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Interview :: Claud Gurney of de Gournay

I’ve always admired the work of de Gournay. Renowned for exquisite hand-painted wallpapers, furnishings and porcelain, each de Gournay creation is simply a work of art. So I was thrilled to meet Rachel Cecil-Gurney, daughter of founder Claude Cecil Gurney recently in San Francisco. Rachel showed me first hand samples from their gorgeous collections. Not only are the designs inspiring, but the attention to detail and quality is outstanding.

Taken from my iphone, this St. Laurent wallpaper (below) was inspired by Yves Saint Laurent’s apartment and is one of my personal favorites.

St. Laurent wallpaper detail // de Gournay // simplified bee #wallpaper

I asked Rachel about de Gournay’s history and was surprised at the answer. Claud Gurney founded the London-based high-end luxury brand nearly 30 years ago, but didn’t start in design, but had an amazing mentor. I had to find out more and am thrilled to be interviewing him today.

chinoiserie wallpaper // de gournay // simplified bee(source)

Simplified Bee: Tell us a little about your career and what led you to designing hand-painted wallcoverings and founding de Gournay?

Claud Gurney:  My career spans farming, accounting, consulting, economics, banking, property development and design ..  as you can imagine the joy of doing something creative won out over the drudge of finance and banking and I have never looked back.  I am a great believer that if you do what you love you have a good chance of being successful at it eventually and if you do what you don’t love you may as well be 6 feet under ..  There are lots of other narratives as to why I specifically ended up founding de Gournay around needing some wallpaper for my home and being quoted an outrageously high sum for the supply of that paper and quickly working out that it would be cheaper to set up my own firm than to buy from a company in New York ..  the rest is history ..

weeping willow wallpaper // de gournay // simplified bee(source)

SB:  Who has been a mentor to you?

CG: My mother – taking me round to auction sales when I was very young – from 8 years onwards .. understanding how to buy and sell and how to appreciate value and to create value where others saw none.

chinoiserie wallpaper // de gournay // simplified bee #chinoiserie #wallpaper (source)

SB: How would you describe your personal style and how has it evolved over the years?

CG: I hope that I don’t have a style – at least I don’t try to project a style ..  so I shall leave that for others to judge.  I have a belief that one should only buy the best and thereby one is rarely disappointed – whether it is food or clothes or houses or racehorses.

green chinoiserie wallpaper // de gournay // simplified bee(source)

SB: What type of architecture are you drawn to?

CG: It is hard not to be drawn to the maximum amount of light and simple lines with a combination of mainly rectangles and some curves.  I think that combining straight lines and curves well and creating light and space is key to goo architecture.  That means classical, some 18th century and some contemporary architecture.  Of course it all has to be adapted to the climate one is inhabiting ..

 hand-painted wallpaper // de gournay // simplified bee(source)

SB: Which other designers, artists or creative people are you loving at the moment?

CG: I have always loved Manuel Canovas and Alezandra Gioia (who coloured Colony’s fabrics for many years) and John Stefanides for their ability with colour. There are not that many designers capable of mixing different colours and patterns well – but many who can work in black & white!

 workspace // silver fish wallpaper // de gournay // simplified bee(source)

SB: Who would you most like to collaborate with on a project?

CG: Alain Garcia seems to be the man of the moment and although I hate trends and fashions I love the way he can make so much from so little – he has a real decorator’s touch and it all seems so effortless for him.  I ma hoping he will design some wallpaper for us one day.

dining room with de Gournay wallpaper // simplified bee (source)

SB: What is the process behind a de Gournay work?

CG: Art, art & art.

boy's room with deco monkeys wallpaper // de gournay // simplified bee(source)

SB: I’ve loved seeing de Gournay in social media circles. What is your advice to other décor companies or interior designers or who are timid about trying social media marketing outlets?

CG: Like mathematics it is a dark art until one knows how to do it ..  once one has started to do it one finds it easy and it starts to become addictive ..  but like all addictions it should be tightly controlled.

bathroom with koi fish wallpaper // de gournay // simplified bee(source)

SB: What are you looking forward to?

