ISLAND LIFE: The Island Interiors – Rattan, Cane and Bamboo too
Style Hunters and Gatherers – digging deep and uncovering the truths behind one of 2020’s biggest and beloved interior trends.
Feel the lure of Island living not just on your skin but all around you with rattan, cane and bamboo inspired furniture as seen in a selection of The Island Villas.
A huge 2020 interior trend fuelled by the desire for softer more organic materials, it’s one we approve of especially when sourcing either vintage pieces (I found my bamboo drinks trolley in Ibiza Troc and my Peacock Chair by the bins) or FSC certified sustainable rattan.
As a 70s child my rattan, cane and bamboo love runs deep. During lockdown my bamboo drinks trolley was always comfortingly well stocked with tequila and working from home on my peacock chair made my Zoom calls all the more glamorous whilst I reimagined myself in a Feminist reworking of a Bond movie. (Tessa Thompson or Jodie Comer as the new Bond anyone?)
Perhaps the real joy for me was that all my bamboo pieces were also pre loved.
The revival of all things bamboo has meant that everyone from Ikea to Anthropologie are getting in on this interior trend too so new pieces with a modern twist can be yours if you don’t fancy vintage treasures. The resurgence in 70s fashion; a desire to create a sense of being away on an Island whilst being in lockdown and our current obsession with house plants all sits in rhythm with bamboo pieces as well as a softer more Bohemian approach to life. Moving away from plastic and more sustainable materials as well as a love of up cycling are all part of this trend. Indeed many of our villas feature stunning pieces both inside and outside.
Here is just a small selection for you to lust over.
The origins and history of rattan, cane, bamboo and the uncomfortable history surrounding the Peacock chairs.
Rattan, bamboo, wicker what’s the difference?
Just to clear any confusion, wicker is the process of weaving and is usually associated with more European farmhouse aesthetics whilst rattan is the actual material alongside bamboo, which is denser. Rattan like bamboo grows as a climbing or non-climbing palm primarily in South East Asia’s rainforest. Whilst it can be a sustainable source, there have been recent challenges to keep it sustainable as demand from largely Western and European consumers grow.
Cultural appropriation and the challenges around sustainability
As we all seek more transparency in how we live and the source of our products, it should be known that the original Peacock chairs were created in mass production by prisoners in the Philippines and sold to the US in the early 20th Century.
In her thesis on the history of wicker, Emily Morris writes that many Europeans mimicked Asian style of rattan without giving them the credit the deserved whilst still giving them non-European names such as the Panama Chair – totally no real association with Panama! She reported that there is a long history of white designers rewriting design history and taking a design as their own creation.
So what does that mean for us as conscious consumers seeking the truth. It means we dig a little deeper and make the effort to find out the back story, no matter how uncomfortable, of the products that spark so much joy. By learning and loving we prolong the life cycle of all the beautiful treasures that surround us and maybe even restore some of the respect that was so cruelly taken away.
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