Christiane Lemieux founded DwellStudio in 1999 (it was known as Dwell Home Furnishings until 2007) with an array of modern textiles for hip children’s rooms. Since it’s inception, DwellStudio has become a favorite source of many design lovers. The company’s name is synonymous with modern, eclectic style. In 2008, DwellStudio partnered with Target on a line of table linens, infant clothing and linens, and accessories. This year, DwellStudio has developed a line for Robert Allen textiles, so your favorite Dwell patterns are now available as upholstery. Christiane’s background in fashion and art history, as well as her love of travel are all evident in her beautiful collections.
Name: Christiane Lemieux
Occupation: Creative Director for DwellStudio and DwellStudio for Target
Hometown: Ottawa, Canada
Current City: New York, USA
LDV: What inspired you to begin your career in home furnishings?
CL: Its funny – I started in fashion as a designer and then got the opportunity to go over to a home furnishings company to design. I just fell in love with interiors. I think I still draw on my fashion background all the time. I try and bring a fashion element to all my work.
CL: I love the constant design and brand challenge. I love pushing our design forward. It is something I think about all the time – how can I make this better? How can we make this excellent? I think it could always be better.
LDV: Where do you find inspiration?
CL: Everywhere – travel, flea market finds, vintage stores, architecture…I am always looking. The other day when I was walking the dog I came across some amazing ironwork on the building around the corner…it’s beautiful and intricate…I found myself quickly sketching it. It made for the start of a great pattern and the funny thing is I have passed it a million times but it finally spoke to me.
LDV: Who are some of your personal style icons?
CL: This is a difficult questions…There are so many peoples who’s work I admire. I love Consuelo Castiglione from Marni – I think her ability with color and pattern is awe-inspiring. I am having a French Mid-Century moment too – Serge Mouille, Boris Lacroix, Pierre Guraiche and Charlotte Perriand – I am dreaming of their design. It changes weekly – I was in a more embellished phase last year but I am returning to a reinterpreted mid-century thing. I am loving the rigor of clean lines.
LDV: How would you describe your own style?
CL: Minimal luxe. I am attracted to things that have simple shapes but luxe materials. I have these amazing gray rugs at home that are so simple but made of silk and I love them. They fit my style perfectly.
LDV: What is the trait you most admire in a person?
CL: There are a couple that I cherish -honesty, humility and most of all the ability not to take yourself too seriously.
LDV: What is your principal weakness?
CL: I have so many – maybe I should rephrase it as -what are your most glaring weaknesses - gluttony – I love food, I dream of food, I plan meals in advance….sloth – I love to sleep – in fact I would choose sleep over food and people have told me I am very disorganized…which is probably true.
CL: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Without sounding saccharin – my two children. I could never have designed anything as good myself.
LDV: What is your idea of living “la dolce vita”?
CL: Traveling to a great new exotic local with amazing food and maybe a beach…staying at a world class hotel, sleeping in followed by long lunches with my family….(in this scenario my kids behave perfectly at the table too then touring or whiling away the hours reading on a beach chair.
Food: cheese –every kind
Thing to Wear: Jeans + cute top + great shoes (the DwellStudio uniform)
Meal: Since I am at my favorite destination -India – Dinner at Bukhara in Delhi….the dahl is legendary
Musician: I am having a Bob Dylan moment – I am hearing Bob everywhere in New York and he just sounds right.
Artist: I am back in a Rothko phase…minimal, ethereal and amazing color.
Film: I have to say That Grey Gardens always comes to mind. Big and Little Edie haunt me.
Television Show: I am addicted to Mad Men – really
Book: I love to read – hence the extravagance below – I love so many books, all the classics – I did just re-read Tender is the Night and I loved it.
Fabric or Pattern: any DwellStudio pattern – I am loving our Peacock right now – especially the upholstery at Robert Allen.
Scent: Un Jardin sur le Nil by Hermes
Extravagance: I am on the list for the 64GB 3G Ipad – I hope to make it my latest extravagance. I love tech gadgets and can you imagine walking around with a library at your disposal?
Quote: “Du sublime au ridicule il n’y a qu’un pas.”
“It’s just one step from the sublime to the ridiculous.”