Nearing the end of her life, Eileen Gray regretted never having anything produced in her homeland. Recalling the rich tradition of Irish textile making, she professed “I should so like to have a carpet made in Ireland”. Her dream was realized in 1975 when Donegal Carpets produced an edition of her designs named after the places that impacted her life the most. This particular design, sometimes referred to as Brentano—the popular bookstore near her Paris apartment—reflects the centralized layout of her seaside home, Tempe à Pailla in Castellar, France. Other carpets from the series include Kilkenny, a nod to her Irish roots, and Roquebrune, the location of her iconic villa, E-1027.

Architectural plan by Gray illustrating the orientation of Tempe à Pailla and its relationship
to the sea and the passage of the sun.

Eileen Gray 1879–1976

Eileen Gray was a revolutionary figure in the fields of modern design and architecture. Her body of work and personal style expressed an undisputed individuality. Born to a family of Irish nobility in 1878, she became one of the first women admitted to the Slade School of Art in London where she studied painting before beginning an apprenticeship in a lacquer workshop. She moved to Paris in 1902, where she continued her studies designing lacquered screens and decorative panels, later gaining recognition for work presented at the Salon des Artistes Décorateurs in 1913. After briefly fleeing Paris during World War I, Gray was commissioned to decorate Madame Mathieu-Lévy’s apartment. The opportunity allowed her to create a complete interior environment from wall paneling to furniture and décor. In 1922 she opened the renowned Galérie Jean Désert on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and exhibited her opulent chrome, steel tube, and glass furniture collection shortly after.