If you were to gab to a seasoned interior designer — hell, even an amateur one — that rattan furniture is taking over TikTok, boy would their eyes roll. Not because those intricate weaves of Southeast Asia's popular palm merit a few pupil spins, but rather because rattan is the LBD of interior design. And by that, we mean a classic crowd-pleaser that, at this point, transcends home trends. As a result, some describe rattan in 2022 as "basic," "overdone," and "outdated." We see their distaste and raise them with adjectives like "essential," "timeless," and "charming." As they say, if it ain't broke, don't fix it — so we scavenged all the best rattan furniture and goods floating about this digital abyss because, truthfully, rattan is here to stay.
@iammichellepham Reply to @caseysullivanhage These rattan chairs make me feel like I’m on a sunny holiday! #wayfairfurniture #wayfairfinds #rattan #rattanchair #rattanfinds #wicker #diningroomdecor #diningroom #furniture #rattanfurniture #apartmenttherapy #apartmentdecor #homedecor #interiordesign ♬ Alice in Wonderland - Joanna Wang
What is rattan?
This Southeast Asian palm plant is naturally strong and malleable, and it grows year-round — a rare combo of characteristics that, according to Wicker Warehouse, solidified its superiority in the basket-weaving space back in 8,000 B.C. and likely sustains its popularity today. Less likely to crack beneath excessive weight than its hollow cousin bamboo, rattan is a furniture maker's dream that never fails to elevate the living space it's placed in.
What's the difference between rattan, wicker, and cane?
We'll keep it short and sweet with the help of Wayfair's upscale home goods branch Joss & Main. "Wicker" is an umbrella term for any kind of woven furniture made with natural materials. (In this day and age, however, synthetics like resin and vinyl are much more common because they're more affordable.) Rattan is, as you know from above, a durable palm plant. Finally, cane is the "outer 'bark' part of the rattan tree" and, fun fact, a tad better at withstanding water damage.
When did rattan become popular?
Much like our baby boomer counterparts, the groovy '70s were rattan's glory days. The Interior Editor describes the collective infatuation with this all-natural home accent as "a huge hit" that lasted the entire decade. It's not surprising, seeing how rattan furnishings flood our IG feeds to this day, make TikToks go viral, and even coax Refinery29 into writing articles about it. One TikTok lifestyle user, Michelle Pham, identified her unique chairs found on Wayfair (which, unfortunately, are sold out at the moment, but we dug up this worthy replacement) for a curious commenter. Per Pham's caption, her set of seats make her feel like she's on a "sunny holiday." Another TikTok user and furniture fan, Kelly Green, actually scored her "dream find" at a thrift store for less and gushed over the rare shelving unit to her equally impressed followers. We can spot a myriad of one-of-a-kind retro rattan gems on the New York-based vintage furniture destination Home Union — and, of course, make googly eyes at the retailer's dreamy Instagram grid.
Where are the best places to buy rattan?
Cost Plus World Market, Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters, Etsy, Wayfair, and other retailers featured in this article provide the masses with chic woven home goods, especially in the outdoor furniture space. From classic chairs to statement-making coat hangers, you can secure practically any product comprised of the honey brown material. So the next time you get a hankering for some pretty palm plant pieces, just know the world — aka the internet — is your oyster.
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