Painted walls and opulence inspired by de Gournay

7th August 2017

By Helen Parker


When I discovered de Gournay a few months ago I was completely captivated by the whole feel of the interiors they create, the opulence, the beautifully chosen colours and the unbelievable detail and skill that goes into their work. They are a French company that make exquisite hand-painted wallpapers for your home and this is what they say about themselves  ‘Our artisans are artists. Our wallpapers, our fabrics and our dinner plates are works of art. In a hundred years time, they will be sold at auctions as valuable antiques. Each artist leaves a part of his soul in their creation and it is this ‘spirit resonance’ that distinguishes our work from machine made replicas’


It’s been such a long time since wallpapers and highly decorative interiors have been in fashion, I suppose the frugality of living through a recession and our love of simple pared back interiors has left us preferring a simple painted wall. There is of course nothing more beautiful than simplicity, but recently we have been hoping for a little history within that wall, maybe a suggestion of old wallpaper, some decay or plaster showing, this gives more depth and character to the room but it can be difficult to recreate or find hidden under years of neglect. The picture below is so beautiful and is for me a little like a de Gournay wallpaper in its incredible beauty.


We began thinking in a more opulent way at deVOL, after beginning the renovations on St. John’s Square and seeing the beauty of the building and how it seemed to be crying out for a little more luxury, darker colours, textures and a feeling of being transported into a more glamorous world. We dabbled in some Trompe l’oeil, a skill I have long admired and done myself in homes over the years, was the beginning of an interest in painted homes and the discovery of de Gournay. It always happens that once you become aware of something it is suddenly everywhere, it’s the part of my job that I love, watching a look emerge and feeling as if you were there before it got too widespread. Well it looks like I failed on this one because I now find numerous collaborations de Gournay have been doing, it seems everyone but me knew about them.


The most recent lady to work with de Gournay is Kate Moss, she has designed an anemone floral paper for her bathroom, a greek design that symbolises luck. This pattern is hand-painted to her specific design and with her in the image it looks about as cool as you could ever wish for, this bathroom is in her London home.


‘Maison de Couture’ of Christian Dior, the epitome of sophisticated style, recently released the behind-the-scenes video for their latest advertising campaign for the iconic ‘Lady Dior’ handbag. Continuing in her role as ambassador for the brand, actress Marion Cotillard worked alongside de Gournay to produce some incredible images. I love this actress and have been watching and enjoying her in French films for many years, although I was recently very happy to see her in Allied, alongside Brad Pitt, a must see movie.


And then it was Kiera Knightly for Chanel, riding around the streets of Paris on a moped, I remember this advert but didn’t even notice the de Gournay backdrop, and how amazing it is. I love the golds they use, so reflective they almost seem alive and real. The one below is my favourite design and colour, the rose gold pink is just too beautiful for words.



These wallpapers are as you would expect, incredibly expensive and could set you back around £600 – £2,000 per panel, a room would invariably need around 15 panels. So it’s not for everyone, but I did find some completely gorgeous shoes that de Gournay have done in collaboration with Aquazzura the Italian fashion brand. You can find these shoes on Net-a Porter if you are as in love with them as me, and although expensive they are less than a strip of wallpaper.