Tuesday, July 4, 2017

In Praise of Rattan

Happy 4th of July!  I'm writing to you today from underneath a striped lounge umbrella by the pool.  I was feeling particularly inspired by all the classic preppy design I've seen throughout the Hamptons this weekend and thought I'd share one design element today that I always love to see in coastal interiors - rattan.  I suppose it's a bit ironic to be discussing rattan today, because the material is not something that comes from America. It's a naturally growing vine-like species that is native to tropical regions of Australia, Asia, and Africa.  Rattan is ideal for furniture construction because it is flexible and durable while also being lightweight, and it provides an interesting texture to a space.  One popular rattan piece is the Hanging Rattan Chair:

The hanging rattan chair is equally fitting for adult spaces, like the sunroom above or this outdoor patio below:

As well as nurseries and kid's spaces:

I love how interesting and unexpected a rattan headboard can be (here's another inexpensive option):

Victoria from sfgirlbybay shared her LA pad a few years ago on Refinery 29 much to my delight.  Her space is thoroughly Cali boho, with wood plank ceilings painted bright white, a slouchy linen sectional perfect for entertaining, and a rattan daybed of course:

{sfgirlbybay; her daybed shown here is from Elsie Green}

Becki Owens brought in a touch of rattan to accent this sleek white kitchen she designed for her Estillo project.  Rattan Counter Stools (another, more modern option here) are neutral enough to work nicely with most color palettes and add a warm, coastal touch.  I also love the Rejuvenation black pendants chosen for the island:

Another take on rattan counterstools, by JN Interior Spaces:

Mark Sikes utilized rattan stools in this Palisades kitchen, adding in a bistro touch with the blue woven back (another option here):

So you might be thinking- isn't rattan the same thing as wicker?  No!  I often see people use the word "rattan" and "wicker" interchangeably, and they simply are not the same thing.  While rattan is a material, wicker is an ancient weaving technique used to create objects out of natural materials, like rattan.  The materials are wetted to make them more malleable and  manipulated in to interesting baskets or furniture pieces.  Archeologists have found wicker furniture dating back to 3000 BC, when wicker baskets and chests were found in the tombs of prominent Egyptian pharaohs.  Talk about a timeless technique!  I distinctly remember visiting my great grandmother in Denton, Texas and sitting in her white wicker furniture on her porch in North Texas as a little girl.  Now I'm dreaming of adding in a rattan wardrobe to my new studio:

Or maybe just an occasional chair?

In reality, it might just have to be an ice bucket, a la Phoebe Howard:

Have an inkling for something rattan?  Check out my favorite picks below...and have a lovely 4th holiday!



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