Jean-Louis Deniot shares his best tips for creating interiors that stand the test of time.
He pulls together spaces that are sophisticated, seductive, and indelibly French—intricate assemblages of plush fabrics, just-so vintage pieces, and one-off custom work that make you feel as if you’re sitting in the chicest room in the world. “I’m so attentive to atmosphere and the way you are going to live in a place,” says Paris-based designer Jean-Louis Deniot, whose Left Bank studio serves clients from New York to New Delhi.
The approach is intensely layered—hammered metal, veined marble, inlaid wood—with no detail overlooked. Deniot has commissioned painted embellishments on the hems of curtains from a couture petite main for a client and trompe l’oeil skies on the walls of his own 7th arrondissement apartment. “I’ve never used a plain fabric in my life, and a bare wall puts me into a panic.”
His interiors are the furthest thing from cluttered, though. The surfeit of materials are tightly edited, and the rigor with which they’re composed gives it all a soothing balance. Jansen chairs sidle up to chinoiserie dressers; patinated- bronze cocktail tables gleam under 18th-century portraits. “I’m always trying to achieve something magical.”
Now, Deniot is revealing his secrets to timeless interiors so we can all achieve his quintessential cool style for years to come.
1. “When you place a sofa in the center of the room, the back has to be as attractive as the front—otherwise it’s like the Berlin Wall. It shouldn’t be too deep either, so it doesn’t dwarf a side table. Try to balance comfort and aesthetics.”
2. “We don’t start with furniture and finishes—our method of attack is through the interior architecture. We compose a feeling with the envelope before we define the color of the dishes.”