Unique Design Projects by Jacques Grange – Many times, architectural design is truly enhanced by its surroundings and how it connects with the world around it. This is exactly the case for this Venetian Pied-à-Terre, where French interior designer Jacques Grange, created its modern interiors around the picture-postcard views.
As a teenager, encouraged by his mother, he completed his training at the École Boulle – a traditional trade school that taught weaving, plastering, cabinetmaking and other basic crafts. He then attended the École Camondo, a school of interior design, to learn the history of architecture, design and the decorative arts. After graduation he joined the team of French interior design legend – Henri Samuel. Years later he opened his own design office at the shop of Didier Aaron, the Paris antiquaire, and he is now partners with Didier’s son, Herv’ Aaron.
Grange lives in Paris, in the former apartment of the great French novelist Colette. He has redecorated several times since he moved into the grand rooms overlooking the Palais-Royale in 1980. At first it was designed as something of a tribute to its last owner, with books everywhere, and many antiques. Now it is more of a collector’s apartment, with contemporary art and sculptures, chandeliers in abstract shapes, and a giant Damien Hirst painting mixed in with the 18th-century objects. It is telling that Grange’s personal apartment looks very much like his designs for his clients.
For 27 years, Chateau Gabriel was the country home of couturier Yves Saint Laurent and his partner Pierre Berge. The Chateau, an 1874 Anglo-Norman house, sits on the heights of Benerville, overlooking Deauville, and is nestled on 75 acres of forested land. The couple asked Jacques Grange to decorate the 9000 square foot home using inspiration from King Louis II of Bavaria (around Munich between 1869 and 1890), and from the decor of Luchino Visconti’s films (especially “L’Innocente” which was Saint Laurent’s favorite). The collaboration was a turning point for Grange saying, “of all the houses I have decorated, those I have decorated for Yves Saint Laurent are the most important part of my work”.
Here is the story of Chateau Gabriel as told by Jacques Grange for Christies from July 2009. In November of 2009, Christie’s auctioned off almost 1200 works of art and antiques from Chateau Gabriel.
“When Pierre Bergé and Yves Saint Laurent acquired Château Gabriel, at Bénerville, an uninhabited, late nineteenth century neogothic mansion, with a commanding view over the bay of Deauville, they asked me to decorate it. This residence was simply waiting to be given a new life and the commission was most certainly a key moment in my career as a decorator.
This was indeed, quite similar to the way in which the Viscount and Viscountess de Noailles, the Rothschilds and Princess Mathilde, all decorated their properties, punctuated with an abundant use of plants and flowers, which rendered their homes both unique and enchanting. The living rooms all had a certain cinematographic and artistic quality to them, along with a mural representing Monet’s Nymphéas, with the decoration in the bedrooms inspired by characters taken from Marcel Proust’s A La Recherche du Temps Perdu.
Two years later and after much effort to find extraordinary objects, driven by Pierre Bergé the house was finally ready. The park, which was designed by Franz Baecheler include both rose and Japanese gardens, a lake and a potager. Since then was added a checkerboard of topiary pushing up between sculptures of François-Xavier Lalanne. As I said to a journalist from the New York Times in 2005: “Of all the houses I have decorated, those I have decorated for Yves Saint Laurent are the most important part of my work”.
Afterward mentioning Château Gabriel I added: “I love this place. It is unbelievable, extraordinary. I would like to dismantle it all and spirit it away.” I do hope that each and every one of these pieces, which were chosen with such a fervent passion, will give to each collector, the same pleasure that they gave to us.”
The Mark Hotel in New York
The Mark combines the luxury of old-world comfort, avant-garde design, up-to-the-minute technologies and an unprecedented level of personal service to create the finest five-star hotel of the 21st-century.
The Mark turned to renowned French designer Jacques Grange, whose clients have included some of the world’s greatest and most exacting style-setters, among them Yves St. Laurent, Valentino, Karl Lagerfeld and Caroline, Princess of Monaco.
Equally adept at creating grand spaces of striking modernity and theatrical effect, as well as serene havens of quiet luxury, Grange was the perfect man to re-imagine The Mark’s design. Here in NYC, he has unleashed the full range of his talents, creating public spaces that engage and delight, and private 5 star hotel rooms and suites that calm and soothe.
In addition to selecting and designing custom furnishings, he collaborated with the Parisian design gallerist Pierre Passebon to commission a host of objets d’art, furniture and lighting fixtures, specially created for the hotel by renowned artists and artisans, including Ron Arad, Vladimir Kagan, Mattia Bonetti, Paul Mathieu, Eric Schmitt, Rachel Howard, Todd Eberle, Karl Lagerfeld, among others.
His rooms have an optimistic elegance, as if his clients got rich but stayed bohemian. Mr. Grange is one of the inventors of this taste, which, while French in origin, is completely unlimited in terms of the cultures and periods it references. David Netto, The Wall Street Journal, 2011