by Marica Fick
Well, hello my old friend! I am not only talking to you, our patient and longsuffering readers, but also to Rattan! Hello Rattan, I haven’t seen you since the 80s…
I have been meaning to write this Trend Alert post for quite some time. However, as the last quarter of the year is our industry’s silly season, Rose and I have been in the very thick of design and decorating work and projects. Fortunately, as we have now successfully handed off some of our projects, we can turn our attention to a (very long overdue) blog post – YAY!
Since this particular Trend Alert article has been sitting half-finished in my draft folder for SO long, it is not much of an “Alert” but more of an after-the-fact “I am sure you have all noticed”. But hey, now we can happily chat about it together!
We have seen rattan furniture and decorative accessories creep back unto the interiors radar a couple of years ago – probably at the same time as the big Bohemian interior trend. Now, rattan is everywhere. Furthermore, once a trend makes its merry way to the sluggish South African retail market you know it is a big hit.
So, let’s chat a little more about this trend…
The fact that rattan is trending again is an excellent example of the cyclic nature of interior design and home trends.
Owing to rattan’s lightweight and yet strong and durable characteristics, it has been used to create furniture for many a century. It was the East India Company who first imported rattan and cane from the East into Europe. By the late 17th century cane and rattan furniture was all the rage in England and the Netherlands.
This is in fact rattan’s third trend cycle in RECENT years alone. It was a massive hit in home interiors during the 50s and then again in the 70s.
I’ll tell you of one person who will be overjoyed to hear that rattan is once again trending – my dear mum. She bought her trusty cane lounge set (or “die rottang stel” as it was known in our home) in 1980. AND – you know what – it is still with us today. Yes, it needs to be steadied and the bindings need repair but, other than that, it is in pretty good shape.
What I enjoy about the resurgence of this trend is that it not only incorporates vintage rattan pieces but also new and contemporized designs. These fresh designs are slightly more simplified – almost minimal in a way.
I am of one mind with Victoria Smith of SF Girl by Bay who said that rattan is such a popular furniture choice as it “can lend itself to a lot of different decors — from a mid-century modern vibe to Scandinavian simplicity or an eclectic bohemian modern look.” It can just as easily fit into a Colonial interior or a Coastal-style home.
With its natural appearance, rattan can add warmth, texture, visual interest, and an organic element to your interior. Furthermore, while rattan looks beautiful and earthy when left natural and raw, it can easily be painted with any desired colour to add a playfully quirky and unique element to your home.
Rattan is not just for your patio and outside spaces. A touch of tasteful rattan can look beautiful in any room – be that lounge, dining or bedroom. I have even seen some gorgeous examples of rattan furniture being used in children’s bedrooms.
So, before you toss out that old vintage rattan chair, see if you can’t upcycle it. It might just be the “new” and trendy furniture item your space needed.
Do any of you still own vintage rattan furniture pieces? Have any of these beautiful images inspired you to see your rattan items in a new, trendy light? Let us know in the comments below what you think…