This Brand Channels Hemingway and Fitzgerald Drinking Martinis in the South of FranceWords by Olivia Lidbury
For Louise Roe, there’s a unique synergy between interiors and fashion.
“My biggest goal is to create something that is timeless but also playful,” says the founder of homewares brand Sharland England. “I love pieces that you can have fun dressing up or down—a bit like a classic blazer or a great piece of cashmere.” Louise knows a thing or two about versatile investment pieces: the English native worked as a fashion journalist and broadcaster in Los Angeles for over a decade before returning back home in 2019.
Leaning into her traditional, English taste, and the influence of her great-grandmother (bon vivant Marjorie, more on her below), Sharland England has everything the consummate host could need—and more. At its core are interchangeable table accessories and artisan-made rattan pieces. “It's a very enduring style,” she says of her affection for the latter, “when Hemingway and Fitzgerald were a bit of a gang drinking martinis on the coast in the South of France, they were always seated at rattan tables and chairs.”
Along with hand painted ceramics and vintage-inspired table linen, the brand has a cultured, European outlook with a dash of British irreverence. Marjorie would certainly approve.
Give us a quick background story…
Sharland is named after my great-granny, Marjorie Sharland. I never got to meet her, but I grew up around all her antiques, like patinated wooden furniture and lots of rattan pieces. My mum was very close to her and has tales of her entertaining in Buenos Aires, where she lived. It was a time when people smoked cigarettes with holders and wore white gloves to dinner.
Marjorie would take mum out for lunch and order pudding first, which was quite a rebellious thing to do in the 1950s! I started working on the brand during lockdown and was drawn to the nostalgic elegance of entertaining. It captures the joy in making your house beautiful, but is warm and welcoming at the same time.
What is your design philosophy?
That idea of keeping something forever is so important. One of our first customers bought the Bunny Bench and said: “This is a piece I want to hand down to my daughter one day.” That’s the biggest compliment because I want to make things that people hold on to and want to pass down to their children.
What style or architectural era inspires you most?
My favorite architectural era specifically is late Georgian. For me, it’s the symmetry of the windows and the ceiling height. When I moved back to England from LA, we renovated a gorgeous Georgian rectory and that’s where the idea for Sharland England came to me.
What differentiates the construction of your products from the rest?
Everything is handmade by artisans with skill sets that are very indigenous to their culture and where they live. For example, all our rattan products are made in Java, where it grows and replenishes itself every few years. We're using something that should last you a lifetime, and that replenishes itself so quickly in its natural habitat.
What colors or materials are you loving right now?
I just love every shade of brown—rust in particular. It's elegant and classic, and I think brown mixed with blue or green is beautiful. Fashion and interiors overlap a lot for me, and right now I'm looking at a vintage blouse with broderie anglaise and thinking I could cut the sleeves off and go and make a napkin with it!
What are the hero products that you’re most excited to bring to Showroom?
I spent a long time designing our new Piolo Armchair. The rattan is torched, so it looks like antique bamboo. It comes with a choice of cushions in three colorways which are hand-embroidered in India. It’s a standout piece—whether you buy one or a pair and have them in a study or a living room. And the Hadley Tray with scalloped edges is our best-seller; you can layer it on a coffee table with books and vases, or use it for breakfast in bed—it’s really versatile.
What is an anchor piece that would work in any room?
The Adeline Console Table boasts all the hoops and the braiding details which were made famous in the midcentury. Rattan helps ground a space and this piece brings a room together whether you put it behind the sofa, or up against the wall in a hallway with a couple of lamps on it.
What is your idea of ultimate luxury?
Travel, because it gives me a new perspective, no matter where I go. Next on my hit list is Tangier in Morocco—there are some beautiful homes and gardens there. I also love to ski; being in the mountains is my ultimate luxury—you put the phone away, and everything's bright white and just feels so different.
What made you want to partner with The Expert Showroom?
I think the idea is genius. I heard the founders Jake and Leo being interviewed on a podcast at The Expert’s very inception and I was so fascinated by it. The cross section of designers is just so vast, and it makes the idea of interior design a lot more attainable.
It's not really enough anymore just to try and sell a product—and neither should it be. If you're able to give ideas visually—which The Expert does through helpful content—and then speak to someone about those ideas and go into minute detail, I think that's the ultimate 360 approach to shopping and decorating. I also love the fact that it can be shopped in a very curated way.
What product do you dream of adding to your assortment?
I can’t stop designing and have to slow myself down a bit, but I’m excited to be working on outdoor furniture and creating new ceramics designs.
The brand’s biggest “pinch me” moment was…?
I’ve had quite a few! We've had some incredible orders from interior designers who I massively respect. And having our product featured in magazines like AD and Veranda have been huge moments.