They say the heart of any home lies in the kitchen; it’s the place when food is lovingly prepared, where the family comes together to chat, and where quiet moments of peace are enjoyed. No matter whether you have a tiny studio flat or a sprawling mansion, a kitchen is the one room that no-one can do without. And it doesn’t matter whether it’s little or large, there’s lots of ways to use rattan to add natural texture and style. Here’s a closer look at rattan kitchen furniture and how you could use it in your space.

Dining sets

You may have a formal dining room, but many families have a table and chairs in their kitchen. Whether it’s an open plan design or a more traditional set-up, there’s something cosy about being able to eat close to where the food is being prepared. Having a dining set in the kitchen means the food can literally travel from the stove to the plate, with no trips backwards and forwards for the person acting as chef and butler combined for the family. It also means it’s easy for the person who’s doing the cooking to enjoy some company while they’re preparing the meal, whether it’s comfortable companionable silence or a more chatty conversation.

A rattan kitchen dining set

Having a dining set in the kitchen means the children can sit and do their homework while you get dinner ready (and you can still keep an eye on them!) Rattan dining sets come in all shapes and sizes so you can pick the model that fits in with the space you have available in your kitchen. You won’t need to worry about having a humid environment because all-weather rattan won’t warp, peel or split in damp conditions. This makes it far superior to wood and more suitable for use in every room in the house. Circular tables take up more room than rectangular or square designs and you’ll need to make sure there’s room for the chairs to pull out as well as for people to walk past. Measure up before placing an order as there’s nothing worse than having furniture turn up that won’t fit into the room! Allow around 50-90 cm behind each chair for when people are seated and this will give you an idea of how much space you really need to leave. Rattan tables start in small sets intended for just four people to sit and eat together, in not just rectangular and circular designs, but triangular too. This can create an interesting feature if you have the space to accommodate the unusual shape in your kitchen. Large dining sets can go up the way up to 10 seats or more, so if you have a large country kitchen, or an open-plan loft design, your rattan table will be able to comfortably seat your guests. You can pick between solid wood tables and those topped with toughened glass. The latter are easy to clean, with far less risk of staining so perfect for families with accident prone individuals or children!

Dining chairs

If you have opted for a dining set in your kitchen, you’ll need to pick the style of chairs that matches your decor and that sits comfortably with your table. You can opt for either rattan or wood tables, or a combination of the two, and pair this with rattan chairs for a practical yet stylish dining set for your kitchen. Rattan is a naturally strong material and despite its delicate woven appearance is capable of lasting a long time without splitting or cracking. The plush upholstery on the chairs does more than simply create a soft seat; they help to prevent the rattan from becoming saggy or bagging over time. This is because it has a natural yield and without the upholstery it can gradually stretch. Bucket chairs are a popular choice as they’re supportive enough to sit at the dinner table but casual enough to be able to relax in. Another alternative is high backed chairs, either with or without arms.

A rattan chair from our collection

If you want to maximise seating in a smaller space or simply create a more social feeling around the table, you could opt for rattan benches instead. These are a very comfortable type of seating arrangement and look very neat when not in use. Rather than individual cushion pads, the upholstery comes in elongated seat cushions which stretch along the whole bench. Bench sizes can vary from between those small enough to seat just a couple of dinner guests to larger, curved designs capable of accommodating four or even more!

Rattan chairs are ideal in the kitchen

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Colour

Rattan comes in a wide range of colours so you won’t have any problem matching a rattan dining set into your kitchen decor. Rattan is a material which flatters both traditional and contemporary designs so there’s no risk of a rattan dining set looking out of place. The natural colour is a good match if your kitchen is decorated in an eco-style, with driftwood and other organic materials. These light colours look perfect when matched with a rustic decor, country kitchen style. But rattan also comes in a range of colours and patterns too, so if you want a more sophisticated or elegant style, there’s plenty of choice. From soft slate greys to jet black, you can pick the colour rattan which best matches your decor. Of course, it’s not just the colour of the rattan which you need to take into account, it’s the upholstery too. Rattan upholstery can changed hugely since the garish floral designs of the 1970s and is now typically stylish, minimalist and low key. This complements the weave of the rattan to perfection and won’t dominate a room. Many types of dining table are made from a combination of rattan and glass, but it’s possible to incorporate other materials too. Wooden dining tables can be used to accompany rattan, either with an all-timber table or a wooden surface combining with rattan legs. There’s a whole host of different woods available, so you can pick the finish which matches your kitchen decor.

