Cultured Magazine

Fall 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 77 of 123

All About the Mix With a nod to French Art Deco, Jean-Louis Deniot launches a collection of furniture for Jean de Merry. PHOTOS BY XAVIER BÉJOT BY TALI JAFFE From left: The interior of a Paris apartment by Jean-Louis Deniot features a bench he designed for Pouenat and a mid-century sconce by Georges Jouve; Deniot in front of Casual Commode, from his new collection for Jean de Merry; Pouenat's Origami mirror hangs in the stairway of a Paris apartment he designed on Boulevard St. Germain. Tell us about the new furniture line that you're introducing this fall. I'm designing a line for Jean de Merry. We really hit it off when we met at this showcase that Architectural Digest France organizes every year. What's great about producing for Jean is that there's no limit imposed in terms of creativity. I can use whatever materials I want without having to think about cost. Because, for him, it's about selling something special, not about producing 20,000 of the same chest of drawers. And the materials he uses are ones I prefer as well. All of that French '40s Art Deco style—you know the shagreen and the parchment and the bronze. A lot of traditional '40s handcrafting. So the idea was to use this and try to make it look a little less '40s, but still as luxurious as it was back then. What about the designers from that era? Have they been an influence on you? In general, I'm drawn to the tradition of décor that's not really spe- 76 CULTURED cific to any period. Like David Hicks in the '70s, where nothing was ignored. It was studied and atmospheric. Henri Samuel—an old French academic guy—who was one of the first to produce what you would call an eclectic style. I was crazy about David Collins' work, and he was a very good friend of mine. He was really in my top five. Now I quite like Kelly Wearstler. Everything she does is a little outside the box. I love when stuff is strong. Where do you source from? I have almost no pleasure to go somewhere where everyone can get the same sourcing. Whether it's a fair or the D&D Building or a mart. I almost never go. Why would I go where my competition can go, too? I prefer to go to nice, cool consignment stores and find something clever on the back of a shelf. The result is more special. Would you care to share any of those places? It's not that precise. You can go to a store where there's 99.9 percent crap, but you have to get lucky and see between the crap for what most people won't see. You make it sound quite simple. You know why? Because at the end of the day, it is just stuff. It's like, let's not pretend we're doing brain surgery here. We're just buying cool stuff and we're trying to modify the finish, reupholster it and then put it in a cool architectural context. But let's not pretend that we can only work with this or that type of furniture for it to be "design." I think that's boring. It's sterile. Are there any particular cities that you've been to lately that you've been completely blown away by what you've seen there? I'm crazy about L.A. I think L.A. is more refreshing and less produced and less predictable than New York. There's much more room for individuality; there's much more room for people to be themselves and believe in what they do. There's no common style, there's no common rule, there's no common look. I find that city very inspiring.

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Cultured Magazine - Fall 2013