Elegant and exotic, rattan garden furniture is a versatile choice that can enhance any outdoor space. And with this all-in-one guide you will quickly learn all of the top types, how and where to use them, along with the secret to purchasing them cheaply, and much more. So let’s begin.
Nowadays, you actually have two basic choices when it comes to the material of your furnishings: natural rattan or the synthetic variety known as rattan effect. While both are often commonly called rattan furniture they are of course a little different and you’ll want to know how.
Natural Rattan Furniture
Natural rattan is made from the rattan palm that is found in parts of south-east Asia. This is a unique type of palm plant that is slender and vine-like. The grain of the wood actually grows vertically instead of in rings, which helps make it one of the strongest types of wood in the world.
The fact that it is essentially a hardwood vine means rattan is a perfect material for making garden furniture. Unlike other types of wooden furnishings which are made from solid pieces of wood, rattan is woven around a frame.
This unique woven texture gives rattan garden furniture an exotic appearance that is incredibly stylish and visually appealing. The natural strength and durability of rattan allow furniture made from it to be able handle outdoor use and support heavy weight.
At the same time rattan furniture itself is very lightweight and easy to move, yet won’t be blown over in strong winds. And because it is so flexible it can be made into an enormous range of shapes, sizes, and types. The fact that it requires minimal care to maintain doesn’t hurt either.
Rattan Effect Garden Furniture
So what is rattan effect furniture? Basically, it is a manmade version that is manufactured to look like natural rattan and still have all of its excellent qualities, but with a few added advantages. Rattan effect is a little stronger and tougher than natural rattan and can even a bit lighter in weight too.
Normally it is made from a plastic resin such as polypropylene or polyethylene. Cheap rattan effect garden furniture is usually made from polypropylene which may look more like plastic. Polyethylene can be more realistic, and when shopping you may see it described as “PE rattan,” or even “PE wicker.”
Another material is what’s known as polyrattan. This is actually a mixture of polyethylene and natural rattan. Polyrattan garden furniture in particular can look so authentic that it is almost impossible to tell apart from the real thing.
Some types of polyethylene and polyrattan weave are also made to be more resistant to ultraviolet light so they will not fade even when left out in the strong sun for extended periods of time.
Which Is Best Rattan Or Rattan Effect Furniture?
Many consumers aren’t sure whether to go with natural rattan or rattan effect furnishings. And the answer really depends on your personal preference. Authentic rattan is generally considered more prestigious and there is definitely a special charm that only furniture which is made from natural wood has.
Rattan effect garden furniture is usually less expensive and more impervious to the weather which is why it is also sometimes advertised as, “all weather rattan garden furniture.” Therefore in regions that get a lot of rain such as the UK it is often the preferred choice. If you want something that looks similar to real wood but is more durable it’s an easy way to go.
Popular Sets And Varieties
You can definitely buy individual rattan furniture pieces but for convenience and better deals most consumers purchase sets. These can range from having only a handful of pieces to including everything you could possibly need. Here are the most popular sets and varieties of rattan that you will want check out.
Not everyone has a large outdoor space or needs a lot of furniture. When this is the case, a small rattan garden furniture set such as what’s known as a chat or conversation set is an excellent choice. These are usually three piece sets and will include two chairs and a small coffee table. Bigger sets may have four chairs.
Chat sets are ideal for balconies or any outside space that is very limited in size. But they are also perfect for anywhere else you’d simply like to sit and have a conversation, a glass of wine with a friend, or your morning coffee.
Basic Four Piece Sets
For something that will provide enough seating for a few guests or the family and won’t take up too much space, a basic four piece set is usually the right solution. They normally will include two chairs, a two-seater love seat, and a rectangular coffee table.
A rattan 4 piece garden furniture set can also be very budget friendly, especially when made from rattan effect. These sets are popular for smaller patios, decks, and gardens but also porches since they have everything you’ll need to make your space functional and enjoyable.
Sectional Sofa Sets
When you need more seating and want furnishings that you can really kick your feet up and relax on, sectional sofa sets are the way to go. While these sets usually start out at around five or six pieces per set they can really range in size so what you choose should depend on your space and your needs.
Rattan sectional sofa sets are almost always modular, which means that you can separate the individual pieces and configure them in whatever way is most convenient for you. Many people actually like to purchase large sets and break them up by using groups of pieces in different areas.
