#DesignItForwood: Anna Craven

Anna Craven Saigon is a luxe bed, table linen, and homeware accessories line curated by Anna Craven herself. Anna’s timeless collections have been carefully developed and selected during her travels throughout Asia and Europe. Working with a wide array of designers, local craftsmen, and family businesses in Asia, Anna’s collections boast lovingly made natural fabrics inspired by her homes in Saigon and the South of France. 

She is the ultimate go-to gal when it comes to bed and table linens as well as beautifully crafted bedspreads– many of which are showcased in her and her husband’s hotels around the world. 

Anna reflects on her past inspiration, shares her Christmas tablescaping picks this season, and dishes on her creative process. See our behind-the-scenes look at her development of high-quality cotton and silk linen that showcases elegant and simple detailing in this exclusive seasonal Q & A with Forwood Design.

Let’s start at the beginning. What marked the starting point for you in the world of home decor? Have you always known you’d be in this industry? What made you decide to go into bed and table linens?

I came in backward, really! I am obsessed with food and table settings. My husband and I set up our first restaurant 18 years ago in Saigon, and since then, I have been obsessed with all types of table linens and setting tables!

How has your background influenced the way you work now?

I was definitely influenced by my parents growing up. I always found it fascinating to observe the way they lived their lives, with a focus on beautiful home design. My father still sets the table every night for dinner using beautiful plates and glassware, and of course, our linens!

We’d love to hear a bit about your creative process. How do you usually approach a new project?

I have to say that I am not that creatively organised. I usually feel excited to begin a new project when I see something I’m inspired by, such as a painting or photograph. If it makes me think “oh wow, that would be nice,” an idea usually develops from there, and the rest takes on a life of its own. My husband and I also travel a lot around Asia, and there is a great deal of inspiration around every corner– in gardens, restaurants, and of course in Asian cities, which are filled with so much life and colour.

How would you describe your design style for those that might not be familiar? How has your style evolved over the years?

Classic – timeless – and inspired by how I live in Asia. A little bit of Indochine style.

Our latest Anna x Forwood Festive Photoshoot showcases how to spend the holiday season in style. What are your go-to Forwood Design items to pair with Anna Craven Saigon collections when setting your holiday tablescape?

For me, Forwood Trays add the final touch to any entertaining moment. They can be used as a drinks tray, so they’ll be the first thing your guests notice when they go to grab a drink! 

And, of course, I must highlight that Forwood table mats work so well with our linens– I am obsessed with them. This year, my table will have Kitty Arden’s ‘Planet’ Placemats with a Washed Linen Anna Craven tablecloth and napkins.

Your linen napkins are beautifully made and pair perfectly with most dining sets. What is your favourite Forwood Design item from our latest ceramics collection? 

This Christmas, I will definitely be using one of the large Stoneware Serving Platters from the new Forwood ceramics collection – it will be perfect for the Christmas Pudding and will add a beautiful focal point to the room.

As you know, Forwood Design’s collections are inspired by nature. Which of our luxury faux finishes excites you most? Which item(s) from your collections would you recommend pairing with this finish?

The washed linen probably fits best as it has a certain amount of texture in the fabric that feels very natural and relaxed. It’s very unique in that it does not have that starchy feel of more classic linen fabrics.