Tag Archives | Chinoiserie

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.

 dining room // chinoiserie wallpaper de gournay // simplified bee(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.

 nursery with elephant wallpaper // de Gournay // 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

Friday Find :: Schumacher 125th Anniversary

Schumacher turns 125! In celebration, the legendary American textile company is pulling from its archives some of its most iconic patterns and reinterpreting them for today. Schumacher’s 125th Anniversary collection consists of a wide variety of patterns that span different influences, periods, and styles. It’s fabulous and I can’t pick a favorite, but have narrowed a few to share for this week’s Friday Find:

citrus garden // schumacher fabric #citrus #fabric

Citrus Garden – Based on an archival botanical pattern that acclaimed midcentury architect Josef Frank designed for the house in 1947

Flame Stitch // Schumacher Fabrics #blue

Valkyrie Flame Stitch – First introduced in 1972, this classic motif traces its roots to 15th century central Europe

Shengyou Toile in indigo // Schumacher 125 Anniversary Fabrics #chinoiserie

Shengyou Toile – Hand drawn toile based on an 18th-century Oberkampf document by Jean-Baptiste Pillement, a court painter to Marie Antoinette

Indian Arbre Fabric // Schumacher 125th Anniversary Collection #textiles #blue

Indian Arbre – Featuring the timeless tree of life pattern, this hand-painted fabric is inspired by traditional Indian palampore that was first introduced to Europe in the 17th century

Congratulations Schumacher and here’s to 125 more fabulous years!

happy decorating,

cristin

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Read full story By on October 10, 2014 in antiques, chinoiserie, Features, Friday Finds, mid-century modern, textiles, upholstery

Chinoiserie Chic :: Pagoda Decor

Chinoiserie, simply stated is a style of decoration reflecting Chinese motifs. The French term dates back to the late 18th century when it became popular to incorporate Asian motifs in traditional European decor such as housewares, furnishings and textiles. The pagoda and its ancient tiered architecture is one such iconic Chinese silhouette that’s still inspires chinoiserie chic home decor today.  This arched silhouette is being featured on everything from wallpaper to lighting, and in a variety of styles from sleek and modern to ornate and traditional. Here are a few of my favorite items inspired by pagodas.

Chinoiserie Chic :: Pagoda Decor :: Simplified Bee

product links: one // two // three // four // five // six

Visit Houzz to see all of my other chinoiserie chic pagoda decor finds!

happy decorating,

cristin

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Read full story By on July 14, 2014 in chinoiserie, design trends, Features, home accessories, houzz, mirrors, throw pillows

San Francisco Decorator Showcase 2014 – Dining Room

Last week I finally had the opportunity to tour this year’s San Francisco Decorator Showcase. One room that stood out as a personal favorite was the formal dining room by Cecilia Sagrera-Hill and George Brazil of SagreraBrazil. The room’s elegant design was inspired by the existing beautiful wood detailing and gorgeous hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper installed by interior design icon, Michael Taylor (1927-1986). Mixing up period styles, the design duo added modern elements including the rug, upholstered chairs and geometric shaped dining table covered in a form fitted golden cover. The most eye-catching element however was the modern art hung above the fireplace – a magical infinity mirror with suspended butterflies in colors pulled from the wallpaper. I tried capturing an image of the artwork, but failed (so sorry!). These images don’t do the room justice, but I pulled some of the best ones I took and found:

dining-room-sf-decorator-showcase-2014dining room - san francisco decorator showcase 2014chinoiserie-dining-room-san-francisco-decorator-showcaseDining-Room-San-Francisco-Decorator-Showcase-2014gold-dining-room-table-setting

*photo credits: 1st and 2nd photo by Janet Paik via Houzz, 3rd & 5th photo by Cristin Priest via of Simplified Bee, 4th photo via Domaine 

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Read full story By on May 28, 2014 in chinoiserie, dining rooms, interior design, Interiors, lighting, original artwork, vintage, wallpaper