Rattan is back with a vengeance.
Now that tropical interiors are making its rounds in home decor, it’s official: rattan is cool again. Once commonly associated with your grandma or only with outdoor furnishings, the natural material delivers laidback, resort charm in spades. With everyone from IKEA to luxe furniture brands on board the rattan train, it’s safe to say it’s back and bolder than ever.
A brief history on rattan
Quietly, rattan has remarkably stood the test of time. Its history goes way back; the Pharaohs of ancient Egypt were buried with wicker furniture. Even the Roman empire were big on rattan furnishings too. In Asia, raw rattan largely came from Indonesia and were shaped into furniture by craftsmen in China; due to its proximity to both, Singapore was said to be Southeast Asia’s biggest exporter for rattan furniture. Eventually, the booming trade and colonists in Asia brought rattan to America and Europe.
Its popularity may have briefly waned, but like the seventies, you’re now seeing it everywhere again . Want to come home to a lush, tropical retreat? Fill your abode with plants, global accents and natural materials like bamboo, and of course rattan. With its current, modern designs, you’d have no problem fitting rattan in your home regardless of your home design.
See how you can incorporate it into your home or personal style below…
If you grew up before the 90s, chances are you’ve seen the rattan furniture staple of spiral-shaped shell chairs. I grew up with a rattan swing chair in my living room and fondly remember spending many after school afternoons lounging on the chair with a cartoon blaring away in the background. Check out our guide to hanging chairs to find out where to shop them. We hear Affordable Style Files stocks the dreamy Byron Bay Hanging Chairs.
And then there’s the most iconic rattan chair of all time: the Peacock chair. Also known as the fan chair, it sports a throne-like appearance, oversized arm rests and a majestic high-rounded back. Little wonder why we deem it one heck of a statement chair.
And while the oldies are still goodies, rattan makers have upped their game with modern silhouettes. At Hemma Furnishing, its rattan chairs come in dramatic shapes and curves. We don’t have to tell you that these are made to be the centerpiece of any room.
Prefer keeping it classic? Look up Unicane if it’s a mix of traditional and classic designs you’re looking for. The range includes old-school outdoor rattan sets to egg-shaped ones like above.
You don’t have to be into the boho or Balinese aesthetic to go nuts over rattan lamps. These give any space a distinctively light touch. Choose one with an open weave to let light through and to keep the vibes of a room breezy.
If you’re a frequent shopper of Kim Soo in Bali, you’d find these lampshades instantly recognisable. Its fringe details keeps it one of a kind. You’d find it hard not to be transported to the Mediterranean. These are available from Stylo Deco.
When hunting for rattan lamps, do yourself a favour and check our out lighting guide. We’ve got a couple of under-the-radar suggestions in there for unexpected finds, including Sembawang Lighting House (look under resort lighting) and Three Cubes. IKEA has its seasonal rattan pendant lamps as well. The Boja, with its unique shape and weave, lends any space a soft, warm glow.
An obsession we simply can’t quit: rattan beds (pictured in lead image). Anthropologie has some absolutely stunning ones for the bedroom – think crisscrossed rattan for a light canopy feel, dramatic curves, and royalesque headboards with painted accents. While we can’t exactly ship these to Singapore, rattanrattan on carousell has some incredibly gorgeous and similar pieces.
Of course, the rattan revival doesn’t just extend to large furnishings. The natural material makes any decor space fresh and light. Take the IKEA Kanelstang plant stand. Its quirky design adds a bohemian flair to any room.
It’s all in the little touches too. Rattan mirrors add coastal chic to any room – have one in a sunburst design and you’ve really got something special. And of course, we’ve got to give a mention to rattan baskets. We love them for everything from storage to wall decor. Our top picks include ones by Bohemian and Maissone.
Not exactly interiors: Rattan bags
Rattan roundies are everywhere now, from Ubud’s Art Market to international stores. But beyond the famous bags of Bali, rattan has crept into larger mass market brands like Zara and luxury ones like Balenciaga. No longer just summer appropriate, these bags can be carried for all occasions and climates.
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