Back in 1970, Tricia Guild, then a young interior designer, was frustrated at the lack of exciting textiles on the market and so created her own small collection, based on Indian hand-blocked prints.
Two years later, she opened a shop on the King’s Road, selling fabrics, ceramics and furniture in bold, dynamic colour and pattern that has become the Designers Guild signature.
Now the 80 showrooms worldwide are joined by a third opened this month in Paris, and the company, offering a choice of more than 12,000 fabrics and 3,000 wallpapers, produces everything from sofas, paints, tableware and bed linen to rugs, stationery and room fragrance.
In 2008 Tricia Guild was awarded an OBE for services to interior design. This autumn, Designers Guild, which has a turnover in excess of £50 million, will launch 14 new collections of textiles and wallpapers in more than 80 markets around the world.
WHERE I LIVE
With my husband, restaurateur Richard Polo, I’ve lived in Notting Hill for 20 years. Like much of London, it’s a vibrant mix of old and new. I never tire of Portobello Market and the green spaces of Holland Park. We live in a Victorian villa on four floors that is full of light and has a mix of classical and modern elements, such as old cornicing with contemporary doors. I think of my garden, which I love, as another room. The dining area is beneath a canopy of pleached lime trees, set in a square. We also have a holiday home in Umbria.
My design London: where designers find their inspiration
My design London: where designers find their inspiration
1/15 Tamsie Thomson, The London Festival of Architecture director
Tamsie Thomson loves ferreting through skips and junk shops for great finds to refurbish. London "through and through", she reveals her favourite - and secret - city spaces.
> Scroll right for more London spaces and shops favoured by top designers and creatives...
2/15 Rebecca Hossain, The Design Museum
The Design Museum's Rebecca Hossain reveals her interiors inspirations, favourite markets and go-to secret escape in Herne Hill.
3/15 Marcus Fairs, founder of Dezeen
The founder of Dezeen - widely regarded as one of the world’s most influential design websites - reveals his top makers, studios and West End hangouts.
4/15 Tricia Guild, Designers Guild founder
The founder of Designers Guild reveals her top London spots and how-to tips for creating a room of your own.
5/15 Wayne Hemingway, Designer
London designer Wayne Hemingway talks about the city’s great vintage shops, street markets and architecture.
6/15 Catherine Lock, The New Craftsmen creative director
Quirky antiques, simple Georgian furniture and Scandinavian mid-century modern design are just some of the things Catherine Lock loves.
7/15 Celia Joicey, Fashion and Textile Museum
The head of Bermondsey's Fashion and Textile Museum, Celia Joicey loves shopping in small boutiques and thinks it would be great to have a big exhibition that celebrates the rich history of London shops.
8/15 Kit Kemp, interior designer
Kit Kemp’s latest London hotel is a regular celeb haunt. An interior designer by trade and a passionate collector she thinks we should respect our British artists more and shares her insider tips on where to discover great finds in the city...
9/15 Charlie Gilkes, bar and restaurant owner
Bar, restaurant and club owner, Charlie Gilkes reveals the inspiration behind his quirky design hotspots including Cahoots and Mr Fogg's Tavern and his favourite places to shop and visit in London...
10/15 Chrissie Rucker, The White Company founder
Chrissie Rucker, founder of The White Company, let's us in on the secrets of her favourite interiors shop, a 17th-century Italian pharmacy, and tells us why she always looks up when in London...
11/15 Tom Bartlett, designer
Architectural designer Tom Bartlett lives in multicultural Kensal Green, loves finding eccentric surprises in London’s streetscapes and has a contact book packed with the city’s happening shops and suppliers.
Portrait image by Joakim Blockstrom
12/15 Deyan Sudjic, Design Museum director
Deyan Sudjic lives in Camden, likes visiting furniture designer and manufacturer Sheridan Coakley's studio shop, and enjoys going to the Gagosian King’s Cross gallery.
13/15 Jenny Beavan, costume designer
London-born Jenny Beavan is one of our greatest costume designers, having worked on Room With A View, The King's Speech and Sherlock Holmes. Here she shares her favourite places to shop and visit in the city.
