de Gournay specialises in creating exquisite hand painted wallpaper, fabrics, porcelain and hand carved furniture.
Since 1986 de Gournay has revived ancient traditions, continuing techniques that began in the 17th century by employing a team of highly skilled artists to paint traditional Chinoiserie, Japanese and Korean and 19th century French Papiers Peints Panoramiques wallpapers. To complement the wallpapers, de Gournay’s artists also hand paint silk fabrics for upholstery and soft furnishings.
‘Askew’ from the Chinoiserie Collection
Claud Cecil Gurney decided to found the company following an unsuccessful search for expert artisans to restore the antique wallpaper in his family home, which highlighted that the traditional art of hand painting wallpaper was nearly completely abandoned. This realisation led him to research the history and techniques of this traditional Chinese art form.
The early years of the company reflect the economic situation in China at the time, when it was almost impossible for a foreigner to forge business links. Claud Cecil Gurney’s meeting with eminent artists in China spurred the creation of the first group of artists working directly for de Gournay, painting on paper and silk. From the outset, surviving Chinoiserie designs in historic houses in the UK were inspirational in resurrecting and preserving the art of hand painted wallpaper.
‘Earlham’ from the Chinoiserie Collection
In 1993 Dominic Evans-Freke joined the company bringing quality and production control at a most opportune moment. As China opened up to the West in the Nineties, de Gournay was able to open two studios and improve working facilities for the artists, while designers and sales staff in the UK found their place in the new Chelsea showroom. Since then de Gournay has worked alongside leading interior designers and architects on prestigious projects, both private and commercial.
The company is renowned for its original collection of striking 18th century Chinoiserie designs that bring spaces to life with colourful flora and fauna. Responding to demands for more contemporary wallpapers de Gournay later introduced its dramatic Japanese & Korean and Eclectic collections featuring stunning hand-gilded gold and silver paper-backed silk backgrounds. de Gournay also has a very popular collection of 19th century French scenic designs depicting a variety of vistas from a pastoral hunting scene in Chasse to an exotic Brazilian river-scene bursting with wildlife.
‘Fishes’ from the Japanese and Korean Collection – design chosen by David Scott Interiors
de Gournay sets itself apart through its ability to customise any of its designs in line with a client’s wishes. However complicated the brief, de Gournay has the knowledge and expertise to fulfil each individual’s vision: from hand-gilding a design with 22ct gold leaf, to creating a custom colour to compliment a surrounding interior.
The painstaking attention to detail coupled with highly skilled artisanship that is at the core of everything de Gournay designs and produces, has resulted in many high end collaborations. Fashion designers such as Matthew Williamson and Jenny Packham, esteemed brands Chanel and Smythson, and commercial projects with high end retailers such as Bergdorf Goodman and The Ritz, are among de Gournay’s recent partnerships.
‘Monuments of Paris’ from the Papiers Peints Panoramiques Collection
Founder of de Gournay, Claud Cecil Gurney, comments:
“Our aim is to bring happiness into people’s lives by creating for them light, bright, vibrant and happy interiors where they can find refuge from the busy world of markets and events. Each of our interiors is a work of art hand-painted to meet the needs of discerning clients.”
Director of design and production at de Gournay, Dominic Evans Freke, comments:
“One of our great strengths is our spectacular range of striking and timeless designs we offer across a wide collection of products. I take great pride in the way in which we achieved this by sticking to our philosophy of understanding historic designs & their manufacture which guides us towards sensitive redesigns and updates of them for our modern consumers.”
de Gournay’s product offering also includes an expansive 18th century Chinese Export porcelain collection which is produced using traditional techniques that have resisted the forces of standardisation and modernisation that have affected European production and which date back hundreds of years. Each piece is entirely hand-carved, hand-glazed and hand-painted. The collection encompasses a number of different items varying from customised and intricately designed armorial dinner services to a pair of lifesize porcelain hounds, modelled on figurines from 1765.
‘Temple Newsam’ from the Chinoiserie Collection – Balfour Castle, Scotland
In recent years de Gournay has continued to expand into hand-carved and hand-finished furniture and mirrors. Each piece of furniture is made using traditional wood and can be hand-finished in a number of ways to totally transform their mood and meet the demands of the most discerning client. As every item is created by hand, de Gournay’s furniture pieces can be customised to fit spaces and suit the necessities of the modern day.
‘Windswept Blossom’ from the Japanese and Korean Collection
De Gournay is now a global brand which has expanded into 39 countries, with showrooms in London, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Moscow and representatives worldwide.
For more information and to view all collections please visit www.degournay.com
For any press enquiries including sample and image requests, please email email@example.com or call the London showroom on 0207 352 9988.