Featurepreneur: A Décor Duo
By Genevieve Allen Hearn
It’s hard not to get excited about decorating for the holidays. For Micah and Noelle McGough, making things beautiful is not just a hobby: they turned it into a career. They have a Valley-based Interiors business called Monk & Nun Interiors, and recently opened an online home décor shop. Their home décor collection features Canadian makers, mostly from Nova Scotia. We contacted Micah and Noelle to find out more about their business, and what we could do to get our homes holiday-ready.
The Grapevine (GV): Tell us about your business venture. What do you offer?
Noelle and Micah (N&M): Our business hopes to offer a one stop shop for the interior of your home! We offer design consultations, finish carpentry, commercial and home staging, and vacation rental management. In support of these services, we have also just launched an online shop offering curated home décor.
GV: Your backgrounds are in English literature and mass communications (Micah) and therapeutic recreation and world diversity (Noelle). How do these backgrounds influence how you run your business?
Micah: English literature led to English authors, led strangely to English furniture, led to Shaker furniture, led to cabinetmaking school. Communications helped me not have cable and spend more time woodworking.
Noelle: The first semester of my undergrad was in anthropology because I’ve always been drawn to people and their behaviours. After that semester was over, I was drawn to therapeutic recreation through its philosophy: “to improve the lives of marginalized people.” I didn’t know what career I wanted for my life, but I knew I wanted to help improve the lives of people somehow. As a child, you could often find me rearranging furniture in our family’s home, turning barn lofts into apartments and tree houses into glorified hang outs. In partnership with Micah’s skills, I’ve merged my love for people with creating beautiful spaces.
GV: Why did you decide to sell online rather than in a brick and mortar store?
N&M: At this stage, we do not have a brick and mortar location because we wanted to gauge the response. We do, however, host and participate in pop-up shops and we have a retail space in Cotton Tale Cafe in New Minas.
GV: You are versed in beautifully made things. What advice would you give holiday shoppers this year? How about advice on how to decorate for the holidays?
Noelle: We’re all about bringing nature into all our designs and décor. Natural fibres are our thing! Wools, sheepskins, cotton-linen blends, pine & cedar, wood, ceramics, antlers, and all of it looks so great this time of the year! Often when you shop local you’ll find these naturals and neutrals at your disposal. It has been so rewarding for us to work alongside artisans and makers in the development of our “For the Soul” collection. Our advice is to reach out and support these guys. There are some beautiful pieces accessible in the Valley that tell the story of the maker and bring warmth into your home. Consider adding some Christmas spirit to your home by placing greenery around the house: sprigs of pine on the bedside tables or as a centrepiece on your kitchen island or dining table, with candlesticks or white lights strewn throughout. My favourite decor item this Christmas season is a long natural cedar or pine garland for a mantle, or draped along an interior stairway railing. Add dried citrus and cinnamon sticks for a little wow-factor! (Micah warns everyone to be careful around open flames).
For more information on Monk & Nun Interiors visit monkandnun.com.