A Futuristic Classic

Mastering the juxtaposition of vintage and modern, masculine and feminine, is designer’s Jean-Louis Deniot’s style

Despite his accomplishments, architect and designer Jean-Louis Deniot continues to constantly challenge himself. He likes to experiment, take risks and get out of his comfort zone. “Usually, my next project is my dream project!” he says.

Based in Paris, Deniot works all over the planet, designing private homes and creating furniture and lighting collections for different brands, including Jean de Merry, George Smith, Pouenat Ferronnier, and Baker, the American designer and manufacturer of fine home furnishings founded in 1890. “I discovered Baker when I started to spend a lot of time in New York, 15 years ago,” Deniot explains. “Since then, it has been at the back of my mind to create a collection for them. I didn’t expect that would happen so quickly.”

Last year, the 80 versatile, layered pieces of the Deniot collection for Baker entered the market, blurring the line between art and furniture. The pieces act as chameleons, with the ability to either stand out or mingle with antiques as well as mid-century and contemporary finds, depending on the finishes one chooses. “I love all of the pieces with metallic accents because they catch the light and shine,” he confesses. “It’s like jewelry for furnishing.” Handcrafted by artisans in Italy—Venice, and on the island of Murano, in particular—the lighting and mirrors incorporate age-old techniques and modern elements such as hand-blown glass, gesso, resin and water-jet designs.

Drawing inspiration from fashion, art, architecture, nature, music, past projects and travel, Deniot ably mixes design genres from classic to modern. Promoting harmony and well-being through design, he uses different materials and combines geometric shapes and curved silhouettes. “My collection for Baker represents the variation between classic-chic and cool academic that is inherent to my style,” Deniot says. “The designs have been influenced by the styles of various cities. Some have a hint of Paris, others of Vienna or Los Angeles. I am a citizen of the world in that I really embrace and love all cultures and countries I am exposed to, and I think my collection reflects that.

“I would call my Baker designs ‘classic contemporary’ or ‘futuristic-classic,’ ” he adds. “I was influenced by vintage furnishings of the 20th century and by the sense of presence in grand, aristocratic decors. But I still want my designs to have a relaxed side and a sexy elegance that make them feel timeless.”

This fall, Baker introduced 25 new products of the Denoit line, including mahogany and brass case goods, upholstered bar stools and a Carrara, brass and bronze table lamp, among other pieces. Featuring exquisite details such as Murano crystal bubbles, the Silice table lamp is one of the highlights. Mounted on a polished brass base, it references a rock crystal obelisk, according to the designer. “My work is always about geometry and silhouette,” he says. “All these creations were designed to complement the existing collection. Some focused more on functionality, others are quite poetic; but all of them are intriguing and sculptural.”

In addition, Deniot continues to work on private properties and commercial projects across all continents. Among his most impressive realizations are a 30,000-square-foot palace in India—which took him five years—a 20,000-square-foot private home in Knightsbridge, London, a revamped original Paul Williams property in Beverly Hills, townhouses on New York’s Upper East Side, and Hotel Nolinski in Paris. “Our work deals with how a space is organized with an architectural approach, also in terms of furnishings, the selection of materials, forms and proportions in order to add elegance,” Deniot says. “The interiors we design emphasize substance, scale and light.”

Sensual curves and geometric symmetry, clean lines and organic energy, every space and piece of furniture created by Jean-Louis Deniot is an ode to the past with an eye toward the future.

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