Luxury furnishings and bespoke interior design showroom Lacaze on Kings Road is run by sisters Hanaa and Kay Chattun, who show how the bespoke touch can transform interiors. Words by Helen Cahill

A velvet green sofa with pulled-deep buttoning; a bespoke coffee table,  mirror and sideboard all with matching geometric designs; elegant wooden dining chairs with platinum-grey fabric coverings (currently displayed at Harrods) – the Lacaze showroom is a treasure trove of striking pieces, things you might expect from design industry veterans – and shows how far a family business launched in February of this year has come.
Hanaa and Kay Chattun’s success is partly explained by their background. They grew up with furniture-making at the heart of their family life in Mauritius. Their father, a lecturer on woodworking, metalwork and design, crafted in his home workshop and, simultaneously, taught them about joins, timbers and the manufacturing process in general. This specialist knowledge gives their new business the edge – not only can they design your dream sofa, they can make it too.

At first, they helped interior designers source bespoke furniture and ordered through factories. ‘Then, very quickly, we realised it was difficult because we couldn’t control the factories we were buying from. They have their own interpretation of what the furniture should look like,’ Kay tells me. ‘We decided to take the plunge and start our own.’ Now, they have a workshop 40 minutes from their King’s Road outlet. Being so near to it, and having a close relationship with their workers (‘the guys’), gives them unprecedented control over how their products turn out. ‘We can be there a lot of the time and look after things very closely,’ Kay adds. ‘There are no grey areas for anyone.’
Most of their clients do order bespoke furniture, but sometimes their retail clients need assistance, so it’s important to communicate with them regularly. ‘We make the process very pleasurable for our clients because it can be quite intense, not knowing what you will get in the end and whether it will work or not,’ Hanaa explains. ‘We send them pictures of the furniture in progress so they can see it as it’s being made.’ Clients are even invited to visit the factory. ‘It’s nice to show them around so we can tell them things like “your wood for this part is from Austria, your feathers are from France”,’ Kay says. ‘They like to know the story behind the furniture.’


Sisters Hanaa and Kay Chattun run Lacaze

Such a personal service is largely unrivalled in London. Even if someone doesn’t know what they want, the Chattun sisters can create their ideal home furnishings. ‘You have to learn a lot about what your clients like, what they dislike, what they are after in terms of comfort, fabrics and colours they prefer,’ Hanaa says. ‘You can tell a lot from the way they dress, too. Even the way they talk can be an insight!’ They consider the customer’s age and height, too – apparently, older clients tend to prefer higher seats than younger ones. Inevitably, Hanaa and Kay’s desire to produce perfectly tailored pieces means they end up becoming friends with their clients.
As a sibling-run business, the close relationship between the two sisters is vital, too. ‘The reason why the business works so well is because we get on so well, and we like similar stuff. We do have a lot of clothes that are exactly the same,’ Hanaa laughs. ‘It did happen once that we got ready totally separately, and we turned up to a client meeting wearing the same clothes. We were even wearing the same coat! So one of us had to keep the coat on and the other had to take hers off.’
The honesty between them underpins the whole business. ‘You can scream and shout at each other if you want to,’ Hanaa admits, giggling as Kay covers her face, also laughing. ‘But neither of you are going to go anywhere. You’re bound for life.’ If things get a little too heated, their father is always on call if they need him, too.
It’s no wonder that the sisters offer such a valuable service, then. They can use their own experiences as well as their father’s, and have a dedicated team supporting them. Their ideas for the future sound ambitious – Kay talks of combining technology with their joinery work, and Hanaa has been investigating international markets. You get the impression this is one business to watch.   

558 Kings Road SW6 2DZ; 020 3659 2234;

Most Read