Beige gets a bad rap. Merriam-Webster defines the color as a light grayish-yellowish brown (that’s a lot of ish) with entry two offering the hue as “lacking distinction.” However, Jenn Shore is a proponent of the color and she has the wherewithal to back up that claim. Shore is the design director at Shore—Creative, a multidisciplinary studio in Newport focused on branding, graphics, and “creative direction for the minimally inclined”. Prior to founding her business, she worked as a designer for Richard Saul Wurman, the founder of TED, the nonprofit known for its talks. Circling back to her adoration of fawn or light tan, “I constantly get a lot of flack from friends and family over my love of beige. I would argue that there are hundreds of shades, where I think most of my peers likely believe I aspire to live in an entirely monochromatic world.” Shore shrugs. “Either way, I find that neutral colorways are timeless and contemporary all at the same time.”
Shore was looking to put her tone-on-tone imprint on a space and found it when she relocated her offices from Thames Street at the start of 2021. A realtor led Shore and company to Bowler Lane, a quaint enclave off a side street, tucked away into a residential neighborhood. Shore—Creative is now housed in a mid-1800s barn once used as a livery and boarding stables; it’s part of an idyllic complex – which includes a central brick courtyard – of other creative neighbors. “Our unit has a lot of charm, boasting near-double height ceilings, a lofted space, exposed beams, and wide-plank pine floors. In my opinion the location is ideal. There is plenty of street parking for guests, and our own space to park,” which in Newport is quite a perk.
“The existing architecture and structure brings a lot of that New England colonial charm, so I designed furniture, built by Cameron Chafee, for the space that felt contemporary and modern, allowing for a bit of balance and juxtaposition between the world the building was built in, and the world we use the space to design in,” says Shore, who adheres to a neutral palette but keeps things dynamic with varying shapes, textures, and a range of shades.
“Working and designing in a space that feels full of earth tones offers a sense of calm, which is always welcomed on days where deadlines feel impending and phone/Zoom calls feel endless,” says Shore. “Rhode Island is teeming with creatives and makers, and having the ability to keep their creations in our office/studio means the world. I am forever inspired by what other creatives produce here, and what generations outside of my own are doing to define new space in design.” Looking around, Shore adds, “Including pieces within the space that were themselves designed, crafted, or sourced by fellow creatives makes the space feel a bit more comforting and inspired.”