If you are a fan of interiors and styling, you might have noticed that all things rattan, cane and wicker made a pretty big comeback last year. These pieces started trickling onto the market in Spring 2019 and with Spring 2020 just around the corner, their popularity shows no signs of waning whatsoever. In fact, they are still making an impact in quite a big way this season. In this post I’m going to look into why this might be, and how to integrate this style into your space (if you like it of course!)


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The ‘trend’ for mid century, ‘retro’ decor has been around for a couple of years, with each season taking on (or rather, revisiting) new forms of expression. There has been the increasing popularity of turned leg planters (which you can now pick up in places like M&S!), macrame everything, and the directional style or current iteration of this trend seems to be quite focused on ‘woven woods’ as the material ‘du jour‘. These materials were ubiquitous in classic 70’s interiors and I’m sure you’ll have come across those wicker peacock armchairs in your local thrift store or charity shop over the last few years for next to nothing… that was before instagram made them popular again in more recent times! 

Perhaps the increase in popularity of pieces like this is a direct result of a larger proportion of us shopping second-hand,  or ‘pre-loved’ as many companies call it these days. It’s pretty appealing as it is easier on your wallet, better for the environment and you can often find really interesting and unique pieces with histories. So in some ways you could say that what is ‘in style‘ now is actually being driven by our vintage shopping habits! Of course, companies are quick to notice these trends gaining momentum and rush to get on board, by creating their own pieces that rival those vintage gems you need to hunt out. This can be appealing as it comes with the attraction that these pieces are easily accessible and available in larger quantities.

As you will know if you have read my blog for a while, I am a big mid century design lover and have built up quite a collection of furniture from this era. Almost all the pieces in my home are thrifted and I’m glad that buying second hand does not have the stigma it once did (it has never phased me but I have bizarrely had the odd negative comment about it).

I also think the increase in popularity of this style has something to do with a general move towards being more eco-conscious and environmentally aware as individuals; just as many of us are reducing or aiming to eliminate our use of single-use plastics and non-biodegradable materials in our shopping and lifestyle decisions, the use of organic and sustainable materials is also on the rise in interiors. Aside from shopping second-hand/ pre-loved as we discussed above, these products have the added bonus of being biodegradable.

So whether you buy vintage, ‘pre-loved’ or new (or a mixture of both!) here are some plant styling ideas for how to incorporate these natural textures into your space…

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Rattan and wicker come in all kinds of tones and patterns but the one common trait is that they will all add warmth to your interior because of a combination of their natural texture and colour. As the photograph above shows, pairing different tones together creates a warm ‘glow’ of colour that makes the green of the plants really pop. I would focus on sourcing a few pieces that work well in your space so that things still feel more modern.

Keeping the colour palette more neutral can also help to keep the focus on the intricacies of the wickerwork or weave – showcasing the crafted style of each planter well. In my interior I love to pair rattan with white pots in a contrasting texture such as these glazed ceramic ones in the photos below. The more difficult to find light grey terracotta is also a beautiful combination with lighter woven pots and creates a quiet, calming mood.

It’s also important to consider the colour and finish of your furniture and soft furnishings in the space. The majority of my furniture is teak and elm which is rich in colour, so in my apartment, I favour the lighter coloured rattan and cane, especially if in close proximity to my Ercol or G-Plan!

If you are a bit intimidated by this retro style,  try out some of the tips above to start out – it will help you discover what style you like the best and the colours that work with your current interior. I assure you that you won’t look like you live in a late 70’s-early 80’s  magnolia bungalow… unless that is the look you are going for! White walls always work well with this style I think and is a look I am very much into.


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Another consideration with rattan, cane and wicker is deciding what plants look best paired with these textures. Getting the combination of plant and pot right is quite a personal choice, but there are some plants that I think suit this style particularly well:

  1. Ficus lyrata – fiddle leaf fig
  2. Sansevieria – snake plant… lots of varieties to choose from!
  3. Golden Pothos
  4. Strelitzia – Bird of paradise
  5. Monstera deliciosa 

As you might be able to tell from this list, all these plants are quite sculptural and have larger leaves, often of one colour. I find that these work best with these types of planters as they aren’t competing for attention but instead, compliment each other well. I steer clear of anything too ‘fussy’ looking such as begonias or anything too delicate like string of hearts. Even the epiphyllum anguliger above left is a little too busy in some ways – I think the golden pothos looks better!

If you are wanting a houseplant for a floor planter anything from the Ficus family would be a great starting point, especially the plain coloured varieties. Their column-like growth habit adds a sense of elegance and simplicity to a room and won’t take up a lot of floor space too. For a smaller scale space or on a table top, a sansevieria would be my choice.



Hope this post has given you some plant styling inspiration, and for general rattan-inspired interior styling I am loving at the moment. have a look at my Pinterest board HERE!

You can also sign up to my mailing list if you’d like to get a notification when I post. Thanks for reading

— Laura


Posted by:Laura / House Plant House

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