Jean-Louis Deniot, the guest designer for Baker Furniture, talks about the new store in Dubai, design industry, and emerging trends in the region

Jean-Louis Deniot

The new Iconic Home showroom opens its doors at Dubai Design District (d3) during the Dubai Design Week in November. Exclusively offering furnishings and textiles by Baker, a leading designer and manufacturer of fine home furnishings, and its sister brands Milling Road and McGuire. Design Middle East talks to the Paris- based designer Jean-Louis Deniot, who is the guest designer for Baker and his collection is part of the Dubai showroom.

What made Baker open their showroom in Dubai?
Dubai is such an exciting market, everything from designs, to interiors, and architecture is mesmerising. This showroom at Dubai Design District provides a vibrant global platform for Baker’s and the sister brands, affording a tremendous opportunity for designers in the UAE to inspire and create cohesive interiors. The region is now a fast emerging global design centre that inspires designers internationally.

This showroom looks marvellous, could you share more details it?
The new space is designed by Baker’s chief creative officer Tristan Butterfield, and Patricia Hayes, manager of creative global services at Baker in collaboration with London architect Harvey Langston-Jones RIBA, whose previous work includes the re-branding design of Baker showrooms, including New York. The lobby is characterised by dark chocolate molded wall panels, and a checkered marble floor. Beyond the lobby, the design team utilised a restrained palette of gray and natural, and stained oak timber veneer. The spaces open up to a series of contemporary jewel-like rooms defined by different patterned timber walls, constructed in rhythmic, repeated forms to create a sense of movement and progression within the spaces. Baker has now a new offering of textiles, including wallpaper, fabrics and trim, is displayed with its lighting collection in the meeting area.

Tell us something about your recent collection for Baker? Like chameleons are famous for their quick colour-changing abilities, I’ve made this collection in a way that it suits all—Russians, Middle Easterns, Americans, etc. Just choose your own finishes like what we’ve done here, and it works beautifully. What are the emerging design trends in the region? Clients in the Middle East are looking for something fancy but in sleeker shapes, the Baker line here is contemporary but classical. The whole idea is that if you cannot buy the whole set, you can select a few key pieces from the store and mix and match with the décor of your room.

What is the USP of Baker? Baker has specific lines for each designer that works with them. With me, I tried to take the DNA from the Baker, making it my own and making it sure that my lines are mixing well with the other lines. They use really high-quality material, so if one buys a chair from them, they can keep it forever, just change the upholstery and get going.

Which is your favourite piece in this showroom? The Iron Eye Floor lamp, which is also available as a table lamp, because of the simple yet striking geometry. The gold finish is just perfect—it’s not too bright, and not in your face, and just adds the right amount of glamour to this incredible piece. Who are you targeting in this design market space? I hope every designer, every developer would make it just their own. I am not imposing our products on anyone, I want people to give it a fair chance, and it their own interpretation and use it the way they want. The designs are supposed to be practical for everyone and not dictatorial. The pieces should really blend into their own concept!

Take a tour of the new Baker showroom in Dubai Design District: