JA N S E N
ONE OF TWO PROPOSALS SUBMITTED FOR THE RED ROOM
AN ALTERNATIVE PROPOSAL FOR SECOND FLOOR TREATY ROOM
often been credited to Sister Parish, but the furniture selection, arrangement, and even the drapery design were all born of Boudin, in collaboration with Jacqueline Kennedy and Jayne Wrightsman. The Oval Office scheme evolved over two years, and its red, white, and blue palette was a restatement of the decorator’s original concept for the Treaty Room, which was rejected by the first lady. For the president’s office, Boudin’s initial grand vision included elaborate off-white silk draperies and valances, reigning above a pair of thronelike gilt armchairs that had been purchased in Paris for the Blue Room by James Monroe. His final scheme, as refined with the Kennedys, was more contemporary and less formal, with stark white walls, a blood red carpet, straight-falling plain white silk curtain panels suspended from polished steel rods, and blue leather upholstery for the existing suite of caneback armchairs; the two sofas before the fireplace were
to have had either white cotton slipcovers or red leather upholstery. President Kennedy never used the Boudin-decorated office, as its installation took place at the time of his assassination. Boudin’s masterpiece for the White House was his Napoleonic transformation of the oval Blue Room. He resisted the temptation to redefine the room as a sitting or drawing room, choosing to respect its traditional configuration as a formal reception room where the American presidents and their spouses stood to receive guests. Based on the Music Room of the Residenz in Munich—a Neoclassical palace that was the seat of the kings of Bavaria until 1918—Boudin’s decorative scheme consisted of off-white striped silk walls, blue silk draperies, white and gold wainscoting, and Boudin’s hallmark velvet-draped round table in the center. The French textile manufacturer Tassinari & Chatel’s meticulous reproduction of an early-19th-century blue fabric
Published on Oct 20, 2009
Jansen showcases 30 of the company's most alluring commissions, including rooms for the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, the Shah and Shahbanou...