In conversation with Tricia Guild

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By Bemz Design / Published by Bemz Design
The Designers Guild founder on her journey to lifestyle maven, her design philosophy and her favourite pro-styling tips.

Ever since Tricia Guild OBE established Designers Guild on the Kings Road in Chelsea, London in 1970, she has been a force to reckon with. Famous for her striking use of colour, vibrant and exotic prints, patterns and luxurious textures, Tricia has built a worldwide design and lifestyle empire.

Bemz is proud to offer a selection of Designers Guild fabrics across our entire product range. To celebrate the launch of our latest Designers Guild linen colour palette we interviewed Tricia on her journey to lifestyle maven, her design philosophy and her favourite pro-styling tips.

B: Tricia, tells us a bit about yourself. 

TG: 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. 

B: When did you first discover your love of textiles and interior design? 

TG: For as long as I can remember, colour has played a vital role in my life and I was fortunate to enjoy a liberal upbringing, which really encouraged me to discover and explore my own sense of creativity. As a result I became aware of my own instinctive response to the visual world around me and in turn I began creating. 

B: How did you start Designers Guild? 

TG: I was working as an interior designer and just felt that there weren’t any textiles which I really felt excited about. This led to my first collection, which was a set of Indian block printed designs and the company went from that point. We started with that one fabric collection and we are now an international lifestyle company. It has been an incredible journey, at times very hard, but always rewarding. 

It is strange to think, but at that time I started my shop on the Kings Road there was really no concept of ‘lifestyle’ as we know it today. I had this idea to present a lifestyle that could offer a sense of informality with a contemporary yet decorative look - I always think it is so much easier when people can see the evidence of how something works visually by touching and feeling the products. With this in mind I began with just a few items that I put together, it was a small business with a small amount of money, but so rewarding when I found that it seemed to work for people and I realised that I had found my passion and drive. I then started researching textiles to use in my shop and for projects I was working on, but felt so frustrated at the lack of designs that I felt inspired by.

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B: Your favourite collaboration up to date? And your dream collaboration? 

TG: We work with different brands, Christian Lacroix Maison, William Yeoward and our own ‘The Royal Collection Fabrics and Wallpapers’ as well as Designers Guild - and each brand brings something unique to what we offer. It is always inspiring to work with other creative minds, and to experience their own passion and vision. 

For example the collections for Christian Lacroix Maison, headed by the fabulous Sacha Walckhoff, are representative of the fashion house's iconic flamboyance, just as William Yeoward’s designs reflect his very unique British sense of style. 

‘The Royal Collections Fabrics and Wallpapers’ brand is something that I feel very passionate about because it is so set in the history of the stunning Royal residences of the British Royal family – to which, along with the vast archive at Windsor, we have been granted exclusive access when designing the collections. Each design is new, and yet has a story behind it - whether that it is a botanical drawing by the Princess Royal hanging in Osborne House, or a piece of fabulous silk displayed in the throne room at Windsor castle. 

I have many artists that I would have loved to work with, but perhaps if I had to pick one it would be Matisse for his incredible use of colour. 

B: Your favourite pro-styling tip? 

TG: Flowers can transform a room with their beauty, style and warmth; I always style my rooms with flowers. Just a few blooms, well chosen and thoughtfully placed, have the power to change the balance of an interior and to create a different mood. Just think of the sculptural quality of a poppy or dahlia, the intricate pattern of a rose and the vibrant colours of marigold and daffodils – each flower has its own unique character and spirit and will instantly lift the mood in a living space. 

B: What’s special about the latest Designers Guild linen colour palette available at Bemz? 

TG: Made with 100% linen, the Brera Lino collection has versatility like no other. With natural charm and character, linen has a textural and sensual element to it that makes it exceptional for upholstery, with its heavy and durable feel. For Spring 2017, we are thrilled to be adding new carefully considered colours to our existing colour ways – from the deepest indigo to the softest vanilla. 

B: How has your design philosophy changed over the years? 

TG: The concept of the business has always remained the same – to offer beautiful products for the home that are of the utmost quality, and this is what I passionately strive for.

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B: What are the latest interior design trends? 

TG: We are not led by trends but this season there is a big focus on pared back tones and textures that are utterly versatile. Neutrals and naturals of every hue and fabrics that offer exceptional durability and performance are just two key areas for design right now. People want to achieve a sense of balance and harmony in their homes so they are incorporating more plains. Wallpaper will also continue to be key, with a focus on elegant, hand drawn designs. 

B: Is this a reflection of the times? 

TG: Possibly – we live in such a chaotic and instant world so I think it's important for people to be able to come home and feel completely at ease in their own space – where one can be free to express one’s own personality and not have to conform to a particular look. 

B: What inspires you? 

TG: I am inspired mainly by art, architecture, fashion, and nature and of course travel. I am a firm believer in the idea that you are what you see. If we open our eyes to the world around us, we cultivate a sense of the beauty that surrounds us and we subconsciously train ourselves to edit what we like and what we don’t, thereby establishing our own sense of style and colour. 

B: How does colour impact your mood? 

TG: For me, colour brings a sense of depth and comfort to a space. Each tone brings its own mood that is entirely subjective. For instance, deep cerulean articulates a pensive purity that is a relaxant whereas vivid Schiaparelli pink is enduringly evocative of balmy summer evenings, abundant with energy. 

B: What is your favourite colour? 

TG: It is hard to choose just one colour, as I love different colours for different reasons. If you asked me today my favourite colour is an intense and dazzling spring green that is lively and emblematic of new beginnings but it would probably change again tomorrow!

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