Rattan has been around for centuries and although it’s well-known for being used in both the garden and the conservatory, it is perfect for use all around the home.

Strong, durable yet lightweight, rattan can be used for furniture in all rooms of the house. Sofas, chairs, storage chests and even tables can all be made from this tough and versatile material.

In fact, rattan is the perfect material to choose for your dining room because it is so easy to clean and can be matched to a wide range of accessories. And for those who enjoy eating outside, rattan dining sets offer a great way to enjoy meals in comfort.

Here are a few more ideas about how to use rattan dining sets to create a stylish eating area for the whole family.

rattan dining set

Rattan dining table and chairs from our range

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Practical

At first glance, rattan may seem to a particularly delicate material, with its intricate weave and lightweight qualities.

It’s certainly true that rattan furniture is lighter than traditional wood; this is because it is shaped around an aluminium frame, a metal which is highly sought after because of its low weight. This allows the furniture to be solid enough to be stable but also light enough to move, so if you need to rearrange the seating around the table, you won’t break your back moving a chair!

However, don’t be fooled by the relative light weight of rattan; the material is one of the toughest surfaces you can buy and incredibly strong and resilient. Quality rattan furniture will last for many years, and will remain in immaculate condition without an intensive treatment or cleaning regime.

Synthetic rattan, also known as PU rattan, is typically preferred over natural rattan because it keeps the silky appeal of woven strands but adds many extra benefits. PU rattan is far stronger and durable, and will not be easily crushed or broken. It’s also UV resistant, helpful if you plan on putting your dining set in a conservatory, waterproof and able to deal with extremes of temperatures, including both hot and cold.

It is these qualities which allow PU rattan to be used all year round in the garden, but also in conservatories as well.

PU rattan is also stain resistant, and can easily be wiped clean with a damp cloth. Rattan tables typically come with a toughened glass top, a very aesthetically pleasing complement to the weave, but also very practical too. Easy to keep clean, and with the toughened surface, almost impossible to break, rattan tables are a hassle-free option for dining rooms everywhere.

Accessories

As well as a table and chairs, which can be found in a wide range of both contemporary and traditional styles, there’s a whole host of rattan accessories which can be used to create a themed dining area.

Rattan has been used for centuries to create not just large items such as chairs, but also accessories and smaller items too. Rattan placemats and coasters on the table, especially when accompanied by gleaming silver cutlery creates an understated but undeniably elegant setting.

A Lazy Susan is a handy piece of serving equipment which allows everyone at the table to dig in and help themselves. Edged with rattan it becomes not just practical but pretty too, and continues the overall theme.

Garden dining

Rattan dining sets can certainly be used to great effect in the house but may also be used outside too. You may want to place the dining furniture in a gazebo or elsewhere under cover. This can provide a lovely setting for al fresco meals even when the weather is inclement. There’s something about eating in the open air which makes food particularly delicious.

If it’s a bit chilly, patio heaters can spread a bit of warmth and make the area warm enough to enjoy. Patio heaters can fit in with the overall theme too; rattan bases make them functional and attractive.

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Outdoor dining – it’s not a problem with rattan!

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Rattan is the perfect material for use in garden furniture as it resistant to UV light, meaning it won’t fade or degrade in the sun, is water resistant and isn’t affected by extremes of temperature. This means that even in the icy winter mornings, the rattan won’t crack or break down. It performs just as well in hot or humid conditions and the surface won’t get blisteringly hot, like metal.

Toughened glass is just as resilient so the two surfaces together make the perfect combination for garden dining sets.

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Round rattan garden table and chairs from our product range

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Choosing the right set

Whether you have chosen a rattan design for your dining set inside the house, or are splashing out on a quality table and chairs for the garden, there’s a huge array of designs to pick from.

You need to consider who is likely to be eating at the table and the space you have available, as well as whether the numbers might need to increase on certain occasions.

Being cramped and squeezing round a table is an uncomfortable experience; clashing elbows and jostling knees doesn’t create a relaxed ambience. But conversely, too much space can feel quite awkward too.

Picking a dining set with enough room for everyone, plus a couple of spare places if you have the space to be able accommodate it is the ideal scenario. However, if you are trying to squeeze a table and chairs into a smaller area, there are space-saving alternatives which can offer maximum seating without intruding into your living area any more.

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Quality rattan dining set

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Here are some ideas about the types of seating you might want to consider for your dining area, either inside or out.

Cube seating

The ultimate in space-saving design; cube seating can provide a very economical way of creating room for a table and chairs where other models simply wouldn’t fit.

