Walking into Linda’s at Bergdorf Goodman, you feel transported to a fantasy world, due in large part to the exotic de Gournay wallpaper. Intrigued by the vibrant decor, we sat down with the Director of de Gournay, Rachel Cecil Gurney. On our minds? How this specific design, Le Eden, was selected for Linda’s shop, and what she envisions for the future of her family business. Full story below.
Visit Linda’s at Bergdorf Goodman on the fourth floor.
Bergdorf Goodman: Your father, Claud Cecil Gurney started de Gournay based on his love of Chinoiserie and Eastern artistry. Do you share the same passion? Did you always know you would go into the family business?
Rachel Cecil Gurney: I grew up in a house full of Chinoiserie papers and exotic artifacts, so I was definitely drawn to all things oriental. I always love visiting Georgian houses in England, which often reflect the 18th century craze for all things from the Orient that swept through Europe. These objects represented their owner’s position in society, not to mention their excellent taste. Many of our Chinoiserie designs are based upon these antique Chinoiserie wallpapers and we love the way each design has a story to tell, an interesting provenance.
I always knew I wanted to go into something creative, but not necessarily follow in my father’s footsteps, though both my sister and I knew it would make our father very happy if we did! And it was not hard to be persuaded to work with such a bespoke handmade product which offers endless artistic possibilities for a creative mind.
BG: The de Gournay wallpaper inside Linda’s at BG is called ‘Le Eden.’ Tell us the story of this design and how it was selected for Linda’s shop.
RCG: This design is based on a 19th century French block-printed panoramic wallpaper produced by Desfosses and designed by Joseph Fuchs. This sort of motif was typical of the 19th century and it captured people’s excitement at discovering exotic foreign lands as travel became more viable. Linda wanted her boutique to be eye catching and fantastical so this Garden of Eden seemed the perfect choice.
BG: Last Fall, Adam Lippes based his collection off this very same design, and now he has designed a raincoat and umbrella exclusively for Linda’s. What do you feel is so special about Le Eden, that it keeps finding its way back to BG?
RCG: I think the boldness and visual impact of Le Eden complements the work of the young, emerging designers at Bergdorf Goodman. Both de Gournay and Bergdorf Goodman are well established in the luxury industry: one quintessentially English and the other archetypal American, and the combination just works!
BG: Where do you see the interior design industry evolving over the years to come? What can we expect next from de Gournay?
RCG: I think people will be willing to invest more in their homes and will become less afraid of exploring color and texture in place of minimalism and the Modernist look. I also think as the world becomes increasingly tech-savvy, people will begin to crave traditional elements like handmade products to balance their homes.
At de Gournay, we love to constantly surprise people with rich, happy colors, strong patterns and interesting new techniques. As well as developing new designs, we enjoy re-inventing existing templates by using an unexpected palette or unusual technique which make them more current, still classically beautifully but with a contemporary edge.
BG: If you had to choose a favorite, which design would it be and why?
RCG: My favorite wall covering is our St Laurent which is inspired by an original set of antique panels that once belonged to Yves Saint Laurent. We have tried to recreate the aged feel of the original and its rich turquoise ground. This verdant garden scene really brings the outside in making the interior vibrant and fresh. Pairs of peacocks are perched amidst the trees alongside jewel like pomegranates and blooming peonies.