Décor Inspiration from Surrealist Jean Cocteau
August 5, 2016 - table lamp
Surrealist writer, artist and filmmaker Jean Cocteau initial showed adult on my radar in 2009 while we was researching a book about individualist French decorator and antiquaire Madeleine Castaing. Her radical eclecticism—think leopard-patterned carpeting, aqua walls and neoclassical antiques—captivated a It Crowd in post-WWII Paris, including Nina Ricci, Pablo Picasso, Coco Chanel and Cocteau.
After finding that Cocteau borrowed pieces from Castaing’s emporium as set props, we watched his 1946 film, “La Belle et La Bête,” in that tears morph into diamonds and discarnate hands lift a candelabra. He collaborated with her, too, on Maison Cocteau, his home in a French Gothic city of Milly-la-Forêt. And given it non-stop to a open in 2010, I’ve wondered what someone of comparatively little means like Cocteau, a monument among Castaing’s decorating clients, had managed to emanate with her. So while in Paris this spring, we done a hour steer float to see.
From a front of a 17th-century house, that Cocteau and then-lover Jean Marais bought in 1947, we glimpsed a rebirth turrets of a Château de la Bonde, to that Cocteau’s lodge creatively belonged. Then we went inside his home to try a 3 bedrooms that sojourn as they were when Cocteau died, during 74, in 1963.
The first, a salon, is given mostly in medium 19th-century mahogany furniture; atop each aspect lay shells, books, sculpture fragments and ceramics. A favorite pretence of Castaing’s lends congruity to a clutter: All walls are upholstered in a striking brownish-red print, and a vast patterned carpet answers in brownish-red and cream. Splashes of red keep a room colourful as do flashes of coronet and gilding—the sunburst attire over a fireplace, for example, a present of Coco Chanel.
The salon embraces another Castaing tenet: Every room should embody something nauseous or unexpected. A carousel equine prances alongside a mahogany table. A gold-metal expel of Cocteau’s hands lopped during a wrist subverts a sincerely required tableau of paperbacks, colored pencils and a bronze flare on a butler’s tray table. The juncture strikes me as contemporary, despite eerie.
Upstairs, in Cocteau’s little study, we found some-more pieces with a flea-market air—an apothecary cabinet, a gothic-revival list chair—and a elegant detritus of a rarely artistic mind. Here, cheetah-print string covers a roof as good as a walls. It is electrifying. You only don’t see people doing this.
Well, maybe one. New York interior engineer Harry Heissman, an suitor of Cocteau and Castaing, enveloped his possess little vital room in leopard-print. “It adds an aura of impulse and fantasy,” he said. “It also masks a miss of a climax support and enlarges a room.”
‘Every room should embody something nauseous or unexpected.’
I dream of formulating such a room. we work in a quirkily laid out studio in Greenwich Village. I’ve used leopard carpeting to harmonize a office, gymnasium and lavatory of a space. But I’m an art and settlement adviser, and my bureau contingency have neutral walls. However, a bold, immature banana-leaf settlement of Martinique paper, combined for a Beverly Hills Hotel, covers a walls and roof of my bureau bathroom, and a relating screen hides my shower.
Many would courtesy Cocteau’s investigate as kitsch, and some would find it removal to occupy, though we consider it’s a good instance of operative amid things that kindle you. Lots of them.
Next door, his bedroom walls underline dentil support and a chair rail, so no need for a all-surface settlement treatment. A chair done of animal horn sits suddenly amid mostly elementary furniture. A picture believed to be embellished by Marais and featuring himself in a bottom right dilemma covers one wall. But a large pull here is a perspective of a Cocteau-designed grounds. He pointed a canopy bed so a footboard didn’t problematic his steer line to a red-draped window. we remember that Castaing hung flush fate in her nation residence to component and prominence a immature outdoors. In Cocteau’s home, too, a purposefully framed views duty as an component of a room.
Although blending styles has been a interior-design ideal for years now, Cocteau’s décor is so personal and weird it seems to brew states of consciousness, too. Mr. Heissman pronounced he took another doctrine divided from a certified drug addict’s home. “It helped me listen to a client’s collection, to brew an costly portrayal with a starfish,” he said. “Maison Cocteau has what many interiors currently lack—a soul.”