An Interview with Moore House Design

The next interior designer in our spotlight series is Blair Moore of Moore House Design + Moore House Stays. We met Blair at Design Camp and was so intrigued by her business model and her affinity for reclaiming the old and dilapidated. 

Moore House is a family effort, with a full-service design studio as well as a collection of curated guest stays in the New England area. Their spaces are heavy on architectural charm, moody tones, and timeless finishes. Their passion for sustainability is at the center of their process as they restore forgotten homes to their former glory with organic elements and repurposed pieces of history. 

We were so thrilled to chat with Blair about their unique business and stunning work. Read on to find out how old (young) Blair was when she got her start, the secret to their bespoke designs, and what she loves about New England as a transplant.

 

Photography: Madeline Harper

 

Tell us a little bit about how Moore House began. It’s such an interesting business model! What came first–interior design or guest stays?

Awe! Thank you guys! It’s kinda a chicken-or-the-egg situation here with our guest stays and interior design. Our family business has been built on the back of every single one of us. My Dad, Mark, is an incredibly talented cabinet maker & woodworker. He can make anything out of nothing. My mum, Sharon, was and is always the hostess with the mostest. I have always been an entrepreneur and designer, my sister, Bromley, has always been the project manager and my brother, Corran, always a concept developer. 

I spent my entire childhood jumping from old historic homesteads that needed a lot of love and flipping them with my family. At an early age, I was always a creative, designing my first full space at age 11. I was pasting fabric on walls and custom making pillows with my Mum when we didn’t know how to sew, but we made it happen! 

Moore House Design & Moore House Stays were built congruently. I knew we wanted beautifully designed vacation homes that felt like your very own home away from home as well as to design historic homes that felt purposeful and cohesive, almost like they were alive again. For me, I believe a home has a personality and a soul and it’s our job to showcase the home’s best self.

We started buying our own falling-down homes and renovating them sustainably as a family. We then began taking on client projects to help create that same level of design we knew our client’s homes needed. So I guess to answer your question it was both.

 

Photography: Erin McGinn

 

How would you describe the Moore House signature style? How do you tailor + adapt that to different clients and home styles?

I have always thought I was put on this earth to restore forgotten homes. We are servants to the home, and it’s our job to bring life back to her story. It’s a true passion that each one of us in the family holds—to uncover the home’s natural architecture and blend our client’s lifestyle. But if you look at our projects as a whole, you will always see beautiful antiques, tonal ‘broody’ (bright + moody) colors, rich earthy textures, and architecture that creates purpose for the space. The goal is to make the house feel like it’s always looked and functioned well but it was just designed by an amazing designer. We focus more on the interior architecture over the furnishings – that’s our secret. I tell clients to focus on your ‘Big 4’ – Floors, Walls, Ceilings & Windows. If you channel your focus on those elements first, even the simplest of furnishings can shine.

 

Photography: Zack Dezon

 

Do you have a favorite project thus far? Tell us about it!

Oooh, that’s a hard one. Our latest Minimalist Retreat would be one of our favorites, but our Pavilion Apartment that will be debuting next month is a real looker. Both of these spaces are completely different but showcase how our firm takes a home’s implied architecture and runs with it. 

Our Minimalist Retreat was created for our clients as a retreat after a long surf, layering in simple yet effective design solutions with organic textures while using sustainable techniques. Our Parisian Pavillon apartment is something we are so excited to unveil. She focuses on how we create our Moore House custom paneling that we are known for, and takes it to a whole other level.

 

Photography: Erin McGinn

 

We love your focus on restoring forgotten homes. What led you down that path?

I have lived in over 18 homes throughout my lifetime, and each one of them has had their own personality. Our whole family has a love affair with historic and older homes, homes that many find daunting and beyond repair are our favorite. History always has something to teach us, whether that be a profile of cabinetry or the meaning of long-lasting finishes. There is so much that we can learn and so much that we can work with, without ripping out all of a home’s architecture and texture. If a wall is not working with the flow of the house, we research to find its purpose. Can you carry certain materials into another part of the home? Or can you emulate its details elsewhere in the design?

 

Photography: Erin McGinn

 

We know you are also big fans of sustainability. Why is that important to you?

We grew up on a historic homestead in Australia, which taught us the meaning of waste & reusing items, always embracing that the most sustainable house is an already existing house. We bring this into our designs today, like finding uncovered clapboards on a home and reusing them into custom finishes. There is always a way to reuse materials in an elevated concept if you really experiment. We are advocates on clean living. Especially in today’s world where we are all spending more time at home. What are we breathing in and what are we sleeping on? We try to bring organic elements into all of our soft surfaces, eliminating the use of paints and finishes with VOCs and opting for breathable materials, for not just our health but our homes’ health.

 

Photography: Erin McGinn

 

Photography: Zack Dezon

 

Where do you find inspiration?

History & historic homes are always an inspiration for me and our whole team, whether we are looking at The Breakers or Marble House along with the slew of Vanderbilt homes in Newport, RI, to European cottages and Australian homesteads (that have the most beautiful wide verandahs). It’s those details and historic elements that inspire how we develop our concepts. Pulling that knowledge into the design of our own custom furnishings for our clients really creates a story from the inside of our homes to their exteriors. For us it’s all about how we can design for longevity. We are here to create a space that not only suits our clients’ lifestyles, but it looks and feels pertinent. Designing for spaces that look purposeful, relevant, and with modern amenities is why we do what we do. There is nothing worse than getting into a home after it’s been remodeled and needing to do another remodel. A designer’s job is to do the house justice so that its owners and owners in the future love her for years to come.

Photography: Zack Dezon

 

When you aren’t working, what would we find you doing?

Lol. I was bred from workaholics, so I too am always designing/creating and building 99% of the time. Although, when we aren’t, we’re usually traveling or cooking crazy concoctions over an outdoor fire at our 1700s farmhouse that we’re currently renovating. 

 

Tell us about your favorite space in your own home. 

Our home is always a work in progress. We are constantly living in a renovation zone. One day I will settle down, but every time we are finishing a project we see another home that is about to be demolished and we are pulled to the calling. I know it’s crazy, but it warms your heart once you bring her back to her former glory. Which is another reason why we have our guest stay company, Moore House based in Rhode Island, because when we are done with one home we always want to share her with our guests to give the home a little more love and add another memory to her story. Our unique cottages in Maine will be next on the list. We are in renovations this summer, pending COVID.

 

Photography: Zack Dezon

 

Just for fun: what are your recommendations for someone visiting New England for the first time?

Get there! lol, no really. I’ve lived in a lot of places, and I may be biased, but there is something that New England has that just calls you to it. The foliage, the water, the seafood, the farmland, the historic homes, the stonewalls, and more. From bouncing to check on our clients’ projects in the morning, hopping on the boat for the afternoon, or heading out in the kayaksBoston to New York to Rhode Island and back again—it’s so close and there’s always something to do. Oh, and the antiquing! We live, breathe, eat up all of the incredible architectural salvage and antique shops in New England. It’s an interior designers playground and where we find a lot of our inspiration & client products.

 

 


 

For more industry interviews, check out these posts:

 

IDCO Studio is a full-service creative studio for interior designers and boutique lifestyle brands. Offering bespoke branding, web design and social media content creation, we help brands built around beautiful living elevate their digital presence to represent the physical spaces they design. Our recently launched limited-release website templates are the perfect way for interior designers to get a luxury website on a budget. These templates allow designers to maintain control of their content. Want to work together? Shoot us an inquiry here.

 

Website Templates for Interior Designers | IDCO Studio

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