Nicole Gibbons—the Founder and CEO of Clare Paint—Is Here to Add Some Color to Your Life

portrait of clare paint ceo nicole gibbons
Kirsten Francis

When Nicole Gibbons launched her eco-friendly, direct-to-consumer paint line Clare in 2018, her goal was to seriously shake things up. "I wanted to make the process fun and delightful," says the interior designer and former fashion publicist, whose shade names quickly set the tone: Prince is a deep, velvety purple honoring the pop deity; Rosé Season is a warm, luminous pink; and Vacay captures the Caribbean at dusk. is also a breeze to use: It presents 58 well-curated zero-VOC hues ("You don't need three thousand options, just the best ones," she says); a Color Genius feature that makes recommendations after asking you all the right questions (How much natural light does your room have? Which three words best describe the vibe you're going for?); removable peel-and-stick samples you can order; and every tool you need for the job.

The only thing customers should supply is a dash of courage. "Don't be afraid of color—it's the best way to make a dramatic impact," says Gibbons, whose wardrobe mingles vivid solids with classic shirts and jeans. "Step outside of your comfort zone. Generally people are much happier when they do." One way to practice this motto? Pair unexpected details in all areas of your life, notes Gibbon—including your home palette and wardrobe. "Mixing is much more interesting than matching. Whether it's metals (who says you can't pair brass with nickel?), colors (try complementary—aka opposite—shades on the color wheel), or patterns (play with different sizes), just go for it!"

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Favorite Hues

three color swatches of clare paints

"Grayish is a soft, saturated gray with a hint of green. Penthouse, a warm, airy greige, is our best-selling neutral. And Pop gives me Palm Beach vibes. The number-one thing to understand before painting is the light in your space and the direction it's coming from. Always sample, and look at swatches at different times of the day."

Shop Now: Clare Paint in Grayish, Penthouse, and Pop, $54 a gallon,

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Denim Jacket

blue denim gap jacket

"This is part of my uniform: It's long and kind of big, and looks cool."

Shop Now: Gap Icon Denim Jacket, $70,

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blue bag of stumptown founders coffee

"The flavor is smooth, with a hint of vanilla. I love the ritual of making pour-over coffee each morning."

Shop Now: Stumptown Founder's Blend, $15 for 12 oz.,; Chemex Classic from $35.50,

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Year-Round Nail Polish

bottle of Essie nail polish in At the Helm

"It's bright, but muted enough that I can wear it year-round."

Shop Now: Essie Nail Polish in At the Helm, $7.75,

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Favorite Candle

Sunday Forever Fig and Wishes candle

"One of my favorite scents. It smells warm and aromatic."

Shop Now: Sunday Forever Fig and Wishes Candle, $48,

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Grayson Hero washed-cotton shirt in French Blue

"I love a good buttoned shirt, and this one is so comfortable. I have it in white, too."

Shop Now: Grayson Hero Washed-Cotton Shirt in French Blue, $138,

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Liquid Exfoliant

Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 2 percent BHA liquid exfoliant

"My skin has started clearing up since I began using this."

Shop Now: Paula's Choice Skin Perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant, $30,

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Alpaca Throw

St. Frank baby- alpaca throw in Soft Pink

"It's luxe and soft, and the perfect shade."

Shop Now: St. Frank Baby Alpaca Throw in Soft Pink, $225,

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Textured Napkins

West Elm textured- cotton napkins in Bluebird

"I only use cloth napkins. These look great with my dishes."

Shop Now: West Elm Textured Cotton Napkins in Bluebird, $20 for four,

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Colorful Flats

Rothy’s The Point flats in Flame

"They add a fun burst of color to jeans and a white tee or a black outfit."

Shop Now: Rothy's The Point Flats in Flame, $145,

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Tamanu Oil

Pura D’Or organic tamanu oil

"I have super-dry skin and hyperpigmentation. This is rich and emollient, and I feel it helps with both."

Shop Now: Pura D'Or Organic Tamanu Oil, $15 for 4 oz.,

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Go-To Jeans

Levi’s 711 skinny women’s jeans in Soft Black

"If I find a pair I like, I buy multiple. I have these in four colors. I joke that I haven't been wearing a lot of 'hard pants' these days. But when I do, it's a pair of jeans."

Shop Now: Levi's 711 Skinny Women's Jeans in Soft Black, $70,

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Sleek Knives

Material trio of knives and stand

"These are the best ones I've used, and they look beautiful on my counter."

Shop Now: Material Knives, $155,; Material Stand, $75,

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Neutral Plates

Aaron Probyn Hue dinner plates in White

"These will never go out of style. I love their low profile when stacked."

Shop Now: Aaron Probyn Hue Dinner Plates in White, $6 each,

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colorful pink Peonies
Davis and Starr / Getty Images

"I fill a vase with these in spring, and go for dahlias in fall."

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Multi-Surface Cleaner

Blueland Multi- Surface starter set

"I use this eco-friendly cleaner for everything. I also like that it helps minimize plastic waste."

Shop Now: Blueland Multi-Surface Starter Set, $16,

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Bright Eyes

Maybelline Define- A-Lash mascara

"A swipe makes my eyes look bigger and brighter."

Shop Now: Maybelline Define-A-Lash Mascara, $9,

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