14/15 Gabriele Finaldi, National Gallery director
There is a Finaldi enclave in Catford, where the National Gallery director grew up and still lives, with his family nearby. His London hitlist includes the Dulwich Picture Gallery, the city’s churches and the Fourth Plinth...
15/15 David Linley, Christie's chairman and furniture maker
Furniture maker and Christie’s chairman Viscount Linley has had a 30 year career in design. Here he recalls coffee breaks with David Bowie and shares his must-visit London shops and secret city spaces.
I’m passionate about a home being comfortable as well as beautiful. Being surrounded by good design is one of life’s pleasures. People associate me with colour and pattern, but I live with lots of neutrals and plain textures, too. I love to feel the house changing with the seasons, so in summer, I swap cosy cashmere throws for lighter linen and silk ones, take up the rugs and let the floors breathe. Introducing touches of white always feels summery. I love to use flowers through my home to mark the seasons, too: in spring, the first buds of blossom, hyacinth and camassia; in May, it’s peony time and in the autumn, my dahlias are out in full force.
GREAT SOURCES FOR THE HOME
Aside from Designers Guild, Summerill & Bishop for beautiful vintage French kitchenware and Alfie’s Antique Market. Retrouvius, the architectural salvage place in Kensal Green, always has something interesting. I’m a passionate supporter of the fantastic talent within our art colleges. The end-of-year graduate shows like New Designers and the RCA’s are brilliant hunting grounds for original and creative pieces.
MOST COVETED DESIGN OBJECT
At the moment, it’s a fabulous black and white ceramic jug by the Scottish painter and sculptor Bruce McLean, which I spotted at the Bernard Jacobson gallery.
Hard to choose my favourite but my Howard Hodgkin pictures make my heart skip a beat every day. I couldn’t live without art. I am an avid collector of Memphis glass and ceramics have always been a passion of mine. Kate McBride’s work and that of Kathy Dalwood and Liz Hodges offer different styles of ceramics that I love and sell in the shop.
Green & Stone on King’s Road is one of the best artists’ suppliers in London. I love its French hand-made papers in subtle colours. Mouki Mou, in Chiltern Street, is a treasure trove of tastefully edited fashion and lifestyle that always manages to have the very thing I didn’t know I needed.
FAVOURITE LONDON LANDMARK
With the new Switch House wing, the Tate Modern on the South Bank has got even better. It’s a breathtaking monument to art and culture and industry and I feel proud of its status in our city.
Marianne North was an intrepid botanist in the late 19th century and the Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens is packed full of artistic and botanical inspiration. I could spend hours in there, marvelling at the places she visited and documented in her paintings. She was a real innovator.
TIPS TO CREATE A ROOM OF YOUR OWN
Identify the very thing that excites you... that feels and looks good. It might be a perfect shade of blue or a particular ombre pattern, a vintage-inspired sofa or a beautiful rug.
Colour has the power to transform your interiors and enhance your life. If you are nervous with colour, try using small accents first, such as a cushion or throw. Even flowers can make that change.
Keep to a palette of no more than four colours in a room and make sure that one of them is white or a great neutral, which will provide a balance to the others, and encourage you to be more experimental. Combining pattern with plain will help maintain a sense of harmony.
Try using larger-scale patterned fabrics in smaller rooms. Often the scale itself makes an interesting statement.
Creating a mood board will help gather your thoughts visually. It’s important to keep samples in proportion, ie a larger fabric swatch for a sofa, smaller for a cushion, so you have a clearer vision of scale.
TRICIA GUILD ADDRESS BOOK
- Bernard Jacobson Gallery 28 Duke Street, W1
- Summerill & Bishop 100 Portland Road W11
- Alfie’s Antiques Market 13-25 Church Street NW8
- Retrouvius 1016 Harrow Road, NW10
- Green & Stone 259 King’s Road SW3
- Mouki Mou 29 Chiltern Street W1