It’s no secret that the bohemian interior style has been picking up speed over the past couple of years. Today it has grown to become the go-to decorating choice for those with a thrifty mindset and a flair for creative, lived-in interiors with a story to tell. The style has evolved from its unexpected, thrown together look and is now becoming much more edited and refined.
The Modern Bohemian interior style is taking a shift in two major directions – one bursting with colour and patterns and featuring an abundance of houseplants, and the other with a refined, pared-back aesthetic occasionally flirting with minimalism. But no matter how different they may seem, they both share a common love of – you’ve guessed it – rattan!
If you find yourself lusting over bohemian interiors, but feel hesitant to bring the look back home, you are in the right place! Read on for our top rattan furniture and decor ideas promised to add a bohemian flair to any home, regardless of the budget. All of the pieces featured in this article are under 500 pounds, proving once again just how affordable boho decorating can be.
But first, let’s talk about rattan.
What makes rattan so special?
Other than the fact that it comes with an affordable price tag, what makes rattan material so cool is its eco-friendly attribute. Rattan is a sustainable material that comes from easily renewable sources. It can be found in tropical regions of Africa, Asia and Australia, in the floodplain soil that would otherwise be left unused.
It’s lightweight and sturdy and has no problem withstanding the outdoors. So, if you are looking for quality but inexpensive and sustainable furniture that can be easily moved around the house – rattan is your best pick.
image credit: @arriana_danielson
A short bio
The use of rattan furniture can be sourced back to ancient Egypt, but it is suspected that it has been with us since the early days of civilisation.
In the Age of Exploration, traders started importing rattan to Europe and the English, Spanish and Portuguese markets were soon booming with this exotic material from the Far East.
The 19th century Victorians were also great supporters of rattan as they realised that wicker furniture is much easier to dust than the traditional upholstery. They paved the road to its incredible success in the 20th century.
In the 1930s, the glamorous Hollywood Regency design movement embraced rattan furniture and used it to tell the stories about power and exotic cultures. But it wasn’t until the ‘60s and the ‘70s when rattan finally exploded in the mainstream and became widely accepted.
It stayed relevant through the ‘80s and the ‘90s, but eventually lost its spark. Years of kitchy jungle-inspired all-rattan-rooms came to an end, and the material was soon left in disgrace.
A revival of the Bohemian interior style brought it back, and rattan is once again as sought-after as it once was. Perhaps even more.
image credit: @theflamingoandthefox
Our top picks of rattan furniture and decor under £500
The Peacock chair is undeniably the most famous rattan furniture piece in the world. With its throne-like design and the royalty-worthy intricate details, it is no wonder that it has remained a symbol of pop culture for decades. Over the years many celebrity portraits were taken in this chair including Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross, Charlie Chapman, Brigitte Bardot, Katherine Hepburn, Zsa Zsa Gabor, and Marilyn Monroe.
It is believed that the Peacock Chair (also known as the Manila and the Hourglass Chair) originates from the Philippines where prisoners of the Bilibid Prison in Manila used to craft it. Fast-forward to the ‘70s and the chair becomes a symbol of freedom and the African American revolutionary Black Panther party.
This way or another, the Peacock Chair remains a symbol of power and exotic charm. And a brave boho furnishing choice with a great impact.
image source: LT Interiors
The Cesca Chair was designed back in 1928 and today it is recognised as one of the ten most important chairs of the 20th century. Abandoning a four-leg design, this Bauhaus chair marries tubular steel with natural rattan. Gracefully minimal and highly functional, Cesca feels homely in many interior styles, boho chic included.
Fun fact – it got its name after Marcel Breuer’s adopted daughter Francesca.
One of the coolest items boho revival brought us from the past are definitely screen dividers. Dating back for centuries, these beautifully detailed pieces can come in handy for keeping the clutter away from sight and providing privacy with style. Pretty and intricate, this piece shows ornate detailing and impressive size. It comes from Burma.
This one is no brainer, but it is definitely most affordable, yet highly functional boho decorating solution you will find out there.
image source: Paul et Paula
Let’s be frank about this – rattan beds are huge at the moment! From lavishly intricate rattan headboards to more simple and earthy retro daybeds, no material can match rattan in creating a stylish, yet casual atmosphere in the bedroom. Daybeds are the best as they can be used in both the kids’ rooms and the living rooms without compromising on their beauty.
One of the hallmarks of the New Bohemian style, cheerful and stylish vintage sunflower mirrors and sunbursts are so popular that they’ve been reintroduced in the lines of many brands that deal with mass production. But the quality of vintage pieces remains untoppable.
image credit: Enter My Attic
If an urban jungle lover lusts over a single piece of furniture, it has to be a rattan shelving unit.
image source: sfgirlbybay
Rattan pendant lighting is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to add a boho touch to a room. Because of its light weight don’t hesitate to opt for an oversized piece. It will be a perfect fit for a dining room area, especially if it comes on a spiral wire like this one.
Would like to see more vintage rattan furniture gems?
Feature image: Enter My Attic