One of the most popular styles for the garden, rattan has a timeless appeal which fits perfectly with all kinds of landscaping.

Whether you have a contemporary design, a traditional lawn and flowers, or even a bijou courtyard, rattan garden furniture is an excellent choice.

Durable, tough and practical, rattan is not just functional but also very attractive too.

rattan grey set

Rattan makes great garden furniture

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Types of rattan

There are different types of rattan which can be purchased; arguably the biggest choice is whether to plump for natural or synthetic rattan.

Natural rattan might seem like the obvious choice but it has a number of disadvantages, particular for outdoor use.

Made from climbing vines grown in tropical regions around the world, rattan is an eco-friendly material that can easily be harvested and regrown very quickly. Strong, supple and very attractive to look at, rattan has been used in furniture-making for many years and remains a very sought after material for furniture both indoors and out.

Unfortunately, natural rattan doesn’t have either the qualities or sufficient resilience to be able to deal with being exposed to the elements.

If it becomes too wet, damp or moist natural rattan can start to rot away or become covered in mould. It’s not waterproof and will also fade when exposed to UV sunlight.

rattan close up

Synthetic rattan garden furniture

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These characteristics mean that natural rattan needs to be well protected from the ice, rain, sun and freezing temperatures which can be a real inconvenience if you plan on leaving it in the garden.

Synthetic rattan on the other hand, is perfectly suited to both an indoor and outdoor environment.

Carefully created to capture the same exquisitely woven look, synthetic - also known as PU - rattan is a far more durable material. It won't fade in the sunlight, and can be left out all year round as ice, rain and cold temperatures won’t cause it to degrade.

PU rattan is also not affected by any insects which like to nibble on wood, or infest damp, mouldy areas.

Many of these qualities are useful for indoor furniture too, such as the resilience to stains and the quick and easy maintenance.  For these reasons, it’s generally accepted that synthetic rattan is the superior choice for all furniture, but particularly that which is going to be left in the garden.

Maintenance

PU rattan garden furniture is one of the easiest types of material to keep clean, allowing it to remain in flawless condition for a long time.

This durability is one of the reasons why rattan furniture is considered such a good investment. Not only is it priced very reasonably, but it will last for a long period of time without looking tatty or worn.

rattan outdoor set

Rattan furniture is ideal for the garden

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And the best news of all is that you don’t need to worry about having to carry out lots of maintenance or cleaning regimes in order to retain its immaculate look. In fact, you will be surprised at just how simple cleaning rattan furniture is.

Many sorts of rattan garden furniture come with pads and cushions; the covers of these can typically be removed and put in the washing machine if necessary.

The pads and the cushions are the only part of the rattan furniture that needs to be protected from bad weather; an occasional summer downpour won’t do too much harm but it’s a good idea to put them into storage during the colder winter months.

As mentioned above, the rest of the rattan furniture can be left out in the garden all year round, without causing any damage. If you need to clean it, the easier way is to spray it with a hose-pipe pr jet wash tool. This allows the water to permeate through all the cracks and ensure it’s clean all the way through. If you want just a superficial clean, a wipe down with a damp cloth is all that’s needed.

Once you’ve doused your furniture with water, if it’s possible, it’s a good idea to allow it to dry upside down. This is the quickest way to help any moisture to dribble out of the cracks and will help your furniture to dry out very quickly.

Al fresco dining

Who doesn’t enjoy a spot of dinner in the garden, or perhaps lunch on the decking, when the weather is nice?

Having a comfortable set of table and chairs can make al fresco dining just as comfortable as eating indoors. There’s no need to endure hard plastic chairs or lumpy wooden benches; rattan is soft, flexible but also supportive too.

There’s a range of rattan tables to suit all dimensions so whether you have a sprawling garden or just a compact outdoors area, you can choose a seating arrangement that matches the space you have available.

black rattan set outdoors

Enjoy your garden with quality outdoors rattan furniture

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A toughened glass surface makes a rattan table particularly practical as it allow it to be simply wiped clean as and when needed. Glass is another material which can safely be exposed to the weather all year round, which makes it the ideal companion for rattan.

In gardens or courtyards where space is at a premium, a cube set can be a creative solution.

Cube dining sets are comprised of both table and chairs, but are unique in that when not in use, they slot neatly together so they take up less room. This space-saving design can make it possible to have a table and chair set even in an area which is very small. This type of set can also work very well as interior rattan dining room furniture too.

Garden seating

When the weather’s fine sitting outside in the garden can be a great way to unwind and relax.

You might want to enjoy a good book, or even top up your tan, and there’s a range of rattan seating which can help you to be seated in comfort and style.

