Whether rustic, shabby-chic, coastal or modern, rattan (often referred to as wicker) has a relaxed vibe that makes for a cosy, calming space. Originally imported from Britain’s colonies in the Far East in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, rattan was hugely popular with everything from beds to coffee tables and because of its weather-resistant material, porches and outdoor space always featured a token piece of woven furniture.
More recently however, rattan has been the material of choice for storage baskets and trendy storage trunks that create a subtle accent to a room or hallway. This natural eco-conscious material is becoming increasingly popular with more people seeking environmentally friendly materials for their home. Lisa Mehydene, founder of online interiors destination edit58 believes, “rattan blends our love of natural materials with a desire to inject a sense of vintage/handmade feel into our home. It provides a nostalgic nod but feels thoroughly modern and chic.”
Easy to clean (dust with a damp cloth) and lightweight to carry and move, this material makes a practical choice for family homes. Make sure your rattan furniture lasts by nourishing the material with either sprays intended for wood or occasionally rubbing beeswax into the material. It’s important to be aware that natural cane will darken with age and feel less ‘new’. And remember, unlike many materials we use in the home, it is possible to get broken rattan repaired by a craftsman.
Its neutral colour ways make it a “great material to work early stages of interior design- inserting cane panels into cupboards, or using raffia for radiator covers, “suggests interior designer Matilda Goad. But don’t overdo it, “it’s important to get the balance right and pair rattan alongside wallpaper, printed fabrics and bright pops of colour.” It can give a natural and organic look and feel that can add texture and richness to any room.
Rattan generally has quite a nautical, coastal feel. Victoria Ceraudo, co-founder of Ceraudo.com says, “to make the material look more contemporary it’s best to stick to pieces as complements to a space, as opposed to the main event. Combine with pretty printed fabrics and accessories to keep the decor looking fresh.” Lisa agrees, “simple accessories such as rattan mirrors, lampshades, hooks, shelves or even tabletop items such as rattan placemats are an easy way to dip your toe into the trend. There are so many variations for its use.”
And best of all, since rattan décor is prevalent at second-hand stores and car-bot sales, you can usually find some great pieces on the cheap.
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