When you take nature as your starting point, everything else flows. Monet knew it when he sat to paint water lilies. And so do today’s architects in charge of planning urban space. It’s why as we tiptoe towards the softness of spring, we’ve just one tip for those looking to live the outdoors in style: let nature be your guide.
One Danish design house that can often be found advocating this breezy way of thinking is Cane-Line.
“Unlike most Scandi brands, we started with outdoor collections and made our way in, always maintaining the same reverence for natural, living materials,” explains Bjarke Djernes, CEO at Cane-Line.
What seemed like a rather innocent role reversal at first, would prompt ripple effects in the wider design community. In their creative universe, function is no longer the natural precursor to form. Instead, it’s all about rich, sustainable materials and how they can be used to create spaces that are every bit as sensorial as life itself.
“At Cane-Line we believe that life should be lived and enjoyed outside. Even in chilly, northerly climes. Of course, it has to be comfortable, which is why spend countless hours hunting down the right materials for the job.”
Cue lounge chairs crafted from artfully looped rattan. Sofas that echo the easy elegance of nests. And cushions that are fully dry just 60 minutes after a downpour.
"At Cane-Line, we believe that life should be life and enjoyed outside. Even in chilly, northerly climes."
Most of the materials that are used to make such styles are sourced in Indonesia. Another important factor in the Cane-Line success story.
“When your entire project is informed by the possibilities and limitations of a given resource, you’re able to vanquish some of the waste and unethical practices that would otherwise creep in,” reveals Ludovic Aublanc, Creative Director and Head of Commercial Sales at Chaplins.
Indeed, Cane-Line is one of a select number of brands that owns its entire supply chain, including production facilities in Indonesia.
“We have full control over the working and living conditions for employees,” confirms Djernes. “Something which is quite unique in the industry.”
“We also pay for our employees to learn English,” he continues. “And both during and after training, they retain their jobs at Cane-line. For us, this means skilled labour, easier communication and retention of important craftsmen skills.”
The difference is tangible. Asides from the obvious ethical benefits of direct relationships with workers, there’s also a curious cultural cross pollination that comes with every Cane-Line design.
Collections like Curve and Blend reveal craftsmanship skills that have long been lost in the Western world, made all the more striking by their stripped back Scandi contexts.
Taken together, they form a collection that resists easy pigeon-holing, capable of conjuring up bohemian Bali vibes one minute, and then classic, nautical expressions the next.
However, when we ask Djernes which collection he feels best summarises the brands ethos of laidback living and tactility, he’s quick to answer.
“Oh, that’s easy. It’s got to be Peacock”.
Like all the best seating, it’s the kind of chair that doesn’t merely support the sitter— it also presents them to the world, communicating a series of ideas and beliefs.
In British gardens and hotels, one shines through particularly clearly. While the world of international travel and far-flung destinations are now back open, there are plenty of joy, rejuvenation and cultural treasures to be found at home.