Cube seating comprises of a table with square-shaped chairs which fit around it, plus footstools which can double up as extra seating if needed. The chairs appear to be low-backed on first appearance as when not in use, they simply slide under the table, creating a compact unit no larger than the table itself. The stools can be tucked away under the chairs.

However, when the table is needed, the chairs can be slid out and voila! The seats flip up to create a soft yet supportive padded back rest. This leaves the whole body supported, with plush deep upholstery both on the seat of the chair and behind your back.

This design is very contemporary and is so attractive it’s very popular even in areas where there’s plenty of room for more traditional designs. Because of this, it’s available in a range of sizes, from the very smallest bistro sets to a large and expansive design perfect for barbecues or dinner parties.

The cube dining sets start from just two seaters, with two additional footstools which could potentially allow the table to be expanded to four. The largest type of cube dining sets come with six full size chairs, and a further four foot stools, allowing the seating to be expanded to ten in total.

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Rattan cube dining set

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Bistro sets

If you only need a small dining area, suitable for two, a rattan bistro set offers the perfect dining experience. In fact, you won’t even need a garden to be able to use a bistro set; a small courtyard or even a balcony are the perfect places to simply sit and relax whilst enjoying a bite to eat.

Bistro sets are perfect if you know there’s only likely to be two of you dining on a regular basis, or as an addition to a main dining area.

Being bijou doesn’t mean having less choice and just like other types of rattan table and chairs, there are lots of options to pick from.

Cube seating is perfect for small spaces but you could also opt for the traditional type of wide stacking chairs too. This are so comfortable, you could easily linger over your meal and enjoy a leisurely cup of coffee…or even a glass of wine.

Some bistro sets include a table which could accommodate four if needed, so if you have extra seating elsewhere, it could easily be pulled up to join in if extra guests arrive.

Rotating padded chairs will ensure that you won’t want to leave the table. Curved extra-padded cushions offering a sanctuary atop a swivel base provide the perfect retreat to relax and enjoy a good book, or even a cosy late-night chat. Very different than a formal dining set, it’s an alternative and attractive design.

If you are using the bistro set in a garden area, one of the biggest benefits is that its size and light weight mean it can very easily be moved around. So if you fancy picnicking in the bottom of the garden for a change, there’s nothing to stop you!

Bench designs

Although in vast majority of cases dining sets incorporate separate chairs, there are some models which offer bench seating instead.

But forget about the hard and uncomfortable wooden benches that you may have seen in the past, rattan bench seating is plush, deep and comfortable.

The advantage of bench seating is that is can easily accommodate more guests if needed but when there’s less people eating it doesn’t look quite as bereft or lonely as stand-alone chairs.

Curved bench seating can look particularly attractive, and outside where there are no straight walls for it to jut against, the result can be stunning.

Sofa designs can be a more sociable way of sitting and with soft padded backs and cushions on the sofa, invite diners to take their time rather than rush off.

Some designs of benches have the added advantage of fitting around the table very snugly when not in use, in a very similar way to the cube dining sets. This means that although they might fit a lot of people in, they will take up far less room than other types of table and chairs.

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Rattan bench dining set

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For areas where a curved design isn’t practical or aesthetically pleasing, there are rattan dining sets set out in an L-shape which incorporate benches too. This offers convenience and a very on-trend look and can make the most of the space by fitting right into the corner if needed.

Table and chairs

There are undoubtedly lots of different types of choices when picking a rattan dining set, but there are also plenty of more conventional tables and chairs too.

If you don’t want benches, chairs on coasters or cubed seating, you can still enjoy quality, style and unique design with a more standard and chairs layout.

There are a number of different styles to pick from; including formal dining chair models and more relaxed armchair type designs.

What you choose will depend on how you plan on using the area and also where the dining set is going. Rattan is an excellent choice for a dining room, but if this is the case, you may want a more formal design which is suited to dinner parties and guests.

Dining outside can often be a more relaxed affair so chairs which are slightly more casual will offer a comfier experience, and might be preferable too.

These tables and chairs come in a range of colour combinations, for both the rattan and the upholstery, so you can select the shades which will complement either your garden design or the room which will hold the dining set.

To create an effect which links your interior decor and your garden, it can be a nice idea to choose a colour scheme which blends with both. This is particularly effective if you have patio doors which can be flung wide open, allowing guests to wander freely between the inside and out.

Rattan is often most associated with its warm, natural biscuit colour but particular with PU rattan, there are a whole host of other tones available. From bleached white to jet black and everything in between, rattan dining sets are a very stylish affair.

Image Credits: Mark Mosher, Louie Bazinet and Palm Beach