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Gold Standard

Nearly a century on, de Gournay’s latest design pays homage to the art deco style of the 1920s.


New to luxury wallpaper manufacturer de Gournay’s San Francisco showroom, which opened last spring, is the striking Namban pattern, created in collaboration with Artur Miranda and Jacques Bec of Portuguese design studio Oitoemponto. The hand-painted scene features a sedge of cranes (not shown) set against a burnished gold leaf backdrop of rolling waves, calling to mind designs of the 1920s and 1930s. “Art deco is making a comeback in interior design,” says Rachel Cecil Gurney, director of de Gournay and daughter of its founder, Claud Cecil Gurney. “The streamlined look is the perfect complement to modern interiors,” she adds, noting that it’s an era frequently referenced in the work of designers like Miles Redd and Kelly Wearstler. “Oitoemponto approached us with an abstract seascape artwork representing Imperial Japan’s early commercial contact with Europeans, notably the seafaring Portuguese,” she explains of Namban’s inspiration. To further the drama, Miranda and Bec took inspiration from legendary French designer Jean Dunand in a mesmerizing interplay of swirling coils and graphic lines. “For me, the mix of historical and modern makes this design truly original and contemporary,” continues de Gournay. “It’s a unique design that makes the most of our technical expertise and creative skill.”