Year of the Chic

For de Gour­nay founder Claud Ce­cil Gur­ney, chi­nois­erie chic is al­ways in style.

Robb Report (Malaysia) - - Ideal Homes & Art - By Aaron De Silva

The de Gour­nay story is one that is fa­mil­iar in de­sign cir­cles and to con­nois­seurs of dec­o­ra­tive wall­cov­er­ings. But for the uni­ti­ated, per­haps a retelling is in or­der. Thirty years ago, Claud Ce­cil Gur­ney, then an ac­coun­tancy con­sul­tant, wanted to re­store the an­tique chi­nois­erie wall­pa­per in his Lon­don fam­ily home.

Af­ter sev­eral vain at­tempts, he trav­elled to the source of hand­painted wall­pa­pers – China – where the es­o­teric art had orig­i­nated in the 17th cen­tury.

Af­ter much sleuthing, Gur­ney un­cov­ered a small com­mu­nity of ar­ti­sans who had kept the tra­di­tion alive by pass­ing on their skills from gen­er­a­tion to gen­er­a­tion. Keen to show­case this beau­ti­ful but dy­ing art­form, Gur­ney de­cided to set up de Gour­nay (the Fran­co­phone ver­sion of his fam­ily name) in Lon­don, bring­ing the art to a wider au­di­ence.

These days, four de Gour­nay stu­dios em­ploy those same ar­ti­sans (plus a few oth­ers) who hand-paint more than 50 chi­nois­eri­estyle de­signs on high-qual­ity pa­pers and silk.

In late 2016, de­sign stu­dio Ta­tum be­came the sole agent for de Gour­nay in Sin­ga­pore and Malaysia, no doubt to the de­light of dec­o­ra­tors and aes­thetes in the re­gion. de­gour­nay.com ≠

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