Rattan has well and truly come back into fashion in the past couple of years, and I’m so glad it has! In this article, I’ll share with you why I love rattan and why I believe it’s a trend that is here to stay.
Photo by AMA Studio Interiors
But first, what is rattan, and what is the difference between rattan, cane and wicker?
The words rattan, cane and wicker are often used interchangeably, but there are some subtle differences between them.
Rattan is a fast-growing vine native to Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. The core of the vines make-up the majority of the furniture, but the skin also gets put to use for weaving and binding joints.
Cane is a specific part of the rattan plant that bends easily, hence its use in making chairs.
Wicker is not a material but a traditional weaving technique used to manufacture products out of rattan, rush, willow or even synthetic materials.
Rattan can make a statement in your interior and suits most styles
Whether you love Scandinavian, Coastal, Contemporary or Boho style, rattan can complement your interior beautifully. It's a natural material which brings warmth to a room and works particularly well with neutral colours. It also pairs beautifully with other natural materials such as linen or wood. Rattan products often have an organic shape and are usually left in their natural colour, bringing a natural touch to an interior with that perfectly imperfect look that we all love.
Bernardes Bench by Andreu Carulla
Rattan is a sustainable beauty
Rattan is a strong material and makes for durable furniture that will last decades. As it's a vine rather than a tree, it grows quickly and is a great renewable alternative to timber logging. Usually harvested by hand, its manufacturing process does not require polluting production facilities.
Rattan can even have a positive impact on forest management as the vines grow amongst other vegetation, which incentivises locals to protect their forests. Rattan's lightness limits the furniture's carbon footprint from shipping.
However, rattan's sustainability can be hindered when its vines are cut prematurely as this limits its ability to resprout and causes forest degradation.
Beach Lounger – Land and Sand Essentials
And you can make it even more sustainable by buying vintage pieces
Rattan has been around since the ’70s, so there are great vintage pieces available. Using vintage injects warmth and personality into your room thanks to unique pieces that you won’t see elsewhere.
See our article on ‘Why your room needs vintage furniture’ if you need more reasons to take the vintage path.
When looking for vintage rattan furniture, Facebook Market and Gumtree are a great place to start. For those living in Sydney, check out Lunatiques in Mascot, Mitchell Road Antique in Alexandria and the Collectors Market in Rozelle. They are some of my favourite places to shop for vintage furniture. We also offer a range of beautiful vintage rattan pieces on our website.
Vintage rattan stool – AMA Studio Interiors
There is a wide range of rattan products to choose from
Whether you need a new armchair, a coffee table, a bedhead, a basket or even a cat bed, you will find great rattan options. Rattan can also be used outdoors as long as the area is not exposed (see our ‘Top tips to make your outdoor area tip top’ article).
To help you find the perfect piece for your home, I’ve selected for you some of my favourite products.
The Marcel Breuer Cesca Chair is a classic that has stood the test of time.
There are plenty of amazing rattan pendant lights available at the moment. These are just some of my favourites.
This DIY bed by @thishouse5000 makes a real statement.
You can’t go wrong with Malawi chairs
Image: Beach Wood
This bookcase looks absolutely gorgeous!
I love the refined look of this cabinet!
Image: Atelier 2+
And we didn’t forget our furry friends!
I hope you now love rattan as much as I do and don’t forget to share this article with your rattan-enthusiast friends!