As Anthony Watson and Benoît Rauzy explain it, the two bought a hôtel particulier, a grand 18th-century town house overlooking the Rhone River in the village of Vallabrègues, in Provence, and its renovation led them to revive the local wicker industry.
Their house, you see, had once been the headquarters of a thriving business devoted to harvesting and weaving local rattan into baskets and furnishings. Thanks to its proliferation of palm and willow trees, and location on the river (where reeds can be soaked), Vallabrègues was at one point the biggest basket producer in France. But the local rattan furniture industry had entirely disappeared when Watson, a British-French stylist, and Rauzy, a water- and energy-use consultant, delved into their property’s history and decided to create their own startup. They recruited Raphäelle Hanley, a Paris-based designer with impressive credits (Vuitton, Yves Saint Laurent, Cartier) to “cultivate the art of the line.” Together the three now run Atelier Vime, a collection of contemporary and vintage designs made of rattan and other natural materials. And in case you fall as hard as we did, the answer is yes, they ship most pieces worldwide.
Photography courtesy of Atelier Vime.
New Rattan Designs
Shown here, the XXL Aramis Suspension light has “a metal structure dressed in rattan” that takes 40 hours to weave. The XXL is €2,640 and XL is €1,980. The coffee table is the XXL Rattan Marquetry Low Table of patinated steel inset with rattan and marble; price on request.Wondering about the difference between rattan and wicker? The two are often used interchangeably, but technically rattan is a type of climbing palm vine, and wicker is the technique used to weave it.