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Louis Denavaut

Louis Denavaut

How did you become an interior designer?

At the beginning, I was more attracted by contemporary art, and I had a number of fortuitous encounters with designers and artists. From there, I started to interest myself in the world of design, in equal parts for the objects as the interiors. I then studied at Ecole Camando and I count myself lucky that I’m practicing such a profoundly interesting métier.

How would you describe your approach?

It took me a long time to develop my aesthetic, which we are beginning to perceive in my latest projects because I really work like craftsman. The process can be long, and each project is a new challenge, in the artistic sense of the term. I don’t have a specific methodology, since no projet resembles the next. They’re all unique and aimed at clients who desire indulgence in their interiors.

You evolved in the world of contemporary art before moving into design and architecture. How does this artistic sensibility manifest itself in your projects?

Having been one of many hands involved in the set-up of exhibitions, I kept this “Arts & Crafts” aspect of the job, and I still experiment a lot. It’s sometimes very risky on projects with strict deadlines to respect, but it’s also a way to achieve a truly unique result.

Your portfolio includes private residences as well as offices and commercial spaces. Is it a conscious decision to work on diverse projects across different industries?

Above all, it’s about the encounters and affinity that we have with people. The fact that I haven’t specialised in a sector allows me to approach each project with a fresh eye.

You designed three boutiques for Officine Universelle Buly and you recently completed the Hartford store in Lyon. Do you have a particular affection for the architectural challenges of retail?

Retail is a fabulous space for creative expression because the notion of pleasure is omnipresent when a brand rises to the challenge. 

Which artists or designers inspire you the most?

This question isn’t easy, there are so many that I reference, but it’s true that when I face a difficult situation on a project, I often wonder how Alvar Aalto or Mies Van der Rohe would have approached the issue. I also love the new generation of Belgian architects who are completely uninhibited and manage to create miracles with restrained means, for example OFFICE KGDVS.

You’ve developed furniture and objects: a sofa with Japanese-inspired lines, a pendant light that doubles as a mirror, an antique-inspired vase… Can you tell us more about your work as a designer?

It’s my first passion. I’m constantly jotting down ideas, details, and sometimes when a client is up for it, I’m lucky enough to see my drawings come to fruition and these artisanal objects come to life.

What are your three favourite pieces on Modern Metier and why?

The form of the Tension bedside table by Paul Coenen is intriguing from a usage point of view, I also appreciate the primary green. Form & Refine’s Trefoil table draws on the very essence of a wooden table. An almost medieval object, which becomes timeless. The steel coffee table by MAUD Supplies is an intelligent way to work with this material and it also comes in a very attractive selection of colours.

What do you love most about your métier?

The encounters, travelling, discovering unlikely places.

Where do you draw your inspiration from on a daily basis?

From everywhere. I’ve never had difficulty finding a form or an aesthetic that corresponds to the desire and budget of my clients. Its realisation, on the other hand, is much more demanding.

What are the upcoming projects for 2023?

A very private hotel, apartments and a coffee shop. I can’t say more…

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