Monday, July 11, 2016

The Power of Elegance: Jean-Louis Deniot Designs a Chic and Sensual New 91-Piece Collection for Baker

Jean-Louis Deniot’s refinement and understated opulence are evident in each sexy silhouette.

Come with me this week for a close-up look at this dramatic new direction for Baker. It’s an astonishing achievement, with Deniot’s bold and focused vision backed up by Baker’s superb craftsmanship and direction.

Jean-Louis speaks of his inspirations, the beloved friends who encouraged his debut and design work, his concepts for Baker, and the global scope of his ideas. His words are personal, uplifting, and insightful.

Join us for an exclusive, very insider visit. 

Jean-Louis Deniot’s collection includes couture-quality upholstered pieces, with the contrast and juxtaposition of chic cocktail tables that are like jewelry in a room.

Then there is an alluring collection of lighting that includes Murano glass and (perfect for compulsive collectors of ‘must-have’ pieces) the deft and artful selection of alabaster. The sculptural table lamps are divine. Oh…and pay attention to the modern table bases.

Metal frames for cabinets and tables stand in dramatic juxtaposition with languid chairs and sleek dining chairs.

Prized Pieces, Global Directions

Baker gave Jean-Louis Deniot carte blanche for the entire collection and he started with a presentation of more than 300 sketches.

“I was so impressed with Baker’s open-minded approach,” he said. “No restrictions, no precise aesthetic expectations. This is really surprising when you stop and think about it.”

Deniot approached the project with his usual discipline and precision.

“Before I started the design, I asked to see their best sellers and their average and standard measurements so my designs were in harmony with Baker's standard proportions,” said Deniot. “I wanted to make sure that my line would reflect the Baker DNA and that it could mix easily with all previous Baker collections.”

Baker’s International Market

“With this first collection, I had to create a diverse line which would suit many different clients’ profiles, foreign markets and countries,” said Deniot. “I had to make sure this line would be as successful in the US as it would be in Paris or South America, Europe, Russia, South Africa, The Emirates, China, Indonesia, Japan.

I think I have been able to create a collection which will please every market. The pieces are like chameleons, and they blend or stand out depending on the finishes clients choose. Each market and each person has the opportunity to order the materials and finishes and aesthetic that perfectly suit their preferences and environment.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, July 2016 

Mutual Admiration

“Baker and I are a perfect match, I could not dream of a better collaboration. I discovered Baker when I started to spend a lot of time in New York, about sixteen years ago. I was amazed by the showroom at the design center. It felt larger than life, very generous, and was commercially very appealing and attractive. I often specified pieces by Barbara Barry or Jacques Garcia or Thomas Pheasant for Baker. For about a decade it has been at the back of my mind to create a line for Baker. I did not expect it would happen this quickly, but I am thrilled. The company’s heritage of craftsmanship, the knowledge and the Baker legacy are admirable. I’m already working on new pieces.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, Paris, July 2016

The Beauty of Texture and Finishes

“The unique details of the collection are in the perfection of the metallic finishes, like the little caps ‎on the armchairs’ legs, the antiquing, the shine… each and every piece has gone through extensive review. I wanted to spend time making sure we got the exact right proportions and balance.

The geometric veneer table tops’ random patterns ‎are enhanced depending on the light. They can look completely plain, and then with the different directions of the wood grain, they become extremely vibrant and playful under different light. I love the subtlety in certain pieces, and what a different aesthetic they can take on depending on the time of day, natural light versus candlelight or electric light in the evening.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, Paris, July 2016

French Designer, French Inspiration

“France has been one of the main ‘engines’ of interior style throughout history. French style is all about the right compositions, the right amount of ingredients, balance and fine-tuning. A simultaneous sense of grandeur and of deeply sophisticated simplicity is what’s best about French design. I love the 17th, 18th and 20th-century French design, as these centuries were very pure in their styles and larger than life atmosphere. French history and French refinement and originality are always references for me.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, July 2016

Elegance is Refusal

“I’m not trendy and my designs are never ‘of-the-moment’. And notably, Baker is not a gimmicky brand although it has always reflected new directions. Baker has made its reputation with very serious and respected furniture that people keep all their life. That was my starting point with this collection. Baker is solid. It represents quality, longevity, and all products are made by the best artisans in the US and in Italy. Baker is timeless. It has proven its exceptional presence in the furniture business through its longevity.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, July 2016

The Intellectual Designer Who Is Also a Sensualist

“Going into a collection, a designer is hyper-aware that so many ideas have already been done. There is the constant challenge to create something that does not already exist, but it must be realistic and something new that people will actually buy.

I believe a designer must have design strength and confidence, and should not be hyper-self-conscious.

Baker gave me a fantastic team and as well all the tools. The Baker executives invested so much confidence, joy and energy into developing this brand new line.

For me, ultimately, inspiration comes from a place of curiosity and danger. As a designer I must be really curious to explore, with ideas and concepts coming from within and from your environment, which lead you to take risks.

There is no good design without excitement.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, July 2016

Personal Expression

“All of the pieces in my collection are for custom order, and I’ve edited a selection of finishes and metals and materials that are versatile and timeless. A person in Hong Kong may prefer the lighter wood tones, and a family in London may prefer darker woods or the richer metallic effects. The concept that everyone can personalize it.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, Paris, July 2016

Neoclassicism Noted

“Classicism includes the purity of architecture from the earliest Greek and Roman periods.

Neoclassicism in France was developed further during Louis XVI, the Directoire and the Empire ‎periods. In my past work, I was influenced by the purity of neoclassical architecture ‎in the basic structures, layouts and organizational bases and in the final look applied on top.

Today, I still have a neoclassical base in my work, but it is hidden and diluted with my own specific, more eclectic treatments.

