Pay attention to your Instagram feed, friends’ houses, and interior design sites (like this one!) and you’ll see rattan furniture everywhere these days. No wonder: the woven reed-like wood works both indoors and outdoors, in a variety of pieces, from light fixtures to bar stools to coffee tables. Rattan is as versatile as it is strong as it is casual, with its island vacation vibes. All those qualities combined make for desirable furniture pieces in any area of your home.
Let’s clear up one common misconception about rattan though: rattan and wicker are not the same things, though they’re often confused. Rattan is a material; wicker is a form of weaving. So while rattan can be wicker, not all wicker is made from rattan.
Now, let’s have a look at 17 ways top interior designers have been including rattan in rooms of all kinds, from living rooms to offices to bedrooms and beyond. You just might be inspired to include a woven element into your space soon.
Use Rattan to Add Texture
As a southern California designer, Jamie King of JLK Interiors gravitates towards the natural elements often, whether that’s through color, textures, or materials, like rattan.
“Rattan provides that perfect touch of coastal elegance without being too beachy and literal,” King says, who personally loves to use the woven wood in kitchens. “It adds texture and dimension to an otherwise utilitarian space.”
Create a Warm Dining Room
Designer Amy Leferink of Interior Impressions loves rattan for two reasons: durability and versatility. Here, rattan creates a warm feeling in a dining room, with a regal set of dining chairs that can withstand being in a high-traffic, high-use area.
"It will never go out of style," Leferink says. "Rattan is here to stay!"
One Chair May Be All You Need
Mimi Meacham of Marian Louise Designs loves the idea of using rattan in an unexpected space, like a home office. “It brings a certain level of casual elegance and ease to the space and always looks pulled together,” she says.
That's definitely the case for this office space she designed, featuring crisp white built-in cabinets, sleek gold hardware, and a French bistro-style rattan chair.
Take note of the painted black and white pattern on the chair. While natural rattan is beautiful, a hit of color or pattern may be just what your space needs.
Create Vacation Vibes in a Sunroom
In case you need proof that rattan (and bamboo, for that matter) furniture doesn’t have to look like your grandma’s 1980s retirement home in Florida, let us present to you Exhibit A, courtesy of Liz MacPhail Interiors.
Since rattan inherently has a vacation vibe, play that up in a sunroom, where, with a few patterned pillows, tropical plants, and a good book, you might be able to fool yourself that you are on vacation.
Make a Room Feel More Casual
Lauren Lerner, founder and principal designer of Living With Lolo, utilizes rattan primarily for two reasons: to add texture and to instantly make a room feel a bit more casual, like in this living room.
“Guests see the back of these chairs from the front entrance of the house, so adding the unique design and texture of these chairs added a ton of visual interest to the space,” Lerner says.
Go Coastal With a Rattan Floor Lamp
Part coastal and all chic—that’s what vibe this organic, handwoven rattan floor lamp from Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop gives off. The shade is made of natural rattan, while the base and accents are made from a warm antique brass finish. And don’t even get us started on those too-cute double pull chains.
Best of all: you can own this exact lamp, as it’s available for purchase in Galloway’s shop.
Opt for All Neutrals
Warmth—that’s what Jessica Davis, owner and principal designer of JL Design was going for with this kitchen design. She achieved that coziness with a set of rattan bar stools.
"Overall, the introduction of the texture that rattan exudes contributed to the warmth we were trying to achieve in this space,” she says.
Try Classic Caning
This Liz MacPhail Interiors-designed space is inspiring us to drop everything and shop for furniture featuring rattan caning. Take these Scandinavian-style cool-toned wood dressers. The caning provides a classic charm and textural interest, while the pieces themselves are incredibly practical, housing vinyl records or unsightly cords.
Create a Charming Home Office
“Rattan is a wonderful option for almost any design aesthetic,” King says.“It is both functional yet visually appealing and its natural texture adds warmth to any environment.” Like in, say, a home office as shown above.
“Rattan is also highly durable, and with people spending more time at home, it can take a good amount of wear and tear,” King says, which makes it a perfect material for a home office (or homework nook) chair.
Utilize the Indoor/Outdoor Functionality
We’re taking notes from this dreamy fireplace situation from JL Design, which utilizes rattan chairs and an ottoman to provide a comfortable (and practical) place to cozy up to a fire.
Rattan can withstand the elements, and look elegant while doing so, so it’s a particularly good match for an outdoor patio or three-season porch.
Add Rattan Pendants to Your Shopping List
To add serious texture to your otherwise sleek kitchen, shop for rattan pendants. (Like these from Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop.) The intricately woven core rattan frame and natural rope details lend themselves to kitchens of all styles, from farmhouse to coastal to contemporary.
Go for Fun and Functional
Lauren Lerner, founder and principal designer of Living With Lolo, couldn’t fit a reading area and two nightstands in this room, so she opted to skip the second nightstand and add a rattan swing chair instead.
“It adds playfulness to the space,” she says.
Complement, Don't Match
Why stop at one rattan piece? In this living room, Liz MacPhail Interiors demonstrates how to use multiple pieces of rattan in a complementary—not matchy-matchy—way. The light fixture and stool coordinate with the shades and side tables, without overtly matching, which creates a thoughtful, just-boho-enough design.
Take Advantage of Rattan's Versatility
Need proof of rattan’s versatility? This office space, designed by Liz MacPhail Interiors, pairs a curved coffee table, made out of rattan with a glass top, with a jewel-toned paint color and it works. The rattan coordinates with the natural, neutral window shades, and brings a casual touch to an otherwise glamorous room.
Use Rattan to Transition Between Rooms and Styles
In this transition space between a living room and family room, Mark Lavender, principal designer of M. Lavender Interiors, opted for an English-style solarium design. Key features include the English wallpaper, the Persian rug, and, of course, the rattan chair. “
We loved how the chair created this tension between the refinement of the wallcoverings with the more rustic outdoor feel of the natural color of the chair,” Lavender says.
Start Small With Rattan Accessories
Not ready to throw down serious cash on a piece of rattan furniture? Start with small touches of rattan accessories, like this set of highball glasses, available from Lindye Galloway Studio + Shop. They’re a low-commitment way to try out the trend and add texture to your room's design, and work for both an indoor seated dinner or summertime al fresco happy hour.
Make an Impression in Your Entryway
If your entryway is the first impression guests have of your home, wow them with a standout piece of furniture, like this bamboo and rattan catch-all. It’s beautiful and it hold your shoes, coat, purse, and every other everyday essential—what’s not to like?