Interior Style

2 ways to give cane and rattan furniture a modern look in your home

The retro look of rattan and cane also adds colour, texture and a natural touch to your home. Here’s how to style it for the modern era

Rattan and cane furniture was everywhere in the 1960s and ’70s and it’s back in full force once again. These natural materials add warmth, texture and interest to any space, and work with many different decor styles. The key to making it look modern lies in what you choose to pair it with.

1. Choose your colour pairings carefully

The great thing about rattan furniture is its natural tone goes well with many different colours. In this living room setting, a three-seater rattan sofa has been matched with off-white walls and tones of peach, lilac, yellow ochre and black. A jute rug grounds the space and adds extra texture.

As the chair and sofa are very square and modern, it is important to add some softness to the space. This has been done by incorporating curvy elements such as the coffee table, urns, vessels and vases. The rattan basket-weave pendant light complements the furniture.


2. Keep it simple

This elegant black rattan headboard makes an ideal focal point for the space. It simply hangs on the wall like a picture or mirror, which means you can position it high or low, depending on the look you’re after. To ensure it gets the attention it deserves, we suggest keeping the bedding simple – we teamed ours with moss green, white and black.

Adding more woven texture, but this time in a contrasting colour, the beautiful arched wardrobe is a great option for those needing freestanding storage. The bedside table has a lovely rattan drawer detail and matches the proportions of the headboard and other furniture in the room.

Cane care

To ensure your cane or rattan piece lasts for years, keep these tips in mind.

  • Don’t place your rattan furniture in direct sunlight as the fibres will dry out and fade over time. If exposure to sunlight is unavoidable, turn the piece periodically so the sun doesn’t just affect one area.
  • Dust your rattan furniture often to avoid grime build-up. If cleaning is required, use soapy water and a toothbrush, and always use a towel to dry it off.
  • If your favourite rattan or cane item needs some TLC, there are cane experts around the country who can repair or replace rattan panels. Try Cane Factory, Wrightway Studios, Dovetail Restorations or Kelmscott Cane Repairs, among others.
  • To spray-paint cane furniture, clean the piece thoroughly, then use a paint primer to even out bumps and help the basecoat stick. Several light coats of spray paint will create an even finish. Make sure each coat dries before applying the next one.

Styling by: Vanessa Nouwens. Photography by: Wendy Fenwick.

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