Here’s an interesting article on rattan furniture by Kristina McGuirk for Better Homes & Gardens.
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From subtle accents to show-stopping furnishings, rattan has charmed its way into every room of the home, celebrating centuries of craftsmanship and design.
Rattan is a vine-like palm that is part of an ancient heritage of woven objects. You’ve probably associated it with wicker, which refers to furniture made of woven materials, such as rattan. These pieces make durable picks for patios and other outdoor spaces, but rattan furniture is now taking on a starring role in interiors, too.
The modern history of rattan furniture dates back to the colonization of Southeast Asia, where rattan furniture was first made. The British brought it into the Western domestic sphere in the 19th century, where it was popular until the 1930s. Rattan furniture’s most iconic form, the peacock chair, was a significant piece that permeated most of the 20th century, including a robust rattan revival in 1960s and 1970s home decor.
Rattan never went completely out of fashion; it remained part of leisurely resort decor and coastal styles. Now, it’s more than a one-style furnishing. Scandinavian bedrooms, farmhouse kitchens, and traditional living rooms are all taking advantage of rattan.
No longer relegated to the outdoors, rattan is in the spotlight again, and “Why is rattan furniture out of stock” is a top Google search suggestion. (Answer: rattan furniture is generally handmade and imported from Indonesia. Some companies work on a pre-order basis, others simply have to replenish stock during popular times.)
Part of rattan’s current appeal is the resurgence of boho decor. Briana Summers, a graphic designer based in Des Moines, created a modern bohemian aesthetic by including it throughout her home. “I love incorporating rattan into our modern home because it’s an easy way to bring in the warm, boho vibes that make our space feel laid-back and cozy,” she says. “The shapes and unique patterns found in rattan furniture give our space a lot of look without breaking the bank.”
Rattan is now shaped into a wide variety of home furnishings for nearly every room. “Headboards have been popular as an easy, quick way to add a fresh look,” says Kristin Jones, owner of apparel and home furnishings brand Picnic. She also recognizes its simple versatility. Decorating with rattan adds form and function instantly, and the pieces adapt quickly to seasonal or style changes. “Rattan is thought of as a summery piece, but you can easily cozy it up with velvet during the winter,” says Jones.
Rattan’s artisanal quality, durability, and sustainability also add to its allure, according to Patrice Gerber, co-founder of home decor company Kouboo. Part of the charm of rattan furniture is that every piece is unique. “You can expect some variance in shade, grain, and size,” Gerber says.
To incorporate the beauty of rattan into your home, you don’t have to drop a small fortune on an antique Victorian bench or a vintage 1970s armchair. Rattan furniture is made in much the same way as it has always been, and you can still get many of the same or similarly-styled looks that were available years ago. Check out these fresh rattan furniture finds to add texture and style to your space.
Rattan Side Table
Trendy rattan frame or traditional rattan weave? You can have both! A woven rattan top complements the open curves of the rattan frame base. This small side table packs natural texture and chic style into a small space. It’s also available in a more contemporary black finish.
Rattan Room Divider
Room dividers are increasing in popularity since many people have started working from home. This decorative rattan piece works great if you’re not trying to hide a messy background from your Zoom call; the airy pattern allows you to create a cozy room-within-a-room without sacrificing natural light. When not in use, it adds interest to a boring wall or corner.
Rattan Coffee Table
A glass top lets the rattan base be the star of this coffee table. Together, they form a substantial piece of furniture that doesn’t weigh down the room, perfect for both open floor plans and small cozy spaces. Enhance the boho look of a space already filled with textures and patterns, or use its clean profile to complement an upscale coastal style. A matching side table is also available.
Rattan headboards are an emblem of boho chic style, and the trend saw a surge on Pinterest this year. This flowery shape harmonizes with the natural materials, but the bold line and silhouette have a young, modern vibe. This headboard doesn’t connect to the bed frame, so it’s easy to try it in another room or move it to a new place, such as a dorm room. It’s also available in mint and white finishes.
Easily add natural elements to your decor with a rattan mirror. It’s perfect for an entryway or living room. The simple, 24-inch-wide frame lends itself well to a room with an eclectic mix of other natural textures. Under 5 pounds, it’s easy to hang, too!
The loop detail at the head and foot of this daybed packs a lot of style into a small package. Though it’s petite, the cushion is still deep and long enough to lounge in. The elegant lounge spot looks great in the center of a room, but against a wall with pillows for the back, it becomes a cozy loveseat. Bonus: you can get a similar rattan pet bed so Fido doesn’t feel left out.
Rattan Plant Stand
House plants played a big part in the ’60s and ’70s home decor during rattan’s last big revival. Elevate them once more with this hand-woven plant stand. The lightweight but sturdy design makes it easy to relocate your plant friends to sunnier spots, no matter the season.
Classic rattan cane details decorate the door of this stylish little nightstand with a midcentury profile. This almost rosy, light wood finish bridges the gap between boho and Scandinavian style. A light natural brown finish is also available, as are multiple matching furniture pieces to give your bedroom sophisticated beach-vacation vibes.