Daily Dish: Be Brave Not Bland

Tricia Guild, OBE is the Founder and Creative Director of Designers Guild in the United Kingdom. Since 1970 she has been known for her bold use of contrasting colours in interior design and related interior products and furnishings such as fabric, wallpaper and paint. In the per-Internet era when people relied on books, magazines and TV shows for information, Tricia’s work stood out as bold and spirited.  With the cacophony of information available on the Internet, her influence isn’t as obvious but she is still highly respected for her innovative vision.

Images from White Hot: Cool Colours for Modern Living by Tricia Guild

Recently I’ve been thinking about the pre-Internet days and remembered pouring over images of her work.  I own one of her books – White Hot – and have read many magazine articles about her. I must have analyzed many of her other books in bookstores because I was certain that I owned others as well.  It turns out I do not.  A few weeks ago, inspired by Tricia’s vision of colour, I decided to dress my toddler daughter in an outfit that consisted of a medium yellow 3/4 length top and skirt with multi-coloured and purple dots, and a pair of purple tights, with white dots.   If Tricia can go bold with colours, why can’t my daughter and I?  (On another day she wore the cheerful outfit you see in the photo inserted below.)

While standing in a lineup amongst a group of children and parents one mother commented to another that my daughter was wearing an  “INTERESTING outfit”.  You know what that means – weird, “what WAS her mother thinking?” interesting.  Yes I don’t dress my children in head to toe matching Baby Gap.  I also don’t grab whatever clothes are clean and toss them on my daughter.  I like to have fun combining her clothes in creative ways – many of which are hand-me-downs –  and I get her involved in the process.  At age two she has developed an early appreciation for colours and fabric design.

I grew up with a mother who sewed most of my clothes and would even make matching outfits for my dolls. She paid close attention to pattern and line in fabric and sometimes she made bold choices.  The emotions that I attached to these fabrics influenced my own aesthetic sense.  Today my mother continues to sew beautiful and unique clothes for her granddaughters.  If you can’t wear fashionably daring clothes when you are young, when are you going to start?

For me, colour has always been life enhancing and stimulating. I think it’s essential for the soul, and as a result, it has always been inherent in designing collections. In terms of design and aesthetic, it’s as important as pattern and texture.  […] Be brave and use the colours and patterns [you] really love rather than play it safe and end up with a blander scheme with no character.  Tricia Guild interviewed by Style at Home magazine.



There are relatively few videos online about Tricia Guild’s work. Here is one, in French, showing Tricia’s home in London.  You will need to register with the site before you can watch the video.  If you like Tricia’s work, it’s worth the effort.

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Daily Dish Archives Pamela Chan/Publisher, BCfamily.ca

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