Retro Rattan & Wicked Wicker

Rattan and Wicker | Style Stories

Darren Palmer has a broad portfolio, having studied fine art & graphic design, originally working in advertising and owning his own graphic design company. After succumbing to his true passion, Darren now operates his own interior design studio and has been a judge on numerous seasons of The Block.

Wicker and rattan, whilst often closely associated are not one and the same.

Rattan is a type of material, a fibrous plant that is strong and can be woven into baskets, containers, furniture and the like.

Wicker, on the other hand, is the process used to weave these fibres, dating back to around 3,000BC. After being discovered as a technique used by the Pharaohs, woven rattan products have been found throughout history, from the 17th century where wicker started to appear in something akin to its current form.

The arts and crafts movement reinvigorated a modern interest in the craftsmanship of wicker rattan as a material, with workshops being hosted to pass down the traditional process of wicker weaving.

In the 1960s and 1970s, wicker rattan and cane furniture was being used in interiors, from America and Europe to Australia.

Providing the perfect harmony with upholstered furniture and a relief from the apparent industrialised and mechanised look of metal and plastics, wicker woven rattan and cane furniture became popular as a chic interior inclusion, only to be put on the shelf toward the end of the 80s where excess was embraced and the machined and modernised look came back into fashion.

We’re seeing the pendulum swing back towards the handmade and the handcrafted, and with that a resurgence of rattan and woven interior décor, from cabinetry, joinery, furniture and lighting to homewares.

Woven rattan was always used as an accent, the perfect backing or seat to a chair, an airy and light looking front to a sideboard. Whether as an insert, a complement or the defining material in a piece of lighting or furniture, rattan in its revived form, it is now being paired with colour and new contemporary forms.

Ikea have had rattan in their range for some time with their Stockholm 2017 chairs; HK Living sells their retro webbing cabinet and wardrobe; Globe West’s Willow and Avery ranges brings an easy, breezy chic and contemporary, craft-oriented look to any modern home; and Jardan has recently launched their Weekend Billie Bench in Antique oak and woven rattan.

You can add wicker rattan to almost any contemporary interior, though it’s best suited to a modern Skandi, beach or contemporary interior style. The golden tones complement beautifully with oak or aged oak floors and natural linens. Wicker rattan also works beautifully in colourful interiors, as well as with a neutral, white and grey palette.

Versatile, natural and easily added as an accent or a feature, wicker is back and a welcome addition to the contemporary palettes in Australian and global interiors.

Retro rattan and wicked wicker | Style Stories

Get the Carpet Court Look

  1. Webbing Cabinet Black by HK Living
  2. Basket by Ikea
  3. Stockholm 2017 Armchair by Ikea