Newsletter Articles

Walls Filled with Birdsong


Can a beautiful painting uplift you? If every wall of a room were exquisitely painted… could it lift the entire ambiance of your home? The founders of de Gournay, a British manufacturer of some of the world’s finest hand-painted wallpaper, textiles and decor, believe so. And the Duchess of Cambridge, who wrapped herself in a hand-painted silk de Gournay dress during a royal tour to Indonesia, would probably agree.

As the best things in life often arrive, de Gournay was born out of passion and need. Claud Cecil Gurney and his nephew Dominic Evans-Freke arrived in China in the 1980s searching for artists to restore the hand-painted wall paper that had been commissioned from the Far East in the 19th century for their family's estate. They discovered a modern-day ethos that discouraged fine art, and an industry fueled only by profit.

“Take all the effort you would put into 10,000 cheaply made butterfly ornaments, and paint us one panel,” Evans-Freke recounted trying to convince one manufacturer. “They didn’t believe anyone would want that. It took us years to revive a trade that had once flourished between Asia and Europe.”

De Gournay recruited Chinese master painters and craftsmen and built a business that delivers some of the finest decorative arts in the world. Take in de Gournay’s transformative design at the 2015 Luxury Home & Design Show, May 1-3 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Photos Courtesy of de Gournay.