Sets either come with a rectangular sofa or one that is round. Rectangular sofa sets will usually include a sofa, a rectangular coffee table, chairs and possibly some ottomans. Rectangular sofas can work just about anywhere but are often used to fill a space in a corner or against the wall.
Round sectional sofa sets typically will have a round sofa, multiple ottomans, and a round coffee table instead of a rectangular one. The ottomans are usually designed so they can be used as seating and there may be enough to form a full circle. Using round rattan garden furniture can be a cozy way to surround a fire pit or accent your curved patio space.
Another common use is to place your sofa so that it is facing a focal point such as a scenic view or swimming pool. The curves can also work perfectly in certain outdoor structures like gazebos. You can even use your round garden furniture to create a private relaxation nook by placing it so that it faces a wall or corner and closes it off.
When shopping for sofa sets, you’ll want to keep an eye out for features such as Velcro straps which can help keep your cushions in place. Some models will also come with clips to keep the sections of your sofa firmly secure although you may be able to purchase these separately.
And for all the extra comfort that luxury rattan garden furniture has to offer, don’t forget to consider what’s known as deep seating. Deep seating sets will have chairs and sofas with thicker cushions, higher backs, and oversized dimensions. They are considered to be the comfiest choice particularly for anyone who is taller.
There’s no better way to enjoy a meal on a warm summer’s night than while sitting at a luxurious looking table with friends and family. Rattan garden furniture dining sets are stylish, sturdy, and yet lightweight so that they can easily be moved or put away.
Sets will come with a dining table and usually anywhere from four to six chairs but they can be larger. Unlike other types of rattan seating, dining chairs don’t always come with cushions. That’s because they are comfy enough to sit on without them. Some chairs may have the added benefit of being stackable for easy storage.
Tables come in square, rectangular, and round shapes depending on what you prefer. And while some dining sets will use only rattan materials, others may be made up of a mixture such as rattan dining chairs with a glass or wooden table. Since rattan is woven and may not be totally flat, some sets will also include a glass top for the table.
When you don’t have the space for a full dining set, a rattan bistro set can usually work. While the average set can sit two, larger ones can allow four people to dine even in a confined space. If you live in apartment or condo these are ideal for the balcony or just creating a more personal place to eat or drink coffee.
The biggest sets are made up of many different types of furniture. These are an investment that will ensure you have a stunning space for your guests and family to relax and enjoy for years to come. Combination sets can often have twenty to thirty pieces of furniture or more, and include everything you need to furnish your entire outdoor space.
For example a large set might have chairs, coffee tables, ottomans, sectional sofas, a dining set, outdoor chaise lounges, and maybe even day bed. But each set is different and what it includes will depend on the manufacturer. Once you have one there will be no more purchasing piece by piece or mixing and matching.
Some manufacturers may even allow you to customize sets to your needs. So if you specifically wanted your set to include an extra 6 seater rattan garden furniture sofa for instance, it wouldn’t be a problem. While these do cost more than smaller sets, when purchased wisely they offer the best value.
By shopping online you can usually expect to pay anywhere from twenty to fifty percent less than in a home or furniture store. And often the larger the set the less you will pay per individual piece. Some sets may throw in free extras as well such as furniture covers for even more savings.
Rattan Cube Garden Furniture
A very unique type of dining set is what’s known as rattan cube furniture. These sets are typically made up of a single square or rectangular table that has a glass top along with around four to six chairs. They get their name from the fact that they specifically designed so that the entire set can form a cube shape when it’s not being used.
The chairs are the perfect height to be stowed away under the table. If the set also includes ottomans, these can in turn be tucked under the chairs. Rattan cube garden furniture can add a highly sophisticated and modern look to your patio or garden while helping to save much needed space.
As you could probably guess they are a favorite choice for small patios and gardens. The ottomans of some rattan cube garden furniture sets can double as seating so you can entertain even more guests without having to buy extra chairs or take up any more space.
Rattan Egg Garden Furniture
For something a little different, there are egg shaped rattan chairs. These are low to the ground and usually come with both back and seat cushions. Normally you will see them available in chat sets that include two chairs and a small table.
Some sets are designed so that all of the pieces can be stacked neatly on top of one another when they aren’t being used which of course can be perfect not just for easy storage but when used on balconies and in smaller spaces too.
