2 ha of wooded parklands, in Jouy-en-Josas in the French department of Yvelines
Jouy-en-Josas, in the midst of Bièvre Valley, owes its fame to “Toile de Jouy” wallpapers. Invented by Oberkampf and manufactured in the town’s biggest factory, the printed, engraving-inspired wallpaper has been used to decorate the inside of middle-class homes for centuries. Nowadays, Jouy-en-Josas still exudes its “village” character which favours the quality of its inhabitants’ everyday life, whilst incorporating into the town numerous educational and research centres, such as the HEC Business School and INRA (French national agricultural research institute). The town is just 4 km from Versailles and 15 km from Paris. The French capital can be reached by road, via the RER train line C, or by road via the N118. This property is in the Metz district, the plateau of which looks out over the valley. It was frequented as of the late 19th century by personalities from all walks of life: the Murat and Polignac princesses as well as Madame-de-Saint-Marceaux, driving forces of the Parisian society salons, the painter Chaplin, the philosopher and historian Daniel-Halévy, Dr-Calmette, Léon-Blum, etc.
The main house
The main house, constructed in a chalet style for painter, Charles-Chaplin, in 1866, stands at the end of a drive behind wide, wrought iron gates. It was original built of millstone grit and laid out around a single, upper storey, under a long, hip roof. Purchased by Princess Polignac in 1930, the residence’s facade was completely redesigned, turning it into a modern villa with refined, geometric lines. The ground floor rooms were extended with the addition of two rooms on either side of the protruding bow window. Another wing was also built on the south side. Nowadays, a large paved terrace provides access to the porch.
The carriage door opens directly into a reception lounge, with its black granite and natural stone, paved floor, enhanced with inlaid decoration. It is extended by an entrance hall, with a cathedral ceiling and a refined, neo-classical mosaic floor. Here, numerous original features have been preserved: moulding, cornices, a fireplace and a decorative copper plaque. The walls have been lined with moulded lower sections and Zuber wallpapers, famous for their panoramic scenes, representing the conquests of North America. This hall provides access, via a selection of impressive, semi-circular arched doors, to a row of adjoining rooms: the large lounge with its stone fireplace, then, the dining room with its herringbone parquet flooring and, lastly, the conservatory, topped with a vast glass roof and flanked by columns. In the other wing, a kitchen provides access to a laundry room and several cellars.
The upper floors are reached via two stairways, one of which is the back stairway. The main, sober and elegant, wooden stairway leads, on one side, to a self-contained flat, with a kitchen, a shower room and two bedrooms with a terrace. This flat can also be entered directly from the outside. The landing on the other side of the stairway provides access to a music room, whose straw marquetry decor was created by Jean-Michel-Frank, a famous Art Deco period interior decorator. The main, curved bedroom is lined with mirror panels and semi-circular arched doors, concealing several wardrobes. This room adjoins a semi-circular bathroom as well as the south terrace looking out over the valley.
The second floor is taken up by four bedrooms, one red and one white marble shower room as well as a large south-facing terrace.
The parklands and the garden
All of the outdoor areas are immaculately kept. In the immediate vicinity of the house are several terraces and a swimming pool (with a spa feature). Its Greek frieze is somewhat reminiscent of that in the entrance hall. Further on, the parklands extend over almost two hectares. These are planted with numerous trees (oak, sweet chestnut, horse chestnut) as well as cleverly arranged bushes (azaleas, rhododendrons, roses). Under the trees, stone busts and arcades delimit the various verdant areas, which could be developed in keeping with the personal tastes of the new residents.
A timeless atmosphere is there to be appreciated by visitors once through the gates into the property’s enclosed parklands and beyond the tops of the hundred-year-old trees. The garden, enhanced with its stone arcades, exudes an impression of space, tranquillity and light. The brilliant white villa, with its geometric lines, stands like the prow of a ship in this pastoral, even magical setting. For decades and out of sight of onlookers, musicians and intellectuals have passed through its adjoining reception rooms. The residence still has numerous original features from this magnificent past, bestowing the property with distinguished charm. Birdsong is the only thing likely to disturb its residents’ peace and quiet under the conservatory’s glass roof.
|Number of rooms||13|
|Number of bedrooms||8|
|Possible number of bedrooms||8|
|Land registry surface area||19028 m2|
|Living space||400 m2|
Cristina Pereira +33 1 42 84 80 85
NB: The above information is not only the result of our visit to the property; it is also based on information provided by the current owner. It is by no means comprehensive or strictly accurate especially where surface areas and construction dates are concerned. We cannot, therefore, be held liable for any misrepresentation.