Whether your home is traditional or contemporary decor, you will no doubt be looking for furniture which is comfortable yet classy, practical yet pretty.

Your first inclination may to turn to solid wood, but rattan furniture can offer you a great number of alternative benefits which may make you want to think twice.

Here’s a run through of some of the biggest benefits of rattan and just why it could be such a great idea for your home.

1) Low maintenance

No matter how much you fall in love with a particular fabric or style of furniture, if you discover that it will take a lot of work to keep it looking fresh, you might well think long and hard before taking the plunge.

Rattan furniture is the exact opposite; although the weave looks particularly fragile, it is surprisingly easy to keep clean. A feather duster or a quick blitz with the nozzle of the vacuum cleaner is all it takes to keep your rattan furniture looking pristine. And if there are any spillages, a damp cloth will wipe up any mess without leaving a stain.

You won’t need to use any special cleaners or abrasive liquids; the maintenance routine is so simple it’s almost non-existent!

2)  Attractive

There’s simply no denying that rattan furniture looks attractive and can fit in with both vintage and modern designs. The weaving technique (known as wicker) is an intricate design which is far stronger than it may appear.

close up of rattan chair

Close-up of a rattan chair

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Using the same types of techniques which have been used for centuries, rattan furniture is produced using technology but with the exact same end result.

3) Been around for centuries

There’s something curiously satisfying about knowing that the material for the rattan furniture you have would have been used to make similar objects many years ago.

Although advances in technology mean that rattan is often produced using mechanical means to improve efficiency, not much has changed since the wicker technique was used back in Ancient Egypt.

Many civilisations appear to have relied on wicker, including rattan, for a wide range of life essentials including food, shelter and clothing. It was also used for other purposes such as transportation, furnishings and utensils.

4) Durable and strong

A woven design may not look as strong as a piece of solid wooden furniture; in all likelihood it’s probably stronger. Rattan is one of the strongest materials in the natural world which is one of the reasons why it’s so popular for use in furniture manufacturing.

Intrinsically strong, tough and durable, rattan won’t break or splinter which makes it the ideal choice for seats, chairs and other types of furniture which are intended to weight bear.

rattan close up

Artificial rattan – but still durable and strong

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5) Suitable for everyday use

Many of the rattan types of furniture which were produced originally were only intended for occasional use. This meant that everyday items such as sofas weren’t suitable for frequent use and had to be banished to rooms which were only used occasionally.

Thankfully things have changed and many manufacturers now realise the importance of providing rattan furniture which is strong enough to deal with far more frequent use.

6) Range of designs

Once again harking back to the type of rattan furniture which was originally available commercially, there was very little choice. A standard design for both sofa and chair was par for the course and the upholstery was very similar too.

If you didn’t like floral fabric or wanted a sofa in a different design, you’d be out of luck. Modern designs are a very different matter, offering a vast choice of not just styles and shapes, but also upholstery too. There are clean and simple classic colours, funky floral as well as bright, bold patterns for contemporary homes. Rattan now offers just as much (if not more) choice than furniture made from other materials.

7) Use in every room

Rattan is particularly well known for use in the garden, and with its UV resistance, waterproof coating and ability to deal with a range of different temperatures, including both ice and extreme heat, it’s not a surprise.

However, it offers far more than just garden furniture and can look great in any room in the house. Whether its tables in the dining room, or full dining sets for the conservatory, rattan can be used to great effect to complement the decor in a number of different rooms.

8) Link the garden and the interior

In modern homes, it’s becoming increasingly popular to view the interior and the garden as a continuation of each other, rather than two distinct and separate areas.

rattan close up

Stylish rattan garden furniture

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This means creating a central theme which can flow from the inside to the outdoors, creating a link between the two. Large windows, frameless doors and flooring which is on the same level can certainly contribute to the effect but a common decor factor can be the single thing which pulls it all together.

Rattan can be used both indoors and out and incorporating it into the design of each can be a great way to link your garden and the interior of your home.

9) Natural product

Natural rattan is a product which is sustainable and eco-friendly, providing a piece of furniture which doesn’t look as if it’s been over-processed or subjected to lots of nasty chemicals.

This natural look is in great demand in many homes, and fits in perfectly with a contemporary type of decor which focusses on clean, sharp lines with no fussiness.

Unfortunately, many rattan products are actually made with a synthetic alternative. Although this may be disappointing, the PU rattan is extremely lifelike and will produce almost exactly the same result which is indistinguishable from the real thing.

10) Comfortable

Arguably the most comfortable of all the qualities of rattan, it is surprisingly comfortable to sit in, even without upholstery. With a very slight yield to allow you to sink right into the chair, rattan is flexible yet firm, providing a solid and comfortable base.

Image Credit: Wikipedia