Take the summer indoors with conservatory furniture that gives the garden feeling to any room.
The merest breath of a heat-wave brings out the Southern Belle in our souls. Hot afternoons and long, sunlit evenings make you long to loll about on wicker chaises, sipping lemon tea. The dry, woody smell, the evocative creak of wicker and cane furniture is the essence of summer and, unlike some summer passions, cane and wicker survive and work in winter, too. Annick Clavier, a young French designer, chooses her wicker well—painting some junk-shop finds in white enamel, oiling other pieces of wicker and bamboo to a fine Oriental shine. Her taste runs to airy, lacy furniture and rush matting, set off by many green plants, small jugs of flowers and reproductions of romantic paintings. The fact that she has a garden helps the tropical feeling. Wicker freaks look for decorative pieces in junk shops and markets. They learn to mend broken furniture but avoid bamboo or cane pieces that are very rickety, and watch for the pinholes—a sign that the dreaded woodworm is in residence. Secondhand shops in coastal towns and the remote parts of Scotland and Wales are good places to find Victorian and Edwardian garden and nursery furniture. London has the best selection of shops with modern cane and rattan furniture, mostly imported: Conran, 77 Fulham Road, SW3 imports from China; Cane, 170 Walton Street, SW3 imports from India, as does The Warehouse, 39 Neal Street, London, WC2.
Photographs by Phillippe Leroy.
Scanned from Cosmopolitan, July 1976.