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Rattan in trend: The master craft weaving its way into our homes

When rattan first gained widespread popularity as an interior design trend in the seventies, it did so in a big way: For at least a decade, rattan furniture and baskets were everywhere. In the typical seventies home, no patio, veranda or conservatory was complete without a full suite of rattan. Now this decorative woven trend is back – and this time, the trend has come in from the outdoors as a nature-inspired design statement, with handmade baskets and other woven pieces bringing a touch of the perfectly imperfect to the modern interior.

Rattan: A material with history

Basket weaving is one of the oldest crafts to be invented by the human hand.

After the 17th century – following the continent’s colonisation of Asia – rattan quickly took over from the traditional willow branches as the preferred material for basket weaving in Europe. For hundreds of years, the woody liana of rattan palms were a popular choice for furnishings among affluent purchasers. Today, this durable material is more relevant than ever before: Sustainable, natural and flexible rattan embodies everything we look for in a modern interior trend. And if retro isn’t your thing, there’s no need to step back into the seventies: The latest rattan pieces come in new colours, shapes and designs to complement a wide range of interior styles.

Rattan furniture

Tradition and trend entwined

For the designers at this year’s Maison & Objet in Paris, rattan furniture and accessories are a key element of 2019’s global nomad trend, which combines beautifully woven baskets with leather armchairs, pouffes and woven textile rugs in warm tones of terracotta, brown and orange. But the rattan trend is just as at home in a Scandi-style mid-century interior, a Mediterranean-inspired living room or an exotic urban jungle design concept.

Partnered with light textiles such as linen or cotton, light wood furniture and pure white walls, rattan chairs, stools and other woven pieces are the perfect complement to the country kitchen look. Rattan works well with vintage pieces for a shabby chic style, or can be paired with a neutral, earthy palette of beige and olive tones to bring authenticity and homeliness to more minimalist interiors.

Rattan furniture
Rattan furniture
Rattan furniture

Quality over quantity: The rattan trend for design lovers

Baskets and rattan furniture have already made their way back into the ranges of virtually all furniture and interior chains, and rattan is cheaply and readily available to all who want to update their home with this design trend. However, for design lovers, high-quality traditionally woven pieces are more than worth the extra investment: Classics like the S533 Cantilever Chair by Thonet and the Orinoco rocking chair by Bloomingville are elegant, sophisticated and guaranteed to stand the test of time in any interior.

When choosing textured pieces in materials such as rattan for your home, it is a good idea to purchase furniture in pairs for a coordinated, coherent look; this approach will highlight the material as a conscious design choice. If you think your rattan stool or armchair looks a little outdated, you can give it a modern makeover by adding textiles with prints or patchwork designs. A cushion, new upholstery or a throw is a quick and easy way to integrate vintage rattan furniture into a modern interior.

Rattan furniture

Baskets in the home: Small accessories that make a big impact

If you want to bring the rattan trend into your home, there’s no need to replace your entire three-piece suite or buy a brand-new set of living room furniture just yet. Adding just a few smaller accessories such as rattan lamps, laundry baskets or plant pots is enough to create the homely, authentic atmosphere that rattan brings. Functional accessories like magazine racks or side tables are easy to combine with your current furniture. Or if you want to make more of a feature of rattan in your home, a rattan trunk is a great way to create additional storage space – and also serves as a handy extra coffee table. However you use rattan in your home, this natural material is the perfect choice for creating a more relaxed look in your living room, hall or entrance.

Stay on trend: Caring for your rattan

Although rattan is a hard-wearing, natural material, it does need a little TLC from time to time to keep it looking its best. To prevent the rattan from becoming grey and brittle, remove any dust and dirt regularly with a damp (but not wet) cloth. If you use your rattan furniture outdoors, treat it with a water-repellent coating, cover it in bad weather and store it in a warm and dry place during the winter months.

Whether you opt for a whole suite of rattan furniture, one or two key pieces or even just a few simple woven accessories, rattan is a trend that can be integrated into any interior. Get the look right and this time, rattan will be here to stay.

How do you feel about the comeback of rattan? Is this natural material a good fit for your interior? Tell us what you think in the comments.

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