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Every piece Soane creates, whether furniture, lighting or fabrics, holds a story, from its historic design influences to meticulous manufacturing by our skilled British craftsmen. At Soane we thrive on exchanging these stories – they capture our imaginations and enrich our daily lives. The Journal offers an opportunity to take these conversations further and delve into other subjects that excite and inspire us. We warmly invite you to share in our musings

Lulu Lytle

Founder & Creative Director

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RATTAN: A World of Elegance and Charm by Lulu Lytle

  • 06 Oct 2020
The magnificent Loggia di Levante, Villa Saluzzo Bombrini, Liguria. Copyright: Carla De Benedetti
Tea Room at the Prince George Hotel. Copyright: Bridgeman Images
Soane Britain’s Rattan Pavilion Chairs take inspiration from Regency side chairs made from bamboo

Rattan furnishings evoke the glamour and laid back elegance of exotic beach houses as well as the informal beauty of plant filled garden rooms and sun dappled verandas.

Long fascinated with rattan’s versatility, designer Lulu Lytle examines the enduring appeal of this sustainable tropical palm in  RATTAN: A World of Elegance and Charm.  The first book in decades to examine the history and craftsmanship of rattan furniture, this insightful tome showcases rattan’s appeal through archival images of beautiful interiors including Madeleine Castaing’s winter garden in Paris,  Michael Taylor’s own Californian beach house, the Titanic’s Café Parisian and the Billy Baldwin designed Mr. Kennedy’s beauty salon in New York City.  Rattan’s many personalities are explored through its inclusion in settings as diverse as Impressionist paintings, flamboyant nightclubs and pared down contemporary drawing rooms.

 

A reflection of its inherent beauty and longevity, antique rattan furniture from the nineteenth century is highly collectible, as are rattan pieces created by giants of modern design such as Josef Hoffmann for Thonet, Josef Frank for Svenskt Tenn, Jean-Michel Frank for Ecart, Renzo Mongiardino for Bonacina, Arne Jacobsen for Sika, Paul Frankl and Donald Deskey. Rattan pieces have become iconic and highly prized, including Hiroomi Tahara’s Wrap Sofa, Franca Helg’s Primavera Chair, and the many iterations of the beloved Peacock Chair.  RATTAN also highlights some of the many tastemakers who have embraced rattan—from Marella Agnelli, Babe Paley, and Cecil Beaton to leading interior designers including Jeffrey Bilhuber, Veere Grenney, Axel Vervoordt, and Jacques Grange.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Lulu Lytle, long smitten with the romance and versatility of rattan, rescued the last remaining workshop in Britain in 2010 in order to establish Soane Britain’s rattan workshop in Leicestershire, England.  Currently, Soane employs fifteen craftsmen to make its own range of rattan furniture and lighting as well as bespoke commissions. Mitchell Owens is the decorative arts editor of Architectural Digest and the former interior-design director of Elle Decor. He has contributed to the New York TimesThe World of InteriorsDeparturesTravel + Leisure, and other publications.

 

Buy a gift wrapped copy, signed by author Lulu Lytle

From middle gallery left to right: The Dryad Rattan Leighton Table in Emerald photographed in Lulu Lytle’s London home; The Villa Santo Sospir. Copyright: Romain Laprade; The Rattan Hurlingham Bookcase pictured in the Drawing Room at Cobblers Cove, Barbados; RATTAN: A World of Elegance and Charm photographed atop Soane Britain’s Rattan Loggia Bench; Lulu Lytle’s book RATTAN: A World of Elegance and Charm

 

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