Fine Print: Jean-Louis Deniot Interiors

Parisian architect and interior designer Jean-Louis Deniot opens his book, Jean-Louis Deniot Interiors (Rizzoli, 2014) saying, “I always want to get as far as possible from the white box.”

Indeed, Deniot’s interiors are like treasure chests, layers of neutrals that are truly unboring, at times even mesmerizing. Deniot mixes texture without resorting to sisal and patterns without hint of an ikat. Oversize statement artwork, from landscapes to off-color portraits, to the simplest abstracts mix with period light fixtures and furniture, along with custom wallpaper and rugs. While some of the rooms are definitely “decorated,” they mostly remain wholly welcoming.

Here is a sampling of rooms designed by Jean-Louis Deniot from his newly published book, Jean-Louis Deniot Interiors.


You may have seen this glam kitchen on Pinterest, or the old-fashioned way, in Architectural Digest. This is Jean-Louis Deniot’s own apartment, on rue de Lille in Paris. The cabinetry is clad in hammered silver, the countertops, backsplash, and floor are marble, and the brass light fixture is by Stilnovo. Note the pair of 1970s Ettore Sottsass gray ceramic candlesticks in the corner.


The custom wallpaper in Deniot’s dining room has the look of quartzite; I love how the naturalistic stripes works with the similarly organic shapes in the Nepalese rug. Chairs from the 1950s by Jacques Adnet chairs surround a 1940s dining table by Roger Thibier, over which hangs an antique chandelier from the 1840s. The drawing is by Konstantin Kakanias and the sconce by Willy Daro.


This 2,600-square-foot apartment is home to an influential art collector in Paris. The statement photograph really fools you (or at least me) into believing there’s a view.  The photograph Paradise 25 is by Thomas Struth. I like how this space feels quite spare, more so than many of Deniot’s rooms.


In the same apartment, the photograph Le Lait Miraculeux de la Vierge is by Bettina Rheims. The carpet is David Hicks, and the baubles hanging from the ceiling are part of a sculpture, Les Amants Suspendus by Jean-Michel Othoniel. I adore the irreverent photo and playful chair in an otherwise tailored room.


This is the master bedroom in a three-bedroom apartment by the Seine, owned by Londoners. A pair of 1950 black lacquered birch wood nightstands by Heywood-Wakefield flank a custom made upholstered headboard in a textural fabric, its nubbiness a contrast to the custom hand-sewn bed cover in baby alpaca. The gilded metal bedside lights from Jean Pierre Orinel are from the 1970s, with black lampshades by Anne Sokolsky and the black resin chandelier (which reminds me of a molecule model) is by Pouenat. A decorative painter gave the walls a faux parchment effect and Deniot designed the custom-made hammered brass fireplace. Off to the side, is an on-trend 1950s brass articulated lamp from Stilnovo; its white lampshade is metal. Love those doors. I want them to be gray lacquer, but I supposed they may be frosted glass.


This is actually part of Deniot’s office, a 3,700-square-foot workspace in an 18th century stone building in an arts and antiques neighborhood.  I could easily be happy with this as my living room. Alas, it’s Deniot’s client sitting room. The coffee table is by Ado Chale, and the contemporary candlesticks are by Hervé Van der Straeten. Two vintage armchairs are in the style of Royère and the agate topped gold side table is by Hiquily. The rug is mohair and silk from Solstys. If it were my living room, I’d sub out the artwork for an oversize contemporary photograph, probably with some green it.


Taking a detour from Paris, this room is part of a five-thousand-square-foot, four-bedroom apartment overlooking a lake near Chicago owned by two lawyers. I suppose the blue velvet sofa and more accessible painting might mark it more American, though overall the place is tres grande.

Photography by Xavier Béjot

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