So, Why Are Woven Wares Like Rattan and Jute So Trendy Lately?

Spring Capsule Décor

Tessa Neustadt; DESIGN: Mel Burstin for Emily Henderson Design

Mover over, velvet and bouclé: 2019 is shaping up to be the year of the woven wares. For the past few months, it feels like we’ve been seeing woven furniture and accessories everywhere. Seriously, everywhere. The caned accent chairs in your ultra-hip co-working space. A jute rug sprawled across your neighborhood’s new ridiculously Instagrammable restaurant. That wicker side table in your old roommate’s bedroom. 

“Woven wares can sometimes feel rustic and crafty—to make them feel elevated and modern, pare back the rest of your space so that the tactility of the weave can speak for itself,” says Sally Pottharst, co-founder of Australian company Armadillo & Co.

But while we’re totally here for woven wares’ moment in the design spotlight, we can’t help but wonder why this type of décor is having such a moment. So what’s the deal? Why are woven wares so popular today, anyways?

Truth is, the popularity of woven décor isn’t all that new. According to Alessandra Wood, interior design expert and vice president of style at Modsy, mid-century designers loved caned furniture. And since we can’t seem to get enough mid-century modernism in our lives—or our homes—it only makes sense that woven wares are also making a comeback. 

neutral bedroom
Marisa Vitale ; DESIGN: Natalie Myers of Veneer Designs

“You’ve probably seen a number of chairs inspired by Pierre Jeanneret’s 1950s caned chairs,” Wood explains. “Or you might be loving the revival of the Cesca Chair by Marcel Breuer, designed in 1928, but quite popular in mid-century interiors and again in the 1980s.”

Plus, thanks to the recent resurgence in ‘80s decor, this renewed fascination seems all the more timely. 

Of course, historical significance is only one key part of the woven wares’ rise to design popularity. In an era where streamlined, direct-to-consumer furniture reigns supreme, woven pieces can help add a personal touch back to our spaces. 

“With the proliferation of cheap, mass-produced furniture and design objects it has become increasingly necessary to incorporate elements that showcase detail and the human touch,” says Jordan England, founder of furniture company Industry West. “There is an intrinsically comforting character to objects and furniture that are made by hand and I think this is why we are seeing a burst in their popularity.” 

Armadillo & Co.’s Pottharst agrees, adding hand-woven pieces promotes a sense of connection with the people and spaces that surround us. 

living room

In addition to looking nice, woven furniture and accessories can be just the thing if you’re looking for décor that can withstand the test of time.

“From patio furniture to rugs to side tables, woven materials are hearty, durable, and low maintenance,” says Ashley Moore. Founder and designer at Moore House Interiors.

Okay, so now that we understand why woven wares are so popular, how do you integrate them into your space without looking like a page from a lackluster catalog? According to the pros, let your personal design aesthetic lead the way.

“Modern spaces filled with shiny finishes or glitzy fixtures benefit the most from grounding elements like the texture and warmth that are characteristic of woven furniture and accessories,” explains Roxy Te, founder and creative director of Society Social. “They relax a room and make it more inviting.”

She recommends pairing a Sputnik chandelier with handwoven rattan chairs or seagrass baskets with a colorful table and modern art. But whether you swap out your ho-hum dining chairs for cool, caned alternatives or hang up some woven trays on one of your bathrooms, your space will have a trendy, seal of approval.