PaperCity Magazine

October 2014 - Houston

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OCTOBER | PAGE 54 | 2014 D iane Dorrans Saeks has penned 22 design books about some of the world's most fascinating interior decorators, including Michael Smith and Ann Getty. Her latest, Jean-Louis Deniot: Interiors (photography Xavier Bejot, Rizzoli, $65), arrives this month. Saeks, a longtime contributor to PaperCity, has written the first book on this charming and exceptionally talented architect and designer, who creates rooms as youthful and dashing as he is. Up next for Deniot? He's just signed with Baker Furniture to create more than 90 pieces of furniture and lighting to be introduced next fall. Saeks and Deniot will be in Houston Tuesday, October 14, to discuss and sign books at Chateau Domingue. Until then, PaperCity design editor Rebecca Sherman chats up Saeks about Deniot and the difference between "doing" French and being French. OF ALL THE BOOKS YOU'VE WRITTEN, YOU SEEM INCREDIBLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS ONE. I have admired Jean-Louis' work since I first met him about 15 years ago, in the early days of his career. The refinement, clarity and erudition of his work were apparent even then. He grew up in Paris, studied there, graduated from architecture school there and now has his dramatic studio in the heart of the Left Bank. He's surrounded by art galleries and top antique dealers and all the craftspeople he works with. He walks to his atelier on rue de Verneuil — and he's surrounded by inspiration. SOCIAL MEDIA HAS DONE A LOT TO BRING DENIOT TO THE PUBLIC'S ATTENTION. Among the international coterie of top interior designers, Jean-Louis alone has an ardent following on Pinterest, as well as Architectural Digest and Elle Decor. He's by far the most searched person I've written about on my blog, The Style Saloniste, in the last five years. He's handsome and witty, and his work is inspiring to a broad range of designers. DENIOT IS YOUNG, BUT HIS WORK IS REALLY DEVELOPED. Jean-Louis turned 40 in August; he founded his own firm at age 25. He is a particularly focused interior designer who also has a degree in architecture. He's passionate about classical harmony and balance in his beautiful rooms — and he may spend as much as a year or two renovating a house or apartment and perfecting the architecture. FOR SOMEONE WHO DOESN'T USE MUCH COLOR, HIS ROOMS ARE EXCEPTIONALLY LIVELY. With the interior architecture superbly shaped, he plans decor that's quite understated. He seldom falls back on pattern or bright colors. Instead, he relies on shapely furniture, carpets with shadowy patterns,and a range of grays or pale chalky tones that are calm and tranquil. WHEN YOU LOOK AT HIS ROOMS, YOU IMMEDIATELY KNOW HE'S FRENCH. His stylistic approach ranges widely, always with French references and allegories. He is not a designer who is "doing" French design. His clients want a subtle French approach. His work has integrity. He gets the proportions — of moldings or doors or sections of parquet — right and correct. He's immersed in it. It's his heritage. It's in his bones and brain. It's in his extraordinary discernment. His work ranges from quite pure 18th-century classical French — very correct and perfectly calibrated — to joyful '30-inflected Frank-ish elegance. IN THE BOOK, YOU'VE WRITTEN ABOUT TWO APPROACHES TO THE FRENCH COUNTRY HOUSE. One is a mini-château in a forest north of Paris — very old money, refined but not too done and very relaxed. The other house, his sister's, is southwest of Paris, deep in the Touraine wine-growing region, and it's tweedy and rough-hewn and seemingly improvised. Each one of the homes has inspired a new way of thinking about French country. LOVE HIS CITY APARTMENTS, THOUGH. I admire his erudition — and his playfulness. In L.A., he did a riff on Hollywood glamor with Hervé Van Der Straeten tables, Curtis Jeré wall sculptures and a super- luxe, very correct chandelier, mixed with sidewalk-chic finds from Third Street or La Brea Boulevard and pop- up galleries on Beverly Boulevard that sell castoffs from film studio sets. No one does it better. JEAN-LOUIS DENIOT AND DIANE DORRANS SAEKS WILL SPEAK AND SIGN COPIES OF JEAN-LOUIS DENIOT INTERIORS (RIZZOLI, $65) TUESDAY, OCTOBER 14, 6 TO 8 PM, AT CHATEAU DOMINGUE. FOR AN INVITATION AND TO RSVP, TAP RSVP@CHATEAUDOMINGUE.COM. IF YOU CANNOT ATTEND BUT WOULD LIKE TO SECURE A SIGNED COPY OF THE BOOK, TAP CURATEBOOKS@PAPERCITYMAG.COM. YOUNG, AND FRENCH FABULOUS Jean-Louis Deniot An apartment in Chicago An apartment on Avenue Montaigne An apartment on Avenue Montaigne The living room of Deniot's 18th-century apartment on the Left Bank The living room of an apartment on the Ile Saint-Louis A gallery presentation at Arteurial for AD Interieurs Author Diane Dorrans Saeks XAVIER BEJOT XAVIER BEJOT XAVIER BEJOT XAVIER BEJOT XAVIER BEJOT XAVIER BEJOT XAVIER BEJOT

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