Practice English Speaking&Listening with: Don't Call It Wallpaper| Hand-Painted "Vertical Haute Couture" by de Gournay

Difficulty: 0

Exquisite works of art.

Each sheet of wallpaper from de Gournay is unique and hand-painted.

This family business in London has enjoyed international success for over thirty years

now, thanks mainly to a special technique.

So the traditional Chinese painting method uses two brushes in your hand.

One brush picks up pigment and the other brush very quickly spreads the pigment across the

surface of the wallpaper.

And with this technique you get this beautiful water colour grading from dark to pale.

Detailed, playful, colourful the company prides itself on catering to the customer's

individual taste.

Most de Gournay wallpapers originate in a studio near Shanghai.

They're painted on silk or gold-leaf paper.

Customers pay between five and twenty five thousand euros to decorate a single room.

"When you see something thats handmade, you can feel the imperfections and thats

what makes it beautiful.

You can see the brushstrokes.

You can see that human hand has made that product.

And you can feel the spirit of the artist who created it when youre in the room.

This is the home of the company founder.

As a child, he loved his parents' hand-painted wallpaper.

But later he searched in vain for a wallpaper company for his own home.

That's when Claud Cecil Gurney came up with the idea for his company.

I dont think we should be calling them wallpapers, really.

I think we should be calling them more like tapestries or murals or something like that.

It creates a wonderful, in a way country-idyllic environment in a place where otherwise you

walk outside and there are motor cars and chimneys and steam and dirt and dust and pollution.

Its just very pretty.

These kind of hand-painted designs may be unaffordable for most.

But interior designers say wallpaper generally is back in fashion.

Wallpaper is becoming more everyday-use and more and more clients are asking us to

add wallpaper to the room or the space.

Countless manufacturers now offer all kinds of designs,

often digitally printed and much more affordable.

And there are definite trends too. Elaborate floral patterns have made it

from the catwalk back into homes and interior designs.

Last year the big trend was greenery and we saw a lot of foliage on the wallpaper.

With the new trend, the new Pantone of the year which will be ultraviolet

we will see the trend taking that direction, which is a very sophisticated colour and a very bold colour.

But at de Gournay, it's less about trends and more about fulfilling customer's individual


Their showrooms in London, Paris, New York, Moscow and elsewhere are especially busy at

the moment.

In the new year, people really feel a surge of energy.

They want to come to us with completely wild ideas.

Theyre sort of rested and theyve said: Actually, I dont want to do something run-of-the-mill

I want to do something really WOW in this new year.

The company often works with celebrities.

This autumn, supermodel Kate Moss unveiled "Anemones in Light", produced together with the de Gournay

design team.

One strip costs 1350 euros.

So what happens if you spend thousands and then move house?

The silk is very, very strong.

So you can literally peel the silk off from the bottom up, send it back to us and we'll

put a new paper backing onto the back and you can then reinstall it in a new home.

But as with every work of art, it takes time.

So if you feel inspired to rush out and order your own de Gournay, be prepared to wait about

three months for it to be completed.

The Description of Don't Call It Wallpaper| Hand-Painted "Vertical Haute Couture" by de Gournay