If we’re being honest, there’s nothing super fun about painting a room. Sure, when all is said and done, the finished product is sure to wow. But even if you’re exclusively sticking to white, nailing down the perfect shade can be a stressful experience, to say the least. So, what if we told you that you no longer had to scour through 10,000 swatches or cover your walls in all-too-similar sample options to find the right hue? One new modern brand is taking the pain out of painting—and for just $49 per gallon, too!
Meet, Clare: A direct-to-consumer, curated paint collection by interior designer and HGTV star, Nicole Gibbons. Inspired to simplify the paint shopping experience (because who actually wants to spend their time sorting through a stack of swatches of the same shade of beige), Gibbons’ millennial-friendly line (which officially launches July 31!) features a pared-down selection of style-focused colors.
“Frankly, shopping for paint has always been a huge hassle. There are thousands of colors, too many product lines, the store environments are completely uninspiring, and there’s also a lack of design guidance throughout the process,” the designer tells Domino. “Over my career, I’ve heard so many horror stories about people’s paint shopping experiences. A friend told me it took her two months and six trips to the paint store just to pick a color she hated. That’s a problem. Painting is such an important step in decorating and it should be fun and exciting. I didn’t want anyone to ever have to sort through a confusing and endless sea of paint chips again.”
In an effort to help match customers with the right color, Gibbons and her team created Clare Color Genius, an interior design-based digital consultation that narrows down your color choices by taking into account factors like personal style, access to natural light, and existing furniture and decor. And what’s more? Clare lets you sample the can with their zero-fuss peel and stick swatches! Sounds too good to be true, right? We recently caught up with Gibbons to get the full scoop on her latest venture and how she’s hoping to make her mark on an outdated industry.
Where did the name Clare come from?
“When thinking of names for the brand, I wanted it to be the polar opposite of everything that you’re used to hearing from paint companies. Most paint brands have very masculine names and an overly masculine marketing appeal, so I intentionally wanted something that sounded more feminine, but also friendly and approachable, and a name we could build a personality around. Clare also comes from a latin root word meaning bright and brilliant. So there is a lot of fun word play there—bright speaking to color, and brilliant speaking to how the brand is breaking new ground in an antiquated industry.”
I know that you have narrowed the selection down to 55 colors. Why was that number so important to you?
“I wasn’t aiming for a specific number. It was truly about curating a palette of the best and most beautiful colors for interiors. If you speak to any interior designer, we’re never choosing from thousands of colors for our clients. Designers all have a curated roster of tried-and-tested colors we know and love that we use as go-to’s time and time again. That’s how I looked at the creation of our color palette: Timeless colors that will look beautiful in any interior, and that you’ll never tire of. Fifty-five happened to be the magic number!”
Do you have a favorite color (or colors) from the collection?
“To be honest, I love all of the colors in the collection—it’s been a labor of love. We also had a lot of fun naming our colors. It was important that they evoked emotion and really resonated with today’s generation. There are some nods to Beyonce (“Lemonade” and “Blue Ivy”), Cardi B (“Money Moves”) and Lupita Nyong’o’s epic red carpet moment (“Nairobi Blue”)… “Avocado Toast” is also a fun color. They’re all really pretty. I’m also in the midst of decorating my new apartment. My old apartment was super colorful but now I’m in a more neutral state of mind. I just painted my bedroom “Classic”, with “Whipped” trim and doors, and my bathroom in “Chill”!”
We love that you have peel and stick swatches! Why did you decide to include this offering as well?
“Sampling colors has always been a messy, multi-step process. You go back and forth to the store for color chips and samples, then you have to spend time painting swatches onto your wall and literally waiting for the paint to dry. The old way of sampling can also get expensive. Most samples cost anywhere from $3-$12, depending on the brand and most people are sampling multiple colors. I wanted a sampling process that was simple. Our Perfect Color Swatches are one step, no-mess, and you can see exactly what the color will look like in an instant. Just peel and stick! They’re also far more accurate than painting onto your wall over an existing color with cheap tools. We like to call it pain-free, paint-free color sampling! Also, at Clare, your first three color samples are always free!”
I love the idea of Clare Color Genius and approaching this process from a designer-led perspective. How exactly does it match people with the right paint?
“Clare Color Genius takes a standard color consultation and brings it online. We built a high-tech algorithm that helps you find the perfect color by asking questions about your project, covering furniture selection, natural light, personal style, inspiration, and more. It then analyzes your answers to deliver one perfect color recommendation, along with two other options for more inspiration.”
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