Monday, September 19, 2011

New French Design at Its Best: Shape Shifting

Top Paris Designer Jean-Louis Deniot Creates Dazzling Décor at Artcurial in Paris. An exclusive first look. 

French AD invited the top twelve French designers to dream up interiors to showcase art for this months’ exhibit at Artcurial, the prestigious auction house on the Champs Elysees. 

Here’s the exclusive look at Jean-Louis Deniot’s suite of rooms, selected as one of the top designs of this show, September 12-22 2011.
His vision is a grand sweep of French design history, updated, re-invented. Its chic confidence will inspire trends for years to come. 

Paris-based interior designer/architect Jean-Louis Deniot is one of the most popular and searched talents presented on THE STYLE SALONISTE. See two earlier posts here and here. 

I mentioned in the recent story that Jean-Louis would be creating this vignette at Artcurial, a distinct honor. Here are glorious photos taken earlier this week by Xavier Bejot. You’re seeing them here first. The show closes September 22. Jump on a plane now.

Among the eleven distinguished designers in the Artcurial exhibit are Roxanne Rodriguez, Olivia Putman (daughter of the great Andree Putman), Joseph Dirand, India Mahdavi, Tristan Auer, and Francois-Joseph Graf.

“I dreamed of a design that is reminiscent of all that is galactic: solar, orbital, the Milky Way, craters, minerals, energies, nebulae, and constellations while evoking infinity, dreams, poetic contemplation.” — Jean-Louis Deniot

The concept and inspiration for the Artcurial exhibit, according to AD editor-in-chief Marie Kalt is today’s growing passion and craze for contemporary art and developing art collections.

“Showcasing art is now a very important and essential part of the work of interior designers,” said Kalt. Designers are often involved in selecting art, designing special displays, and organizing and planning interiors for growing collections.

“Placing art well is at the heart of planning and design for interior decorators,” said Kalt. “We selected twelve leading designers to conceive spaces using iconic art works, thematic collections, and collaborations with artists. Each designer has a special field of expertise and passion.”
JEAN-LOUIS DENIOT’S CONCEPT: This is ephemeral decor to inspire emotion, and provoke a reaction from the viewer, said Jean-Louis.

“It’s a modern palace on the scale of a Parisian apartment,” said the designer. “I’m creating a relationship between proportion and composition and introducing contrasts such as mineral and mechanical, free-form and geometric, suppleness and brutalism.”

Works of art, design, remarkable antiques, extraordinary embroideries, all create a menagerie of a exceptional craftsmanship and rare objects that are simultaneously futuristic and vintage.


Folding lacquered screens designed exclusively by Jean-Louis Deniot for the Artcurial Designer Showcase. These screens have been designed in a constructivist manner, playing with the idea of silhouettes, geometric forms, and the contrast between the asymmetrical openings and the two lacquered colors. The set of four screens was created to compose an octagonal entry hall.

Four Plaster Free-Standing Lamps designed by Jean-Louis Deniot for the Artcurial Designer Showcase. These plaster freestanding lamps were designed to emphasize the octagonal entry and to add a grand, monumental effect to the space, making a strong statement. Jean-Louis Deniot was inspired by the idea of brutalism an futurism as well as taking reference from Giacometti and Jouves to bring a naturalist, free form element to the pieces.

Vestibule Wall Paneling designed by Jean-Louis Deniot for the Artcurial Designer Showcase. The wall paneling, including color palette, was designed in a ‘Mondrian’ manner by Jean-Louis Deniot. All the panels are raised to add a sense of substance and volume with a curve at the top, creating a large cove crown.

Wall-to-wall carpet designed by Jean-Louis Deniot and manufactured by Codimat for this showcase. The matching carpet was specifically manufactured to play with dimensions, to mix up the vertical and the horizontal and to add a sense of coziness to the space.

Chandelier ‘Gravitations N°385’, in bronze with engraved glass Wings by Hervé Van Der Straeten.

Center table by Ado Chale, on loan from Galerie Yves Gastou. This unique table by Ado Chale was chosen for its interesting bronze top, which references the moon’s surface.

Crystals from Jean-Louis Deniot’s Private Collection.

Large custom made silk window screen designed by Jean-Louis Deniot with embroidery by Jean-François Lesage. The design of this silk window screen represents an abstract landscape view and is embroidered with wool tweed, silver and bronze thread, glass sequins, and linen.

Mirror designed exclusively by Jean-Louis Deniot for the Artcurial Designer Showcase. This custom-made 12-foot mirror is comprised of distressed mirror, featuring shades of distressed bronze and silver and is framed with a large, bright brass border. Designed to add a ‘feminine touch’ to the space, the mirror also boasts twenty ornate bronze ‘stars’ on the surface to add a poetic and precious element.

Curule Stools from the Jean-Louis Deniot for Collection Pierre furniture line. These two stools are upholstered in fabric by Pierre Frey and embroidered by Jean-François Lesage using bronze nail heads and brass sequins and based on Jean-Louis Deniot’s astrology signs: Virgo and Scorpio.

Large Sculpture ‘Les Ailes’ by Stahly, on loan from Galerie Yves Gastou. This sculpture has been selected for its free form shape which contrasts with the geometric panels.

Wall Art ‘Untitled’ (2006) by Gerwald Rockenschaub, on loan from Gallery Thaddeus Ropac. This piece of art work represents a dream island and is comprised of black lacquered Lucite and stainless steel.


Custom Made Door Casings. Manufactured in hammered and distressed brass to add a rough but precious dimension to the space.

