In conversation with

Louis Denavaut

Interior Designer & Designer

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.

Portrait Louis Denavaut
The Buly store in Tokyo-Daikanyama

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.

❝ I really work like a craftsman. The process can be long, and each project is a new challenge, in the artistic sense of the term.❞
Villa Mairea - Projet Van der Rohe
Villa Mairea, Alvar Aalto
Portrait de Mies Van Der Rohe
Mies Van der Rohe
Projet Office KGVDS
University Library, OFFICE KGDVS

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.

Louis Denavaut, canapé Onigiri
The Onigiri sofa in wool and solid oak

Curated by Louis Denavaut

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…

Louis Denavaut - Projet Architecture Lunain
The Lunain Project


Your go-to material at the moment?

Made-to-measure wooden garden trellises, to draw many things with.

Your favourite colour?

Primary red.

The savoir-faire that you’re exploring?

Custom glass with all the irregularities that it offers.

An architectural site?

The Frey House II.

The last exhibition you went to?

An exhibition on the Pharaohs at the MUCEM in Marseille, which was incredibly rich in terms of objects.

The last film that you watched?

Les Illusions perdues, incredibly Parisian.

A book on your bedside table?

Jean Prouvé par lui même

If your agency had a playlist…

The soundtrack to La Cage aux Folles

Your most precious object?

An old lamp by Fontana Arte that you can’t find anymore. It’s a small plastic mushroom, you press the top of the shade to turn it on and its light is incredible.

Photography © Noël Manalili, © Marine Parquet © Christophe Coënon – Author: Estelle Mahé