In Inspiration

The Best Rattan Finds on the High Street

With its polished bentwood back and french cane seat, my mother’s dressing table chair was a real thing to behold. It had once been her mother’s, and around my early teen years its age had caused the cane seat to begin to fray.

My father decided he would Fix It. This was worrying, because he was not (and is still not), very good at Fixing Things. One time we got home with a piece of IKEA furniture that was an inch or so too big for the space it needed to occupy, so he took a chainsaw to it. This isn’t relevant to the cane chair story, but it gives you an idea of the sort of skills he was working with.

Nevertheless, he was determined he would fix this cane chair. With an extraordinary level of enthusiasm, he threw himself into the endeavour of learning how to cane from scratch with individual threads of rattan. He bought a book, and diligently followed the incredibly intricate patterns it laid out – to the uninitiated, they look like a cross between a cross-stitch pattern and the engineering blueprint to a nuclear submarine. I think he almost went blind, like the lace-making nuns in 17th century France. But just nine months later – the time it takes to grow an actual human being – the eight-inch round pad of that chair was as good as new. Ish.

Reader, he did not know that you can very easily buy it pre-woven. In fact, he didn’t know this until just a few weeks ago when I showed him the very many websites selling rattan by the metre.

This is all to say that if you ever decide to build your own rattan furniture, probably don’t weave the stuff yourself. Better yet, leave it to the experts and pick up one of these gorgeous pieces…

Industriell Armchair, £120

Created by designer Piet Hein Eek, IKEA’s Industriell collection was an instant-sell-out success. From the woven pendant light fittings to the solid raw pine chair, each piece plays in the space between functionality and whimsy. But the Industrial Armchair is the standout piece for my money – it’s made from powder-coated steal and recycled paper, and looks five times its price tag.


Rattan Plant Pot, £19.99

H&M Home consistently knocks it out of the park with accessories and decorative items. Their textiles are also well worth a browse if you’re in the market for new bedding. If these rattan plant pots are anything to go by, I’m looking forward to seeing them start making more moves into full on furniture…

Rattan Webbing Screen, £275

Perfect for zoning open-plan space, softening corners or simply for something to throw your clothes all over instead of putting them away – this gorgeous rattan screen from Cox & Cox is a statement piece. The natural wave to the bamboo frame lends an organic tactility, while the super-tight weave of the rattan lets just enough light through.

Rafael Mango Coffee Table, £285

If you haven’t discovered Tikamoon yet, I can’t be held responsible to the add-to-basket spree you’re about to embark upon. They specialise in sustainable wooden furniture across all manner of styles and finishes. Their mango pieces are particularly gorgeous.

Liana King Size Bed, £799

I’ve been sleeping on the Liana King Size Bed by MADE.com for a few months now, and I’m still completely besotted by it. It’s designed by Sebastien Cox, the master of intricately woven furniture, and the colours in the rattan headboard are so beautiful, I quite often find myself just starting at it. But that could also be because I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning.

Delaktig Headboard, £110

For a much more palatable price tag, add this IKEA headboard to any divan bed to create the same boho feel. Either are best paired with linen bedding and plenty of layered textiles – throws, bedspreads, eiderdowns (absolutely no idea what an eiderdown is so don’t ask me) and more pillows than remotely necessary. Yes, it’s very irritating to make the bed like this every day, but I don’t make the rules.

Zelia Rattan Basket, £89

How many basket is too many baskets to have in a house? *Cady Heron face* The limit does not exist. Roll up blankets to store in them, display long stems of foliage, use them as plant holders or – my favourite – hide all your cat/dog’s horrible half-chewed toys in them. This beauty from La Redoute is a gorgeous burnt auburn colour – perfect for warming up any colour scheme.

Small Rattan Side Table, £99

If your vision of Next Home is crushed silver velvet and mirrored bedside tables, it may be worth a revisit. Admittedly, there’s still plenty of crushed silver velvet and mirrored bedside tables to be found, but there’s also this beautiful little woven side table.

Marius Rattan Bathroom Wall Shelf, £99

Think there’s no room for boho in the bathroom? Think again – these bamboo shelves from Tikamoon are brimming with 1960s glamour and would look amazing mounted on a dark statement wall.

Java Floor Lamp, £129

Pairing the earthy, woven cord of the lampshade with the sleek matte black of the powder-coated frame is a stroke of genius in MADE.com’s Java floor lamp. And that’s before we even start on the perfect circular base that keeps the whole thing far more slimline than most overreach floor lamps with big weighted bases. It’s currently in the sale (reduced from £149) and unlikely to hang around long…

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