Wall Upholstery Fabric. Featuring an agate/onyx motif and selected by Jean-Louis Deniot to add an organic effect to the space. It goes all the way up the ceiling covering the added crown molding to create an architectural effect.

17th Century Marble Busts on Marble Stands, on loan from Gallery Steinitz. Busts were selected to add a sense of history to the space.

Ceiling Lighting by Ombre Portée. Lights have been placed on a temporary floating ceiling to give a sense of grace and movement.

Console by Mathilde Pénicaud for 3eme Rue Galerie. This specially commissioned console reflects the art theme and gives a strong conceptual interest to the space.

17th Century French Mirror, on loan from Gallery Steinitz, Paris. This mirror completes the ‘precious’ theme and reflects a very personal collection.

The Artcurial/AD Interieurs 2011 exhibit is at Artcurial, 7 rond-point des Champs-Elysees, until September 22.

Note: it’s in the 8th Arrondissement, and close to the Franklin Roosevelt METRO station.

I hope you can catch it. Otherwise, watch for special issues of French AD coming soon.
For more information, for Francophones:

All photography by Xavier Bejot, Paris:


The Devoted Classicist said...

I am fascinated by the concept. My inclination, and maybe it would be a mistake, would be to make that matching wall and floor mosaic a bit more subtle in coloration, however. And perhaps it appears differently in person than it does in the photographs. The overall presentation is wonderfully effective, I must say, and quite impressive.

Geddes Ulinskas said...

Very impressive. Thank you for posting these photos. Is this a temporary installation? It should find a permanent home.. maybe mine.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...


Yes, in person, the walls and floors are quite muted.
Note that this vignette--temporary--is inside an 18th century listed building in the ultra classical style and it is a corporate headquarters, so it was important for Jean-Louis to make a break from this. When you are next in Paris, I suggest that you visit the Artcurial building (has a fantastic art and design library/book store that is open for visitors) and see the rather bland setting. His decor, by the way, was selected as the BEST of the twelve designers. I am so pleased to show it exclusively here.
It is so great to hear from a talented architect.
yes, this vignette is temporary...and I am sure the parts (art etc) will return to their galleries and collectors.
I'm so pleased to hear you'd like to live in it. Many responses noted that sentiment.
very best, DIANE

George Brazil said...

This is a truly inspiring installation. Thank you for sharing this with us.

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Hello, George--

Great to see you at SF20 last week.
I agree with you regarding Jean-Louis Deniot's design and selections of objects here.
The color palette, the transparency, the subtlety and the curious objects all deserve study.
It is important to note: this is not a residence. It is a vignette for an exhibition, temporary. He created the walls and floor and the architecture--within a vestibule and hallway. I love the absolutely uncompromising selections--the sculptures, the van der Straeten chandelier, so chic, and the totally original approach. It is seldom that we see design--that we've never seen before, so original and bold.
For designers, the motto:
'We must be bold and brave, for there is much to dare.'
cheers, DIANE

mary said...

I am still processing. The space is breath-taking, if not a little chilly. Deniot's vision demands attention even to the most minute details. Thanks. Mary

Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

My friend, the San Francisco designer send me the following email, in response to seeing Jean-Louis Deniot's feature:

Hi Diane.

You are so right, his designs will inspire for years to come. I love the raised panels on the walls, the Hervé Van Der Straeten pendant, table, benches etc…

Thanks for sharing your treasures.


Heather Hilliard Design
3654C Sacramento Street
San Francisco, CA 94118
Tel. 415-367-8899
Fax 415-366-2005

Geddes Ulinskas said...

Hi Diane,

One more note; I treasure the great book that you created of Orlando Diaz-Azcuy and he signed the book for me. If we get a chance to meet, maybe I could get you to sign my copy as well. Your blog is brilliant and I will be by often.


Diane Dorrans Saeks said...

Dear Friends-

This just in from the lovely Beverley Jackson, one of the chicest women in Santa Barbara:

'Soooo chic! Thank you for sharing this!'

Very best wishes,

Philip Bewley said...

Loved this exclusive view of the vignettes for artcurial by Deniot. This is, well, so French, not the least for his attention to commissioned pieces and luxe materials, informed,modulated yet visionary...I am reminded of the esprit of the late Henri Samuels' own apartment in the mix with the brass sculpture, and the references to French design from Cardin 70's in that gallery with those delicious screens, Roche with rock crystal, the curule ployants, cerused in the french manner. The whole space, like the mirror and widow screens, is scintillating. Thank you for this special inside tour.

Julie at Belle Vivir said...

Hi Diane,

I'm a big fan of Jean-Louis Deniot as well. His design is immaculate. Thanks for posting this.

Evagre de Bagneux said...

comme chaque fois, JLD m'a bluffé. Il trouve toujours le moyen d'étonner tout en étant fidèle à ce qui fait sa pécificité. Dans ce salon de collectionneur, tout est à sa place et le visiteur qui est invité à goûter la sérénité de ce lieu, trouve dans cette harmonie la possibilité d'accéder à l'intemporel.
JLD est le seul en France à avoir cette qualité qui fait de lui bien plus qu'un architecte d'intérieur ou un décorateur.Poète ? magicien ? qu'importe, il embellit le monde.
Evagre de Bagneux

Collaborateur de JLD said...

Merci pour ce compliment Evragne de bagneux et aux autres, il est vrai que chaque détail est réfléchi par JLD pour amener une harmonie au sein de cet espace !