How de Gournay Makes Designer Wallpaper the Must-Have Interior Detail

Amazonia Hand-Painted Wallpaper, Temakinho, Milan. Photography by Ignazio Parravicini. Image courtesy of de Gournay.
Abbotsford Hand-Painted Wallpaper. Image courtesy of de Gournay.
Coco Coromandel Hand-Painted Wallpaper. Photography by Douglas Friedman. Image courtesy of de Gournay.
de Gournay x Erdem. Image courtesy of de Gournay.
African Savannah Hand-Painted Wallpaper. Photo by Douglas Friedman. Image courtesy of de Gournay.
TOP
487
34
0
 
30
Oct
30
Oct
CoBo Social Market News Reports

de Gournay’s creations draw inspiration from antique wallpaper designs while adding a contemporary touch.

 

TEXT: Jacqueline Kot
IMAGES: Courtesy of de Gournay

You can spot a de Gournay wallpaper from a mile away—exquisite, hand-painted designs that can turn a room into a fantastical world of birds, trees and lush foliage. And while de Gournay has created many different patterns since it was established in 1986, it is no doubt the ones under its Chinoiserie collection that is most recognisable as a de Gournay creation, with some of the patterns inspired by wallpaper designs from yesteryear.

 

Amazonia Hand-Painted Wallpaper, Temakinho, Milan. Photography by Ignazio Parravicini. Image courtesy of de Gournay.
Abbotsford Hand-Painted Wallpaper. Image courtesy of de Gournay.

 

Wallpaper was invented following the introduction of papermaking in Europe in the latter part of the 15th century. Early wallpapers produced in England and France featured designs that were either painted on by hand or applied using stencils. However, by the 17th century, block printing and flocking techniques were used. In the flocking method, a design was painted on using a slow-drying adhesive or varnish and then dusted with a wool or metallic powder.

“Many of de Gournay’s Chinoiserie designs reference original installations of hand-painted wallpapers within historic interiors of the 17th and 18th centuries. The scenes of gardens filled with birds and flowers quickly became popular amongst tastemakers of the age. Gradually becoming, in its own way, a notably Western trend—a European interpretation of ancient Chinese Art,” says Rachel Cecil Gurney, director at de Gournay. “Certain well-known installations have resulted in direct additions to de Gournay’s repertoire, such as the antique panels within the Paris apartment of Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Berge, or the painted wallpaper at Houghton Hall in Norfolk.”

Coco Coromandel Hand-Painted Wallpaper. Photography by Douglas Friedman. Image courtesy of de Gournay.

 

The painted wallpaper at Houghton Hall—a stately mansion built in 1722 and is the home of UK’s first prime minister, Sir Robert Walpole—was the basis for de Gournay’s Houghton design. A gorgeous pattern of flowers, exotic birds and ornamental trees that comes in three background colours—a subtle blue green hue similar to the wallpaper, and its faded colours, featured in Houghton Hall’s Cabinet Room; a rich blue shade to match the unused panels of the wallpaper that were found in the attic; and a pretty pastel rose tone.

“We are continuously inspired by original installations of historic wallpapers. Everything de Gournay creates is, in theory, an antique of the future—designs that will, in hundreds of years, continue to transform interiors,” says Gurney.

Other designs by de Gournay take the stylistic characteristics of a traditional chinoiserie pattern and give it a modern twist—such as the Amazonia collection that is a collaboration between de Gournay and Edgardo Osorio, the founder and creative director of shoe brand Aquazzura. The Amazonia collection of wallpaper featured motifs and imagery that depict a rainforest in South America, such as palm fronds, banana leaf trees, toucan birds, in a vibrant, paradisiacal pattern with the same patina and look as chinoiserie design. And as part of the collaboration, Aquazzura also featured the wallpaper patterns in a range of shoes.

 

de Gournay x Erdem. Image courtesy of de Gournay.

 

De Gournay also collaborated with fashion brand Erdem for a softly romantic wallpaper pattern on silk, made up of a profusion of flowers in different colours that sit against a background of soft grey, deep green, golden or soft yellow. Erdem, in turn, featured the pattern in a capsule collection of dresses.

“All Chinoiserie wallpapers have flora and fauna in their designs. The latest ‘Erdem’ chinoiserie design, for example, depicts blooming hydrangeas, hollyhocks, irises, chrysanthemums with sparrows, warblers, pheasants and egrets interspersed throughout,” says Gurney.

According to an article on the history of wallpaper in The Atlantic, during the early 19th century, some wallpaper designs were there to transport guests to another world, featuring detailed, panoramic scenes of exotic destinations far away from Europe. They were also used in public spaces as an educatioWanal tool of sorts, to give viewers an idea of what life was like on the other side of the world.

 

African Savannah Hand-Painted Wallpaper. Photo by Douglas Friedman. Image courtesy of de Gournay.

 

De Gournay’s Scenic collection harks back to such wallpapers from the 19th century, with each panoramic masterpiece done by hand. “Our collection of scenic style wallpapers is also known as Papiers Paints Panoramiques, often depicting idyllic panoramic landscapes, discoveries of far-off lands, tales of mythology and maps of great cities,” says Gurney.

Whether it is a detailed drawing of the Italian landscape in the Views of Italy pattern, an homage to the city of lights in Monuments of Paris, or a glimpse of the African Savannah, each design is picturesque and mesmerising, adding a touch of fairy tale magic to any room.

 

 

 

 
Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply