Wicker, rattan and bamboo

Wicker, rattan and bamboo

Chic showhouse Reading Wicker, rattan and bamboo 4 minutes Next Chic outdoor spaces

One of our favorite trade shows is the tony Maison & Objet Salon held twice a year outside of Paris.  This show is like none other.  Despite the vast space of 7 football-field sized pavilions linked together around a courtyard, and the enormous crowds of professional shoppers on a mission, there is a quiet buzz that permeates the entire area,  punctuated from time to time with the welcome pop of a champagne bottle.  There is so much beauty to look at, from the artfully displayed new products to the gorgeously accessorized vignettes that it’s both exhilirating and overwhelming.  Of course, we love every minute, as we hunt for new products and try to decipher what trends are happening in the European design world that may or may not translate across the ocean.

You’d have to be unconscious not to pick up on this year’s top trend:  Shades of bamboo, rattan, and wicker seemed to spill out of every vignette, adorning the home furnishings area as well as the tabletop and accessories.

Bamboo lanterns spilling out of countless booths


Wicker and bamboo of all types at Maison et Objet


How fun and cheeky was this display, with the hats lining a bamboo nook!

This is not a new trend, of course, and we’ve been avidly collecting pieces that span the last two hundred years.  But there is a new spin on it, and we’re smitten:  It’s all about the mix and how you use it!  Too much of the same thing is boring, and a little can go a long way.  But peppered in with other eras, designs and materials, a little wicker or bamboo or rattan is just awesome.  See how some of our favorite designers are using the trend today:

Wonderful Atlanta based designer Shayelyn Woodbery redid a screaned porch in wicker and bamboo (AH&L magazine)


Margaret-Kirkland did a beautiful sun porch using lots of wicker accessories for the AH&L 2018 Holiday House


And Mark Sikes mixed antique wicker chairs in this pretty vignettefeatured in Elle Decor, with photo by Dominique Vorillon


Beth Webb wove in some wicker armchairs in this pretty room featured in AH&L magazine

Although we love the modern interpretations, we tend to gravitate more towards the vintage pieces, that show some wear, tear and patina, and are unique one-of-a-kinds.  We had barely gotten off the plane and were headed bleary eyed into Paris on our last trip, when we spotted this table at the famous Marche aux Puces.  Bingo!  Our first purchase.  We loved the shape, the legs and checkerboard top that was classic in the 1960’s and is now a collectable find.

Paris Flea Market find


And we couldn’t resist this pair of classic chippendale style chairs with their chinoiserie motif


Be still our heart when we spotted this vintage bamboo chest, with its plateau in a faded herringbone motif!


And then there was this curious floor lamp, with its twisted barleycorn stand!


For a long time, we’ve been thinking of getting rattan mirrors, but have held off because the new ones are  so readily available.  We vowed that we’d only buy unique one-of-a-kinds that have real age, patina and interest, which is what we found sprinkled along our travels during this last trip.

We bought two of these pretty star shaped vintage bamboo mirrors


We fell for the age and patina on this mirror, along with its pretty necklace!


Another pretty rettan mirror that we snagged along the way


And I just love the image of this mirror with the purposeful man in its reflection!


Now we can’t wait for our next container to arrive so that we can build our wall of mirrors:  It’ll be a veritable Huff’ington Versailles a la bamboo!

So what’s our advice about all this?  Have fun with it!  Use it sparingly, mixed inwith other pieces, or go all out and do a whole room with it, as in this fabulous porch:

Room designed by Mary McDonald and featured in an excellent blog post by <a href="http://www.jessicagordonryan.com/the-entertaining-house-fashion-decor/2015/4/9/elegant-casual-timeless-why-wicker-furniture-isnt-for-sissies" target="_blank">Jessica Gordon Ryan</a>.


You can buy vintage signature pieces and mix them with new accessories, as in the vignette by Margaret Kirkland above.  And I bet you never thought you’d hear THIS from us:  Guess what store has a fabulous wicker pendant:

It’s all about the mix, and yes, we adore these bamboo pendant lamps from Ikea!

Remember that bamboo looks fabulous with art and wallpaper:

Kenian Home merchandised by <a href="https://lisamendedesign.blogspot.com/" target="_blank">Lisa Mende</a> in High Point showroom


Imagine how great this vintage dressing table would look if it were up against that wallpaper!


Or imagine how chic our sexy vintage bamboo armchairs would look …


… if they were dropped in to this room, surrounded by modern art and decor?

So yes, we did pick up a lot of vintage bamboo, wicker and rattan on our last shopping trip to Paris, and it’ll be arriving soon on our next container.  If you want a sneak peek, give us a holler and you can meet us at the foot of the truck! But there’s one piece you may have to pry out of my hands:

A perfectly sophisticated little wicker elephant side table.


Ta ta,



P.S. If you need help mixing it in with your own beautiful finds, we have a design team that’s ready to help.


1 comment

Natasha Murphy

Natasha Murphy

This is a really great post :)

This is a really great post :)

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