Comfortable seating

If you have a really large kitchen you might have space for a relaxation area too; or perhaps if you already have a dining room you might want some easy chairs in place of a table? Rattan comes in a variety of sizes and designs and it’s possible to purchase sofas and chairs that wouldn’t look out of place in a kitchen corner. As the quiet room in the house, the kitchen is often a sanctuary from the chaos elsewhere. With games consoles and TVs blaring, escaping to the peace and quiet of the kitchen can be a real treat. If you have friends over, you could sit and chat over a relaxing cup of tea away from the rest of the house, or you could spend some quiet time with your children as the dinner cooks. Rather than restrict your sofas and chairs to your lounge or conservatory, create a relaxing space in your kitchen where friends and family can just hang out. Whether it’s to just grab a quick snack, a cup of coffee or even to curl up with a book, having sofas and chairs in the kitchen is a real treat, if you have the space. Corner sofas provide the maximum amount of seating without taking up too much room and can utilise those wasted inches in the corners and by walls. Rattan corner sofas come in a variety of colours and designs and you can use the upholstery to provide a splash of brightness or light to your kitchen. If you don’t have so much room, just an armchair in your kitchen will provide a quiet place to relax, in a similar way that a rocking chair would have done in years gone by. Think of rattan chairs as a contemporary twist on a traditional idea and you’ll soon see the appeal of having an easy chair ready and waiting for you to take the load off your feet.

Space saving

If you’re really pushed for space, don’t rule out the possibility of being able to fit in a table and chairs without overcrowding the room until you’ve checked out the cube seating units. A cube table and chairs is cleverly designed to be space saving, taking up the least amount of room possible when not in use. The chair backs flip down to become stools and the units are stashed completely under the surface of the table.

Rattan cube seating, are ideal for space saving

This cube design takes up very little room because of the innovative way all the pieces slot together and yet within seconds can be flipped back up into a full table and chairs. The set looks like a regular table and chairs when in use with full sized chairs and the comfortable design you’d expect from rattan. It’s not until it’s time to clear everything away that the set appears to shrink down to a diminutive size Cube sets come in all sizes too, from a bijou table for two to a larger table suitable for seating 10.

Storage

Although rattan is perhaps best known for creating strong and tough furniture, there’s also a range of storage solutions which make the most of this beautiful woven look. Storage boxes and baskets can be made from rattan and this can provide a type of storage which fits very well into a kitchen or utility room decor. Whether it is supplies for the garden, dog walking gear or even a container for your potatoes, rattan storage boxes can be an absolute godsend in the kitchen.

Example of a rattan storage basket with cane handle

Image Source If you use them for storage, they can be moved outside without any worries about them getting wet or leaking, thanks to their waterproof qualities. Combining all-weather rattan on the outside with a liner on the inside, rattan storage boxes provide absolute protection whether used inside or out.

Accessories

Rattan dining sets or chairs in the kitchen deserve to be accessorised with matching equipment so why not invest in some extras to bring rattan onto the table too? A Lazy Susan is a very handy piece of serving equipment, perfect for gracing any table. Why not opt for one that’s extra special and trimmed with rattan to complement the furniture? In addition to equipment, you can also find placemats and coasters in a rattan design, bringing a rustic and appealing quality to an elegant dinner service. A rattan covered vase with a flower or two completes the decor in the kitchen, effortless style with a natural twist.

Why rattan?

It’s possible to purchase kitchen furniture in a range of materials so you may be wondering why rattan is such a good idea. As an all-weather material rattan is entirely waterproof and also won’t wilt in the heat, making it ideally suited to potentially steamy and warm rooms like a kitchen. It can be left in the garden all year round without cracking or splitting even when exposed to both hot sunshine and icy snow, and it’s these qualities of resilience that make it perfect for a humid kitchen environment. Rattan is also prized for its strength and natural toughness, so it’s an investment which is built to last, even when used regularly. The upkeep of it is very low maintenance, simply wipe over with a damp cloth or stick a hoover nozzle into the crevices occasionally and that’s all that’s needed to keep it looking its best. If there are any spillages or accidents, the upholstery typically zippers off and can be rinsed in the washing machine to get it clean. The rattan itself is incredibly stain resistant and normally just requires a quick wipe over with a damp cloth to remove any sticky residue. It’s a good idea to do this straight away because if a dark substance such as red wine is left to soak into rattan over several hours, you may be left with a slight mark.

Image Credits: Gwen Mill