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Hannah Cecil Gurney Director of the Design House, de Gournay

The Sophisticated and Chic Director of the Design House, de Gournay


The chic, London-based Hannah Cecil Gurney is the director of de Gournay, the design house best known for its elaborate hand-painted wall coverings.

“It’s couture for the home”

– Lauren Santo Domingo of Moda Operandi

Hannah photographed by Simon Upton

What inspires you?

My father’s never ending energy and drive inspires me. He has the ability to always see the bigger picture and keep moving the finish line.

photo of de Gournay and Kate Moss courtesy of Nikolai von Bismarck

In the U.S., Miles Redd and Katie Ridder inspire me for their amazing and fearless use of color that brings so much life to their interiors. Also, Jeffrey Bilhuber for his timeless style that appeals to all ages – classic with just the right amount of frivolity and lightness.

My son also inspires me! I love seeing him discover everything for the first time. It’s a reminder to take the time to pause and look around and appreciate how wonderful even the smallest things are!

Hannah photographed by Simon Upton

How do you stay balanced with work and home life?

I don’t really – I’m still seeking the balance! I will work too much, then try to be home more, and vice versa. Someone please let me know if you have the secret! I have a one year old, so I’m pretty busy.

I feel very blessed to be a mother and a company director.

Having work and a baby has really shown me that the more you work, the more you appreciate your baby. The more you look after the baby the more you want to work! I suppose the balance is more of both. I feel very blessed to be a mother and a company director.

What is your personal wellness routine?

I attend Reformer Pilates three times a week at Heartcore Gym in Chelsea, London. This is the first time I’ve really loved exercise. I feel so strong and lean. It’s amazing!

I always eat healthy food and avoid carbs. I have a super sweet tooth, so I eat lots of fruit and persuade my husband to bake healthy cakes and cookies from Deliciously Ella.

Once a week I religiously use Kat Burki Acid Peel face mask. Whenever I’ve had a late evening or return from a long work trip, I use Eve Lom Brightening Mask. It makes my skin feel so refreshed and plump again!

Before an event, I use the Eve Lom Clay Mask. It makes my skin dewy and clear. I sat next to Arizona Muse recently at dinner and she told me she swears by it!

Do you have a favorite fragrance at the moment?

Jo Malone Velvet Rose and Oud and Byredo Oud Immortel is a current obsession.

Who inspires you?

I am inspired by anyone who is passionate about what they do, whether that involves collecting butterflies or reporting on the front line of conflicts. I admire passionate people.

Cate Blanchett inspires me with her acting talent, awesome fashion sense, and luminous skin.

What is your favorite book?

Pearl S. Buck’s The Good Earth is an amazing book on resilience and the human spirit. I have read it countless times.

I have recently been reading Ken Fulk’s Magical World, which just landed on my coffee table, and inspires the renovations I am doing in my London home.

What beauty tips would you give the busy traveler?

I do not wear make up on the plane. I reapply Revive Eye Serum several times during the flight. One of my secrets is spraying a saline spray inside my nostrils so I don’t pick up germs as easily and stay hydrated. It works like magic!

What hotel would you most recommend?

The Bowery in NYC is one I religiously go back to. It’s exactly how I want a hotel to be. It’s super cool. Gemma is their great Italian restaurant. Gin and tonic by the fire is a ritual. You feel invisible and discreet, yet your every wish is attended to.

Hannah Cecil Gurney. Photography by Aubrie Pick. Interior design by Jonathan Rachman
Can you tell us about a current project?

There are many! I’m completing the launch of our Kate Moss collaboration. I’m overseeing the expansion of our New York showroom. We also plan to open a showroom in Beirut soon. And I am working on developing some embroidered velvet wall upholstery, which will be divine.

Your hair is gorgeous! Any tips for our BWB readers?

I have a wonderful hairdresser! I never let it go more than six weeks without getting it highlighted. I only use Aveda products.

What can you simply not live without?

This is hard! Obviously, my family and then my dogs. After them, seriously…. Jet Black Rimmel Eye Liner. I always have it on. I am also obsessed with frozen yogurt. I have it every day!

Katie von Strasser

Katie von Strasser is a former ballerina with a background in fashion and art. She is a devoted advocate for people with disabilities. Katie has a passion for travel and all things beautiful.
She resides in San Francisco with her family. (Photo by Darryl Nitke)

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