The Indoor Rattan Furniture Trend Is Booming – Here’s Why
Indoor rattan furniture is seeing a huge rise in popularity over the last few years and is it any wonder?
Often crafted by skilled artisans, this tree-climbing vine is surging in demand due to its durability and eco-friendly nature. Retailers and manufacturers alike are becoming ever more creative with the material, crafting exquisite designs in forms and structures not possible if made from wood.
In this post, we look at the most common questions surrounding indoor rattan furniture and explain why it’s such an excellent option for most people.
Is rattan furniture in style?
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Indoor rattan furniture conforms to all but a few of the most recent popular trends. Now more than ever, homeowners are gravitating towards sustainable, handmade products that offer a natural element to the room’s décor. Popular buzzwords such as Scandi, minimalism, Bohemian, Japandi and biophilic each promote a sense of natural, sustainable living, and there is no material that better conforms to these design principles than natural rattan.
Is rattan sustainable?
Rattan is a tropical vine that proliferates throughout the jungles of Southeast Asia. It’s a sustainable wood due to many reasons. Firstly, the manufacturing process for rattan furniture production is relatively rudimentary. Often crafted by skilled artisans, this material does not need extensive manufacturing facilities in order to create its final product. It’s also highly renewable. Growing at a rate of 2cm per day, the vine is ready to harvest within 2-3 years - a process far faster than wood.
Rattan, similar to solid wood, is also known as an eco-friendly option due to its durability. You can expect a well-made piece of rattan furniture to last upwards of 10 years.
Sure, it’s lightweight, but is rattan furniture durable?
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The piece's durability comes down to the general quality of the brand that’s selling it. That said, assuming you’ve done your due diligence before purchasing, there should be no reason your rattan furniture won’t last for years.
Often known as cane, the piece's strength lies in the weave. Due to each piece being crafted from many strands of natural rattan, the weight is spread evenly across the entire surface, allowing for greater durability and comfort.
Indoor rattan furniture options
Indoor rattan furniture comes in many shapes and styles; nowadays, each piece of the furniture spectrum contains rattan counterparts. Below is a selection of rattan furniture pieces that might make the perfect alternative to solid wood.
Rattan coffee tables
Rattan coffee tables make a great alternative to solid wood as they are much lighter. A coffee table will need to be moved forward and back from time to time, so this versatility can be incredibly useful.
Rattan coffee tables often come with glass tops to avoid moisture spoiling the material. Keep this in mind.
Rattan console tables
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Rattan console tables are great for adding a natural element to your hallway or living areas. Often constructed from a combination of solid wood and rattan, the designs are often as beautiful as they are unique.
There are plenty of options for consoles with drawers or cupboards; a great way to add a little extra storage to your home.
Rattan occasional chairs
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Natural rattan chairs are a good option for homeowners with smaller rooms as they often fall squarely into the ‘occasional chair’ category. Rather than big bulky sofas and armchairs, a beautiful rattan occasional chair can be the perfect way to save a few inches of floor space. Accessorise with fluffy cushions to add comfort and to put your stamp on your décor.
Rattan bar stools
Similar to coffee tables, the most functional aspect of a rattan bar stool is its lightweight design. Stools should be easily moved and lifted, and there can be no better material for portability than natural rattan.
Search for kitchen stools with rattan seats and backrests for added comfort – the springy nature of this material is excellent for long seating periods.
Rattan folding screens
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Rattan folding screens are a vintage furniture style currently seeing a huge surge in popularity. Often sectioned into a folding mechanism of two or three pieces, these lightweight changing screens are not only a great way to add a little privacy but can be folded back down and stowed away when not in use.
Rattan bedside tables
Harking back to the timeless design classic - 'mid-century', these handcrafted wonders have seen a rise in popularity due to the uber-stylish Scandi, Japandi and boho homeware trends.
Natural rattan works well with neutral wood colours such as creams, browns and blacks so explore diligently to find the best palette for your bedroom.
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Large furniture pieces like cupboards and sideboards can often look imposing and bulky, especially if the design is a little bland. Natural rattan is fantastic for adding variety and character to a design, lightening the look and giving it less heft.
Is rattan furniture waterproof?
Rattan is a natural product that, if left outside to the elements, will turn mouldy, discolour and slowly decay. As with all plant life, natural rattan soaks up moisture. If it is allowed to remain wet for sustained periods of time, it can turn mouldy.
Rattan is still commonly purchased for use outside, but it is best used in the summer months and stored away in a dry spot for the winter.
How to clean indoor rattan furniture?
It’s important to keep on top of your indoor rattan furniture to extend its life and keep it looking great. Remember, as we said earlier in this article, if not properly cared for, rattan can display signs of mould and discolouration.
To remove dust, attach your brushed hoover nozzle and gently work the end in and around the weave. The brush will help to loosen the dust between the cracks leaving the suction to remove it.
To clean your indoor rattan furniture, it’s best to use a mild soapy mixture of mind dishwashing detergent and lukewarm water. Ensure to wring out the cloth to avoid excessive moisture transfer and thoroughly dry the item after wiping. It’s then advisable to leave your furniture outside or in a warm place to finish the drying process.
What’s the difference between rattan and wicker?
The belief that rattan and wicker are interchangeable terms is largely incorrect. Rattan is the term for the natural material harvested from the tree, and wicker is simply the style of weave. Wicker can come in natural or synthetic form; the latter is most commonly used for outdoor furniture.
Why is rattan furniture often expensive?
Whether we’re talking about natural rattan or PVC outdoor wicker furniture, it can be expensive.
Firstly, rattan and wicker furniture has to be woven by hand. Handweaving rattan furniture pieces takes significant time and skill. Ultimately, manufacturers have to pass these labour costs on.
Secondly, it's the shipping of rattan furniture that contributes to its relatively high value. Unlike wooden furniture that often comes disassembled in much smaller boxes, rattan is almost always fully assembled by the time it reaches the consumer. The upshot is that far larger boxes take up more space in the shipping container. Since rattan is predominantly grown and manufactured in southeast Asia, its journey to western countries can take a long time too.
Our final thoughts on indoor rattan furniture
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No longer is rattan confined to the history books of interior design. Designers and manufacturers are creating beautiful works of art that benefit from this lightweight, durable, and eco-friendly material.
Scatter a few pieces of rattan throughout the home to lighten the look, and be sure to take care of your indoor rattan furniture by cleaning it once a week. Assuming you do this, your furniture will age gracefully and be in tip-top shape for years to come.