Constant Wickering

Edwardian woman in wicker chairphoto taken thru a gallery window on Bond St., London

It was gloriously hot in Santa Barbara yesterday and it appears we’ve broken through the “June Gloom” and woken to sunshine again this morning-Hurrah!

 Definitely time to start pulling out the summer slipcovers and accessories, storing winter’s garb and, yes, addressing the bathing suit drawer. Ugh. The horror. Forget that. Let’s go back to accessories.


Something I spotted in a magazine recently reminded me of this great vintage wicker “picnic basket” bag I bought years ago. I can’t even remember where, that’s how long I’ve had it.

890A8612I love the way it hinges open, the tiny pearls, the hand painted variegated leaves and the rich golden hue of the old wicker.

227854062366869109_pb5vtvZc_fRaffia top hat, French, circa 1820


Straw hats in the hall, Slim Paley

The growing collection of wicker and hats in my home is an ever changing tableau…just never the right one, and never where I left it!

Baseball hats (all 5,000 of them) are kept in a less visible area.

The tripod-y thing you see to the left in the wicker basket is a folding wicker seat with handles and a sharp metal end to stick in the grass.

IMG_5532May also be used to perch your Pimms in a pinch.

I believe they were made for cricket, or perhaps polo matches. Someone chime in if you know for sure, but let’s not wicker about it 🙂

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 5.26.30 PMSo adorable

Can you believe I didn’t have any girls???



Bridget Bardot

hm-summer-doutzen2Douzten Krouse.

Not sure if that’s how you spell her last name, but whatever…like she needs to care.


It’s nice to gather hats for guests in a big wicker basket in your front hall for summer.

217087644508349302_Zt0gRw1T_fI think I used this image once before, but it bears repeating. So charming if not that easily accessible.

93309023500742051_QVYsV4Y4_fI like the random nature and hanging of this collection. One of the best things about wicker is that it is absolutely affordable for everyone.

You can make Pier One stuff look great with the right touch. If your wicker looks too new, set it outside for a few weeks-presto, instant old wicker.

_VIE0572.450x675At the other end of the spectrum, Dolce & Gabbana did some pretty artful things with wicker this season, including these madcap shoes

_VIE1110.450x675and wicker corset.

Talk about pride feeling no pain…

But really, who needs to sit down when you’ve invested this much into your look

_VIE1159.450x675I really loved the playfulness and Carmen Miranda vibe of this collection.

Wicker dress form, Slim Paley photoSnapped at the Marches aux Puces, Paris

Screen Shot 2012-07-02 at 8.37.40 AM

and don’t even get me started on how much I love these. They’re like Campaign furniture made into shoes.

So, basically, two of my favourite things.

Screen Shot 2012-05-22 at 2.28.04 PMphoto Cote Sud

and these. I’m fashion-dextrous don’t you know.


Kate Spade proffered a wicker armadillo

Screen Shot 2012-04-20 at 7.37.07 PMRalph Lauren did a “Picnic basket-come-IT bag” last summer, but may I say that I like my vintage one much better

wicker wine carrying picnic basket, Slim PaleyYes, it’s lost a couple of pearls and a leaf or two but as it’s big enough to fit a bottle of wine, it could double as a picnic basket too!


Of course

402it’s easy to pull just one piece of wicker into your abode for summer

224Or you could opt for a total blast of it

Screen shot 2011-06-27 at 10.17.10 PMlike Anoushka Hempel did on her boat.  SO “Indochine”.  In fact, time to watch that movie again. by myself. The menfolk not at gunpoint.

403-1How pretty are the shadows cast by the “roof” in this room?

700_moon-lamp-one-jpeg“Jellyfish” wicker fixture. Sorry, lost the credit 🙁

Screen Shot 2013-06-18 at 10.59.01 PMVintage fishing baskets repurposed as outdoor lights, Vogue.

amazing mid-century wicker chair, Paris, Slim PaleyIf I’d had the focus, time and the energy to organise a container at the Marches aux Puces in Paris last summer…

Oh, the damage I could have wrought. I mean how cool is this chair?!

L1140363And this turn of the century, pristine wicker conservatory seating? Also at the Marches aux Puces

Hotel Costes, ParisI fear we just spent too many evenings keeping the wicker chairs at Hotel Costes warm.

That’s some good people watching there.

Drum table Pottery Barn, Slim Paley photoI did manage to ship a couple of Toureg “wicker” rugs home from Marrakech though.

More on those when the room is finished. Metal drum table from Pottery Barn.

loquats, Slim Paley

And gathered a beautiful big ole wicker basket of loquats from my tree to make…jam? jelly? puree? The loquat remains an enigma. I washed them to make a puree and they started turning brown and rotten as fast as a peeled banana.

So, how about you? Do you have any great summer wicker design tips to share?

I’d love to hear.




