Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Divine Dressing Room

On February 23, 1961, Jacqueline Kennedy launched the most recognized and celebrated redecoration of the White House in its history. In her quest to build a visual collection representative of the past, present and future of America, Mrs. Kennedy enlisted Stephane Boudin president of the French design house Jansen.  Founded in 1880 by Jean-Henri Jansen, the firm was known for bringing colorful, quasi-historical swank to the homes of C. Z. Guest, Nancy Lancaster, Coco Chanel and the Duchess of Windsor.

A true expression of Boudin's style was the decoration of Jackie's dressing room. Stepping away from Sister Parish's design for the room, which was less than two years old, the design of the dressing room, pictured above, conveyed a sense of sophistication, luxury and warmth. From this small corner room the Frenchman removed all traces of Parish's casual aesthetic, replacing them with French antiques, a leopard skin throw, and elaborate silk draperies trimmed with tassel fringe.  Even though it was designed circa 1962 this room has a timelessness about it - I love it all, especially the personal photos tucked in the frame of Jackie's vanity mirror.

Perhaps the most stunning feature in the room was the trompe l'oeil painting on the doors of the First Lady's wardrobe.  The doors, painted by Parisian-based artist Pierre-Marie Rudelle, featured a collection Mrs. Kennedy's favorite objects.  Items duplicated in the artist's painting included John F. Kennedy's Pulitzer-winning Profiles in Courage and a portrait of Caroline Kennedy as an infant.  Check out a detail of the doors below.

 You can see the evolution of this divine dressing room here

(Images Architectural Digest, JFK Library)

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