Wordly Wise: See Inside Stéphanie Busuttil-Janssen’s Brussels Home

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For Brussels-based collector Stéphanie Busuttil-Janssen, entertaining is a way of sharing an eclectic world at home where the contemporary rubs shoulders with the traditional but the menu is refreshingly simple …

Stéphanie Busuttil-Janssen and her husband, Sébastien Janssen, live in a huge, light-filled Brussels townhouse, its rooms furnished with designer furniture, powerful works of art, and precious objects which have come from a variety of places. Stéphanie is president of the César Foundation, managing the image and legacy of the French artist César Baldaccini, known as César, whose companion she was until the end of his life. Sébastien runs the cutting-edge contemporary art gallery Sorry We’re Closed. “In this city, people entertain at home a lot, for lunch, dinner, sometimes even tea,” says Stéphanie. “And since my offices are on the ground floor, I hold some of my meetings here too.”

She serves dishes that are simple and always extremely good, using only the finest products. No cream, just olive oil, and mostly recipes inspired by the Mediterranean, her terroir since she is a native of Cannes. With her unsurpassed insider knowledge of the city’s finest artisans and producers, she also sometimes spots promising newcomers at the Sunday market where she buys her vegetables and flowers. The house is always filled with flowers. She arranges them herself, placing them on every floor, from the bedrooms to the rooms used for entertaining.

Stéphanie Busuttil- Janssen

Entertaining in elegant style means putting guests at their ease. At her regular dinner parties in Brussels, Stéphanie Busuttil-Janssen has honed this skill to a fine art.

Living room

The architecture of this townhouse is designed to encourage guests to mix and circulate freely.

Townhouse
Sitting room

The room layout and the placing of decorative features work together to create ideal corners for private conversations.

Stéphanie keeps the number of guests seated around the dining room table – a César’s Expansion with a glass top revealing the powerful bronze base – to a maximum of eight or ten, so that conversation flows easily. Stéphanie and Sébastien do a great deal of entertaining in this space, and in the ordinary run of things, having friends, artists, and clients from abroad to stay over in one of their many bedrooms, while four times a year they throw open the whole space for a buffet-dinner for 40 or more. On these occasions, as well, Stéphanie opts for tried-and-tested menus, such as saltimbocca, followed by bouchées sucrées and her son Edouard’s special semifreddo, served on large silver dishes. And the table echoes the sophistication of the décor, with exquisite plates and antique silverware.

Extracted from Be My Guest: At Home with the Tastemakers by Pierre Sauvage, Flammarion 2020.

The Bryan O’Sullivan Studio-designed kitchen was made by Crispin & Gemma Furniture Design.

Saltimbocca Alla Romana.

Sitting room

On this César’s Expansion table, napkins embroidered with the host’s monogram enhance the delicacy of the fine porcelain plates.

The house is always filled with flowers. She arranges them herself, placing them on every floor, from the bedrooms to the rooms used for entertaining.

She serves dishes that are simple and always extremely good, using only the finest products.

Painting

Spacious enough to accommodate overnight guests, the house is filled with nooks and corners designed to create an atmosphere of grace and harmony.

Guests can admire the couple’s contemporary art collection, displayed around a magnificent staircase crowned by a period glass roof.

Friends, artists, and clients from abroad stay over in one of their many bedrooms.

The rooms are furnished with designer furniture, powerful works of art, and precious objects.

Extracted from Be My Guest: At Home with the Tastemakers by Pierre Sauvage, Flammarion 2020.

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