I've admired de Gournay wallpaper in design magazines for many years but I've recently seen wallpaper dating back to the mid 1800s that would have inspired de Gournay's more recent designs. I have a new client who lives in a gorgeous historic home on Maryland's eastern shore who has this wallpaper in her stairwell.
I immediately wanted to do some research on de Gournay and their products. According to Lifeloveandluxury blog, de Gournay had an interesting beginning. Claud Cecil Gurney needed to restore antique wallpaper in his family home which led him to research the history and techniques used by the Chinese to paint on paper and silk. Creating designs inspired by historic 18th century Chinoiserie designs, artists in China and Gurney resurrected the art of handpainted wallpaper in 1986.
The luxurious wallpaper can be found in high end hotels and boutiques and homes of the rich and famous. According the CreativeHunt blog, most of the wallpapers are customized to client's specifications. One client wanted vast vistas of ancient Italy to be modified with portraits of his family.
The wallpaper is found in many dining rooms but also a popular choice in bathrooms.
I can understand using it in a powder room but I'm surprised to see tubs next to the wallpaper.
Various materials are used such as silk, India tea paper or Xuan rice paper. The wallpaper is treated with traditional pork bone glue (like it was done 300 years ago) before its spends about five weeks being dyed or gilded with gold leaf. Then details are hand-painted on and mimic the traditional block print style that used large blocks of wood that were carved and stamped onto the papers in the 18th century.
After taking around five weeks to hand paint, the wallpapers are ready for hanging which are usually managed by de Gournay professional fitters. From start to finish an installation can take six months.
|Canadian House and Home|
I found just a few interiors where the wallpaper is used in living rooms.
I recent article by Elle Decor featuring a project by Kelly Wearstler who used the wallpaper in this sitting room. Kelly Wearstler always inspires to think outside the box.
To make it more affordable, panels can be ordered and framed.
de Gournay wallpaper was used on a screen in this living room.
The wallpaper is also a popular choice in entries.
The book cover of a popular design book, Domino The Book of Decorating, is inspired by a De Gournay design.
Their gorgeous designs can also be handpainted on drapery, blinds, and upholstery fabric. Below is a de Gournay painting installed in a hotel designed by Kelly Wearstler.
|Canadian House and Home|
Below, de Gournay fabric is used for drapery.
Wouldn't it be fun to be at the Olympics in London right now and be able to stop by De Gournay's pretty shop in between events...