PaperCity Magazine

PaperCity Dallas October 2020

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Page 69 of 75

brought to Beijing in copious amounts. He also brought photographs of historic English rooms with antique Chinese wallpapers for the artists to copy. Over time, Gurney quietly strayed from government oversight and opened illegal painting studios out of rented houses in rural areas of China. There, he employed hundreds of artists in secret until the laws allowing foreigners to operate businesses changed. Success wasn't overnight; it took years before the painting quality met Gurney's expectations, and until he was able to source the most beautiful silk and handmade papers to serve as the background. aesthetics of Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, the series expands on the rich visual material created by visionaries such as Léon Bakst. The collection will be showcased for the first time later this year, in my father's private home in London. I can't say too much about either of these yet, but we're also working on some wonderful new designs with Michael Smith, as well as a very particular USA label on a series of hand-embroidered textile designs. In Dallas, we're looking forward to Kips Bay Decorator Show House this month; we've provided hand-painted wallcoverings and hand-embroidered fabrics for Doniphan Moore's master bathroom and Dina Bandman's guest bedroom. On more is more I love that my house is an example of zero restraint on my part when it comes to the wallpapers. I have hung wallpapers or stretched wallcoverings on almost every available surface. I'm fascinated by color and the power it has to transform one's mood; wallpapers give so much soul and character to a space. Current events The opening of our latest Beirut showroom was interrupted first by the lockdown and, more recently, by the terrible blast within the city. The beautiful imagery of the interior taken in March is now a poignant reminder of the very particular magic of the location. I fell under the spell of the city when I visited in March, and I'm so glad that I made that trip. Fast forward 34 years: Gurney's daughters have joined the company, including Hannah Cecil Gurney, who serves as business development director. Hannah spoke to us from the recently renovated Victorian house in London's Battersea area that she shares with her husband, Eddie Harden, son George, and twins Scarlet and Oscar. Hannah, tell us what's new at your family's legendary wallpaper company. We're thrilled to be working with the iconic Colony Palm Beach on a bespoke hand-painted wallpaper for their lobby, which will draw on the hotel's history and the Florida flora and fauna. Work has been underway for some years on the launch of a new standalone collection of designs entitled the Diaghilev collection. Envisaged in broad reference to the decorative (Continued from page 66) Elmar Krop Clockwise from above left: In a room by Rachel van der Brug of Rho Interiors, de Gournay Sarus Cranes hand- painted wallpaper. The de Gournay book out this month from Rizzoli. Hannah Cecil Gurney at home in London. De Gournay Sans Soucis wallpaper, painted and hand-embroidered on silk. De Gournay bespoke Vases wallpaper in an interior by Kelly Wearstler. 68

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