Swing chairs are another type of egg shaped rattan furniture. While more expensive than a hammock, they are typically considered more comfy, much easier to get in and out of, and a lot safer too. They make for a cozy spot to read a book, take a nap, or just take in the outdoors and will quickly become everyone’s favorite place to relax.
Rattan Garden Furniture With Storage
A smart way to really get the most from your furnishings and at the same time use your space much more efficiently is to choose pieces or sets that also offer storage. Many different types of furniture are made with a hollow space inside to store your sofa cushions, extra throw pillows, towels, or whatever you would like to keep in them.
These are purposely meant to be discreet. Coffee and end tables, love seats, sofas, ottomans, chairs, and even chaise lounges all can be made to hold extra items without being visible to your guests or taking up any extra space.
There are also other storage options such as deck boxes, storage cabinets, and even trash bins that are made from natural rattan or rattan effect which you can use to help prevent clutter and match your furniture at the same time. Deck boxes in particular can hold an enormous amount items.
Day beds are another fun round rattan garden furniture option. Because they are really like a blend of a couch, bed, and chaise lounge all in one, day beds are the ultimate way to relax outdoors. Wherever you decide to place one a rattan day bed will make unwinding look good.
Large enough to fit the whole family but small enough to be a romantic spot for two, a day bed is an investment that will be enjoyed and used to the fullest by every member of the household.
While some are one piece, most models today will include one or two ottomans that can be pushed together to create a spacious spot to relax or that can be separated and used for extra seating. If you will be using yours in a sunny spot you should be sure to choose one that has an adjustable canopy which will allow you to block out the sun and transform it into a shady spot in seconds.
Outdoor Chaise Lounges
An outdoor chaise lounge is a special type of chair that is made for reclining in the sun. But regardless of whether you are sunbathing, reading, enjoying the shade, or having a cocktail, a rattan chaise lounge will make sure you do it in style.
In fact, these are one of the best rattan furniture options for creating a high-end and resort-like appearance at home on your patio or deck, but especially around the pool. Sets usually will have two or more chairs so you can purchase as many as you need for both you and your guests as cheaply as possible.
Since they can be can be made into shapes that other materials can’t, many rattan chaise lounges have curves that not only look elegant but that can support your body and back in ways that more rigid plastic, metal, and wooden varieties cannot.
This is one of the few types of rattan furniture that doesn’t require cushions for you to be comfy. And because they are woven, rain and water from wet bathing suits will drain through the chairs so that they stay dry. You may want to consider chairs which are also stackable that way storage is simple and you can save on furniture covers.
For backyard events and entertaining guests you won’t want to overlook outdoor bars either. These are not just great for the patio but work very well in a pergola, adjacent to outdoor kitchens or even indoors. Fortunately a rattan bar is typically very light so you can always pick it up and move it to where the action is.
A lot of people actually purchase two that way they can place them together either to create a longer bar, one that is L-shaped, or use them in different locations. Bars will come with shelves for storing your glasses, mixers, bottles, blender and whatever else you need to entertain. And some will also have a glass top to help drinks stay level.
If you will be planning on sitting at your bar, you will want to think about getting a set. The average rattan outdoor bar set will come with two bar stools, so you won’t have to worry about finding stools separately that both match and are the correct height.
There are rattan accessories of course to help match your bar and furniture. Since an actual bar does not have any way to keep drinks cold, many consumers purchase a rolling cooler to make sure they always have ice on hand. A rattan bar cart could work too and can sometimes be used as a cheaper alternative to a bar if you will only be entertaining a few people.
Typical Rattan Garden Furniture Colors
You’ll find both natural and rattan effect furniture available in a handful of colors some of which are often used for specific reasons. Luckily all of these colors also happen to be neutral, so you don’t have to take these suggestions too seriously. All of them will work well with any existing color scheme you may have and in just about any location.
The two best selling rattan colors are without a doubt brown and black which is why they are both so widely available. Brown is rattan’s natural color and therefore it appeals to many people. Brown rattan garden furniture is often used in gardens and yards that have more organic elements.
That’s because it blends so well with trees, plants, stone, and wood. Or you may want use your brown furnishings to add a natural feel to a space that needs it. Some darker brown pieces may be a mixture of brown with strands of black which can really add to their appearance.
Black rattan garden furniture on the other hand is well-known for how sleek and modern it can be. In fact it is one of the most popular choices for both highly modern and upscale spaces and can be quite striking. Grey rattan garden furniture is a handsome way to go too. Lighter grey options will sometimes include white colored strands, while darker ones may include strands that are black.
