Luxe Interior + Design Magazine Article
Jean Pierre Sarfati isn't afraid to redo a 1940s club chair with Hermès orange (his signature color), to top a 19th century French chaise with faux leather. Those unexpected touches, combined with his knack for eye-catching window displays, keep customers returning to his Georgetown shop, Jean Pierre Antiques. "I change my store window every week," says Sarfati, who'll mix a vintage chrome bar cart with a 19th century Chinese wedding chest. "People are always complimenting me and taking pictures. It's what draws them in."
The Moroccan-born and French-raised Sarfati has lived in Washington, D.C., for 50 years - much of that as a hairdresser to the likes of Donna Karan and Bianca Jagger. Sarfati has become as keen a predictor of design trends as he was of the perfect coiffure. "Ten years ago, people wanted butcher-block tables and big armoires. Now, there's a demand for Lucite tables," says Sarfati. "I love mixing vintage and modern, and I always try to do something with a bot of an edge."
I Got Started...
When I first moved to D.C., I would visit the South of France a few times a year. On one particular trip, I fell in love with a 1960 Fiat 500. Since I had to pay for a whole container to ship back, I figure, why not fill it? I went to the flea market and picked out a few old leather club chairs. That's how it all started.
I'd love to work with Hugh Newell Jacobsen and Simon Jacobsen, with whom I spend most Thanksgivings and whose architectural office is across the street from my store.
My mother. She would take what she already had in the house and spin it around and make something new. She had such vision. She would set up the most elaborate dinners and table settings every weekend.
Van Gogh or Warhol:
Matisse. He was so inspired by the fabrics (and the women) of North Africa.
Jean-Pierre Sarfati made it to the capital by way of Morocco, Algeria and France, and his design sense has been influenced the whole way. "My taste is very eclectic," says Sarfati, who used to be a hairstylist for clients such as Donna Karan and Bianca Jagger. Italian painted furniture from the 18th century mingles with Biedermeier pieces, 20th century Murano glass lighting and custom items, including clocks made from antique metal. On his buying trips to France he'll pick up whatever catches his eye. "I think the shop reflects my personality."