An interview with designer, Jean Doyen de Montaillou
Photographs by ChiChi Ubiña
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in France between Paris and the south, in a small town from the 12th century, called Beziers.
What influences did you have growing up that made you become a designer?
As a little boy, I used to move my bedroom furniture from wall to wall every few weeks. I traveled with my parents all the time all over Europe. We traveled throughout France, Italy, Spain and England. We visited houses and museums. Traveling was definitely an influence to open the mind of a young man!
Tell us about your business.
There is not a job too small or too big. I am first an artist. In today’s world, you have to be creative. I enjoy resolving a challenge. It is my forte! Whether it’s a boat, plane or a house, I enjoy all my projects. I love my clients and having a good time with them is a must! Listening is a sign of being professional and always a priority. After the space is finished and the client is living there, the best compliment for me is when a their friend asks “did you decorate this yourself or do you have a designer?”
How do you define “home? “
A home is comfortable, elegant, functional and a reflection of the homeowners’ personality.
Who are some designers that have influenced your work and how?
My inspirations are the legendary designers like Sister Parish and Dorothy Draper for their high style, bold color and breaking the rules. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself, challenge yourself and your client. New is good and rejuvenated!
Who is your dream client and why?
A happy client is one who understands that you are helping them to realize their dream home.
What can you tell about a person when you walk in the room ?
When you enter a room, you find the essence of a person or the family living in the space. Color and style reflect the energy and chemistry.
Tell us about your home in Greenwich?
Our home with my husband, Michael is a place of comfort, elegance and peace. It was about mixing our tastes. It resulted in mixing our two personalities. This is really what business is all about – compromises.