In 2008, with years of experience as a design director under her belt, Anna Schmidt decided it was time to go it alone. Inspired by her extensive travels, she launched ALSO Home, a UK company that champions handcrafted homewares and basketry from around the world. Natural textures and low-key colours guide the collection, while Scandinavian and Japanese design aesthetics set the harmonious tone.ALSO Home’s baskets achieve an easy balance between the decorative and practical.
Seagrass and water hyacinth are the materials of choice. As they grow abundantly in Vietnam (water hyacinth is widely considered to be a weed) they’re sustainable options. Natural biodegradability means products crafted from these fibres have a light environmental touch. When first gathered, the seagrass is green, but it settles to an oaty-brown shade as it dries. The characterful appeal of this naturally warm hue is accentuated by the plaited and woven textures of the baskets.
Picking baskets for display or storage is an easy way to add texture and interest to any room. They connect us with nature and remind us of our heritage. ALSO Home’s Nousta and Tilaa styles come in versatile cylindrical forms with robust plaited handles. A selection of sizes makes these ideal for storing firewood or displaying houseplants. Kuten baskets are flat, round designs – also with upright handles – making them the perfect places for stashing skeins of wool or heaping up handfuls of foraged pine cones.