Traditional Baskets Complement Modern Design

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Mid-Century modern architectural style is known for sleek surfaces, strong horizontal lines, and a minimalist approach to decoration. When added with care, though, handicrafts can complement the overall look. Consider the use of baskets at Almyra, the mid-century modern resort that is a member of Design Hotels. All the waste baskets in the guest rooms are handmade by Maroulla Mavromoustakou, a local artisan who also works as a chamber maid in the hotel. Maroulla hails from the Cypriot village of Mesogi, which is renowned for its tradition of basket making. She learned the craft from her mother and has been practicing it for 40 years. Working with straw sourced from villages along the nearby river valley, Maroulla begins each waste basket by holding a small wooden block between her feet and forming a circular base with 6 to 12 spokes emanating from its centre. She then weaves the sides around the frame. The top edge is finished with a continuous reed that was soaked in water to make it more pliable. Each waste basket takes her two hours to craft. She has also made very large baskets for collecting towels by Almyra’s pools. Almyra’s baskets follow a simple design befitting the mid-century modern décor, but Maroulla is also adept at weaving the colourful geometrical patterns that are a hallmark of the Cypriot craft. Use of handmade baskets not only makes aesthetic sense—it helps preserve a folk craft tradition and is eco-friendly, too. What’s not to like about that?

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