Like most trends, they say everything comes back, and this year, it’s been rattan all the way. Come to think of it, it never really went anywhere entirely, and has been around since the seventies in some form or the other. That’s because it’s a natural material, great for both indoors and outdoors and has a cool and easy boho aesthetic about it.
Rattan, a plant from the palm family, grows naturally in Southeast Asia. Sometimes it is called cane, but cane simply refers to the skin of the rattan vine. Cane is flexible and pliable, making it ideal for accents and seats. Rattan and cane, as well as bamboo and seagrass, are often referred to as wicker. Although this isn’t entirely incorrect, wicker refers to the weave of these materials.
So where will rattan go in the next decade? More likely than not, it’s here to stay. The challenge is bringing this style up to date. We asked several interior designers on their thoughts on this trend and how best to incorporate it into any living space.
“Rattan can be combined with all types of decor to bring a natural, earthy, grounded feel to a design scheme, especially when left in its natural colour,” says Kavita Sethi of design firm Go Natural Decor. She says she likes to use it inside and outside in equal measure as it fits both spaces so well.
Abhinav Kapoor of DesignYourHome believes rattan is a great way to add texture and warmth to a space, but it’s also easy to overdo. “I am seeing an overuse with the bohemian look all over social media, which I feel could make it trend out fast,” he says. “I like to use rattan in small doses. For instance, as a side chair in a living room, or on door fronts of cabinets. Rather than filling a room with it, think of rattan and caning as a spice.”
For those who are really big fans of rattan and want to use it as the main design element, outdoor settings are ideal. “The place you can absolutely get away with a profusion or heavier balance of just rattan while still looking current is in outdoor spaces like balconies and verandahs,” Kapoor adds. Sethi recommends mixing it with opposing textures and materials such as stone, iron, cement and wood for best effect. And for staying on trend.