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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

Global Chic + Kid Friendly Home Decor

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

 

Global chic and kid friendly home decor. That’s the result when you have mom of two little ones and Tea Collection‘s co-founder and chief creative officer, Emily Meyer decorate her own home recently featured in Lonny. I was fortunate to meet Emily back in 2002 while pregnant with my first child and Tea was just a few months old. I vividly recall swooning over her gorgeous Asian style pima cotton baby sweaters and her brilliant vision for creating a globally inspired children’s clothing. I know how hard she has worked over the years and am thrilled with her success.

It’s clear to see Emily’s clothing designer roots and deep passion for print, pattern and color in her use of wallpaper, textiles and accessories incorporated throughout her craftsman style home in Palo Alto. She’s not shy to mix period and ethnic styles either. It’s a super approachable, multi-layered and kid-friendly space – love every inch. Here’s a look at my favorite rooms.

global chic orange living roomglobal chic dining room // lonnyglobal chic living room // lonnykid-friendly kitchen design #kitchenschinoiserie bedroom design #bedrooms #chinoiseriegirls-bedroom-nina-campbell-perroquet-wallpaperglobal chic boy's bedroom

Also, be sure check out Tea Collections New Germany-Inspired Arrivals! You’ll love it all too!

*photography credit & source: Melissa Kaseman / Lonny

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Read full story By on July 29, 2014 in baby and children, Bedroom, bedrooms, beds, Boy, boy's bedroom, chinoiserie, dining rooms, fashion, Girl, girl's bedroom, interior design, Interiors, Kitchen, Living Room, living rooms, wallpaper

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2014: Boy’s Bedroom

Another charming kids space in this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase was created by local design firm, Regan Baker Design.  The little boy’s bedroom (aka Little Roamers Room) was inspired by Regan Baker’s own children’s love of building forts.

Tent Bed - Boys Bedroom - Regan Baker Design #bedrooms

Taking center stage is a darling denim tent hung from the ceiling. It can even be expand across the room to create a giant playhouse. How fun is that! I also love the hanging lantern centered inside the tent. So darn cute!

tent bed - boys bedroom - san francisco showcase

Here’s a closer look at the bed layered in throw pillows, wool blanket and bed sheets from Serena & Lily. Love that sweet stuffed chicken too and animal pocket dolls from Coral & Tusk!

vintage 1970s amimal wallpaper in orange - boys bedroom - Regan Baker Design

The homeowner asked Regan to incorporate the existing 1970s wallpaper. The zig zag parade of animals in orange and white inspired the tribal artwork and southwestern inspired textiles also found throughout the space.

boys bedroom closet with wallpaper - Regan Baker Design

How cute is the closet with map wallpaper, arrows and darling clothing from Tea Collection?

The showhouse is open through May 26th, so there is still time for you to tour. Also, for more information on this boy’s room, visit Regan’s blog!

happy decorating,

cristin

*photo credits: Janet Paik for Houzz (3rd photo), Patricia Chang for SF Curbed (2nd & 4th photos), Regan Baker Designs (1st photo)

* this post contains affiliate links, which means that Simplified Bee receives a commission when purchases are made using the link. Thanks for your support!

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Read full story By on May 19, 2014 in baby and children, Bedroom, bedrooms, beds, Boy, boy's bedroom, Closets, houzz, interior design, Interiors, Organization, throw pillows

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2014 :: Blue Boys Bedroom

The San Francisco Decorator Showcase for 2014, located at 3660 Jackson Street in the city’s upscale Presidio Heights neighborhood is open! Although I haven’t been able to tour it yet, I wanted to share some images of the darling boys bedroom by interior designer, Shelley Cahan of  Shelley & Company. Do you remember her dressing room in last year’s showhouse?

navy blue boys bedroom - Shelley and Co

The retreat for the little gentleman is called “Little Boy Blu” and is inspired by a nostalgic sense of adventure. Both sophisticated and playful, the space is filled with rich patterns, muted shades of blue and vintage inspired furnishings and textiles (Restoration Hardware and Serena & Lily). The homeowners asked Shelley to keep the whimsical blue and white wallpaper by Pierre Frey which ended up be a launching point for the room’s design.

ceiling detail - airplane blueprint - boys bedroom

Decorative ceilings are the best and I love the aircraft blueprint inspired ceiling in this room. Such a fun way to inspire a little boy to dream, travel and see the world!

closet detail - boys bedroom - Shelley and Co

How cute is the “BLU” sign in the closet?!

blue and gray boys bedroom dresser vignette

Shelley has a beautiful way of layering and the dresser vignette above is a great example.

navy blue and white boys bedroom - San Francisco Showcase 2014In the corner, Shelley creates a fun play area for the little boy and his friends. Love the hex table!

I’ll be sharing more of the San Francisco Decorator Showcase in the upcoming weeks, but if you are in the area I encourage you to tour the home. Here’s more details and how to purchase tickets.

happy decorating,

cristin

*all image via Shelley & Co except last image via Houzz

* this post contains affiliate links, which means that Simplified Bee receives a commission when purchases are made using the link. Thanks for your support!

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Read full story By on May 5, 2014 in baby and children, Bedroom, bedrooms, beds, Boy, boy's bedroom, Closets, interior design, Interiors, Organization