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Theme of the Month – The Return of Rattan

In February, the NDA profiled a series of trends that we predicted would make a splash in 2016.

Among other things, we predicted that 1970s-inspired interiors would make a return.

So it comes as no surprise that Rattan furniture is making a comeback.

This development comes hot on the heels of a number of recent related interior design trends, including the growing use of natural woods as part of enduringly-popular Scandinavian interiors.

But this is not the rattan of yesteryear. In 2016 Rattan has a new aesthetic, a whole new visual language. And dare we say it, it’s something that a lot of people would be happy to have in their homes.

Just take a look at Avia range launched by Habitat. The collection includes the throne like Avia chair (below left) with its distinctive 70s inspired silhouette, and the low slung Bowden module seating (below right):

Habitat Avian Rattan

When developing the new rattan range, Habitat’s Creative Director Polly Dickens said:

We thought it was time to revisit rattan in the design studio as its flexibility means we can create dramatic, sculptural structures.

While it has strong retro associations, designers are now exploring how to use the material in lots of contemporary forms, employing fine weaves for curved three-dimensional shapes and chunkier sections for hand-bent furniture.

Telegraph, 2016

Johannes Foersom and Peter Hiort-Lorenzen are two of Scandinavia’s most successful and renowned furniture designers. Working alongside outdoor furniture manufacturer Cane-Line, the Danish duo have developed a series of rattan furniture called Nest, which combines a sculptural construction with lightness and strength.

Whether being used as a table, a bench, a footstool, or simply for decoration, the Nest range highlights the beauty of the material, and how rattan can be manipulated to create beautifully conceived geometric shapes. These images demonstrate the versatility of the Nest footstool, and how it can double as a bench and a table:

Foersom Hiort-Lorenzen Rattan Nest

The furniture created by Alberto Sánchez for Spanish furniture manufacturer Expormim takes the retro feel a step further. Creating undulating and flowing forms with rattan, he creates a strong contemporary aesthetic.

Originally founded in 1960 under the name of La Exportadora del Mimbre, Expormim’s goal has always been to export beautiful wicker products to an emerging Europe. Expormim continues to produce high-quality rattan furniture for many areas of the interiors industry. They’ve lead the way with residential and commercial products, and they’re now venturing into hospitality.

Sanchez’s Nautica chair is a hanging seat that pays homage to one of the first pieces ever created by Expormim in the 1970s. With this design, Sánchez aims to evoke the contrasts that nature offers. Games played by moving shadows remind us of the reflection of light on crashing waves:

Expormim Nautica Rattan


With new techniques and design processes emerging all the time, the way in which designers are adapting traditional materials and enveloping them in a contemporary aesthetic is a sure sign of the strength and ingenuity of our industry.

Let the rattan revival commence!

Image References

Cane line (2016) Nest [Online Images]. Available from: [Accessed: 19.05.16].

Expormim (2016) Nautica [Online Images]. Available from: [Accessed: 19.05.16].

Habitat (2016) Avia Tall [Online Images]. Available from:  [Accessed: 19.05.16].

Habitat (2016) Bowen [Online Image]. Available from:   [Accessed: 19.05.16].

Telegraph (2016) Key home trends for 2016  [Online]. January 2016. Available from:—chosen-by-those-in-the-know/ [Accessed: 19.05.16].

Trend Prive (2016) Cane Line – armchair [Online Image].

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