Pure Mastery: Q&A with Jean-Louis Deniot
Jean-Louis Deniot is a designer lauded worldwide for his unexpected juxtapositions of vintage and modern, linear and curved, masculine and feminine; the quiet of a neo-classic tableau humming with touches of mid-century wit.
Like any great artist, Deniot has mastered the fundamentals and made the leap into his own joyful, unique aesthetic. He brings a rigorous intellect and intuitive love of light, line, touch, texture. Two years in the making, his collection for Baker redefines the word sublime.
What inspired your Baker designs?
I draw inspiration from fashion, art, architecture, past projects, nature, music, trips … I truly find beauty everywhere, in every realm. As in all my work, my Baker line translates Parisian chic into a new, international context. I was inspired by my desire to make my Baker designs mix with any other type of contemporary, vintage or antique furnishing. The pieces have a stylish attitude – they have geometric shapes and curved silhouettes that can be quite sculptural. The lighting and accessories blur the line between art and furniture.
Your new collection offers a wonderful color and materials palette, how did you select that?
As a furniture addict myself I am very aware of the furnishing market. I knew what was missing, so I developed my ideal ensemble for Baker. My line for Baker really represents my aesthetic and lifestyle, so I am thrilled to share it on this scale.
I’m always drawn to the soft pale colors, soft grays, antique golds, ivories, with touches of ebony and white: Combinations that create a serene, layered, sophisticated feeling. The look is lush, and for all of its sophistication it stays humble.
What are some of the unique details in your collection that one might not notice upon first glance?
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 electric light in the evening.
The new collection features some incredibly detailed patterns - what drew you to those particular designs?
Geometric patterns are tricky, as they can tend to go out of fashion quickly. They also generally give an overly defined look. I wanted the opposite: timeless graphics based on honeycombs, origami, structural natural stone patterns. Nature creates the most amazing aesthetics, which are above any trend, so I thought it was a good angle to find inspiration for timeless patterns.
What kind of lifestyle does this new line represent?
My line is for a buyer who is not trying too hard. It’s for someone who is chic and confident in their own taste. My line is aesthetically stately, but it is also very practical and very comfortable.
With the large variety of finishes, buyers will be able to fully personalize their purchases and make them into their own unique designs, perfectly adapted to their environments and mixable with any of the pieces they own. All pieces in my line can be adapted to suit any location or climate, any environment or atmosphere. As I have a very eclectic and aesthetically-curious taste, my line is designed to be mixed with antiques, with mid-century pieces, and contemporary finds.
What male celebrity best embodies your line of furniture?
I'd have to say it would be between James Bond and Peter Pan. James Bond interiors and Peter Pan lifestyle editing!
What female celebrity best embodies your new collection?