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Rattan for Every Room

by Rainsford Company April 30, 2021

Rattan for Every Room

It's hard to match the instant warmth that natural materials bring to a room. Wovens like rattan and seagrass have been dubbed "on trend" for this year (and the year before, and the year before...), but we know the real truth: These timeless materials are total classics with endless versatility, no matter your decor style. Rattan's recent resurgence has it popping in spaces ranging from Scandi to traditional, boho to minimalist, and farmhouse to coastal.

Obviously at home in outdoor spaces, we're also keen to pepper in these natural fibres throughout the home. If you’re just starting to warm up to the trend, here’s how to seamlessly incorporate it in every room.


Go beyond the basket

We all have a rattan basket around that tends to get tucked away under a coffee table or on the floor — the material's sturdy strength makes it a go-to choice for storage. But, there's something magical that happens when you bring rattan up around eye level — you actually notice it. Try introducing a rattan pendant light or a cane framed mirror and you'll see what we mean. The open, airy weave and neutral colouring of natural rattan, cane, seagrass and jute provide an unobtrusive way to add a dash of texture to just about any space.


Add it to your #shelfie mix

When it comes to building a good shelfie, the secret is in the layering — of shapes, of sizes, and (yep, you guessed it) of textures. A touch of something natural adds texture in spades. Taking a shelf from bland to wow can be as easy as adding a cane-wrapped vase here or a circular rattan tray there. Mixed with more polished materials like glass, stone, ceramic, bone or metal, wovens add that special something that softens your vignette and creates depth with its natural variations in tone and texture.


Learn the lingo

Confused about the differences between rattan, seagrass, cane, wicker and whatever other names are batted about in the trend pages of home decor mags and design blogs these days? Here's a quick primer on the basics:

Weaving Styles   

There are many more techniques more than just these three — These are just a few of the most common.

  • Wicker: This is the name for the weaving technique used to create furniture, baskets, and other goods out of any one of many kinds of dried natural grasses, reeds plants or stems such as willow, rattan or even bamboo. It most often refers to pieces with a stiff, sturdy bent-weave construction. For the patio and outdoor use, synthetic wicker furniture is a great choice, as the traditional natural materials may biodegrade from long-term exposure to the elements (especially in Canada's cold-weather climate!)
  • Caning: A method of weaving that creates a flat, flexible open-weave sheet of material. It's most often made using rattan — so often, in fact, that the words are sometimes used interchangeably. Caning weave is typically used for chair seats or backs, or in decorative applications on cabinet doors or on small decor items like boxes or vases.
  • Rush: This method uses soft fibres woven inside a wooden frame to create a flat surface of threads nestled side by side (think woven bench seats). Traditionally made from bulrush or cattail leaves, twisted paper rope is now commonly used.


Again, these are just a few of our faves of the many pliable plant materials around.

  • Rattan: This sustainable material is harvested from the outer layer of the stems of South Asian climbing palms. The slender, glossy strips become flexible when steamed, allowing them to be bent, molded and woven into sculptural forms that stiffen to hold their shape, ideal for trays and lampshades.
  • Seagrass: Seagrass can refer to a number of varieties of long, water-born grasses, but sedge is the one most frequently used in the weaving of home decor items. The long blades of grass are dried and then tightly spun or twisted into rope-like strands for weaving.
  • Water Hyacinth: The fibrous stalks of water hyacinth plants take on a soft, almost plush texture when dried and braided, giving a relaxed, beachy vibe to whatever they're made into. We love setting an outdoor dining table with seagrass mats and rippled glass accents for a breezy summer look.
  • Jute: Tropical leaves are dried and spun into strong threads for this durable (and dyeable!) material. Rustic in appearance, it's surprisingly soft on bare feet, bringing instant coastal cool to any space as rugs and ottomans.



The Living Room

The Bedroom

The Kitchen & Dining Room

The Front Entryway

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