Filipino Designer Joins World's Tastemakers at British Lord's Estate

Interior designer Jonathan Matti was the sole Filipino at the intimate de Gournay dinner at Lord David Cholmondeley's Norfolk Estate.

In celebration of British design firm de Gournay’s newest range of hand-painted wallpaper, Lord David Cholmondeley, the 7th Marquess of Cholmondeley, and his wife, Lady Rose, held an exclusive gathering at their Norfolk Estate.

“It was a magical evening—enchanting, filled with wonder and awe,” Filipino designer Jonathan Matti says of the affair. It was held at the famed Houghton Hall, one of England’s most beautiful stately homes.

Drawing inspiration from the iconic 18th-century Chinese wallpaper that was originally installed in 1769 in Houghton Hall’s cabinet room, de Gournay has created a new Chinoiserie wallpaper “Houghton” in honor of the estate. Initially executed in two colorways, the first corresponds to the faded monochrome of the original installation and the second to the rich flair of the panels stored in the attic. It will be first installed at Houghton Hall itself, inside Lady Rose’s private bathroom and just a floor above its historic counterpart.

The evening’s global guest list included de Gournay founder Cecil Gurney, American editors Whitney Robinson of Elle Décor and Amy Astley of Architectural Digest, renowned interiors editor and photographer Miguel Flores Vianna, and top names in design such as Mitch Owens, Gert Voorjans, Steven Gambrel, Kathryn Ireland, Alessandra Branca, and Sasha Bikoff. Also in attendance were socialite and design legend Nicky Haslam, and Lady Henrietta Spencer Churchill.

de Gournay founder Claud Cecil Gurney

Marquess David Cholmondeley and Alessandra Branca

Elle Decor's Whitney Robinson and Katalina Hicks

Marchioness Rose Cholmondeley and Christopher Brooks 

Gert Voorjans

Kathryn Ireland and Whitney Robinson

Martin Brudnizki and Jonathan Brook

Sasha Bikoff and Taylor Stebbins

Bart Leirs, Gert Voorjans, Jonathan Matti, Jacques Bec, and Artur Miranda

Jonathan Matti and Sophie Ashby

Mitchell Owens and Alidad

Madeline Stewart and Stuart Manger 

Matti, one of Manila’s highly sought-after interior designers, is the first Filipino to collaborate with de Gournay on a new motif, Latina Manila, painted in the style of Papiers Peints Panoramiques.

The 20-panel scene, set to be unveiled in Manila this week at the showroom of Elements Fine Furnishing Fabrics, takes its design cue from Matti’s own elegant aesthetic and the rich landscapes and decorative architecture of the Philippines. Details of the scene also include the flora and fauna of the Southeast Asian islands such as the flame tree and groves of bamboo specific to Manila and its immediate surroundings.

“The dinner was exceptional. All the flowers came from inside the walled gardens, which was recently rebuilt by the Marquess in honor of his grandmother. The venison served that evening was also from the estate as were the vegetables, fruit, and cheese. Truly an idyllic country life,” continues Matti. “As guests ascended the stairs, the excitement began, then voila! They were at this glowing stone hall where cocktails were served. But my most memorable part of the evening was seeing Lady Rose wearing the hostess gift of Philippine pearls that I brought for her.”

Matti with Marchioness Rose Cholmondeley, who is wearing the Sebu pearls Matti gave her; Matti with fellow interior designer Nicky Haslam

Matti and the evening's host Marquess David Chomondley

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Alicia Colby Sy
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