“THE WALLPAPERS I CHOSE FOR THE FLAT REFLECT MY OPTIMISM FOR LIFE,” REVEALS HANNAH, “I LIKE THE CHAOS AND HAVE PURPOSELY AVOIDED ANYTHING BEING TOO THOUGHT OUT”
feel,” Hannah describes. “South Kensington and Chelsea are my two favourite boroughs and are both close to work.”
The couple’s careful hunt for the perfect home was well worth it. Indeed, they can now have the leisure of waking up early for a stroll through Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park before Hannah heads to her office a brisk fiveminute walk away. “In the evenings we can cook at home or go out for dinner,” she shares. “If we go out, we head to one of our favourite restaurants, either Daphne’s in Kensington or The River Café in Hammersmith.” In designing her home, Hannah considers traditional architecture, natural light, and enough space to entertain friends as her non-negotiables. The flat itself features traditional Georgian architecture and huge windows along one side that allow plenty of natural light to stream in. Each room is purposely different in style and colour, and is meant to evoke different moods. “The overall design does not adhere to any particular style of convention,” she says, “but it is full of gifts from loved ones and objects we have collected from trips around the world, placed around the home in a natural way.”
This eclectic guiding philosophy helped Hannah transform the space into something youthful, surprising, warm, and comfortable, and it extends as well to her choice of de Gournay wallpapers for her private abode. Those in the living room, bedroom, and guestroom are all designs she worked on with her sister Rachel, and she says the best part is seeing the results of their labour around her every day. “The wallpapers I chose for the flat reflect my optimism for life,” reveals Hannah, “I like the chaos and have purposely avoided anything being too thought out.”
She cites her bedroom wallpaper as her favourite, not only for its classic chinoiserie pattern painted on gilded silver leaf paper, but also because of its unique backstory. “De Gournay had a client who bought real silver leaf wallpaper, but left it packaged in a humid attic when she suddenly had to move residences,” Hannah recounts. “When she came back for it 10 years later, the tarnished effect had been accelerated and the wallpaper had become the colour of burnt rose—almost burgundy.” Next thing, magazines came rushing to feature the house and orders for the wallpaper had the phone ringing off the hook, prompting de Gournay to recreate the beautiful antique effect of what is now one of their most loved designs.
Hannah, who has free reign over the interior, also mentions that the rooms are regularly transformed and forever evolving. “De Gournay has allowed me to use my home as a testing ground so I can switch pieces from my home with those in our displays, or with those from my father’s own collections,” she shares. “This has made my home such an energetic place to live, and an environment where I can satisfy my passion for design.”
Besides being inspired by cultures from around the world, the décor in Hannah’s flat is a tribute to what she has learnt from her father’s work. Having lived in spaces he decorated in London, Kent, and Croatia, Hannah inevitably developed a passion for bright and vibrant interiors. To this day, father and daughter scour flea markets together for antique pieces that they can restore and use at work and at home. “Growing up, I witnessed how much my father loved his work,” she says. “As a child, I felt so proud and protective of what he had created, and I knew I would