Rattan is a great way to add interest, warmth and a bit of sculptural style to a room. I found the vintage bedside table above on eBay... it may actually be bamboo. Because rattan and bamboo are fairly hearty, fast growing plants, they are renewable resources, making them good options when considering sustainability in a design plan. Bamboo and rattan, along with wicker, are typically thought of as the things that garden rooms and grandma cottages are made of, but these natural fibers have gotten a bad rap. You need to have faith in the fiber. A lot of great rattan pieces came out of the mid-century and if you can find vintage pieces you are earning even more eco-cred.
Franco Albini got busy with nature indeed, just look at those chairs. That said, more classic pieces can still offer an unexpected surprise to a room. The juxtaposition of the wicker chairs and Saarinen table works well in the living room below, which was designed by Tom Scheerer. Well, Saarinen tables really never fail, but that is a topic for another post.
Another designer that often throws in a piece of rattan is Angie Hranowsky. A flip through her projects shows that she has got this down. These white chairs keep this dining room feeling fresh where as something more traditional might have been too stuffy.
And below you can see a little touch of rattan with the side table or with a daybed in a different room. Well done, no? The key is to tread lightly and mix it up.
Need more inspiration? How about Morgan Satterfield's Albini stools below?
I'll even throw in my own Albinis - well, "attributed to Albini" - I've never been able to figure out if they are in fact originals, but I love them anyway. I found these on eBay as well, on two separate occasions. I keep toying with converting them both to the same color, but it is low on the priority list.
All of the sustainable style sources can be found here. The chair in the room is still available right here, in fact. And the chair I used here is still available at IKEA in black or natural. So, vintage or new, you can get your rattan on.