Well-made ensemble: Furniture by Ethnicraft & Notre Monde

In this article we want to deal with the companies Notre Monde and Ethnicraft, the latter which has been producing authentic, contemporary and functional furniture for 20 years. The high standard of quality impresses the customers. Also the responsibility that Ethnicraft takes for the material resources and environment is worth mentioning. We’ve already been able to check out furniture by Ethnicraft at many fairs such as the Maison & Objet or Imm Cologne. Now we want to focus more on the philosophy and the special pieces from their home collections.

Founders of Ethnicraft - Benoit Loos (left) and Philippe Delaisse

Founders of Ethnicraft – Benoit Loos (left) and Philippe Delaisse

In the 1990s, Benoit Loos and Philippe Delaisse, two men from Antwerp, met each other.

Philippe Delaisse had extensive experience exporting traditional furniture and accessories from Indonesia to Belgium. Benoit Loos was responsible for marketing, finance and growth. After some time, the partners came to realize that the mere import of traditional items would not be a viable strategy in the long term. The idea of using local craftsmanship to make contemporary solid wood furniture was the key to founding Ethnicraft.

Already in 1997 they were able to exhibit their first pieces of teak at the Maison & Objet fair in Paris.

Visitors were amazed by their furniture designs. Ethnicraft had found the right path: beautifully finished contemporary solid wood furniture. Over the years, the company has expanded its creative palette to a complete range of furniture without turning its back on its own identity. In addition to teak, they now also offer pieces of oak and walnut wood.

The Ethnicraft brand family already had many renowned designers who left their handwriting in pieces of furniture. Among the more than 20 designers are Alain van Havre as in-house designer, Nathan Yong, Heidi Earnshaw, Patrick Petterson, Patrick Turner, or design duos like Jan & Lara, Grain & Green, Kaschkasch, GUD and more.

They design and produce durable and timeless furniture and decorative objects. The goal is to create high-quality wooden furniture that will last for generations and resist trends. The designs are versatile and can be combined well with different interior styles. The company offers collections for every room in the house. Ethnicraft’s basic design philosophy is to use rational ideas to create emotional quality.

The "Spindle Bed" in walnut by designer Nathan Yong. A furniture by Ethnicraft, which we have already seen at many fairs. (Source: ethnicraft.com)

The “Spindle Bed” in walnut by designer Nathan Yong. A furniture by Ethnicraft, which we have already seen at many fairs.

While the designs are always functional, the furniture should also generate emotion. This is achieved through outstanding craftsmanship, which is the core of Ethnicraft philosophy. Corporate responsibility is reflected e. g. in making the Tabwa series. Value was placed on the craftsmen who still master this carving technique to make a good living with fair conditions.

An excellent example of furniture by Ethnicraft. The Tabwa furniture series by Carlos Baladia. Inspiration is the preference for linear geometric motifs and culture from Central Africa. (Source: ethnicraft)

The Tabwa furniture series by Carlos Baladia. Inspiration is the preference for linear geometric motifs and culture from Central Africa.

Behind the mostly simple overall design of the individual pieces hides a constant urge for innovation. Each new Ethnicraft design will be redesigned to the smallest detail using new advanced techniques.

The main material used by Ethnicraft is still solid wood. For example, the teak used comes from Indonesia, where wood is purchased through recycling and sustainably cultivated land. The oak used comes from French and Serbian areas, as well as from well-managed forests in Europe. The walnut wood of the designs comes from American soil.

The "Osso" furniture by Ethnicraft is available in walnut and oak and was created by the design studio Grain & Green. (Source: ethnicraft.com)

The “Osso” furniture by Ethnicraft is available in walnut and oak and was created by the design studio Grain & Green.

Since wood has been the core material for the ranges since the beginning of the company, it is particularly important for Ethnicraft to be aware of the environmental impact of the industry and to realize and actively address environmental issues that may arise in the business process. This starts with the origin of the wood, the energy for the production and distribution process, as well as the treatment of the products and ends with the reduction of waste.

When reading about Ethnicraft, you inevitably stumble upon Notre Monde.

A design company founded in 1997 by artist Dawn Sweitzer to create unique, functional objects inspired by nature, her travels and beautiful, simple everyday objects. As the brand grew and demand increased, she saw the opportunity to expand a partnership with the Belgian Ethnicraft brand in 2013. As a result, the company gained another product segment, with pieces that fit perfectly with their own furniture. Notre Monde was able to expand its reach in the global market. Dawn Sweitzer’s product portfolio now includes not only tablets and small furniture, but also sofas.

The product portfolio of Notre Monde includes not only trays but also seating furniture. (Source: notremonde.com)

Notre Monde stands for quality and unmistakable aesthetics. Global patterns, textures and layers are transferred to the pieces using traditional printing and hand finishing techniques. Luxury and function is state of the art at Notre Monde.
Christine HillerTrend analyst
Founder Dawn Sweitzer is a self-taught artist with a strong sense of style.

She is inspired not only by her extensive travels throughout the world, but also by her design projects in Europe. Dawn Sweitzer lives in North Carolina today. Her pieces also often breathe the style of the Midwest, influenced by the contemporary style. You can say: her environment is a main source of inspiration.

Notre Monde is a direct expression of the immersion in different cultures.

Similar to Ethnicraft, each of the pieces is hand-crafted with exquisite materials, allowing to guarantee exceptional quality and making each piece unique. This is also evident in the new Wabi Sabi collection. It’s inspired by two things: travel and nature.

“While driving through the mountains of the Blue Ridge, the view became almost like a watercolor, with sky blue, gray, and fog overlaying the horizon, and when the sun set, it took on a whole new color palette of warm autumn tones like sienna and sand.” This is reflected in the trays of the Wabi Sabi series, which also do very well as a wall hanging.

The "Mystic Gold" tray collection by Notre Monde. (Source: notremonde.com)

Or Dawn’s “Organic” collection in which the artist uses the strong and trendy form of the hexagon. This impressively unique, high-contrast, organic motifs are placed on a correspondingly shaped glass plate, which have a clear watercolor character. They are available in diverse models as a tray or side table.

The side table "Cobalt Mist" in hexagon look by Notre Monde. The Organic tables perfectly capture the movement within two pictures. (Source: notremonde.com)

The color and design language of Notre Monde appeals to fans of ethnic style, industrial, wabi-sabi, modern living as well as shaker style almost equally. There are intensely colored pieces as well as moderately colored models.

The collections of both design companies merge to form a special ensemble.

Anyone who values timeless design in high quality and functionality as an architect and interior designer is in the right place. Notre Monde with its convincing high-quality unique pieces and Ethnicraft with shapely solid wood furniture in outstanding design. What do you like most about the furniture of Ethnicraft and Notre Monde? What impresses you about the products?

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