Kuldea Co-Founder, Deirdre Mc Gettrick, sat down for an interview with Claire Gaudion, Founder, Designer and Director of Claire Gaudion. Claire Gaudion design-led rugs and home accessories offer authentic craftsmanship and exquisite quality across a versatile range of ready-made collections, including cushions, throws, wool rugs, recycled plastic bottle rugs and custom-made rugs. Claire discusses the history and inspiration for the business and what’s unique about the Claire Gaudion brand.
Question 1) You’ve developed a fantastic business with Claire Gaudion. Can you provide us with an overview of the business for our followers?
Thank you. Yes, Claire Gaudion create artisan textiles, which are designed to enrich the spaces we live in through colour, pattern and texture. Our rugs, cushions and fabrics are inspired by nature. By bringing the colours, patterns and textures of nature into our homes, we encourage a connection to nature that brings positive benefits to wellbeing and happiness.
Claire Gaudion design-led rugs and home accessories offer authentic craftsmanship and exquisite quality across a versatile range of ready-made collections, including cushions, throws, wool rugs, recycled plastic bottle rugs, and custom-made rugs.
The way we work is also very important. Since our business launched in 2013, we’ve been committed to responsible design. We work with artisan producers are expert craftspeople in their field to make our rugs and fabrics responsibly with respect for the planet, people, communities, tradition and craft. Our responsible approach means making considered decisions about who we
work with, the yarns we choose, and how we deliver our products.
Question 2) You have a very unique offering in the market at Claire Gaudion. Can you share with me the inspiration for the business and how you’ve built it to what it is today?
Nature has always been my biggest inspiration and understanding its effect on our wellbeing is something that I’m instinctively drawn to. All of our products draw design inspiration from nature, and in particular, my home island of Guernsey – the ever-changing coastline, ebb and flow of the tides, the transitioning colours and light through the day and seasons, as well as patterns and textures found in the landscape.
In recent years there is increasing scientific evidence that the colour, patterns and textures that we surround ourselves with can positively benefit our wellbeing and happiness at home. This exploration of biomimicry and biophilic design is rooted in our design process.
Our business has grown out of a love of textiles, craftsmanship and nature. Creating things that can be treasured for the year ahead. While these core values have remained central to our mission from the beginning, our collections have grown to reflect what our customers want for their homes, including a custom design service for rugs so that people can work with us to re-colour, or tweak designs, to meet their needs.
Rather than be driven by trends, we are focused on individual experience. Our homes are stories of our lives, and the things we choose to decorate them with should reflect our personal preferences and values, and these include elements of colour, pattern and texture as well as provenance and sustainability.
Question 3) Given all you’ve learned in setting up Claire Gaudion, could you share with people what are the main points they need to consider when purchasing rugs and accessories for their home?
Think about what different colours mean to you. Colour preferences are very personal and have a powerful effect on our emotions and wellbeing. Also, think about what the room will be used for. Some colours have a tendency to energise a space, and add a vibrant sociable atmosphere – particularly warmer brighter colours, while others tend to create a more quiet and relaxed aesthetic, such as less saturated blues and greens and neutrals.
Whichever colour family you are drawn to, explore different shades of the colours – for example, a rich aqua blue can trigger quite a different reaction to a moody grey-blue. The amount of each colour used, and the way colours combine are also key.
A good tip is to create a mood board of images and colour swatches. Gather together magazine tear sheets, paint swatches and fabric samples, and try to mirror the colour proportions you are thinking of using in the room and explore how different variations make you feel. Add colours in, and take things away and explore the effects.
I love layering textures and patterns and mixing materials to add richness and depth. This can add interesting contrasts, such as matt finishes alongside shiny metallic surfaces, or a textured wool pile rug on a wooden floor.
Question 4) Can you share with me your views on current trends in the home rugs and accessories space?
Trends are a fascinating concept… How forecasters can gather insights from across the globe and across multiple fields and translate this into key concepts that define our collective zeitgeist. However, trends are just this, an overall summary, an interpretation, or picture of the collective mood of the nation. They are not personal!
Our homes are personal. So, by all means, be inspired by ideas of trend forecasts, and magazine pages, as these can be really useful jumping-off points. But, think about how the trends really make you feel.
Try out ideas in your home – paint a sheet of wallpaper lining in a particular colour and live with it for a few days – does the colour relax you? Invigorate you? Irritate you? Would it be better to have just a hint of this colour in your room, such as a lamp or cushions, rather than paint all the walls?
Question 5) I’m interested to know what your favourite product is being sold by Claire Gaudion and why?
Oh, this is a tricky question! I have many favourites. One of our bestsellers this year has been our Rhythmic Tides Rug. I love it because it brings so many elements of nature into the design – the turning tides, the organic rhythm of the waves rolling onto shore, the gradients of colour seen in the sea and sky.
I also love that we have created something that our customers love, that adds a feel-good factor to their homes. This rug is made from wool, which is one of the most sustainable choices we can make for our homes. It’s a renewable and biodegradable resource with a low environmental footprint. Our New Zealand wool conforms to the strictest standards of animal welfare to ensure a sustainable future for wool. Wool is also naturally fire-resistant so a great choice for interiors.
Another favourite product is our new collection of recycled bottle rugs. Our recycled plastic rugs are made from 100% repurposed plastic. Each medium size rug uses around 12 kg of plastic bottle waste. These rugs are also reversible so can be used on both sides and they’re suitable for outdoor and indoor use, as they can be washed if required. This makes them ideal for kitchens and bathrooms, too.
Question 6) What are your future aspirations for the business on where you’d like to take it to?
As our business continues to grow we will remain committed to creating artisan textiles that enrich peoples homes and create positive experiences of colour, texture and pattern inspired by nature. We will continue to develop design-led products that support textile traditions, skills and craftsmanship so they can be passed on to future generations. Through our website and blog, we share behind the scenes insights about how our products are made, and this is something we plan to expand on more. Our customers tell us they love to see how their products are being made, and share in the journey of artisan textiles. All our custom-made rug customers receive photo updates while they wait for their rugs to be made, showing them snippets
of the process so that they can follow in its progress.
For us, the design is a collaborative process, and the people we work with are extremely important to us, as are ethical and fair working conditions. We are very proud that all our rugs are created in collaboration with Momo Rugs and are endorsed by the Care & Fair label. We will continue to ensure that no child labour is used and that all our weavers enjoy good living conditions and fair wages.
Explore Claire Gaudion’s amazing range of products on Kuldea! We are thrilled to be working with a passionate and talented team that makes Claire Gaudion the fantastic brand it is today. We hope you enjoyed this interview. Find more inspiration and top tips for creating your dream home on Kuldea!