Header photo from Dedon Outdoor Furniture



  1. I am yet again amazed at what your eyes see! I don’t know how you keep track of the zillions of amazing images you send our way in your stupendous blog. But I am happy you do 🙂

  2. I have vintage Redmon picnic hampers that I stack for storage and display. Great aged luster. Makes me feel as if Finch-Hatton will be washing my hair at dusk.

  3. Hi there,
    Believe it is called a ‘shooting stick’ – somewhere to park one’s derrière when shooting at defenseless creatures gets too exhausting!

  4. I have always loved all wicker. I especially love the strength of rattan. The seemingly endless possibilities of items to be made with wicker. In my house I have many pieces. One special find of several years ago is a very large wicker coffee table for the family room.
    It almost looks like a single bed. Just plop down, put your feet up on and nary a care in the world for spills. Wicker is so easy care and adds such warmth. Great post!

  5. This. was. genius. How you manage to pull it all together with {funny} words and {stunning} visuals, I will never know. But I am so glad you do. Thanks as always!

  6. The picture in your hallway with the tripod-y thing made me have to look twice, I have the identical basket with the bamboo/wicker tripod seat (always thought it was for watching cricket whilst in the Colonies) in my summer cottage! Regretfully I just tag-sold my wicker bottle collection (in a fit of worrying that I had become a hoarder), but happy to say I have the Pottery Barn drum table, sadly without the Toureg rug tho! Beautiful post!!!

  7. Slim you have way too much fun when you post. They say you can be more creative if you have some spirits. ???? Love your posts.

  8. Ohhhh….this is all “woven” together like most all you do!
    Keeping me in touch with home during my annual “escape the gloom” journey!!
    Love from Greece

  9. Beautiful post. Thank you for reminding me, we have a vintage wicker fishing chair. Practically sits right on the ground, folds up nicely, and the lidded seat can hold fishing tackle or a bottle or two of wine. Beautiful piece of wicker. I need to find it and do a post.

  10. Ahhhh wicker, rattan, raffia, jute, hemp, sisal, seagrass, I am an adulteress, seduced by the weave….I just purchased yet ANOTHER woven french “farmers market basket” from “PORCH” in Carpinteria last weekend (I had 2 in my car while purchasing this one, seriously, I am addicted)…and I picked up a woven rattan/bamboo 3 foot ! garden cloche that I shall repurpose into a lovely light shade at Gardenology in Encinitas this week. I have decided to beg my dear, wonderful mother to ship the huge hanging basket chair she has had since the 70’s, so I may hang it along side the woven hammock in the guest house…. I took all my very large baskets and just added a wooden base with wheels to their bottoms so I can scurry them around like little go-carts (so fun to jump in and go down the long hilly drive)!!!!

  11. Oh Slim, that swing over the water…..sigh….they can simply row my cocktails to me as I read for hours……

    Always a treat to read your postings. So impressed by the napkins of the Indian dinner too 🙂

  12. Goodness, I have an old antique wicker picnic basket and an antique woven wicker evening purse. Does woven willow count as wicker? If so I made a willow rocking chair one summer up in Sun Valley. Does that count? Love your eye candy posts.

  13. Constance Wickering could be wife for My Fair Lady’s Colonel Pickering. Think that is called shooting stick. My mother had one she sat on at polo at old Riviera Polo Club in Los Angeles.

  14. I love wicker, rattan and raffia, too. So many purses of straw in my closet! They make me happy! Thanks, Slim!

  15. On a totally different note….Dolce and Gabbana will have time perhaps to do some nice wicker-work while they serve time for tax evasion. Either that or something new with an orange jumpsuit.

  16. I love all the wicker – and the opening header by Dedon. The ideal place, but how do you get there?

  17. Your antique wicker purse (tote?) is very beautiful…… delicate with the leaves and pearls……..I can see it lined in plastic (heavy duty) sitting on a table filled with a bouquet of lily of the valley flowers(real ones)—–or hide a vase inside and then add the flowers. Wicker is never out of style and is wonderful even in a bedroom. I also like to see it spray painted to match whatever setting it will occupy. I sprayed some wicker baskets at Easter in a beautiful moss color and they were so beautiful. Thanks again for a wonderful post.

  18. I came over from Back Porch Musings. So glad I did. I enjoyed these photos so much, and I am coveting your cute vintage wicker basket. laurie

  19. I believe your beautiful wicker picnic bag that you recently unveiled is really intended to carry bottled wine to prevent it from breaking while traveling to a picnic. The pearls are actually little grapes and the stems are the grape vines. It is not only purposeful but so gorgeous as well! What a great find!!

  20. Hello. I’m a Reggio teacher and I love the wicker basket on the wall idea to display the children’s art. How did you get it to stay up on the wall though? What type of adhesive did you use? Thank you!

  21. I discovered this blog while searching for links to The Golden Girls podcast “Enough Wicker” and man, I am not disappointed! This is an incredible roundup and I’m still dying over the dress.

Would love to hear from you!