Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bravo Jean-Loius Deniot

My dear friend, Paris interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot has just received a fabulous recognition for his talent, vision and focus.

He is included among 70 top international designers in the brilliant new European edition of AD, edited in Paris by the hugely talented Marie Kalt. I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting her in Paris. She has her finger on the pulse of international design—clearly and concisely and without playing favorites. 

It’s a singular accomplishment for Jean-Louis, and for a 34-year-old designer. I wrote about him and gave an exclusive look at his work in THE STYLE SALONISTE on August 25, 2009. Please check THE STYLE SALONISTE archive. You will be impressed. 

In the newly published ‘Best of Interior Design 2010’ special collector issue of European Architectural Digest, Jean-Louis has been selected as a ‘world-class designer’, among top creators and trendsetters, and one of a dynamic selection of today’s most imaginative and influential designers.

He is one of 70 talents that includes long-established Old Guard greats like Francois Catroux, Andree Putman, Patrick Jouin, Alberto Pinto, Jacques Grange, Jacques Garcia, and another favorite of mine, Frederic Mechiche. The lively list also gives a nod to an impressive and provocative list of edgy designers in Turkey, Scandinavia, Paris and New York.

Jean-Louis Deniot is listed in this super-size AD Europe issue (my edition cost $50) under the title, ‘Le Grand Style, Stately Splendor’. (The issue is in English and French.)

The style of Jean-Louis and his interiors is described as ‘Classicisme Cool’ (Cool Classicism) and the writer, Cedric Saint Andre Perrin, notes, ‘Jean-Louis Deniot is renewing the grand tradition of French interior design, adapting it to latter-day lifestyles’. (This AD translation would be more accurately rendered as ‘contemporary lifestyles’.)

Jean-Louis told the editors of this issue of AD, “We never do historical reconstructions or a total look. We take the major themes of our decoration from the Directoire period through to the nineteen fifties, and update them, simplify them, mix them up. We make a big effort to make our effort go unnoticed. It is the art of being invisible.”

Jean-Louis Deniot has recently completed a grand apartment in Chicago, and a residence in New Delhi, and is working on projects in Kiev, Monaco, Florida, New York and Paris—among others.

He’s a long-distance champion, versatile, focused, and with a fabulous Paris team, including his sister Virginie Deniot, to back him up.

Here’s a look at his latest work, a real estate office of John Taylor in Paris (I was in his studio watching him select fabrics as this work took off) along with some of his greatest hits.

John Taylor’s real estate office is shown here, exclusively. It is newly photographed by Xavier Bejot, who has given me permission to use these unpublished images. Thank you, Xavier. I love your work.

Hotel Recamier, Paris

Townhouse in India

Paris Apartment

Above, recent Jean-Louis Deniot projects include the fabulous Hotel Recamier in Paris, a townhouse in India, and an apartment in Paris.

Bravo, Jean-Louis. I am looking forward to publishing more of your work.


Cabinet Jean-Louis Deniot
39 rue de Verneuil
75007, Paris


All photographs of Jean-Louis Deniot’s interiors photographed exclusively by Paris photographer Xavier Bejot. Used with express permission.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DelRae Roth's Latest Perfume, Coup de Foudre: Simply Glorious

San Francisco’s fabulous fragrance creator, DelRae Roth (read more about her in THE STYLE SALONISTE archive), has just released her most divine and romantic fragrance, Coup de Foudre, just in time for summer love affairs and weddings and lovely escapist moments of vivid beauty.

I’ve been in love with perfume since I was tall enough to tiptoe up to my mother’s dressing table to reach her many glittering perfume bottles on a polished antique silver tray. (Woops, I spilled Shalimar…).

My mother loved Guerlain’s Mitsouko and L’Heure Bleu. In the evening, begowned and bejeweled, she would tip the bottle over, then apply the glass stopper just behind her ears, on the pulse point inside her left wrist, and to her poitrine. So lovely.

I was fascinated as she and my father swanned out to a party, the ballet, a recital, and a dinner, Mitsouko trailing in her afterglow.

My father loved to give her perfume, spontaneously, and I remember testing Worth’s Je Reviens and her mysterious and wonderful Caron scents, including Fleurs de Rocaille and Bellodgia. I recall them all vividly. Swoon. The crystal bottles were beautifully crafted, often with ribbons and gold embellishments. A dream.

I still adore all the classic Guerlain scents (especially Vol de Nuit and Mitsouko) but when I’m looking for classic-with-a-racy-edge French perfumes, I look for Les Editions de Frederic Malle, especially Dans Tes Bras, Une Fleur de Cassie, Lys Mediteranee, and Carnal Flower.

But now there is another star in the fragrance firmament. DelRae Roth.
I’ve written about DelRae Roth and her poetic and superbly original approach to fragrance. She is fabulous and her fragrances are feminine and personal and lovely. You’ll recall that I wrote earlier this year about her new perfume, Mythique, which is divine.

Now this glamorous perfume designer, who lives in San Francisco, has launched her newest creation, Coup de Foudre. It means ‘love at first sight’...or in this case, love at first sniff.

“My dream and written goal with Coup de Foudre was to create the ultimate expression of the rose, as you fine it in the garden, tender, complex, natural and fresh and direct,” said DelRae. “I love fresh roses in the field—as they are deep, slightly fruity, luscious, and completely intoxicating.”

DelRae said she was particularly interested in her own version of a rose scent—one that was youthful, modern, classic, romantic and sensual.

I love this interpretation.

