3 Ways To Style Your Rattan Furniture And Keep It Looking Great!

Now that the once popular and sought after rattan has made its 2019 comeback in indoor/outdoor home furnishings and statement pieces, we have a feeling it might stay trending for a while. After all, this naturally renewable palm has made a name for itself over the years not only in furnishings, but handcrafts and more. So if you’re in possession of a rattan treasure-find that you stumbled on at a yard sale or even better, have received as a heirloom, this article is for you.

Both rattan and wicker were popular in the late 60’s and early 70’s when they were associated with the bohemian lifestyle and notable stylings of such designers as Rohé Noordwolde, Arne Jacobsen, and Heywood-Wakefield so much so that according to according to notable designers, no porch was complete without a rattan chair or hanging basket. It dominated the interior design landscape for the decade but fell out of favor as the 80s moved away from the natural look towards more high-tech options. A lot of these extremely durable pieces were then retired into attics and basements in waiting. Cast out but not forgotten, it would be the ecologically conscious designers, slow fashion advocates, and a booming 70’s revival trend that spurred its monumental comeback.

The major difference in this incarnation of rattan furniture is that it is now being used as focal points inside of the home. ” We’re seeing rattan mirrors, lights, wardrobes and accent tables whereas it was originally intended for outdoor or porch use due to its durable nature,” explains Kevin Godfrey of Henry Laurent Estate Sales.

To this end, if you’re considering personalizing your rattan chairs with upholstered cushions or in the process of sprucing them up a bit, here are three styling suggestions  and a couple additional tips to keep your rattan looking great.

  1. Pair you rattan find with different styles to create character and personality in your space. This nature-derived material is a staple in shabby-chic or boho-style spaces, but rattan furniture works with a vast range of design styles. To reinforce rattan’s natural beauty, pair it with plenty of plants, floral or botanical prints, and other natural materials, such as jute or wood. For a more eclectic look, contrast rattan’s laidback feel with sleek mid-century furniture and metallic accents. Bringing warmth and a more casual feel, it can keep modern interiors from veering too cool or lend a more easygoing air to traditional rooms. 
  2. Place rubber caps or felt pads under each leg to prevent excessive wear and splitting. We have seen this on many upholstery jobs that have come through our doors. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure as they say.
  3. Use upholstered cushions on rattan seats to help distribute the sitter’s weight and prevent the rattan from sagging. With thousands of prints, fibers, textures and colors to choose from, just by considering this personalized textile touch you add both comfort and style to your room decor. The added bonus? When you’re ready for a make-over, removable cushion covers offer both versatility and ease in switching out.

Bonus Cleaning and Care Tips*

  • Dust periodically
  • Treat existing stains by gentle brushing not deep rubbing
  • Eliminate mildew using a solution of equal parts chlorine bleach and water
  • Clean with detergent suds made with 4 cups of warm water and a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid
  • Allow the rattan to dry completely.
  • Once dry, dip a clean, soft cloth into boiled linseed oil to condition the rattan. Doing so adds moisture to the fibers to help prevent breakage. 
  • Allow your rattan to dry completely for at least 48 hours before use.
Have a rattan chair in need of an upholstered cushion done professionally?
Live in the Philadelphia area?
Give us a call at J&O Fabrics so that one of our skilled craftsmen can take care of you! @ (215)335-9494
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