Before starting his adventure in the United States, Jean de Merry was a French novelist working in his country of origin. Naturally curious and always seeking inspiration, de Merry learned about the techniques used by his family for four centuries to operate a leather tanning business in a small town of France.
Then he discovered the work of design icons and, in particular, Eileen Gray. All of this knowledge encouraged his new career and led to the launch of his eponymous furniture line in 2001 with his partner, Christian Darnaud-Maroselli. The duo chose Los Angeles to open their first showroom and atelier.
Since the beginning, their objective was clear: “uphold the craft of a bygone era.” Comprising seating, lighting, case goods, and decorative art, the Jean de Merry line is created with old French techniques that are adapted to rich materials such as woods, leathers, shagreen, parchment and bronze. “It’s all in the method,” de Merry says.
“We are applying very special methods to our materials.” Quality and craftsmanship are at the heart of everything that Darnaud-Maroselli and de Merry do. “What appeals to us most is the balance of male and female characteristics in the pieces,” explains Darnaud-Maroselli, who sees a yin and yang quality throughout the Jean de Merry collection. Indeed, while the richness of materials gives the creations a feminine touch, the sleek lines add a masculine look.
“The end results are wholly new designs rooted in older forms and based on traditional ways of manufacturing,” describes de Merry.
In addition to the three exclusive lines by Jean de Merry, Dylan Farrell and Jean-Louis Deniot, the brand also represents Atelier d’Amis, Callidus Guild, Natasha Baradaran, Kimberly Denman, Patricia Roach and Philip Nimmo, among others.
The beautiful yet functional pieces of design adorn interiors all over the planet, from high-end residential projects to commercial ones such as BG Restaurant at Bergdorf Goodman in New York; Peninsula hotels in Chicago and New York; The Beverly Hills and Bel-Air Hotels in Los Angeles, one of the Crown hotels in Melbourne, Australia, and luxury fashion boutiques Dior and Tiffany & Co.
In summer of 2016, Jean de Merry’s Los Angeles flagship moved to a 10,000-square-foot space located in the Pacific Design Center. Featuring 40-foot high ceilings, subtle colors and sophisticated finishes, it showcases the different collections in a harmonious atmosphere.
“Pacific Design Center was particularly appealing to us with its dynamic showroom space, which allows us to curate an exceptional buying experience while engaging the brand with new demographics,” Darnaud-Maroselli says. Jean de Merry also has boutiques in New York, Chicago and Dallas, and is represented in other U.S. cities, as well as in other countries.
A few months ago, new pieces were added to the collection, including the Duna sofa, Eaton sideboard, Gali & Gao side tables, Hanna wall sconce, Capsula mirror and Ceara armchair, to name a few. Every creation by Jean de Merry follows the same ethos: “Never modish but always stylish and relevant, these pieces are the heirlooms of the future.” jeandemerry.com
PHOTOGRAPHS: COURTESY OF JEAN DE MERRY