How to use rattan to the best effect in your home
Rattan furniture is one of the most popular trends for both interior decor and use in the garden and is one of the few materials to transcend the barrier between the two.
Used to create contemporary furniture typically with on-trend muted colours and clean lines, there's a wide range of sofas, tables, chairs as well as accessories both indoors and out which are made from rattan.
A vine found in tropical regions, natural rattan is often supplanted for a synthetic version because it is more durable and better able to withstand inclement weather conditions and freezing temperatures.
Coupled with an aluminium based with is 100% recyclable, rattan is a choice for individuals who like their furniture to be eco-friendly as well as stylish.
If you like the natural look that rattan can deliver but aren't sure how to incorporate it into your home, here's a few ideas to help you get the most out of your rattan furniture.
The perfect view
If you have rattan garden furniture then don't simply plonk it down in the nearest free spot, put some thought into where you or your guests might like to sit. The spot which provides the best view of your landscaped gardens, the horizon or even just the birds hopping in the trees should be where you leave your rattan furniture ready for use.
Quality rattan garden furniture available from our range
Rattan furniture looks good gracing every patio, but it can really stand out when coupled with lush green grass. Not many types of furniture are compatible with grass because of their comparatively heavy weight. Because rattan is so lightweight, it can be left on green areas without causing damage, allowing the grass just to ping back into position once it's removed.Â
Contrast with contemporary
As a natural material, rattan looks great set in neutral surroundings, or in driftwood or beach themed gardens.
As a very different look, why not try rattan together with a more modern-looking material such as gleaming chrome? This fusion of homely and rustic rattan against the clinical aspect of the metal creates an interesting effect.
You can start this by choosing a table with metal legs accompanied by rattan chairs and then continue this look throughout the rest of the room.
In the garden this can work just as well: try outdoors mirrors and strategically placed contemporary ornaments juxtaposed with rattan planters and loungers for the greatest impact.
Complement with plants
Rattan is reminiscent of summer and warmer weather for many people so why not bring that touch of sunshine to your home all year round?
As a natural material rattan looks great with other plants, so bring in some plants to your internal decor and your rooms will feel fresh and clean. If the dimensions in your house allow it, some taller plants can provide some interesting shapes, but if you don't have the room, smaller pot plants can also work well.
If you do opt for the taller plants, rattan planters can help to draw together the rattan sofa and chairs and the greenery. Don't despair if you aren't blessed with lots of botanical know-how, there are lots of plants which can thrive indoors with just the minimum of care.
This approach can work well in the garden too and can help to create a continuous theme between the indoors and the outdoors, a very contemporary concept.
Consider different uses
Cube seating offers an alternative take on the traditional table and chairs, taking up far less room when not in use.
A cube table and chairs neatly tucks together so there's no protruding parts taking up air space or making the surrounding area unusable. Typically there are 2-4 full chairs along with some foot stools.
An example of rattan cube seating available from our range
If you don't regularly use the foot stools at the dinner table, and you don't need them as extra seating, why not feature them as a coffee table in the lounge? If you have a rattan sofa, it will complement the design but it will look just as good with fabric sofas in neutral tones.
Combining rattan with existing decor can work really well and bring a variety of interesting textures to the room.
Jazz up the furniture
Rattan furniture often comes with upholstery which has deliberately muted tones, with soft brown, slate grey, beige and ecru typical colours which are seen. This complements the eco-friendly, natural scheme which rattan fits so perfectly with.
But of course there may be times when you prefer a more vibrant appearance. You can still achieve this with rattan by just tweaking it slightly.
An easy way is to add some brightly coloured cushions to the existing upholstery. This looks particularly good if you can match this to the curtains or the colour of a rug.
If you want to create a bigger impact, it's possible to paint the rattan using either a spray or a sponge applicator. Before you do this, be very sure about the colour you pick because changing the colour of the whole rattan frame will result in a dramatic end effect.
Rattan designs can be innovative such as this elephant rattan storage box
Keep it natural
As a natural material, rattan looks sensational when included in a room with themes which echo nature.
There are lots of options to create this, which looks best when the decor is deliberately rustic.
Unfinished wooden pieces can be used to look like driftwood, and with shells and other beach-themed paraphernalia, rattan will fit in perfectly.
If you prefer a more polished design, natural stone can be a wonderful foil to the more bucolic charms of rattan.
Natural stone comes in many variants, with high sheen finishes such as marble in contrast to the less cultivated appearance of slate and travertine. Natural stone makes great flooring, or wall covering and rattan can work really well as part of the overall decor.
This could be in the dining room with slate flooring and a rattan table, in the lounge, with a highly polished fireplace set against a rattan sofa or even in the bathroom with marble effect sinks and surfaces and rattan bucket chair if space allows.
By setting your mind free and combining natural materials, the end result can be simply stunning.
Rattan might not be the first material that springs to mind for the kitchen, but adding some rattan chairs can bring some warmth to the room.
Synthetic rattan handles moisture and humidity particularly well so no matter how steamy the room gets, you won't need to worry about the effect on your rattan furniture.
Even if your kitchen is designed in a more contemporary manner, rattan can still fit in well. Either opt to inject some colour with warm chocolate brown rattan furniture or else choose clean white rattan chairs to stick to a more modern style.
Match to timber
As a vine-based material, rattan looks great with timber whether it's dark wood like mahogany or light effect such as beech.
But although rattan will look great with both wooden furniture and wooden flooring, picking the right colour is essential.
If your room is full of rich, deep wooden tones, a light and bright rattan chair will look out of place and at odds with the rest of the decor. Choose deep warm chocolate brown rattan instead and it will complement the colours in the timber.
Chocolate brown rattan dining furniture from our range
Similarly, in a room which is light and bright, perhaps in a bathroom, a rattan chair which is dark in colour will jar with the design. Choose rattan in colours such as ecru or white and it will look far better.
Create a continuous theme
One of the hottest new ideas in interior design is the concept that boundaries between the home and the garden no longer exist.
Traditionally, the decor for the inside and the outside has been considered in isolation but new design ideas suggest the opposite, seeking a continuous flow from one to the other.
As one of the very few materials which works equally well both indoors and out, rattan is in demand for this type of decor.
In the garden rattan sun loungers and planters start the rattan theme which can continue back towards the house, and onto the decking with a table and chairs, or maybe a daybed the ultimate relaxation accessory.
Moving back into the house, the rattan theme can easily continue with corner sofas, armchairs and more traditional sofas available. There's a range of sizes available to fit into all types of room, both large and small.
In the dining area, there's a vast array of rattan table and chairs to choose from, with both small cube sets and full dining arrangements for large groups of people. If you want a table in the garden as well, many of the designs can be used indoors and out, and there's also small bistro sets for more casual al fresco snacks.
Rattan is here to stay
As a natural material which is eco-friendly, comfortable and attractive, it's not surprising that rattan has experienced a rapid rise in popularity. The synthetic rattan has helped extend the use of the vine even further, creating an almost invincible material for use in the garden all year round.
Rattan looks great in every room around the house, fitting with both formal designs and also more relaxed decor too. Whether it's a chair to lounge in, a table to dine at or even just a snazzy rattan planter accessory, rattan is a material which is here to stay.
Image Credit: Maria Buglovsky