And while it isn’t seen as often as other choices, white rattan garden furniture offers a very clean appearance that can range from more vintage to contemporary or even modern. With some colorful or contrasting cushions white furnishings can really stand out.
Add Some Extra Color And Style
Most types of rattan garden furniture will come with cushions or even a couple of pillows. But with a few throw pillows of your own you can increase the comfort, color, and even add a personalized style. Choosing a solid color that matches your furniture is one way to go and don’t forget bright colors can help to grab attention.
Or you may want to pick pillows that work with a specific theme such as as a coastal or tropical one. But there are many styles, patterns, colors, and prints to choose from so you can get creative. Most high quality pillows that can be used outdoors are made from polyester and are resistant to water, staining, mold, mildew, and UV rays.
Another simple trick for adding some color and catching the eye is to add an outdoor rug under your furniture. A vibrant weatherproof rug can give you the pop of color you need and allow you to enjoy your space in bare feet. When made from recycled plastic this is one accent that can make cleaning up much easier too since it will usually only require a quick sweep or hosing down.
Finding The Best Deals Quick And Easy
When shopping for rattan the biggest mistake the average person makes is shopping at their local furniture or home store. Even when you do find a discount in these places it will usually take a lot of time, driving around, and luck. You most likely will also have to wait until the winter for a rattan garden furniture sale since that’s the off-season.
Local shops typically don’t offer a wide range of sets or options and what they do have is over-priced. Checking them out though, can help you to give you an idea of what you like. The secret to finding the best quality rattan garden furniture at the lowest prices is to shop on the internet and stick with sets. Doing this can literally save you thousands of dollars.
By using trusted sites like Amazon.com you will be shopping in a marketplace where you have the advantage as a consumer. Since retailers are competing against each other it naturally keeps prices as low as possible. Basically it’s like a giant rattan garden furniture clearance sale every day and year-round.
You also have the benefit of being able to read reviews on the products from consumers who actually purchased them. You won’t pay retail, and virtually all top rated rattan furniture sellers will offer easy returns so if you’re not happy you don’t pay at all. It’s a win-win. Some will also even throw in free shipping!
Rattan Furniture Care
Even though both natural rattan and rattan effect garden furniture are durable, a little care can go a long way and the more protected your furniture is, the longer it will last. Of course placing it in a spot where it can stay dry and is in the full shade would be ideal. But partial shade can help to prevent fading from UV rays too.
Can you leave rattan furniture outside in the rain? Yes, but cushions on the other hand should be removed when it’s raining and kept somewhere dry so that they don’t retain water. You’ll want to do this even with cushions that are advertised as weatherproof.
Rattan can withstand freezing temperatures but it needs to be covered if it will be kept outdoors in the winter months or during extreme weather conditions. Covers for rattan garden furniture can also protect furnishings from the sun, rain, pollen, pets, dew, or just help to keep it clean and looking like new when it’s not being used.
Choosing covers which are made specifically for rattan or wicker are the best option. These are often made to be a bit heavier to protect the lightweight rattan from strong winds. They may also have straps which attach to the legs and ensure the cover itself will stay on no matter how windy it gets.
Rattan garden furniture covers that have a soft material on the inside like fleece can help to make sure that natural rattan does not get scratched. When shopping, you may want to purchase individual covers or larger ones that can protect multiple pieces or even your whole set at once.
To keep your rattan furniture free of dust a quick wipe down with either a dry or damp soft cloth is all you’ll need. For a more thorough cleaning, simply take off your cushions, and spray your furniture down with the hose to remove and loosen debris. A bucket of warm water would work as well.
Once your furniture is soaked scrub it lightly with a soft cloth or sponge that has been dipped in a mild cleaning agent such as dishwashing liquid or detergent mixed with water. A soft bristle brush or toothbrush can help you to get dirt out of the crevices. Rinse it off with clean water and allow it to completely dry for a few hours before replacing your cushions.
Since not all cushion materials are the same you will of course want to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for care. But in general cushions should be spot cleaned with dish washing liquid. And for a deeper cleaning, cushion covers can be removed and machine washed.
With this info you now know more than enough to find the best rattan garden furniture for any space, save some serious cash, and add stunning beauty to your home in the process. Be sure to come back to these tips so that you can take advantage of them and get the most from your rattan with the least effort.
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