Login / Register Sellers Clients
Dining table with rattan chairs and a rattan cabinet in the background.

Rattan furniture has been around for a long time and has had its fair share of turbulence. It started life as a lower-end alternative to wood, and by the mid-19th century, it was a staple in the homes of the rising middle classes.

Rattan rose to the fore again in the 1950s and 70s as a way of offsetting modernism’s hard lines. More recently, it made another surprising comeback, re-emerging as an item worthy of inclusion in contemporary style guides. 

So, what makes this distinctive-looking furniture so popular? In this post, we examine how rattan furniture has kept pace with fashion. 

Is rattan furniture timeless or trendy?  

Rattan furniture has a classical feel to it that is best described as timeless rather than trendy. However, that doesn’t mean it hasn’t kept pace with changing fashions. It’s a rare blend of both innovation and nostalgia.

Take the recent iterations of rattan. You’ll find it in various forms in most high-street stores and interior design magazines — think headboards, statement pendant lights, and study garden furniture.

If rattan can be described as anything, it’s versatile. 

Why does rattan remain so popular? 

Aside from its versatility, there are many reasons rattan remains popular.

1. You can use it indoors or outdoors 
Synthetic rattan is weatherproof and easy to maintain, making it ideal for the garden, but it’s also equally suitable for use indoors. After a wet and windy winter, a quick brush or a power wash on a gentle setting is all that’s required to bring your rattan garden furniture back to life.

2. It matches pretty much everything
Rattan goes with most styles, sitting comfortably among antique furniture and contemporary pieces. Its neutral colour and warm texture are ideally suited to balancing hard lines and cool surfaces.

3. It comes in many forms and colours 
You can paint rattan furniture in pretty much any shade you like. Use it to add a joyful pop of colour to a neutral interior design or complement the colour scheme from the bathroom to the basement. 

Can you restore vintage rattan furniture? 

Rattan furniture inspired by the 1970s is popular among interior designers. Reproductions are easy to find, but the real thing is often better.

With some time and patience, it’s possible to restore vintage rattan.

Though it can be labour-intensive, the results are well worth the effort. If you're not confident in your DIY skills, consider hiring a professional to help with the restoration. 

Rattan furniture – the key takeaway 

Rattan furniture, once a humble alternative to wood, has evolved into a timeless yet versatile choice for interior design. From its rise in bourgeois drawing rooms to its recent resurgence, rattan seamlessly blends nostalgia with innovation.

Whether it’s a modern pendant light from a big box store or a 1950s vintage rocking chair, your choice of rattan will enhance your room’s decor, adding warmth, texture, and elegance.