F5: Clare Founder Nicole Gibbons Divulges Her Favorite Plant, the Best Neutral + More

08.13.21 | By
F5: Clare Founder Nicole Gibbons Divulges Her Favorite Plant, the Best Neutral + More

brown-skinned woman wearing jeans and a white t-shirtl eaning against a console

Clare Founder and CEO Nicole Gibbons is an interior designer and entrepreneur best known for her fresh use of color and fashion-forward decorating. But before pursuing interior design, she spent nearly a decade managing PR for one of the world’s largest retail brands. Nicole’s experience has given her first-hand knowledge of what it takes to build a world-class brand, as well as unique insights into what customers really want when it comes to designing their homes. Her work and expertise has been sought by top media outlets like HGTV, OWN, TLC, Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, Elle Decor, House Beautiful, Better Homes & Gardens and more.

Nicole’s work in the design world enabled her to identify that the paint industry was one ripe for disruption. With a broken shopping experience and no singular paint brand focused on convenience and simplicity – or marketing to a creative, digitally-driven generation – she saw an opportunity to improve the process from start to finish. Nicole founded Clare to help people create spaces they love – and actually enjoy the process along the way.

Today Nicole is joining us for Friday Five!

blob of greige paint on white background


1. The Perfect Neutral Paint Color, Penthouse
This is the most prominently featured paint color in my home, and is used in my entryway and living room. Penthouse is a beautiful pale shade of greige with a sophisticated feel and is our best-selling neutral at Clare. It makes my space feel so calm and grounded, which is so important now that I’m spending ALL my time at home! This is a go-to neutral I always recommend because it looks great in any space, pairs beautifully with any color and works no matter what the natural light is like in your home.

four bottles of Black Girl Magic wine lined up in a row

2. Black Girl Magic
I’ve really come to appreciate a good glass of wine at the end of a long day. I’m loving Black Girl Magic chardonnay from the McBride Sisters. They’re a Black owned winery founded by two long lost sisters who grew up in different countries and were united later in life, bonded over their mutual love for wine and started this company together.

NPR How I Built This logo on black background

3. How I Built This on NPR
The McBride Sisters have the most incredible backstory that’s the subject of a two episode feature on my favorite podcast – How I Built This – that interviews successful entrepreneurs and innovators, and shares the inspiring stories behind the founding of their companies.

brown-skinned man in opulently decorated room

4. Masego’s Lady Lady
I’ve been listening to Masego’s 2018 album Lady Lady a lot. It’s a vibe! I grew up on Jazz and Masego’s music is like a mellow, melodic modern, R&B/Jazz fusion that’s so smooth and easy to listen to. And he’s super talented. He sings, plays the saxophone, piano and drums! I love listening to this while I work from home to help me keep the momentum going throughout the day.

philodendron plant in a matte black planter

The Sill

5. My Philodendron
I love having greenery and plants around, and my favorite plant baby is a philodendron from The Sill that I’ve managed to keep alive for THREE years! Definitely a record for me and a proud plant mom moment as someone who’s historically had a notorious brown thumb!

Kelly Beall is Director of Branded Content at Design Milk. The Pittsburgh-based writer and designer has had a deep love of art and design for as long as she can remember, from Fashion Plates to MoMA and far beyond. When not searching out the visual arts, she's likely sharing her favorite finds with others. Kelly can also be found tracking down new music, teaching herself to play the ukulele, or on the couch with her three pets – Bebe, Rainey, and Remy. Find her @designcrush on social.