British designer Christopher Jenner, who just began his studio for interiors two years ago, is quickly developing an impressive portfolio of luxury interiors. For Diptyque in both London and New York, his role is akin to a cultural sieve, translating and incorporating a multitude of visual cues to produce incredibly detailed, bespoke interiors that reflect the brand and the specific location.
Diptyque, founded by three textile designers in Paris in 1961 as a purveyor of avant-garde fabrics and decorative items, has further developed its business and reputation as a luxury fragrance and scented candle company. Two of its newest retail locations are the London and New York shops designed by Jenner, a native of Cape Town, South Africa, who established his own London-based design studio in 2010. Previously an event designer, Jenner and his staff of five focus on niche luxury retail and hospitality design.
“Design in the retail and hospitality sphere is moving toward spaces that are unique and engaging,” Jenner says. “As a designer, one needs to evoke an emotive reaction. Diptyque products are inspired by journey and experience—this process of discovery is at the heart of our work for the brand and informs our creative process in which the joy of craft and distinction is central to the result.”
As if it is a piece of history
In a stall in London’s Leadenhall Market (shown above and opposite), Jenner designed a store—about 120 square feet—that is visually inspired by both classic English libraries and the admittedly garish Victorian Leadenhall structure itself. Appearing as if it had been in the market for years, this Diptyque shop is full of reference to its location.
With a simple limestone floor, the shop features product displays on what are seemingly oversized library cabinets. A liquid metal—a powder mix of brass, stainless steel, and copper—is applied both as a coating on the Victorian-inspired tin ceiling and as a heavy moulding detail. Both hand-rolled, stained-glass inlays and brass details are in the shape of Diptyque’s oval logo. Blue linen wallpaper designed by Jenner has a pattern similar to the market’s ceiling. And a diffused halo light fixture is suspended above the room. With such a small space, the storage is underground, accessed by a stairwell under an automated gas-assisted trap door in the floor behind the American walnut transaction desk. And a matching walnut wall behind the desk is carefully crafted in lasercut marquetry with a Diptyque heritage pattern.
Jenner explains that he implements, “a concept of ‘fractal discovery’ to deconstruct and analyze the inherent values of a project, reassembling the assets to create layered, magical solutions.”
Reinterpreting New York imagery
A celebratory, whimsical concept for Diptyque’s New York flagship on Bleecker Street captures three distinct characteristics: journey, eccentricity, and craft. With an Austrian tiger oak floor underfoot, a pressed-tin ceiling above, and walls composed of 180 mirror panels, the interior literally reflects the vitality of the brand and city. Images depicted in the mirrors are indicative of the four seasons, and also reference cherry blossoms (Bleecker is one of the few New York streets with cherry trees), skyscrapers, the Statue of Liberty, and the Eiffel Tower (a nod to Diptyque’s Parisian roots). Installed at each mirror junction, a stainless steel Diptyque logo is a discrete branding device.
Inspired by the Art Deco style of the Chrysler and Rockefeller Center buildings, and industrial rigor in general, the American walnut display cases feature rounded edges and solid stainless steel legs, all custom-designed by Jenner. On the wall behind the walnut cash-wrap, original wallpaper sports a pattern inspired by Native American Mohawk bead and basketry work.
Centrally placed and inspired by fixtures in Turkish mosques, a steel chandelier holds 100 lights in hand-blown candleholders. Under the chandeliers are tables with white Greek marble tabletops and eccentric hand-carved legs in tulipwood, covered in fabric of Jenner’s design and pinned with steel studs.
“The proposition for the brand is based on a cross-pollination of community heritage with that of the heritage and values of the brand, each time considered and refocused for a new marketplace,” Jenner says. His artisanal skill and craft, evident in the elegant detail in his interiors, help to relay a story of assimilation and discovery in both Diptyque stores.
Diptyque Bleecker Street
Designer Christopher Jenner
Client Diptyque Paris
Where New York
What 366 total square feet on one floor
Cost/sf Withheld at client’s request
Architect and interior designer: