Carol Egan: The Magic of Design

The interiors of Carol Egan perfectly capture what I have been teaching and advocating in recent years. They are sophisticated, complex, containing extraordinary and unexpected juxtaposition of objects, mostly collectible furniture, lightings, and accessories. This type of spaces, which I like to refer to as ‘The New Interiors’ or ‘The Curated Interior,’ or ‘The Sustainable Living,’ can be created only by those who are highly educated in the world around them, deeply passionate, lovers of the arts, those who possess the most elevated taste, those who have the ability to deliver fresh, bespoke, one-of-a-kind spaces to their lucky, no less educated clients. They are not seeking to create mass, but rather to focus on handful projects, possible due to an intimate collaboration with clients. They turn every interior into an invested project, into a unique, personalized home. These creators are not only educated in the world of art, design, and architecture, but always engage in an eternal quest to educate others, to inspire, to create spaces like curators, spaces that make the difference in people’s lives.

For all of these, I have invited Carol Egan to speak in my program ‘Collecting Design‘ at the Center for Architecture/AIA, and while the entire program has moved to the web following COVID-19, she was able to speak this morning from her home. The talk focused on the two worlds of her practice: interiors and furniture. As she is relatively private and rarely speaks in public, it was a rare opportunity to hear the voice and vision behind Carol Egan’s interiors and furniture.

Born in Dublin, Ireland, she has graduated from the remarkable program of Interior Design at Parsons. In her interiors, vintage pieces by French visionary Pierre Paulin live next to a cork table by Jasper Morrison; space-age objects are mixed with digital-age contemporary works; Gabriella Crespi with Pierre Jeanneret; Michel Boyer with Gino Sarfatti; French with Italian; wood with clay; natural with synthetic. Because under her guidance these surprising combinations look natural, effortless. They look ‘at home.’

With a vast experience in the world of objects, Egan had launched her first pieces furniture ten years ago; they were an immediate success. In fact, I don;s know anyone who doesn’t want to live with her furntiure, whether they live with antiques, mid-century, or contemporary. Her pieces look timeless. Looking back and forward, her language is rooted in history and her production methods in traditional craftsmanship along with 3D modeling software. Her furniture resulted from a deep understanding in form and structure, and her signature language was quickly defined. In January, her gallery Maison Gerard presented the first retrospective of her furniture at Elizabeth Collective in New York.

Carol Egan’s spaces are like great musical compositions. They are vocal, structured, lyrical, and poetic. They make you feel and she is the composer. Thank you, Carol Egan, for contributing to the program ‘Collecting Design: History, Collections, Highlights,’ and for help shaping of design culture for the 21st century.

​Photos of interiors courtesy Carol Egan; photos of furniture courtesy Maison Gerard. 

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