Blog Heroes Of Design

BLANC’s Heroes of Design – Eileen Gray

This week BLANC’s Hero of Design is Irish born architect and furniture designer Eileen Gray

‘To create one must first question everything’ – Eileen Gray

What you need to know

EILEEN GRAY (1878 – 1976)
Portrait of Eileen Gray, Paris, 1926
Photograph: Berenice Abbott

*Born in 1878, Gray was among the first women to be admitted to the London Slade School of Art.

*After undergoing apprenticeships in lacquer work with furniture restorer Dean Charles and Japanese lacquer specialist Sugawara, Gray moved to Paris and produced lacquer pieces for some of Paris’s wealthiest clients

*Gray also worked in interior design, decorating the Rue de lota apartment of society hostess Juliette Levy. The apartment included many of the iconic pieces of furniture and lighting that Gray is famous for today. A 1920 issue of Harper’s Bazaar describes the Rue de Lota apartment as ‘thoroughly modern although there is much feeling for the antique’

*In 1922, named after an imaginary male owner, Gray opened Jean Desert, a shop selling her rug designs located on the fashionable Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honor in Paris


*Gray’s love for good design lead her to architecture. Through drafting lessons, self-taught studies and the influence of Adrienne Gorska and Jean Badovici, Gray eventually worked with Badovici to design and manage the building of a holiday home in Monaco. Codenamed E-1027, the building is regularly described as a masterpiece.

Architecture portfolio 1, page 20 image 3, NMIEG:2000.250, Eileen Gray Collection I

‘A house is not a machine to live in. It is the shell of man, his extension, his release, his spiritual emanation’ – Eileen Gray

Why BLANC. loves – Eileen Gray

She was ambitious, creative and wasn’t afraid to lead the way in a time that women weren’t encouraged to do so. This woman was fearless and talented, a killer combination.

BLANC’s best of – Eileen Gray Furniture design


If you would like to purchase your very own Eileen Gray design visit

Aram Designs holds the worldwide head licence for Eileen Gray Designs. Images above courtesy of Aram