If copper was the huge trend of 2016, and plants defined 2017 (and are still going strong), rattan is the huge trend of this year. And as easy as it was to add copper accents and greenery to your interiors, the woven trend can be a really easy and inexpensive way of bringing your home up to date.
Rattan furniture (or, more accurately wicker, which refers to any woven natural material), has been around since before Victorian times, but when we think about rattan, we think of the 1960s and 1970s - huge peacock chairs, elegant flower chairs and Hollywood Regency glamour.
These days, it’s all about adapting the rattan trend so that it works in your home, whether you’re a full on maximalist, or embracing pared back Scandi living. Here are some great ways to bring a bit of rattan chic into your home.
Pared Back Beauty: vintage Flower Chairs from nomibis.com
Kitsch and Fabulous
For unique and attention grabbing pieces, genuine original pieces are the only way to go. You can pick up a fabulous peacock chair, with matching table, on eBay for less than £100, and it will transform your room, dressed with a beautiful cushion.
Vintage Peacock Chair, photo: Eleanor Horwell
If you have a weekend in Paris, go to the flea market at Clignancourt for some rare finds, or in the UK, the antiques fairs at Ardingly and Kempton are full of cool rattan pieces. Nothing is too wild or unusual for this trend - the bigger the ‘wow’ the better. Look for rattan bar trolleys (the quirkier sister of the brass mid-century ones that are everywhere now), intricately woven glass topped tables, huge patterned mirrors, umbrella stands, you name it, you can find it it rattan and give your room some natural pizzazz.
Photo: Eleanor Horwell
Awesome ‘Elephant’ rattan suite found at Marché Paul Bert in the Paris flea markets... would certainly be a conversation piece!
Rattan for Plant Lovers
Plants and wicker go hand in hand. From carefully curated cane bookcases with artfully displayed trailing leafy accents, to full on plant holders cascading with plants friends, this is the happiest of combinations.
Again, eBay is your friend for this, and as a place to start for ideas, Justina Blakeney of The Jungalow (@thejungalow on instagram) is the queen of bohemian rattan and planty loveliness.
Head over there and get lost in her woven, jungly world..... and terracotta, pink and pattern, it’s all just gorgeous.
The Modern Rattan
However, for a lot of people, rattan is really appealing, but the strong retro ‘Abigail’s Party’ look is not. For those, there are some fabulous ways to use rattan that are modern and just give an elegant, more adult, nod to the trend. This fabulous ceiling light is from Fleux in Paris, and I’m obsessed with it. It’s simple and beautiful and shows us a new way to use a classic material.
The Cannée Suspension Light from Fleux
Also right on trend for the minimal rattan look at the moment are the classic Cesca chairs by Marcel Breuer. Still in production, now by Knoll, the woven cane seat and back have just the right retro look while still feeling bang up to date.
Buy them new (or buy the original 1930s versions from 1stdibs.com for a small fortune), or the vintage, but not authentic 1980s repro chairs for a more affordable nod to classic design.
Knoll ‘Cesca’ Armchair by Marcel Breuer
Whether you decide to trawl the antiques fairs for quirky conversation pieces, save up for classic design that you will keep forever, or source more accessible wicker pieces from online retailers (Graham and Green and Anthropologie have some lovely pieces), the trend for rattan is going to be here for a good while yet. Fulfilling our need for natural, honest design that will stand the test of time, it makes a great finishing touch to any home.