Object feature: Designers Guild’s Giardino Segreto

This month’s object feature is the exquisite Giardino Segreto wallpaper, featured in the Out of the Blue: Celebrating the work of Designers Guild exhibition at The Arc, Winchester. Read on to find out more about what makes this wallpaper design so special in the history of Designers Guild and the inspiration, the techniques, and the work behind making it.

The Giardino Segreto set display at City Space, The Arc, Winchester

The Italian phrase “Giardino Segreto,” or "secret garden" in English, gives its name to the magnificent orchestra of flora and fauna represented in the lavish wallpaper. Originating from the Italian Renaissance, the “secret garden” is a small private section, away from the openness of a home's main grounds. It evokes pleasant imagery, like scents such as bay and strawberry and the sound of birdsong.

This illusionistic wallpaper is a stand-out within the collections of Designers Guild, favouring a more realistic approach to nature. It presents the poetry of the colour scheme, brought on the combination of turquoise and shades of green. It is a highly evocative scene, transporting the viewer to their own imaginary villa and a comfortable head space for calm contemplation.

Giardino Segreto studio display at City Space

Nature has always played a fundamental role in Designers Guild founder Tricia Guild’s work. Tricia’s love for landscapes and flowers is particularly visible in the conception process behind Giardino Segreto. As can be seen in the studio display in City Space, the process behind this wallpaper highlights how the secret garden has been hand-painted. The brushstrokes help demonstrate the artistry and creativity.

For Designers Guild, the Giardino Segreto room set is the epitome of how they perceive their wallpapers as a source of creativity and interior design inspiration, which can unlock ideas about matching or bringing in complementary components. In this case, the turquoise and greenery inspire the colours in the choice of furniture, so do the white touches in the birds' bodies, which influence the choice of cushion. Each element complements each other, creating a beautiful room display.

Giardino Segreto room set at City Space

The Giardino Segreto panels are digitally printed on a non-woven substrate; the two scenes can be used together or individually. The wallpaper panels are flexible, representing the future of design: moveable art. Paste a panel instead of the wall and you can move it around, change its location, or even paint the wall it is hung against, similar to hanging a picture or painting. To translate the delicate brushstrokes to wallpaper, Designers Guild used Galvano screen printing and digital printing. In fact, Designers Guild is a pioneer in using diverse technologies in their designs and range of products. This design won ‘Best Wallpaper’ at the Homes & Gardens Design Awards in September 2018.

The reason it is one of our favourites is because we feel it captures the magic of landscape and shows how to make nature part of everyday life. We are inspired by the brushstroke artistry, as well as the technologies used to translate painting to wallpaper. This is the magic of design and art; it can turn a simple wall into an adventure with nature and a calming scenario for deep thought.  

Out of the Blue: Celebrating the work of Designers Guild is now on at City Space and The Gallery until 29 August 2022. Tickets are available for sale online or at our Box Office at The Arc, Winchester.

Find out more about Designers Guild on their website.

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