Updated: Sep 6, 2019
“Looking back, this was the best decision we’ve ever made”. Nicole Noonan and Morgan Mackintosh are the two principal designers behind the Boston based interior design studio “Beige and Bleu”. The genesis of their decision came during college when the two coupled their love for design and entrepreneurship with their desire to have control over their own entity. While the two may vary in their styles and approach, they both share in their relentless work ethic and overarching vision.
Due to the nature of our conversations and the breadth of topics discussed, we’ve broken this showcase into various sections. We hope you are as inspired as we were after hearing their experiences and stories!
First Deal is the Sweetest
We were hired by a real estate agent colleague in downtown Salem. His newly purchased brownstone home was beautiful, full of architectural details that people dream about, but it had no existing master bathroom, just an empty space, with tons of potential. He gave us complete creative freedom, and essentially just said “make it happen”.
So there we were, knowing we could make this bathroom awesome, but knowing minimal by way of connections and resources at the time. Luckily, many of the connections we made during that first real full scale project, we still use today.
Looking back on that project, it was extremely exciting to have our first full-scale renovation, but definitely stressful as we were forced to take the ‘learn by doing’ approach at the time. This project really gave us the confidence in knowing that anything can be learned.
Photo Credit: Emily Leis Photography
Initially, we started slowly putting some ideas together in college, dreaming up what the business could be and where we could go to make the thing we really loved turn into a career. We always had thought about how much fun it would be to run our own design empire. Fortunately, being in school allowed us to brainstorm and test out ideas on the side. It was amazing because there were no consequences at the time- we weren’t accepting a weekly paycheck, we really didn’t have anything to lose. Both of us also wholeheartedly agreed on the notion that life is too short to be working for other people. We wanted to be in control of where the business could go, and know that the hard work that we would put into it would pay off.
At the beginning it was difficult at times to prove our credibility. Age was a big hurdle for us, in order to gain potential client’s trust to be in control of their design projects. We navigated through that and were able to grow from those moments. It is also, we believe, what really gave us the confidence that we now have on job sites. We don’t think of it as a negative, but rather a challenger that makes us better at what we do. We’ve been very lucky to have some great mentors surrounding us who have been a major asset and helped us in many facets of our professional career and personal lives.
Changes In Latitudes
Dictating our own schedule and having the ability to work remotely has been super beneficial in our ability to travel. We’ve seen places we probably would’ve never seen having a 9-5 job. We always come back with a refreshed perspective and find ourselves feeling inspired and motivated. Not only is travel good for ourselves, but it provides us with a new edge and perspective to bring to our clients, one that is worldly and inspired.
Beauty in the process
We’ve learned you just have to start. Don’t wait for the right time or wait about perfecting your rollout, just go. Instead of seeking perfection (which is very difficult for us, as we’re both heavily type A people), we’ve been trying to find beauty in every step of the process. The shift from initially sheltering our ideas to now sharing and voicing them openly allowed us to grow exponentially.
We like to work with our clients to produce an eclectic mix of items they have collected through their travels, antique hunting, family heirlooms, and mix them in with new pieces that create a cohesive, unique space that reflects their personalities and the history of their experiences. We also like to go hunting ourselves making sure to incorporate unique pieces that are more one of a kind, rather than only using what is out there on the general market.
BAKER AVE PROJECT
Our client came to us with a few pieces that they really wanted to incorporate in their living room (their unique art, photography by their sister, and unique collected pieces that had been passed down from family and found through their travels.) So we took what they had, and provided them with additional pieces to really make the space come together, down to styling out the coffee table, and creating a custom built in (not pictured).
Photo Credit: Tamara Flanagan Photography
WENHAM ROAD PROJECT
Our client was adding an addition onto their son's already existing home. It was a beautiful addition of an open concept living space, but the more unique design decisions is what truly made the space come to life. Our client went with a very bold, but absolutely stunning black kitchen, and incorporated some amazing pieces, both collected and new purchases, to make this long, narrow space, one that was both functional and beautiful, offering plenty of sitting for her family on the holidays with her custom couch, but also a comfortable, cozy open living space for their day to day living.
Photo Credit: Emily Leis Photography
The two ambitious young women are always working on exciting projects like the ones above. Stay up to-date with Beige & Bleu below to see what they’ve got cookin'!