Diane Hill | The uplifting beauty of Chinoiserie

Five Minutes with Diane Hill


Diane Hill’s collection for Harlequin, inspired by the beauty of Chinoiserie, takes a fresh look at art for the home, in wallpaper and fabric form.

What made you want to work with Chinoiserie?

It's that feeling of connecting the outside, but also a magical interpretation of the beauty of nature. I love the quirky style of Chinoiserie, it's endlessly beautiful! 

You’ve made Chinoiserie wallpaper accessible to all with your Harlequin collaboration, why was that important to you?

Chinoiserie wallpaper was originally reserved for the highest of society, it was hand-painted and completely bespoke, miles out of reach for the ordinary person. But something so beautiful and with so much history should be enjoyed by anyone who loves it. Waking up to a room full of Chinoiserie has the power to positively impact your life and wellbeing, it has worked for me!

When did you decide to partner with Harlequin? How did that partnership come about?

In 2021 Claire Vallis, design director of Harlequin reached out to me via instagram DM, I was completely shocked! It was everything I had wanted, one of my major goals as an artist, and I wanted it to be with one of the Sanderson brands as the production methods and design capabilities are of the highest in the UK. 

Where do you get your inspiration(s) from?

I take inspiration mostly from antique Chinese wallpapers, often found in National Trust houses. I also love all of the decorative arts, particularly Chinese and Japanese. It could be anything from a painted screen to a laquered dish. I pay close attention to the small decorative details and patterns, as well as striking compositions created by artists such as Ohara Khoson. 

Please tell us about your free-hand bespoke wall art designs where you paint directly onto the walls.

This is what started me in my creative business, it was a great way to build up my presence as an artist. Now I occasionally take on these kinds of projects, one a year is as much as I can fit in. It's really special to be able to offer this as it means the client can achieve exactly what they are looking for. Its really rewarding to design a scheme from a hand drawn sketch, to then transfer it onto the wall then finally see it in the room all dressed.

Please describe Diane Hill wallpaper in 3 words.

Colourful, Sophisticated, Uplifting

When it comes to your business, what would you tell yourself back in 2016 when you were setting it up?

Be patient because good things will come!

Do you have a favourite project to date?

We worked on the same project recently, with Coroado. My work for Harlequin has been my favorite project to date, I poured my heart and soul into the designs and paintings, It was my entire life for a year and I look back and think WOW, it was the combination of my painting and the incredible work of the design team that created something truly magical.

Are there any interior designers you would love to work with?

Kit Kemp or Miles Redd would be an absolute dream. Their unique styles and expression through pattern, colour and texture is mindblowing. 

Any plans for 2024?

I am actually putting a heavy focus on teaching this year! It's been an exciting journey so far, but there seems to be high demand for others wanting to learn to paint Chinoiserie so I would like to be the one to make that happen!


posted on 15 Jan 2024 in Interiors

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