The Best of the Best 2003: Furnishings - Janus et Cie
“I signed a lease at the Pacific Design Center before I knew what I was going to sell,” jokes Janice Feldman, founder of Janus et Cie. Before long, the Los Angeles company she named for the Roman god was doing a brisk trade in furniture and textiles. But as the opulent 1980s wound down, Feldman sensed that lifestyles were becoming more casual. “The workplace became so intense that when people came home they wanted to be outside,” she says. “Having an exterior space could be easily achieved with a terrace. So I decided to create a collection to help them furnish that space.” Feldman’s intuition has paid off handsomely. Over the last few years, Janus et Cie has become a dominant force in the high-end outdoor furniture market, with some 1,500 pieces in its collection and new showrooms in New York and High Point, N.C.
Trained as an industrial designer, Feldman creates many of the designs herself. “My personal style is very clean and straightforward,” she says. “I like well-designed and -executed furniture, whether a piece has historical references or not.” The company also represents numerous lines, including the Chatsworth collection, which was developed in cooperation with the Duchess of Devonshire.
Feldman says that Janus et Cie has two types of clients: those who want practical furniture that they can leave outside and those who bring the cushions in. Scale has also become important because people are building larger homes and need larger furniture. Perhaps the finest compliment paid to her outdoor furniture is the number of pieces being used indoors.
Janus et Cie, 310.652.7090