What Is Rattan? A Deep Dive Into Interior Design’s Hottest Trend

if you are a fan of cozy interior design, you have probably fallen in love with Ratan. As you scroll through interiors on Instagram or even as you walk down the aisle of a home goods store, notice this warm, golden brown material from lamps, chairs, and outdoor furniture sets. Can be found in everything. At first glance, rattan may remind you of the effortless ease that comes with beach or bohemian homes, but now even more so, rattan pieces are being incorporated into traditional and modern spaces as well. It’s hard to resist the beauty of laid-back rattan, which is why we’re seeing it almost everywhere these days.

Although you may have wondered: what is rattan? Why has it become so popular suddenly? And how can I style it in my home? If you want to learn in-depth about all things rattan, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s everything you need to know about this versatile and beautiful material.

What is Ratan?

first things first. Rattan is a hardy climbing plant native to Southeast Asia. There are hundreds of rattan palm species, and they grow strong and tall – we’re talking hundreds of feet. Once the trunks of rattan palms are harvested and their outer bark is stripped away, the wood becomes strong and light, making it an ideal material for making furniture, woven baskets and other household items Is. Different species of rattan come in a variety of colors ranging from light brown, dark golden and reddish-brown. Once furniture is made from this durable palm, these high quality pieces are made to last for a long time if they are properly cared for.

Defining Elements and Characteristics of Rattan

Rattan furniture is known for being strong, durable and beautiful. It has been around for centuries, and if you’re lucky, you can even find pieces of old rattan in excellent condition. Rattan was especially popular in the 1970s and is making its mark again in the world of interior design due to its eco-friendly nature and strength.

“As an interior designer who values ​​natural materials, rattan furniture is prevalent in our design schemes. Its organic charm and tactile appeal add depth and warmth to any space,” said Audrey Scheck. audrey sketch design share. “Rattan pieces add a textural layer to interiors and blend easily with other natural elements like wood, stone and linen.

audrey sketch design

Audrey Schacht

As founder and principal designer of the eponymous design firm in Austin, Audrey has established a reputation as an expert in transforming residential and commercial environments. Audrey and her team have an extensive portfolio that has been featured in Martha Stewart, Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Southern Living, and Forbes.

How to style rattan

Difference between Rattan and Cane, Bamboo and Wicker

Woven materials like rattan, cane, bamboo, and wicker are all very similar, and even used interchangeably – but are they all the same? no way. At first glance, wicker and rattan could easily be mistaken for each other, but wicker refers to the weave pattern of the material. Wicker is often made from rattan, but can also be woven from bamboo, willow, or synthetic fibers.

It is easy to see the similarities between rattan and cane, as they both come from the same plant. Cane refers to the outer bark that is removed from the rattan vine and is often used as an accent in wooden furniture, while rattan is the inner core of these vines. And even though rattan and bamboo look similar, they are very different plants. Bamboo is a hollow grass that cannot bend or twist, while rattan is solid and flexible.

How to Shop for Rattan Furniture

Shopping for rattan pieces can be as easy as browsing the aisles at Target, or scouring your local flea. Due to the popularity of these pieces, you’re more likely to see rattan furniture at thrift stores and consignment shops. If you’re looking for an older gem, Schacht recommends inspecting the quality of the rattan first. “When shopping for rattan furniture, especially vintage furniture, it is encouraged to inspect it for any signs of wear and tear, such as loose weave or structural damage,” she says. If you want to be sure that you have an authentic piece of rattan, it is best to find a professional or expert. “Look for reputable sellers or dealers that specialize in handmade furniture to ensure authenticity and quality,” encourages Scheck.

Brand new rattan pieces are also easy to identify, and Schecht recommends keeping consistency in mind. “When purchasing new rattan furniture, choose sustainable sources and consider factors like warranty and return policies to make an informed decision on your purchase,” she says.

wicker swivel chairs

How to Style Rattan Pieces in Your Home


“Rattan lamps can instantly make a vignette more interesting, and they’re timeless enough to pair with almost any aesthetic,” Schacht said. Adding rattan lighting will add extra warmth and charm to your living room, bedroom or office space, and it can blend seamlessly with other textures and materials. Try adding a rattan table lamp to any room in your home for a touch of beauty and charm.


There’s something about a rattan chair sitting next to a cream-colored sofa that instantly creates a homey ambiance. It inspires you to relax and pause for a while. Hey, he doesn’t want that in his house? If you’re looking for added texture, consider rattan chairs for your living room, or incorporate rattan chairs into an otherwise formal space (think dining room or home office) for an unexpected whimsy and playfulness. try. Keep it rustic with a faux sheepskin fabric or plaid fabric to take it to the beach in the summer, or go with throw pillows in a soft blue or crisp white.

“Whether it’s a vintage chair or a modern coffee table, rattan pieces bring a sense of authenticity and comfort to a room,” says Schacht.

side tables

If larger rattan pieces like chairs or sofas seem a little much to start with, consider rattan accents like side tables. Incorporating too many rattan pieces may make your space look a little dated anyway, but using rattan with other materials, textures and colors will add the right amount of contrast. Keep in mind that rattan comes in a variety of colors, from light beige to golden brown, so be sure to look for a shade of rattan that will go well with your other furniture and decor.


If there’s one rattan statement piece to invest in, let it be a bed frame. Rattan looks best when paired with nature-inspired colors and the cool bedroom color palette fits well with its natural beauty. Dress up your rattan bed frame with linen bedding, scatter house plants around the room, and let in plenty of sunlight. All of these natural elements will complement the rattan, and will undoubtedly create a cozy, comfortable bedroom.


Since rattan is neutral, the design possibilities for an attractive piece like a rattan cabinet are endless. Do you want your space to be coastal and seaside? Place a rattan cabinet between an oatmeal linen chair and a blue throw. Love the boho vibe? Place ceramics on the shelves of your cabinets, place a large leafy green plant next to it and incorporate it into the warm color palette of pink and orange. Rattan also works with dark and moody walls, exposed brick or masculine textures like leather – a great choice, no matter what your design preferences.


Rattan is perfect for both indoor and outdoor spaces, and a rattan sofa makes an excellent statement, whether it’s in your living room or on the back deck. If you’re thinking about adding rattan furniture to your outdoor living space, continue to style with contrasting textures, just like you would inside.

“Combining rattan with other materials like wood and patterned textiles will create visual interest and a layered look,” says Schacht. If you decide to have an outdoor rattan sofa, make sure to keep it dry and out of direct sunlight. These preventive measures will prevent the fibers from weakening under harsh rays, and will also protect it from mildew and deformity.