FOR THE LOVE OF DESIGN
Tricia Guild OBE, Founder and Creative Director of Designers Guild, talks to Sophie Harper about the art of good design.
What does good design mean to you?
A beautiful space, for me, is one that is stylish, practical and functional. Together, these elements bring balance and that is essential, in my view, for good design. There is little point having a brilliantly decorated room if it doesn’t work to its purpose and again, a hyper practical space is useless if it doesn’t stimulate the senses.
Where do you find your inspiration? Do current trends inform your designs?
I am always open to inspiration and my approach to my work is intuitive, when a design feels right it becomes part of the collection. I know that design trends exist but I think that following your own instincts and senses is far more rewarding in the long term. I have always felt that travel is the best way to garner new inspirations for collections – my eyes are always open! I am [always] thinking about the next collection, and experiencing different cultures, different landscapes; different ways of living, in my view, are the ultimate stimuli.
Have you faced any challenges when collaborating on big projects?
In the beginning I was very young and had very little money – I suppose executing my vision in the best possible way with what little means I had was one of the biggest challenges. Fortunately it paid off!
How do Designers Guild products meet the needs of hospitality projects specifically?
We understand that fabrics and wallpapers for the contracts and hospitality market need to combine style and quality with extreme durability and performance. Our collections offer unrivalled quality in terms of the rigorous standards needed to meet contract requirements. With five different brands too, hopefully our offer can tick almost every box.
What materials do you like working with?
I always find the development of new textiles extremely exciting. Each season we look to broaden and enhance our offering so that we can appeal to a larger audience. The modern world is incredibly design savvy so it is important to be able to offer something new and interesting.
What’s the best thing about your work?
That’s such a difficult question! I’m passionate about all aspects of the business. I am the Creative Director and Founder of Designers Guild; I head the studio, product development, photography, and retail teams. Designers Guild is my passion – I live and breathe it and no day is quite the same. My office is based at the Designers Guild Headquarters in West London. My creative buzz and that of my team is what drives me forward every day. I thrive off it. My fantastic, like-minded team are so incredible and their creative energy is so inspiring to be around. I consider myself extremely fortunate to be able to do what I love every day and so, really, I’m never not working.
What ranges can we find at Designers Guild right now?
Our current collections are inspired by the beauty of 16th century Venice and the frescoes of Veronese and so designs really reflect a new and contemporary language of flowers, texture, light and pattern across fabric, wallpaper and accessories. The collection is imbued with modernity and a quiet, compelling beauty – the perfect mix of contemporary and classicism in layers of soft, neutral colour. Think new shades of spearmint, pistachio, vanilla, rose and olive with beautiful tints of sky blue, silvery grey, chalk and peony.
What design trends do you think we’ll be seeing over the next year?
Sustainability is hugely important for us at the moment and I think it’s a trend that will only continue to gather momentum. This year we were proud to launch an innovative recycled fabric collection, Lisbon. The collection comprises three different designs, all of which are woven in Italy from yarns recycled from the fashion industry. We worked with our supplier who developed accredited techniques to break down and revive redundant textiles into good quality yarns. It is estimated that 10-20% of all fashion industry textiles ultimately end up as waste, whilst 95% of landfilled textiles are in fact suitable for recycling. The Lisbon collection features smart, small scale textured weaves, which have a mid-century contemporary feel.