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Jean-Louis Deniot, Photographer: Sophie Delaporte

On The Sofa With Jean-Louis Deniot

Join us on the sofa with Jean-Louis Deniot as we interview him about his design philosophy, his collection of furniture for George Smith, and his future projects.

    Q1: You’ve been celebrated across the world for your distinctive touch in interior design. What elements or characteristics would you say define a Jean-Louis Deniot design?
    Curiosity, design confidence, eclecticism, substance from far historical references, and a sense of esprit libre.

    Q2.When designing a space, you aim to create atmospheres rather than just rooms. Can you elaborate more on what this concept means to you?
    Interiors, apart from suiting the owner and future occupant, are motivated by their context and location. I aim to emphasize the location and the views in the project, so that my work reinforces the specific interests of the location; it builds a sense of natural osmosis which creates the ideal atmosphere.

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Rue de Rivoli, JLD, Photographer Christoph Theuer
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South Beach, JLD, Stephan Julliard
    Q3.How do you keep your designs fresh and up to date with changing trends, while still maintaining their timeless appeal?
    I have this capacity for knowing what the next trend will be, and as trends only reflect the moment I pre-acknowledge the trend, making sure that I’m going around it and beyond it, which is what makes it timeless. I find beauty, inspiration and interest in very varied shapes and forms; I’m open to every kind of beauty.

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Porto Veccio, JLD, Photographer Stephan Julliard
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Touraine, JLD, Photographer Xavier Béjot
    Q4.In terms of design, what common ground did you find with George Smith that encouraged this collaboration?
    It’s the sense of permanence and quality. I like that you keep George Smith furniture for all your life, and even beyond, because you can pass them down from generation to generation. But what I respect most about George Smith is that it’s purchased by people who appreciate quality, and so it ends up in quality houses.

    Q5.What was your vision for the collection with George Smith?
    My vision for the collaboration was to infuse a sense of 21st century upholstery into the classic traditional style of George Smith Furniture.

The Jean-Louis Deniot Collection

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Aurelie Chair

The Aurelie armchair is representative of the designer’s signature ability to mix styles, with a modern, perforated barrel shape set atop midcentury-inspired angled legs.

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Caroline Chair

The Caroline Chair displays Deniot’s understanding of and appreciation for tradition. Its shape is a contemporary riff on the neoclassical klismos silhouette, with a more up-to-date upholstered back for added comfort.

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Heather Chair

Designed to be centered in the middle of a room, the Heather Chair is curved for comfort while at the same time maintaining its clean, structural lines.

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Natalie Chair

The Natalie Chair, a stylish and contemporary rounded back armchair with a sleek silhouette.

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Susannah Chair

Combining comfort with a slight theatrical flourish, the spoon-back Susannah Chair is a beautiful addition to the dining table.

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Heather Sofa

Designed to be centered in the middle of a room, the Heather Sofa is curved for comfort while at the same time maintaining its clean, structural lines.

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Jane Sofa

The Jane sofa, with its petite barrel shape and gracious Parisian style, was designed to sit in an entry hall or at the end of a bed.

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Julien Sofa

The Julien Sofa boasts a cool, handsome lounge feel with art-nouveau vibes.

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Virginie Sofa

The lines of the Virginie Sofa are graceful and the proportions flawless. A subtly contemporary piece.

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    Q6.Can you share any memorable or standout moments from your collaborative process with George Smith?
    I was so motivated to work with George Smith that I produced my designs, jumped on a train to London and knocked on the door, almost begging to get these designs produced. Thankfully, they were as receptive as they were surprised, and the collaboration came together.

    Q7.Can you share with our readers advice about how to style the pieces from your collection with George Smith?
    The great thing about my collection with George Smith is it’s timeless design, offering a great sense of quality. The pieces are like chameleons; you can upholster them with anything, from stripes, to leopard, to bouclé, to flowery chintz.

    Q8.Is there any piece from this collection that you are particularly proud of or feel best represents your aesthetic?
    My favourite piece from the collection is the Heather sofa – there’s a retro-futuristic-ness to it that I love. As it is one of the best sellers of the collection, we have recently launched matching chairs to complete the set.
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Eaton Square project, JLD, Heather Sofa, Photographer Stephan Julliard
    Q9.What advice would you offer to aspiring interior designers who are just starting out and want to make a mark on the field?
    Develop your own sense of aesthetic, stick to it, work hard, believe in it, and others will believe in it too. Good design should be about quality, and you can deliver good design by using quality pieces from the George Smith Collection.

    Q10.Lastly, could you share with us what interiors projects we can expect from Jean-Louis Deniot in the near future?
    What’s not to expect! We have about 30 different projects ongoing in 10 different countries, at very, very different scales: a bar in India; a restaurant in Hong Kong; a Hotel in London; Palaces in Dubai and Qatar; residential towers in New York and Miami, and a little farmhouse in the French countryside.
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George Smith's cotton velvet range photographed by Karl George Studio

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