maison jansen: sybaritic decorators and tastemakers of the 20th century

You know the name: you’ve heard it mentioned constantly and seen it referenced on the pages of magazines and auction catalogues, but what do you REALLY know about the fabled Maison Jansen (1880 – 1989)?

Not to be confused with the Danish silversmiths Jensen (as in Georg Jensen), Maison Jansen was founded by Dutch architect and designer Jean-Henri Jansen in Paris and was the world’s first international interior design studio.
They were the designers du jour when you needed to redecorate your house in Mayfair, your apartment in the 7th arrondissement, a house in Palm Beach, or your place in the countryside on the outskirts of Buenos Aires.  Headquartered in Paris, Jansen soon had offices in Buenos Aires, London, Cairo, Alexandria, Havana, New York, Prague, Sao Paulo, Rome, Milan, and Geneva.
Their clients included The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Coco Chanel, the Rockefellers, King Leopold II of Belgium, and the Shah of Iran.  And when Jacqueline Kennedy gave her famous televised tour of the White House in 1962, it was only after she had Jansen redo the private rooms.
Jansen’s designers excelled at fulfilling their client’s visions rather than imposing a style upon them.   Part of Jansen’s success was their ability to combine stunningly regal (and real) antiques – which were sold from a shop they owned and operated – with modern reproductions made in their own workshops.  Today their furniture is known for its quality craftsmanship and design and is collectable in its own right.
While most people know Jansen for their exquisite French Louis XV and XVI reproductions, the firm actually worked in a variety of period styles, which you can appreciate in the images shown here.

image credits (from top to bottom): Architectural Digest (Jackie Kennedy’s dressing room at the White House) |  Artnet (Center Table, 1940s) | Peak of Chic blog (Mirrored Screen, 1940s) | author (Goelet library at Champ Soleil, Newport, Rhode Island) | PBC Style blog (cantilevered chairs designed by Pierre Cardin for Jansen) | Liz O’Brien (scalloped-back settee)
Thank you for stopping by and reading my feature today.  I love what I do as an interior designer and art advisor, and it’s my hope that through these blog posts I’m enriching and heightening your aesthetic sensibility towards art, design and fabulous interiors in some way ~ Richard Rabel (a.k.a. the modern sybarite)