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Top Design Interview: Jean-louis DeniotThursday 25 February 2016
During one of the top design events of this year our magazine was lucky to arrange an interview with the designer Jean-Louis Deniot. Our readers may read it and be inspired by the collection Pierre and how to design living spaces.
CovetED Magazine: What do you love the most about being an interior designer?
Jean-Louis Deniot: I love this business and I love being a citizen of the world. I’m comfortable and happy traveling to different countries, being surrounded by people of any and every nationality. Working in diverse destinations makes you more open-minded, tolerant, and makes work much more fun and colorful. Travelling is something that I really enjoy, and I find that I am most inspired and productive when exposed to other cultures. My business is about creating atmospheres to suit specific locations and specific people; a decor must be for an individual as much as it is to be shared.
CovetED Magazine: How do you keep balance between the needs dictated by the marketplace and things that you just want to create?
Jean-Louis Deniot: It’s a real dilemma! It’s a fine line to balance on. If you create something purely commercial, you may sell a lot, but the vision behind may be diluted down. If it’s a purely creative project, it’s exalting as it generates buzz, but not a lot of business.
CovetED Magazine: What is your favorite object from the furniture collection Pierre?
Jean-Louis Deniot: Collection Pierre was the first furniture line I worked on, about 10 years ago. It was a great opportunity, and since then we have also developed lines with Pouenat in France, Jean de Merry in the US, George Smith in UK, and Marc de Berny. My debut line for Baker furniture is launching worldwide this spring. It’s all extremely exciting !
CovetED Magazine: Please mention some of the areas apart from traditional areas where you can apply interior design and specialize yourself?
Jean-Louis Deniot: Some people see me as a traditionalist, but I am so not! I love grand interiors and monumental Architecture throughout history, but beyond that, there is nothing traditional about me. I could develop purely commercial interior design if I had to – maybe one day, when I’m tired of trying new things, but we’re not there yet! It could be fun to have my own lifestyle home line one day, with furnishing manufactured in all parts of the world, fabrics specially woven in Morocco, India, and Turkey, all home accessories and linens, soft/comfy weekend clothing, rugs, a paint line… a Jean-Louis Deniot lifestyle bazaar!
CovetED Magazine: What are your most popular designs and what do you expect for the future?
Jean-Louis Deniot: My most exciting designs are always the ones coming next! People often ask me where I see myself in the next 10 years. I don’t plan that far ahead – I am just going to keep everything on the right track, with my foot on the accelerator, and will keep doing what seems right at the moment. My wish for my firm is for it to be one of the most predominant and prestigious in the business. Who knows, maybe I’ll be retired in 10 years!
CovetED Magazine: How can you design small spaces?
Jean-Louis Deniot: Small spaces require a maximum of built-in storage, so furnishing and decoration is purely aesthetic. The functionality is embedded in the real estate, so the furnishing is there for beauty alone. I would have lots of light sources, mostly hidden behind furnishing, and would avoid lighting the ceiling.
In a small space you need to furnishing to be the right scale : nothing too small, as larger pieces always make the space feel more generous, and can be large without being over the top voluminous. This could be something like a long sofa, but not too deep, as it would eat up too much surface area. In a small space, I suggest as few color clashes and combinations as possible – keeping everything in the same color family is always best. You can always play with touches of black for sharp contrast. Lastly I would add reflective surfaces such as mirrors, polished brass, and high gloss lacquers to enhance the effect of perspective.
CovetED Magazine: What is your philosophy in design and life?
Jean-Louis Deniot: I trust that juxtapositions in design choices, like in life, are key to a very colorful journey. I design to live, I do not live to design. I do what I do so I can enjoy life to its maximum potential, and I love living in my design and sharing it with loved ones. My friends are from all over the globe, but we are all involved in Artistic businesses, between fashion, advertisement, music, TV, movies, product lines, Artists, photographers, and singers. We love to laugh, travel, drink, dance, create memories – and for me the backdrop is important. I believe every perfume you smell is as important as the door handle you touch, the music you listen to, the drink you sip – it all enhances and completes what you see and contemplate in a décor. All senses should be engaged to live moments as fully as possible.
CovetED Magazine: Where would you like to travel this year to find inspirations?
Jean-Louis Deniot: I’d like to go to Japan and Brazil, but I’m patient. I always like when a job brings me to new places, so hopefully those countries will show up on our project map soon.
CovetED Magazine: What is the most important thing you’ve learned about design?
Jean-Louis Deniot: Organization, precision, and dedication are the three most important points. Everyone can have great ideas, but it’s a matter of being able to defend, produce, deliver, and hopefully make a profit. All this is much more difficult to pull off than having the initial idea. This is a very subjective business, so it’s very important to believe in your vision. Complications arise when people feel uncertainty. My recommendation is not to follow trends, but to instead create what feels right, what feels personal and original.
The photos were taken by Jonn Coolidge