Gaux Girl - Nicole Gibbons


Color is an integral element of what we do, but for interior designer Nicole Gibbons, a kaleidoscopic spectrum is what roots her entire business. Clients come to her when they want a sophisticated mix of rich color and sumptuous texture (think an aquamarine velvet or a ribbed silk in powdery dove gray, both absolutely heavenly).

Nicole’s most recent project added the bright plume of “startup founder” to her proverbial cap. She’s the mind and eye behind Clare, a company focused on simplifying the curiously difficult process of finding the just-right paint shade for your living room or bedroom walls. 

Pairing a designer’s knack for suggesting the perfect hue with a high-tech algorithm, Clare provides customers with suggestions from a tightly edited collection of 55 colors. Then, abracadabra-like, samples and supplies arrive directly on your doorstep.

Intrigued by her body of work (and impeccable style), we asked her thoughts on interior design, being on the ‘gaux, and, of course, the color du jour.

Decorating a space is all about defining a personal style through color - What are the ABCs of defining your palette and playing with color, both through interior design and personal style?

Color is tremendously important when it comes to both design and your personal style. When it comes to interiors, color has the power to not only completely transform your space, but also the way you feel when you walk through the door.  With your personal style, color can give you so much confidence. We change up our wardrobes much more frequently than we change up our homes so, it’s easy to experiment and have fun with fashion, but when it comes to interiors and paint color choices, I always recommend opting for timeless over trendy. You want to choose a paint color you’ll never grow tired of. Our Clare color palette features only timeless colors you’ll love!

You have a fashion background - How has that experience translated to your new world of interiors?

I’ve always been influenced by fashion. There’s so much inspiration in the color palettes  seen on the runways! I always like to have a very fashion-forward point of view when it comes to design. It’s all about translating your personal style through your home. I believe our homes should reflect your personality and your spirit and that we should aim for timeless, highly personal and style-forward decor choices to create a home that truly feels like you.

When did you first realize your interest in the interiors industry?

My mom worked in the design industry so I grew up exposed to good design and have been passionate about design my whole life. It started out as more of a hobby - I loved reading decor magazines and would watch HGTV growing up when all the other kids were into 90210. In 2008 while working in corporate america, I started a decorating blog as a creative outlet, and through the process of writing my blog and immersing myself in the design world, I realized my passion and decided to pivot my career path into design.

What’s been the most unexpected challenge of starting your own business?

In starting Clare, the biggest challenge has been operating lean and with limited resources. I launched Clare with small team and everyone is wearing many hats and working really hard. Hiring and building a team the right way takes time, and with what feels like a giant roadmap and so much to get done, It’s a constant challenge to balance the workload and prioritization.

What’s one thing you hope to change through Clare?  

Frankly, shopping for paint has always been a hassle. There are thousands of colors, too many product lines, and the in-store environments are completely uninspiring. We’re here to change that painful experience entirely and make the process of buying paint easier in every way. With a focus on convenience, quality, beautifully curated colors, a more eco-conscious paint formula and expert guidance throughout the shopping experience, shopping for paint at Clare is a joy, not a hassle. The best part is that in addition to premium, Zero VOC paint, we also offer the highest quality painting supplies and deliver everything to your door.  We like to say we take the “pain” out of paint shopping!

Dream room color?

Right now I’m obsessed with my living room that I just painted in Penthouse so I’ll have to go with that color. It’s a light, airy shade of “greige” that reflects light so beautifully. It’s the perfect neutral paint color!

Dream paint name?

I have a few favorites from Clare! Motor City - is a color named in honor to my hometown of Detroit so that one is really special. We also have some fun names like Blue Ivy and Lemonade inspired by Beyoncé and Money Moves inspired by Cardi B.

Which Margaux shade do you have your eye on?

Do animal prints count?! I’m really into the leopard haircalf because I love a good animal print! But I also love the Pointe in midnight. Navy is such a classic!

What is your work uniform like? What part do shoes play when you are getting dressed?

My work uniform usually includes a good-fitting pair of jeans, a stylish button-down top and almost always flats! Shoes are so important - especially in New York City where you do so much walking around. Heels are pretty impractical for every day and comfort is key. A chic, timeless and comfortable pair of flats are a must-have in my work wardrobe!

Where do you most feel at home?

I feel most at home when I have a chance to turn my brain off from work and am cozy in my sweats lounging on my sofa, watching netflix and chilling!

What does being a girl on the gaux mean to you?

Being ambitious and working hard to shatter all the glass ceilings that exist!


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Photos by Kirsten Francis for Margaux