The first book in decades celebrating rattan—a traditional yet sustainable material increasingly popular among designers, exuding laid-back exoticism and an air of glamorous relaxation.
Rattan evokes the glamour and exoticism of the Riviera, grand yachts, and tropical verandas. It appeared in Impressionist paintings, and dazzling celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Gina Lollobrigida were photographed lounging on it. Now, rattan is regaining its allure and becoming increasingly fashionable in interior design and fashion spreads—a reflection of beauty, craftsmanship, and sustainability.
Heywood-Wakefield furniture from the nineteenth century is highly collectible, as are 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, and Arne Jacobsen for Sika. Paul Frankl and Donald Deskey designed sleek Art Deco rattan furniture. 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 Peacock Chair.
The glamour of rattan shines through in seductive and beautiful interiors—Madeleine Castaing's house in Chartres, Michael Taylor's California beach houses, the Titanic's Café Parisien. The book also showcases tastemakers who have embraced rattan, from Marella Agnelli and Cecil Beaton to design leaders of today, including Jeffrey Bilhuber, Veere Grenney, Axel Vervoordt, and Bunny Williams.