Coup de Foudre does smell like a French Rose de Mai in the South of France early in the morning. It’s vibrant, not too sweet, airy, and with a fizzy burst of bergamot, pink grapefruit (so modern), and jasmine absolute, as well as notes of magnolia, white moss, and vetyver, among the complex and intoxicating cocktail.

“The rose oil was processed in a modern new way so I was working with raw material of astounding beauty,” noted DelRae, who worked with master perfumer Yann Vasnier on this project. “I wanted the perfume to recreate the experience of inhaling rose perfume from your favorite French roses, the classic varieties. It’s heady and personal and memorable. A wonderful experience.

Bravo to DelRae!
Parfums DelRae Coup de Foudre is available at Barney’s New York stores around the country—and if you are in San Francisco or Los Angeles, call ahead to see if DelRae might be making a personal appearance. She also offers rich and deeply scented body creams.

You might be lucky to test this new scent with the creator herself.

You’ll also want to test her other spectacular fragrances, including Mythique (love this, very iris) and Debut (lily of the valley) and the mysterious Amoureuse and Bois de Paradis. Or to order the scents direct: www.parfumsdelrae.com

Portrait: Susan Chainey
Coup de Foudre: Caroline Ducato
DelRae's flat: Mark Seelen
Used with express permission.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Meet Me on The Skirted Roundtable

Make a pot of lovely tea (or put on your walking shoes) and listen to my my recent podcast interview with Joni, Linda and Megan on The Skirted Roundtable.

Joni and Linda and Megan are the fabulous design bloggers who created The Skirted Roundtable to interview designers and design editors.

We recently did a 50-minute chat about design, design blogging, traveling alone, how bloggers must avoid plagiarism, design books, designers, and travel.

You'll also enjoy reading recent posts on my 'vintage' design books—books I wrote over ten years ago—on Cote de Texas this week. Read more on www.cotedetexas.blogspot.com.

I'm truly grateful to Joni, Linda, and Megan for their kindness and their insight into design and blogging. Thank you!

And for more thrills, check on Canadian artist Patti Friday's post today.
Patti recently listened intently to my interview (as she was out walking for exercise) and she created the most wonderful feature today on her colorful and highly original blog. View Patti's thoughtful, witty, and bright feature on: www.pattifriday.com/2010/06/diane-dorrans-saeks/

And don't forget to stay in tune with The Style Saloniste.

Next week, I'll be reporting on discoveries, adventures, highlights and news from my very recent trip to Paris.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

San Francisco Designer Jean Larette's First National Feature

California Wine Country Chic
For months, my friend Jean Larette (who was named to House Beautiful’s top designers list a few years ago) had been telling me about the house she was designing in the Napa Valley. I was intrigued.

Jean praised the owners, adored the architect, and admired the landscape designer. “This is a great team,” she would say. What a pleasure.”

Now I finally see the house in print.

Twelve pages in the June issue of House Beautiful. The photos by Reed Davis are glorious, directed by the wonderful Doretta Sperduto.

It’s a triumphant for the brilliant Jean—who is also an arts supporter, an enthusiastic movie connoisseur, and a vivacious addition to the California design scene.

DDS: Jean, I recall when your clients signed you up to design their new Napa Valley house. What a wonderful outcome—they love it, and now you have twelve pages in House Beautiful. 
JL: This project was a joy from start to finish. I am so honored to be published in House Beautiful.

It was a designer’s dream project. The clients had complete trust in our decisions, which instilled a great level of confidence. My clients were sure of their likes and dislikes and were consistently drawn to specific colors, textures and materials.

DDS: I’m impressed that you did not do ‘country style’ or Italian country’ but made it fresh and modern, with a touch of traditional.
JL: My clients had a very clear vision of a contemporary farmhouse. They wanted it to be fresh, modern, casual.

Comfort was high on the list of priorities. We chose seating that’s comfortable and modern. Swivel chairs are lush and you want to curl up in them. This is modern but there are no sharp
edges. It is curvy, sensuous and cozy.

We had magazine clippings of the color palette my clients were drawn to and the style of furnishings they preferred. I was aware of their taste in art.

The open kitchen allows for conversation while the meals are prepared. The children have their own wing that can stand alone when the farmhouse style door is rolled closed to create an area of privacy.

In the home office we created an extra deep window seat bench with storage underneath so while one family member is on the computer, another can be relaxing and reading in the window overlooking the rose garden.

DDS: I love the light and breezy color scheme. 

JL: We took cues from the client’s art collection and began formulating the color palette with the rugs in tone-on-tone silk and wool from my City Collection line. For the main living area walls we chose Benjamin Moore Coventry Gray with White Dove ceiling and trim. Erin Adams mosaic tiles were installed on the kitchen walls. We carried blue, light gray and warm brown tones in all of our fabric choices in the living area. Ironies chandeliers and sconces with a silvered finish and onyx shades are both earthy and modern. 

This house was created for a family that loves to entertain. Recently they purchased the property next door. Stay tuned.

DDS: How long was the process, from the start to the celebration party?
JL: The process took place over an eighteen-month period. The architect, Marshall Schneider, and I came onboard the same week. 

We immediately had a great working relationship. We both proposed landscape designer Robert Trachtenberg and thought his contemporary garden design aesthetic would work well for the indoor/outdoor style of the house. We all wanted the architecture, the interiors and the garden to feel very modern and unfussy.  

One of my very favorite parts of the design process was the week of installation. My team rolled out the carpets, hung the art, installed the curtains, made everything perfect. 

On the Saturday afternoon when my clients arrived I was anxious for their phone call. It was truly a crescendo for me as a designer as they went from room to room, “We love it, we love it, we love it!” I was very gratified.

Jean Larette Design