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Furniture Styles: The Return of Wicker, Bamboo and Rattan

In the early 80's, there was a huge interest in wicker, rattan and bamboo. It moved off the porch and from the beach house and straight into our homes - in every room. We fell in love with bamboo, whether new or antique. We've covered our floors with mats and we even put it on our walls with grass cloth wallcoverings. Now we find it in our window treatments of blinds and shades. You name it, we've done it, but the love affair continues.

palm, palm trees, palm fronds, furniture styles

Try putting some palm-frond prints or nautical-motif fabrics on your rattan or other casual furniture. It's light and airy and contemporary and casual and just plain fun. Add lots of textured accessories to the mix, such as rugged woods, leather and glass. Influences from the West Indies continue to be in vogue. Ceiling fans drum up memories of scenes from Casablanca.

Pull together collections of fabrics, area rugs and accessories that reflect island life. Add free standing 4-panel folding screens. Look for art to frame that repeats the theme. There is a wide assortment of frames you can choose that repeat the bamboo or rattan motif. And of course, this look could not be complete without plenty of baskets and plants. Ginger jar lamps add that touch of spice.

Visit your local art gallery and peruse through the ton of images created by artists in recent years on this theme: palm trees, nautical, asian, west indies. There is a huge selection of subject matter and style. You'll find everything from neutrals to nature's favourite: blue and green.

For more specific help with ideas on this subject, check out some new books: Casa Yucatan by Karen Witynski and Bamboo Style by Joe P. Carr.

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