“All of my projects respect the purist academic fundamentals, but the variety of styles applied over this base make them almost disappear. Neoclassical thinking is always at the core of my work, even if it is imperceptible.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, Paris, July 2016

Noted Portraitist Tony Duran Interprets the Jean-Louis Deniot Collection/ Baker Collaboration

Tony Duran has made his name photographing sexy celebs like Jennifer Lopez, as well as Greek-statuary-inspired, Herb Ritts-esque male nudes. His approach to creating imagery of the Deniot collection celebrates rippling Murano glass lamps, the alluring shapes of sofas, the rigorous detail of cabinets and chairs. Models in vintage couture (or nothing) enhance the theatricality of Duran’s vision.

What’s next for Jean-Louis Deniot?

The 91-piece collection is just the start of a bold new Baker collaboration. Baker is owned by the 143-year-old Wisconsin-based Kohler company, which also owns many luxury products companies. Deniot will soon bring his refined eye and classical approach to designs for Ann Sacks, as well as Kallista.

Jean-Louis Deniot continues to work closely with clients around the world, including residences and other projects in Hong Kong, Doha, Paris, Moscow, and London and in the US.

Also upcoming are a private residence and a large-scale residential property in Miami.

He designed the stylish new 5-star Nolinski hotel in the 1st Arrondissement in Paris. It’s luxurious and feels like a private club.

In London, where he has completed residences in Belgravia and Mayfair, he has created interiors for The Glebe, a striking new residential development in Chelsea.

And as I’ve noted in previous features on Deniot, his clients for both residential and commercial properties appreciate working with him to such a degree that they quickly dream up new projects of engagement. Oh, and there was a whisper that new clients in Doha are in discussions. 

The Secret of Creativity

“Travel, is a great source of ideas. I was recently in Doha, and on Sumba Island in Indonesia, but simply walking to my office in Paris offers so much. Curiosity in general is essential for new ideas, as well as an open mind. Maturity has also helped a lot. I am more experimental. I take more risks. My best work happens when I am trying to get as far out of my comfort zones as I can.

“In my creative process most of the motivation and inspiration is spontaneous. I’ve reached a level of creative confidence and it’s now beyond my control. It comes from an almost unconscious, instinctual part of my brain. New projects are always stimulating. And I love to learn. Learning new techniques and working with new clients is inspiring. Design and architecture are a wonderful field for me.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, Paris, 2016

At Home, with Pleasure

“I simply could not live without the creativity and enhancement and pleasure and enjoyment of interior design. I am always in total and constant interaction with my environments. I love being in tune with my décor, lighting and music. I believe that the perfect door handles or drawer pulls are as important as the wine you drink. Interior design for me, at home in Paris or in Chantilly or Morocco, even Los Angeles, is very personal and quite selfish in that ‎it is always my own interpretation, but you also get to share it with all your loved ones. The atmosphere and beauty and harmony are enjoyed by everyone, together.”

—Jean-Louis Deniot, Los Angeles July 2016 

About Jean-Louis Deniot

Jean-Louis Deniot, with his studio in the heart of the Left Bank in Paris, is a favorite architect and interior designer for discerning connoisseurs, style-conscious executives, Old Guard Parisians, hyper-chic young London couples, high-flying art collectors, and to clients in San Francisco, Hong Kong, Delhi, Capri, Monte Carlo, Colombia, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Kiev, London and all points north and west. He is the height of discretion, so no names or specifics are ever discussed, and his projects are always highly confidential.

“I have a great team in Paris,” explained Deniot. “As I take on more clients, in California or Doha or Belgravia, we are bursting at the seams, even though we just added a new floor. We love our atelier on rue de Verneuil. My sister, Virginie, is a fantastic and highly efficient manager. Many of my staff has been with me from the beginning and that’s a great feeling. There is an architecture department, incredibly fine. I have design and interiors and resources departments, and they are the tops. I have great resources for antiques and art. And I'm situated on the Left Bank, surrounded by museums and historic edifices and the top antique dealers and art galleries, fabric showrooms, workshops, and experts in many design fields.”

Jean-Louis Deniot Interiors, by Diane Dorrans Saeks.  Published by Rizzoli.

With Gratitude

Jean-Louis Deniot was in demand for clients—private apartments, retail stores in Paris—even as an architecture student. He started his own firm before he graduated. And he is grateful for those who introduced him to classic ideals, to enduring style, and rigorously elegant French decor.

“Even when I was eighteen, I started to meet extraordinary people and creators like Princess Diane de Beauvau-Craon, a muse for Andy Warhol, who introduced me to the most amazing private houses and collections in France. Diane also introduced me to Henri Samuel, Alberto Pinto, Andrée Putman and many others,” said Deniot.

“Alexandre Pradère, the 18th century French furniture expert, taught me the basic academic interior design rules of that time. As a student, I was learning high contemporary design and rigorous modern architecture at the Ecole Camondo in Paris while at the same time getting personal training in French classical codes from great friends.” 


To find Baker furniture showrooms around the world:

Jean-Louis Deniot
39 Rue de Verneuil
75007 Paris 07
Phone: +33 1 45 44 04 65


Furniture photography courtesy Baker.

Style photographer, Tony Duran:


ArchitectDesign™ said...

Love love the upholstery pieces -so elegant.

Claudia Juestel said...

What's not to love?! Jean-Louis is not only handsome and charming, which I got to witness first hand, but also incredibly talented. I have never seen anything he designed I did not like. I cannot say that for many architects and interior designer. And his collection certainly does not disappoint! Baker was smart to give him carte blanche. Can't wait to see what Jean-Louis will do for the bath. And Tony Duran's photos surely evoke the right mood for these pieces.

Thanks Diane!

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