CG: Complete freedom for a little while followed soon thereafter by more projects and plans and new houses to build and decorate for myself ..  stopping, savoring,enjoying and moving on .. and starting all over again …

 

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Read full story By on October 28, 2014 in baby and children, baby nursery room, bathrooms, bedrooms, boy's bedroom, chinoiserie, dining rooms, Features, interior design, Interiors, Interviews, wallpaper

Color Crush :: Black and White Decor

disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links, which means Simplified Bee receives commission if you make a purchase using these links.

I’m typically a drawn to bold color, but found myself pinning lots of classic black and white recently. From bathrooms to kitchens, stairwells to nursery rooms, I’m sharing a few inspiring images of black and white decor that struck a cord in me.

black and white marble bathroom #designblack and white painted staircase #trianglesnursery with brass crib #baby #nurseryshine. C.S. Lewis #quoteblack kitchen cabinets #kitchensblack and white painted floor // Kelly Wearstlerimage sources: 1 bathroom // 2 painted staircase // 3 nursery // 4 C.S. Lewis print // 5 kitchen // 6 painted floor

Is black and white decor for you? If so, check out some of the fabulous items I’ve collected perfect for interiors in this timeless palette.

happy decorating,

cristin

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Read full story By on September 23, 2014 in baby and children, baby nursery room, Bathroom, brass, color, Interiors, Kitchen, pinterest

Modern Nursery Design :: Get the Look

disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means Simplified Bee receives commission if you make a purchase using these links.

gender_neutral_modern_nursery

This adorable gender neutral, modern nursery was featured on The Handmade Home via Pinterest. The white walls, clean-lined crib (very affordable!) and whimsical wallpapered ceiling give the room it’s modern feel. Traditional element, such as the tufted glider chair (from Target!), woven rug and changing table balance the look. I love it, don’t you?

modern + gray crib // nursery romget the lookmodern, gender neutral nursery design

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Read full story By on October 9, 2013 in baby and children, baby nursery room, crib, Features, Get The Look, interior design, Interiors, mirrors, wallpaper, window treatments

Cherry Walls Giveaway & Discount

Wall decals are a quick and easy way to add color, pattern and personality to your home. Because they are temporary, wall decals are terrific for renters or spaces that may evolve over the time such as a baby’s nursery, child’s room or playroom.  But keep in mind, not all wall decals are created equally.

I’d like to introduce you to Cherry Walls. They are a new Simplified Bee sponsor and create made-to-order wall decals in the USA using top quality materials. That’s right they keep nothing in stock – each decal is made for every customer individually, allowing everyone to customize their design and get exactly what they need! And in a few years when your child has outgrown the look, you can take the decal down – it removes easily, leaves a clean surface and will not damage your walls.

I also love that Cherry Walls works with professional artists to create such beautiful designs. Here are some of my faves:

sea life wall decals for nursery roomsgiraffe wall decal for kids bedroomcherry blossom tree wall decal & Cherry Walls Giveawaymonogram initial wall decal for kids bedroom - Cherry Walls giveawaycurly tree wall decal - Cherry Walls giveaway and discount

If you been thinking about purchasing a wall decal for your little one’s room, now’s the time. Cherry Walls is offering all Simplified Bee readers a chance to win a $50 gift certificate.

Here’s how to enter to win the $50 gift certificate:

  • Simply leave a comment on this post (provide your email if I don’t have a way to contact you).
  • Extra Entry – become a new follower of Simplified Bee’s BlogTwitterPinterest or Facebook Page.
  • Extra Entry – mention this giveaway in a blog post, Facebook link, tweet or pin an image from this post, then leave a comment letting me know.
  • Please post a separate comment for each extra entry.

Entry period closes at midnight PST on Wednesday, September 18, 2013. The winner will be chosen by Random.org and will be announced on the Simplified Bee Facebook page on Thursday, September 19, 2013.

In addition, Cherry Walls would like to also offer all Simplified Bee readers free shipping within the US with this coupon code: FreeBee. And that’s not all, Cherry Walls is giving 20% back on top of every other discount to every customer who takes a picture of their decal purchased from Cherry Walls and shares it on their  Facebook page.

Best of luck and happy decorating!

Cristin

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Read full story By on September 11, 2013 in baby and children, baby nursery room, discounts, Features, Giveaways