Woven Cane: My Edit Of The Top High Street Buys
This week, I have been quite eBay obsessed. If you read my blog last week, you’ll know that work starts on our garage barn tomorrow and I’ve got some big ideas about how it’s going to look. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know that I’m a big fan of the good vintage buy and the prospect of the barn annexe is proving a dream come true when it comes to my passion for bargain purchases. Last week, I picked up a Persian runner for £18 from the local junk shop which although is currently adorning my hall, has annexe written all over it. Ditto the £45 G Plan Fresco dressing table from the Community Furniture Store which was a surprisingly good find and will look super cool in the bedroom space. My eBay watch list is on high alert, especially for local listings, and my perseverance paid off this week when I found two cane Italian dining chairs for £90 the pair. I set off to Malton to pick them up on Friday and they’re just as good in real life as they looked on the post. I’m planning a breakfast bar style table if space and these beauties are the perfect match.
They’re woven cane and although not original, bear much resemblance to the Marcel Breuer Cesca chair. Breuer designed this chair back in 1928 (naming it after his adopted daughter Francesca) whilst studying at the Bauhaus, a famous German art school which was renowned for its approach to design. Breuer also designed the Wassily chair, another iconic piece - my Aunt and Uncle had two of these original chairs back in the early eighties at their home in West Hampstead and the style always reminds me of visits to their house on Pandora Road as a child. My Uncle was - is - a furniture designer and their home was full of innovative ideas, including a Cassina 111 Wink ‘ears’ chair and a handmade curved fully stainless steel kitchen back when everyone else was buying flatpack from MFI. Anyway, the Cesca chair has been reproduced far and wide after the design was bought by Knoll in the late sixties and it’s possible to pick up both reproduction and originals if you put in the right search words on eBay. So I was pretty happy after I struck lucky and scored two, complete with arms.
Once taken on by Knoll, the seventies saw a massive increase in the popularity of this chair style due to its accessibility and when I storied my purchases on Instagram, I received loads of messages from people who associated the chairs with growing up. In recent years, our love for the seventies has returned (probably due to the fact that we remember these years as happier times when stuck as we are today in an uncertain political travesty) and we are seeing more and more of the designs and colours of the era in modern interiors. This, combined with the fact that we are trying to be more sustainable in what we put in our homes - recycling, reusing and repurposing - means that iconic design purchases such as these are a good investment.
And there’s no doubt that woven cane is most definitely having a moment. Back in January, I visited Maison & Objet in Paris and it was EVERYWHERE. Fast forward six months and from Anthropologie to Graham & Green, from Maisons Du Monde to Dunelm, it’s a trend to be reckoned with, whether it be mirrors, chairs, lights or cupboards. Recently, Olivia Edwards Silk of Lust Living did the most brilliant IKEA hack by using sheets of woven cane within wardrobe doors, plus updated her pantry using the same. Click here to see what she did and how she did it - you can buy rolls of woven cane and the link is in Olivias blog. I’ve scoured the internet for my favourite buys, so that you too can add a little bit of Bauhaus style to your boudoir. Or wherever you like, really. I do like an alliteration.
So that’s my edit of what’s currently on the High Street. Woven cane is a classic, iconic product design that will never go out of style and as such, is a good investment if you’re looking for your furniture to work hard for you and transcend the trends. Head to eBay or Gumtree if you’re looking for vintage and you could strike lucky - click here to read my blog about where to find the best second hand furniture sites. And in the meantime, I’ll be scouring the internet for the foreseeable future for a set of six woven cane dining chairs! Happy shopping.