Inspire | 30 September 2021

Rattan Revival: How to Nail the Natural, Textured Look

by Carlisle Homes

Dress it up or dress it down! Here’s how to integrate rattan into your home.

No longer just for outdoor furniture, rattan has emerged as a must-have for interiors in 2021. Natural and sustainable, this ‘70s favourite is being coaxed into all manner of interesting forms to suit contemporary homes, from curvaceous bedheads to sculptural lampshades. Rattan is perfect for bringing lush, natural texture to a space and it works beautifully with a range of interior styles, including beachy Hamptons, modern country and Scandinavian.

Can’t resist rattan’s laid-back, retro charm? Here are some easy ways to integrate it into the main rooms of your home.

Soften the space and embrace the boho look by incorporating a curvy, white rattan coffee table in your living room. Featured here: Canterbury Grand, Minta Estate, Berwick.

A touch of boho in the living room

Lightweight and slender, rattan is an ideal choice for smaller living areas as it won’t overwhelm the space. Soften a living room with lots of square lines by using a curvy rattan coffee table, or add a funky little side table – perfect for popping a drink – in the natural material. Alternatively, if you’re looking to invest in bigger furniture pieces, consider a rattan sofa or armchair, both of which are guaranteed to add a casual, coastal feel to the space.  

Not sure what to do with that dull corner of the room? Give it a lift by adding in a rattan stool or side table, with a sculptural rattan hanging light above it. A vase of preserved blooms in earthy tones is perfect for completing the look.

And remember – light brown isn’t your only option when it comes to rattan furniture. If your room scheme consists of white upholstery and pastel artworks, you might want to consider white-painted rattan furniture to create a clean and seamless aesthetic. Discover the Californian glamour look here.

Tightly woven rattan detailing will establish a more sophisticated look in the space, as opposed to a casual, open-weave style. Featured here: Warwick, Rathdowne Estate, Wollert.

...Or step it up with luxe rattan

Consider black rattan or natural rattan with accents of black to create a chic and contemporary feel in a grown-up living area. 

It’s important to factor in the weave of the piece too; you’ll find that furniture with tightly woven rattan detailing sets a more sophisticated tone than loose, open-weave styles – plus it’s more timeless.

Keeping the palette tight will help you create a curated and modern feel. Pair black and natural rattan armchairs with a timber and black sideboard, black-framed artwork, and black and white decor pieces. Finish off the look with plush carpet in a light tone underfoot. 

Superb tactility! Make your kitchen warm, inviting, and unique with textural and robust rattan stools and chairs. Featured here: Edgewood, Eliston Estate, Clyde.

Texture in the kitchen

Rattan sits beautifully alongside blonde timber – together, they create a warm and welcoming feel that’s ideal for an open-plan kitchen and meals area (rattan is robust too, making it a great choice for family homes).

Just one or two touches is all that you’ll need; for example, consider adding a couple of rattan bar stools to your kitchen island or densely woven rattan dining chairs around your table. Or install a trio of curvy rattan pendant lights above your island. Keep the rest of the scheme simple with warm-grey floor tiles and pale benchtops to allow the textured, natural material to sing.

Another popular option is to specify rattan inlays to the doors of your kitchen cabinetry. While it’s more of a commitment than freestanding pieces such as chairs and tables, it’s sure to add a unique charm to the room.

Love to entertain? Consider woven-rattan chairs for your dining space. They’ll add visual depth, and create a luxe, laid-back vibe that your guests will love. Featured here: Thornleigh, Newhaven Estate, Tarneit.

Depth and interest in a dining room

Set the scene for long, relaxed meals around the table with accents of rattan in your dining room. Pair a timber dining table with woven-rattan dining chairs or hang an oversized rattan pendant overhead (as an added bonus, it will cast intriguing shadows when lit, which helps set an inviting mood when you’re entertaining).

Consider a rattan-fronted buffet to store all your dining essentials or set up a cocktail corner with a chic, rattan bar cart.

Create impact in your entrance while keeping colour to a minimum, by layering up the texture instead. Try an earthy rattan mirror against textural wallpaper. Featured here: Warwick, Rathdowne Estate, Wollert.

A warm entrance

Decorating with rattan is a clever way to boost visual interest in a neutral space without adding bold colour. If you love the idea of natural tones in your entrance but worry it lacks impact, layer up the texture instead. Combine tactile linen wallpaper in a neutral shade with a simple, black steel-framed console table, and an earthy rattan mirror above it to create a softly spoken – and thoroughly contemporary – focal point. 

Experiment pairing luxe blush tones and velvet-upholstered pieces with rattan pendants to bring resort vibes into the bedroom. Featured here: Thornleigh, Newhaven Estate, Tarneit.

A resort-like bedroom

Bring resort vibes to your bedroom with touches of rattan. Make your bed the centrepiece of the room by adding a fanned rattan bedhead. Pile the bed high with sumptuous linens with accents of tan that pick up the rattan tones to create a sense of cohesion. 

Or create an intriguing textural contrast by pairing a luxe velvet-upholstered bedhead with a pair of rattan side tables. Again, selecting harmonising colours is key to making these contrasting textures work together.

From there, consider adding a round jute rug underfoot that echoes the textural weave and tones of your rattan bedhead and emphasises the bedroom’s relaxed, holiday-like vibes.

Alternatively, inject some retro cool into your teen’s bedroom with a rattan hanging egg chair or a funky rattan-fronted chest of drawers. Create a fun, tropical theme by adding in a wall of palm-patterned wallpaper behind the bed.

Bathroom beauty

One or two touches of rattan will provide instant warmth and flair to a plain bathroom, and it’s a great way to soften the sharp lines of tiles and cabinetry.

Hang a rattan-framed mirror with an interesting silhouette above your vanity – for example, a round or half-moon style. Or create a charming little display zone by hanging a circular rattan shelf unit on the wall.

If you’d prefer something portable and freestanding, consider a bijou rattan-fronted cabinet to store your toiletries and bathroom essentials.

Adding a sense of effortless cool to your interior has never been easier!

Get an insight into the latest decorating trends for 2021 and beyond from the comfort of your couch. Take a virtual tour of a Carlisle home today. 

Like this article? Add it to your favourites

Carlisle newsletter

Get the latest news from Carlisle Homes regarding exclusive specials, lifestyle and interior trends.