David Nault and Paul White in their loft on Boston's waterfront
The 10th grade isn’t exactly considered a breeding ground for style. But when Paul White and David Nault met in their high school cafeteria, it wasn’t just love at first sight—it was design destiny. The pair have been joined at the hip ever since.
White, described by his partner as a “pit bull,” tends to lock onto particular ideas early in the creative process, while Nault plays the editor. Together, they’ve struck a balance with their Boston-based interior design firm, Weena & Spook (named after two cats the couple adopted in their early 20s). Like their complementary personalities, the studio has a knack for juxtaposing the rough-hewn with the polished. “A rustic element brings the room—and a person’s experience of it—to a comfortable place that allows for a greater enjoyment of the refined elements,” White says.
White and Nault take a unique approach to each project, which organically incorporates ideas from both men. They start with an empty tote bag, “to be filled with fabrics, pictures of artwork and other things that sing to us about the project,” White explains. “Mostly we’re inspired when we daydream about some perfect moment in some perfect space and start musing about how we could actually achieve that moment. Then we get serious.”
Nault takes the tote’s entire payload and narrows the items while White starts drawing ideas. As the vision crystallizes, their design team chimes in to help organize a concise and stimulating proposal.
What began as a shared career in fashion—both men attended New York City’s Fashion Institute of Technology and launched a clothing line together after graduation—quickly morphed into interior design. Nault laughs, “If I can fit silk taffeta to a bride, I can fit floral chintz to an armchair—and the armchair doesn’t lose or gain five pounds every time you have a fitting!” One of their favorite projects thus far has been decorating their house on Cape Cod. “For a designer, creating your own home is the ultimate studio experience,” White says. “You live every choice you make, have the opportunity to make a bad decision and learn from it, and can refine your design endlessly.”
Whether they’re working on clothes or homes, being a design duo comes with its challenges—two points of view may not always line up perfectly. But for White and Nault it works. The name of their studio itself reminds them of how far they’ve come: “When we started our interiors business, we named it after [our cats] for good luck,” says White, “and to make sure we never took ourselves too seriously.”