The Resurgence of Rattan



If you take a gander at any of the latest interior decor publications, you’ll likely come across several pages sprinkled with rattan pieces in various forms. Though the look may feel fresh and new, the reality is that rattan furniture has been around forever… but actually! These woven pieces played an integral role in the formation of early civilizations in places like Egypt and China and for very practical reasons. The word ‘rattan’ refers to an entire group of plants, like palms, for example, that are fibrous, malleable and, most importantly, strong, making them ideal candidates for weaving into wicker furniture. Incredibly durable and made of a material native to Eastern parts of the world, they were an obvious choice for furniture making. Since then, rattan has reappeared during the Victorian era and again the in ‘70s.

If we fast forward to today, rattan is showing no signs of abating but for reasons pertaining more to aesthetics than durability. A style that was once reserved for holiday homes and outdoor patios has now earned its rightful place inside our homes as well and we’re all for it! Rattan is a wonderful way to bring the outdoors in, add texture and an element of surprise to any space. What we’ve come to realize though is that although many of our clients love the look, it’s not always glaringly obvious how one might incorporate and style it in a home. So with that in mind, here are 3 tips on how to incorporate rattan into your home…

Photo Courtesy of Homes & Gardens

1. Layer Different Styles

When it comes to rattan, in order to achieve the right look, you need to be willing to layer different styles. If you go rattan crazy and match your rattan headboard with rattan side tables and a rattan dresser (how many times can we say rattan in a sentence?!), you’ll end up with a boho nightmare of a space! The key to creating a look that feels authentic is restraint. When you hold back and narrow it down to one or just a few pieces, depending on how much space you’re working with, your chances of nailing that surprising yet pleasing earthiness that these ancient beauties bring are much greater. We love the striking contrast of the fibrous wood paired with velvets and linens, for example. The idea is not to have your rattan piece match everything but rather to be a stand out, make a statement or serve as focal point. 

Photo Courtesy of @ruerodier

Mix Old With New

Although rattan pieces range greatly in price from a variety of retailers, we often find that the best places to purchase unique versions are vintage and antique furniture stores as well as good old Kijiji. Not only are these pieces often the most affordable choice, they also make for wonderful creative opportunities that bring individual personality into your home. A dining set with seat cushions that have seen better days can be made to look incredibly chic when reupholstered with the right textile. If the cane or woven pieces themselves aren’t to your liking, transform them into that pop of colour your spaces has been lacking with a fresh coat of paint. Customizing pre-loved rattan furniture also happens to be one of these easiest ways to add some French-girl-chic vibes to your home.  

Photo Courtesy of Rue Rodier

If in Doubt, Start Small

If you’re still not sold on the idea of larger items like rattan dining chairs, tables, headboards and so forth, try integrating them into your space in a more subtle way. Lighting is a great way to incorporate this natural element with lampshades. Alternatively, a few woven baskets can not only bring texture into a room but can also serve as a practical storage solution.