Rattan – A Sustainable Furniture option for your home
Bring texture, warmth, playfulness, and the outdoors in with these seven ways to decorate your home with rattan.
Rattan furniture is a trend, but it is a trend with staying power. Rattan falls into the macro trend of biophilic design, and decor that connects interior spaces to the natural world rarely goes out of style. Plus, rattan is lightweight, durable, sustainably produced, bio-degradable, and more affordable than other types of furniture, so it is a material that we can really get behind for the home.
Where did rattan come from?
Rattan is a type of naturally-renewable palm, which is most commonly found in the tropical jungles of Southeast Asia. Rattan is known for its hardy nature; it grows fast and tall and is a strong type of wood, in spite of being incredibly lightweight.
Rattan became popularized for furniture and household items in 17th and 18th centuries. At that time, it was touted for its ability to withstand hot climates and resistance to pests. In the 19th century, rattan flourished in the British Empire, and by the 20th century, rattan furniture began to show up in the United States as a result of inter-continental trade and travel.
More recently, rattan was trendy in the 1970s and 2019, and today, the versatile material is having a major moment once again
Styling a Rattan piece
Like wood, rattan stands up well to stains and paints. If you’re finding it tough to merge the golden look of rattan with your personal design style, a fresh coat of brush paint, spray paint, or stain can give your rattan a custom and contemporary—albeit non-traditional—look. For your space pick just one or two rattan pieces, go with rattan dining chairs, bar stools, or a single statement chair. If you’re working with a larger room or an indoor-outdoor room and feel like the space can afford a little bit more rattan, rattan baskets or rattan pendant light fixtures are a great way to add rattan in a subtle way.
Color and material compositions to use with Rattan
Rattan is relatively neutral in appearance, there are countless color combinations that will look striking and natural alongside rattan. If you’re not sure where to start, you can draw inspiration from these five tried-and-tried color and material combinations.
- Costal. Colors: white, oatmeal, and light blue. Materials: linen, cotton, bleached wood, white-washed shiplap, and white-washed brick.
- Nautical-ish. Colors: blue monochrome and white. Materials: velvet and gold metallics.
- Glamorous. Colors: charcoal, muted gray, and gold. Materials: glass, crystal, and gold metallics.
- Bohemian. Colors: white, peach, pink, and mustard. Materials: mid-tone wood, ceramics, and macramé.
- Masculine. Colors: white, black, and neutrals. Materials: dark wood, exposed brick, iron, and leather.
Earthy. Colors: Ochre, beige, and brown. Materials: warm wood, dark wood, and gold metallics.
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