Daybeds provide plenty of room so you can either hog the entire space yourself, or share the soft cushions with a loved one. If it’s a warm evening, you could even enjoy a glass of wine under the starry night sky.

Dining sets offer a more traditional style of seating but there’s a vast range of models to pick from, with both low and high back options so you can pick the right kind of support that you need.

If you want to soak up some rays, you will want to lie back on the comfort of a sun lounger and rattan makes a great choice here too. A rattan base and thick padded cushion make a soft and comfortable place to stretch out, and even doze off for a while too.

brown outdoor set

Rattan table and chairs perfect for the garden

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The great thing about rattan and fabric cushions is that they won’t overheat in the sun. Metal can quickly become blisteringly hot and leather gets sticky and sweaty. Designed to perform exactly like natural rattan, PU rattan garden furniture are equipped to deal with the extremes of the weather, whilst remaining comfortable.

Garden accessories

When you consider furniture for the garden, your mind may be fixed on tables, chairs and other more permanent fixtures but there is a range of other types of accessories which can really give your garden the wow factor.

Patio heaters provide you with the versatility of being able to use your garden for much longer each year. Extending the British summer is easy using patio heaters, and can make it possible to enjoy your garden even if there’s a chill in the air.

However, rather than opting for the plain patio heaters, picking a design with a rattan trim can mean they aren’t just functional, but attractive too and can match the rest of your garden furniture.

If you really want a smart-looking garden, a gazebo provides shade from the sun and a bit of shelter too and again, you can opt for a design that matches your rattan furniture. However, rather than being made from rattan itself, the gazebo is covered in a material which matches the trim of the material on your cushions or pads. If you put your rattan furniture inside, the end result will look extremely sophisticated.

You can accessorise the rest of your garden too with rattan. There are storage containers as well as plant pot holders and when it’s time to eat, you could even bring out rattan tableware such as a lazy susan and placemats.

Although the rattan may be synthetic, it looks just the same as natural rattan; it’s impossible to tell the difference with the naked eye. And as the natural version is made from vines, any kind of rattan is the obvious choice for the garden as it will complement plants and shrubbery and blend in.

Practical comfort

Whether you’re lounging around on a daybed, stretching out on a sun chair to soak up some rays or enjoying an outdoors meal, you will want to be relaxed.

Rattan isn’t just an attractive woven product; it is also extremely practical and comfortable to sit on.

With a light aluminium frame to support the structure, rattan furniture has a gentle ‘give’ allowing the seat to cradle your body. However, it’s also strong and solid, so there’s no chance of it collapsing or giving way. This robust nature of the material means it won’t start to sag with use either.

If you want to have a barbecue or let the kids have a picnic, you don’t need to worry about spillages on rattan. The resistant coating means it’s simple to wipe down, and it’s rare that you will see a stain (red wine on a very light coloured rattan which has been allowed to soak in might leave a faint mark for example).

Because it’s so easy to clean, you can use it all year round for all occasions without worrying that it will get spoilt.

Range of colours

It’s becoming more and more popular to consider gardens as an extension of the interior of the property, rather than an entirely separate entity.

With larger glass framed doors and windows, having a flow of design from inside to out, with mirrored styling is very much a contemporary look which is in demand.

Rattan furniture looks just as good indoors or outside so it’s the ideal choice to be able to match up both interior decor and garden furniture.

rattan with soft cushions near the water

Rattan garden furniture always look great near water

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There’s also a huge range of colours to pick from too; rattan doesn’t just come in the traditional wooden hues. Light creamy beige, soft slate grey, rich chestnut browns plus elegant black are just some of the most popular colours to pick from. Some designs even come with two tone rattan.

And of course, in addition to the rattan itself, the cushions and upholstery come in a range of different colours too. Whether you like the plain and minimalistic, delicate floral or bold contemporary designs, there’s a vast array to select from.

These colour choices allow you to pick what’s best for your garden, as well as giving you the opportunity to create a theme which you can continue throughout your house too.

One of the greatest benefits to rattan furniture is that it’s incredibly durable and long lasting so you can expect to be sitting on it for many years to come. It’s therefore essential that you pick the right combination of comfort and style, and that you choose a design that you won’t quickly tire or after a few months.

A stylish garden

Many people spend a considerable amount of time in their garden and there’s no need to suffice with furniture which isn’t as elegant, stylish or comfortable as you would like.

Rattan is an easy way to find cost-effective furniture which won’t wear out, fade or degrade with outside use and won’t take up hours of your precious time with maintenance.

Give your garden the TLC it needs and make the outside of your home as stylish as the inside.

Image Credits; Lunica Outdoor, Sian Hobbs and Pinterest