile works are made by Nadia. All other production happens at our woodshop studio near the Brooklyn Navy Yard by our small team and Ry.”
What’s a typical day at the office like?
“It varies depending on the day—but the most common routine is us each going to our separate studios and making stuff! When we are working on design projects, we do installs and shopping or sourcing early in the week.”
How do you balance your product production with your interior design work?
“It really just requires careful scheduling and a little more help from extra hands. But we kind of eat, sleep, and dream our jobs. We might actually get bored if we didn’t do everything at once.”
What would your dream interior design project be?
“We prefer residential work, but any destination job that would qualify as a getaway while we work is also a dream—a castle in the woods, bungalows in Bali, or a tree-house hotel maybe? We’re not picky.”
Any favorite sources of inspiration?
“We found an old copy of World of Interiors magazine many years ago, and since then it’s been a constant source of inspiration—we look to it religiously.”
Where do you source your materials?
“Originally they came mostly from the street, local ‘junk’ spots in our neighborhood, vintage and thrift stores. Eventually we got almost all our salvaged wood from Build It Green in Queens. Now Nadia gets most of her fabric from online organic sources or the garment district in the city. Ry gets almost all of the wood from a lumberyard in New Jersey that carries a large selection of reclaimed material.”
Why did you decide to work with mostly salvaged and sustainable materials?
“We both love old things—and our style leans to the imperfect, primitive, faded, distressed, and even nonfunctional. This initially was the only impetus behind our materials of choice, other than we were on a starving-artist budget. It is also pretty ingrained in both of us to see the magic in a discarded treasure over something from a catalog. But we also have a respect for nature and therefore an affinity for materials that are a healthier choice for the earth.”
Do you have a certain type of person or home in mind when crafting your pieces?
“Honestly, we both think of what would we like the most in our own home—most of our work is truly a representation of our combined personal style and aesthetic.”