Fit for the King of Siam
The King of Thailand’s own craftsmen spend at least six weeks hand-cutting, sanding, and inlaying 5,000-plus pieces of luminous mother-of-pearl into intricate designs for Manop Rachote’s limited-edition chests and boxes (about $2,675 to$4,460). In addition to royal artisans, the Bangkok-based home-design duo Stephen Bennett and his eponymous partner also seek out artistry and technical skills in local villages with women’s cooperatives in the hills of Northern Thailand. Their indigenous “triangular-shape grass” weaving forms the basis for the Nan Hand Weave basket collection (shown), while other villagers carve mango wood into stylish modern interpretations of ancient Thai monk bowls. Manop Rachote’s picture frames, wrapped in a full spectrum of alligator, crocodile, iguana, pony, python, and stingray, add a touch of Thai exoticism into any interior design, while pure organic beeswax candles infused with natural flower, herbal, and plant elixirs developed by an ayurvedic doctor emit negative ions to counterbalance urban pollution. Desire rather than design philosophy underlies their varied inventory. Every item originates in Thailand, sometimes called the Land of Smiles, so it is no surprise to hear Bennett describe the motivation behind what they design as “whatever beauty puts a smile on our faces.” Manop Rachote is available at J Banks Design Ltd in Hilton Head, South Carolina (843.681.5122, jbanksdesign.com), Jeffrey Lamb Home in Miami Beach (305.861.0747, jeffreylambhome.com), and in Bangkok (662.254.3438, www.manop-rachote.com).