Rattan Furniture: What Makes It So Special?

Rattan Furniture: What Makes It So Special?

Looking to add a welcoming and natural feel to your home? We’re putting the spotlight on a material that needs no introduction—rattan. Rattan is a popular and versatile choice that suits a wide variety of décor styles. This well-loved material is timeless and entirely versatile, a popular choice for homes and gardens whether they’re coastal, country or urban. We’ll answer any questions you have about rattan outdoor furniture or rattan bedroom furniture, and offer up some styling advice for those looking for a spark of inspiration.

What Is Rattan Style Furniture?

The hint is in the name—rattan-style furniture is furniture made from natural or synthetic rattan. Natural rattan is made from the flexible core of a vine or reed, whereas synthetic rattan is made from PVC, PU or PE. 

Rattan is woven to create hard-wearing and breathable surfaces for chairs, decorative bed heads, attractive cabinet doors and much more. It is timeless and gives off a relaxed contemporary feel, with the versatility to bend toward various home decor styles, including bohemian and farmhouse.

Why Is Rattan Furniture So Popular?

The better question is, why isn’t rattan more popular? Rattan furniture is classic and on-trend, so it’s a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor furniture. The woven texture is chic and durable, perfect for a touch of style in the bedroom, living room or garden. Traditionally, rattan has been a common choice for backyard furniture, as it’s naturally waterproof and resistant to fading. It’s also lightweight, making it easy to shuffle around.

Difference Between Wicker And Rattan Furniture

It’s not uncommon to get confused between wicker and rattan furniture—after all, the terms are often used interchangeably. Rattan refers to a fibre used for weaving, whereas wicker is a method of weaving. Rattan can be used for wicker weaving, but other materials such as reed, willow, and bamboo can also be used. 

When it comes to quality, rattan is well-known for its durability and versatility. When purchasing rattan, you can be assured of its inherent sturdiness and longevity, but with wicker, the quality of the furniture product will come down to the choice of material.

10 Rattan Outdoor, Dining And Bedroom Furniture Ideas

1. Coastal Rattan

It’s classic for a reason. Rattan and wicker furniture goes hand in hand with coastal-style home décor—like fish to chips. Here a rattan occasional chair and side table set work alongside other natural elements like greenery and clay vases and pots to create a beachy ambience.

2. Scandi Rattan

One of the guiding principles of Scandinavian design is choosing quality items that last, to promote a simple lifestyle devoid of consumerism. Given the natural durability of rattan, it’s obvious why it would work in a dining setting. The dining chairs are functional—comfortably withstanding years of family dinners without sacrificing on beauty.

3. Shabby-chic Rattan

With its rustic charm, shabby chic interiors embrace all things whimsy and distressed to create a room with lots of character. In the seating area shown, rattan perfectly complements the distressed wood, creating a comfortable and unique space shabby-chic enthusiasts will love.

4. Rattan Outdoor Furniture

Given it’s a natural fibre harvested from forests, rattan is an obvious choice for outside use. It stands up well against the elements and looks stylish to boot. This rattan outdoor entertaining set is blends into the natural environment and cultivates a casual bohemian ambience.

5. Hamptons Rattan

Hamptons style is all about coastal comfort with a touch of luxury. In this room, rattan helps to pull off the comforts of a beach house while still upholding an air of grandeur through clean lines, simplicity and an artistic touch.

6. Modern Boho Rattan

Nothing says bohemia quite like a rattan headboard against white linen and walls. The bedroom below embodies a relaxed and casual atmosphere while simultaneously creating the illusion of clean minimalism. 

7. Mid Century Modern Rattan

Mid century modern lovers agree that design rooted in functionality and simplicity is key, but rattan can add that decorative touch to mid century furniture without being overwhelming. This sideboard showcases some classic mid century elements, such as smoothness and clean lines, subtly integrating rattan for added interest.

8. Contemporary Rattan

Rattan can bring much-needed warmth to modern and contemporary spaces. A simple rattan chair offsets the stark concrete walls and flooring in this bedroom without disrupting the brutalist décor style.

9. Colonial Rattan

In the entertaining space below, rattan adds a casual touch to colonial-style furniture. The warm tones of the woven daybed and coffee table complement the brass chandelier and teak pieces featured in the room.

10. Tropical Rattan

Rattan is a tropical palm plant found primarily in Asia, so it pairs effortlessly with other staples of tropical style. In the space below, green walls, indoor house plants and rattan furniture and décor elements transport you straight to the jungle.

Rattan Furniture FAQs

How To Look After Rattan?

Rattan is known for its durability, but it still requires some maintenance and care to keep in tip-top condition. If your rattan furniture pieces are made from natural fibres, they’ll be more susceptible to sun damage and mould, so they’re best kept inside or away from harsh elements like sun and rain. Invest in furniture covers to protect your pieces from bleaching and mildew.

While prevention is the best cure, if your rattan pieces are being exposed to the elements, it’s important to keep up a cleaning schedule. Use a brush to get into crevices and wash the cushions often. Always allow ample drying time before placing cushions back on the seat to avoid mould.

How Do You Clean Rattan Furniture?

Cleaning rattan furniture isn’t always straightforward, thanks to its many nooks and crannies due to its weaving. 

Weekly, it’s important to brush down or dust your furniture.

Monthly, and especially in the wet season, you should inspect your furniture for splits or mildew, and clean with a damp microfibre cloth and homemade cleaning solution. If you notice any mould, wipe it down with a chlorine bleach solution and allow to dry. 

Once a year, it’s a good idea to condition your rattan pieces with boiled linseed oil, which will add moisture to the fibre and prevent any splitting.

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