His chateau “Champ de Bataille” is the tree that hides the forest. In all discretion this remarkable decorator has undertaken projects in Paris, London, and New York. Renowned for his work in hotels, his exceptional talent is also keenly sought-after by owners of exceptional private homes.
By Eric Jansen
Even his agency’s offices are remarkable: a suite of salons facing the Tuileries Gardens… and three storeys to the rear. “I’ve been here for 25 years with about thirty team members” says Jacques Garcia whose lifestyle has always to some extent resembled that of his wealthy clients. Some could possibly have taken umbrage, but on the contrary this has in fact increased their respect for him. A member of an Asian Royal Family even offered to purchase Champ de Bataille chateau, his lifework. Twenty years of work spent resuscitating a 17th century chateau, bestowing it with a magnificence no doubt surpassing its nonetheless majestic origins. “The finest private museum open to the public.” Jacques Garcia likes superlatives… “There are fifty or so objects that would not be out of place in the Louvre or Versailles.” Two places that he knows by heart: in the first he redesigned the 17th/18th century French Decorative Arts galleries, while the latter he partially restored. “We refurnished the “Grand Couvert de la Reine”, Marie-Antoinette’s inner cabinet, three rooms in the King’s Grand apartment, and the Ladies apartment…”
History is Jacques Garcia’s oxygen. Although his decoration of the Hotel Costes in 1996 labelled him as a Second Empire aficionado, he is in fact even more passionate about the 17th century, the “Grand Siecle”. “Don’t forget that I lived for twenty years in Mansart’s former residence in the Marais. And I’m going back to my roots with a truly exceptional project: the transformation of the Hôtel des Ambassadeurs de Hollande to create a luxurious hotel boasting nine prestigious apartments.” His facility to “surf” on different eras opens all doors, even at Chambord Chateau where he has refitted François 1er’s apartments. An ambassador for interior decoration, Jacques Garcia is keenly solicited by a privileged clientele. An emblematic achievement is his work in a breathtaking English country home in which he was given carte blanche. “A pietre dure commode was offered by Louis XIV to the Queen of Sweden, a second commode belonged to his son the “Grand Dauphin”, and a third to Marie Antoinette …Royal origins, I love them!”
His exceptional clients were Russians, as are another couple who have entrusted him with decorating their four residences. They are currently selling their Parisian pied a terre (see page???) in order to spend more time in their villa in Sorrento, in their property on the banks of Lake Como, and in their residence in Rome. “They possess the most beautiful properties in the most beautiful locations” resumes Jacques Garcia. He is equally thrilled by his latest project. “In two months I shall have completed work in London’s luxurious 5-star boutique hotel L’Oscar”. A Grade-II listed former Baptist church in Holborn, the hotel is named after Oscar Wilde, another aesthete who also knew a thing or two about decoration.