02 February 2011

footnote: the Delbee Bedroom


from our story about the Pierre Delbee entry, a footnote.

Pierre Delbee's intimate bedroom- lined with a deep green silk velvet fabric that is trimmed all round in a decorative tape. The bedroom walls are a canvas for portrait miniatures, bas relief  & other small works of art. The decorative tapes aid in defining these small pieces and serve as a frame of sorts for the various groupings. Try to imagine the walls without the rich color and the tapes-it doesn't work. Part of Delbee's design genius is evident in this somewhat obvious alchemy. What seems a simple idea is an inspired one!

Another note of interest & another simple ploy- the cinnabar lacquer like painted trim that further defines the space. The Chinoiserie lacquer desk is just one of the eye popping treasures Delbee inserts into the room. This piece, according to the definitive book on JANSEN by James Archer Abbott, is "signed by the great ebeniste Francois Rubestuck and dated circa 1766." My favorite piece in the room is the "serpentine headboard, covered in fragments of an antique allegorical tapestry, and surmounted by an array of crucifixes"
( JANSEN, JAA.) The bedcovering is a needlepoint tracery design with  vines and berries entwining 18th century scenes and figures. Though Abbott asserts that the Delbee bedroom was all show with little attention to function. Does it matter? It is just one of the jewel's in this- Delbee's masterpiece of an apartment.

The Delbee reign at Jansen Abbott writes- was to "design rooms for sensory impact"- his own bedroom is a powerful statement of that philosophy.

if you did not read making an entrance, about the Delbee foyer see it HERE.

photograph from  JANSEN by James Archer Abbott.


  1. Hmm, I don't know. How is it not functional? There is a bed, a nightstand, storage in that magnificent chest, a beautiful chair to sit and take off your shoes. Oh, and it's gorgeous to boot!

  2. Well, I guess he means no space on the side table for water and a book, perhaps?
    But who cares when a place is so magical, right?
    I love such rooms, filled with dreamy and out of this world quality!
    The dark wall coverings make it all glow! Wonderful!

  3. Gaye, It is functional and a work of art as well I do love the laquered chest and the spread/ headboard ..... the color sets off the dark walls.

    Art by Karena

  4. Ditto. Unless the bed is just a piece of plywood with some batting on top of it, how is that not a functional bedroom?
    I'd happily sleep there with dreams of gods floating around me. I love all the religious symbols.

  5. Simply fabulous! Although, personally I would take one thing out, either the headboard or busy bedspread.



  6. I'm glad you have referenced the earlier posting; I have gone back to it several times and am still marveling over those ebony doors.

  7. I love the idea of velvet on the walls! Question: if you do all that detail with the tape, does it make the space seem larger, smaller or neither? And is there any rule of thumb (not that I gather rules much apply to art) about the size of a room when deciding to make it look larger (with light paint/paper...fabric) or smaller and cozier with bold colour?

  8. What a beautiful bedroom. I love the tapestry. I need more texture in mine and I must get some pictures hung. Hope all's good with you xx



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