Here at Out & Out Original we love furniture. We can’t get enough of it. Inside or out, big, bold designs or something sleek and elegant, it doesn’t matter what style - if it’s beautifully designed (more often than not by our founder Daniel) and expertly made, we’re in love. Every inch of each table, sideboard, sofa and chair has our passion for perfection ingrained in its journey. It’s this passion that so perfectly enables us to truly appreciate the hard work, dedication and love that goes into creating unique design and craft, so when we come across a brilliant talent, we want to shout about it!
Shining the spotlight on British design talent, we chat to Claire Gaudion, the design force behind CLAIRE GAUDION Designs. With a range of exquisite contemporary home accessories designed and made right here in the UK, we chat to Claire about her influences, style icons, and why she would never live anywhere other than beautiful Guernsey…
Hi Claire, and firstly thank you for taking the time to chat to us. Starting at the beginning, how did you begin your career in textile design and what inspired you to launch your own site?
Textiles have always been a passion. I studied at London College of Fashion (graduating with First-Class Honours), then worked for several years in the luxury fashion design sector, with a strong focus on colour and print design, before honing my weaving skills through specialist workshops and self-study. Launching my eponymous brand was driven by my entrepreneurial streak, and wanting to see more contemporary colour in textiles.
You’ve seen huge success, with several collaborations and seeing your product sold worldwide – what has been the highlight so far?
The journey so far has been fantastic. CLAIRE GAUDION designs have become known for a contemporary use of colour and pattern across printed and woven textiles for interiors, and fashion. There have been many highlights for us, but currently I am celebrating our new stockist Liberty, London, following showcasing our designs at their British Design Open Call event in January this year.
I am always really proud to see our collections in leading magazines - Homes & Gardens, ELLE Decoration, COVER and FT How to Spend It among others - and in stores internationally now from Liberty, Amara Living, and the Design Museum, London to ABC Home, New York.
You find inspiration from the stunning Guernsey coastline – what do you look for and how do you transform your inspiration into a print or pattern?
My main design inspiration is the unique light and colour of the Channel Islands' dramatic granite coastal landscape, continually changing with the tides, weather and seasons, and this informs both the layers of colour and the sense of rhythm and pattern in my designs.
I have always recognised the power of colour on emotions and behaviour… perhaps this comes from growing up on an island where the light and colours are continually changing. Colour and light are so integral to our everyday lives, and their affect on us is fascinating. Colour can transform a room. Colour is the first design element that we respond to so it’s a powerful part of the design process.
Where else do you look for inspiration?
I’m also drawn to the work of Anni Albers and Gunta Stölzl, Jun Tomita, Reiko Sudo, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, among others. I love their explorative use of colour and form, and skilled craftsmanship.
With an extensive range of cushions and throws, you obviously know a thing or two about bringing colour and pattern into the home. What are your top tips for accessorising around the house?
Our homes are very personal spaces and should be a reflection of the people who are living there, rather than dictated by trends. Choose colours and textures that you love, and enjoy being surrounded by. The objects and colours that we surround ourselves with affect the overall ambience of our homes, and how we feel. Adding contrasting textures to enhance your main colour scheme also adds interest to a room.
What is your most treasured possession and why? (if you could also provide a photograph of the item that we can include that would be wonderful)
My loom. I love weaving - the process of patience, rhythm and methodic experimentation is very beautiful.
If you could locate your home anywhere in the world, where would it be, and why?
Guernsey. I think my design inspiration stories tell you why.
Finally, what can we expect from Claire Gaudion Textile Design in 2016 and beyond?
Collaborating with other brands has become an exciting part of our design company. We have worked with some great design partners developing new products to expand our range, and this been an incredibly creative and innovative journey. Our partners include Mockbee & Co. (UK) for lampshades and wallpapers, Gemanco Design (Italy) for resin mosaic wall coverings and uv printed tiles and Rug-maker (UK) for our rug collection. This month we launched a new collaborative collection with award winning London gallery, DEBUT Contemporary, and in September we’ll be launching a new furniture line with Galapagos Designs, at Decorex International. We will be exhibiting at Maison et Objet, Paris again this year, and we also have some very exciting news ahead for the opening of the new Design Museum, London.
CLAIRE GAUDION Design textiles provide the beauty and functionality that we need from home accessories, but with a wonderful story rich in experience and inspiration. With homeware a bigger market than ever we feel it’s incredibly important to fill our home with originality and characterful pieces. Claire’s collection certainly ticks all the boxes and offers the perfect accompaniment for our modern sofa collection - shop the look here