Patio Furniture Tips: How to Buy Wicker Furniture

Wicker pieces are more than just furnishings for patios and terraces; they're versatile choices that work in every room. Named after the weaving method that creates its unique look, wicker utilizes natural as well as synthetic materials in its construction. Considerations like where you'll use each piece and what style you're searching for are crucial to narrowing down your wicker furniture options. 

Indoors or Outdoors?

Establishing whether the items will be exposed to the elements is important when buying wicker furniture. While some pieces are made for both indoor and outdoor settings, others are strictly for interior use. Wicker furniture made of untreated materials such as bamboo or rattan present a warm, natural appearance but don't hold up well to the elements outside.

Wicker pieces classified as weather resistant or all-weather are typically designated as outdoor furniture. Many outdoor pieces use synthetic materials like PE rattan to create the distinctive wicker weave. However, you can find furniture using natural materials like willow that are suitable for outdoor use. These selections feature layers of sealant to protect them from the elements. For full protection and to keep the furniture in good condition, you'll need to clean and reseal them every few years.

Construction Materials

Natural materials offer different levels of thickness and strength. Rattan includes a solid center that maintains stability among seating arrangements and tables. Bamboo utilizes other woods as a brace for its open center. Synthetic wicker furniture choices such as plastic are much like bamboo when it comes to the core. Instead of woods or natural materials, pieces that feature synthetic elements use metallic poles or strands to fill open spaces.

Color for All Seasons

Color is one of the defining elements of wicker furniture's aesthetic. Certain tones, like those found in light stains, play up the material's grain or grain-like appearance. The lightest colors among stains and paints promote a cool, coastal atmosphere. Medium-dark to dark wicker furniture stains present an authentic look that complements nautical themes. The darkest paints fade out the natural grain texture while keeping wicker's extensive woven patterns in tact.

It's not just natural wood stains that accentuate these pieces; all-over color can be just as versatile. White is a popular choice for classic patio selections, but its crisp, clean appearance works with a variety of styles. Black is a bold hue that complements different types of wicker furniture. Other choices feature unique tones ranging from cool pinks to vibrant yellows.

Handcrafted or Machine-Made

Handcrafted wicker furniture dominated the market until the early 1900s. After that, customers began seeing both handcrafted and machine-made pieces. The mass-produced, machine-made options feature interchangeable weaves and patterns that make it easy to build a collection. Due to the large quantity of identical items, it's also easier to replace one piece or add another object to an existing set. Handcrafted selections feature intricate patterns and woven textures that only trained artisans can produce.

Details only found in handcrafted wicker furniture pieces include:

  • Alternating strands with different colors and textures 
  • Added spaces or openings that are placed in the bases of home wicker furniture selections
  • Curving or waving strands added to the back of chairs 
  • Arched patterns that emphasize storage space in the lower half of a piece
  • Collections and Individual Pieces

    Collections take the guesswork out of putting together a furniture set. Individual choices highlight a mix-and-match mentality that's especially helpful when introducing new pieces to existing decor. Both offer an affordable way to add the beauty and dependability of wicker to any space.

    Individual Wicker PiecesBenefitsWhat They're Usually Paired with in Collections
    Side TablesWicker side tables can be used as both a storage area and a desk when space is limited. For outdoor collections, these tables are packaged with sectionals or sofas. Indoor collections bundle them with everything from bed frames to bathroom storage cabinets.
    Arm ChairsArm chairs include larger backs as well as wider bases. Cushioning in the seat adds to each piece's comfort level.Armchairs are featured in sets with sofas and coffee tables. A wicker ottoman may also be included in the collection. Certain ottomans include removable lids and storage space to hold accessories.
    Dining TablesA great spot for gathering with friends or just enjoying a meal with loved ones, wicker dining tables may use other materials such as glass. Dining sets feature the table as well as wicker dining chairs. Some chairs incorporate cushions into the design, while others focus on a hardwood base.
    Lounge ChairsLounge chairs that use a wicker base often rely on softer woods. These materials complement additional cushioning along the seat and back.Mostly used in outdoor collections, a lounger can be paired with another lounger or an arm chair. Some lounge wicker furniture sets also merge seating elements to create a sectional design.
    Bed FrameFull bed frames, as well as individual headboards, utilize thicker woods. A thicker strand creates more stability and a greater maximum weight capacity.As with many bedding sets, wicker bed frames are often paired with matching side tables. Larger sets also include a vanity and dresser with the same color and texture. 

    Wicker furniture consists of handcrafted choices that complement the aesthetics of both indoor and outdoor spaces. Focusing on aspects like colors and materials can help you find the right match for every need. Search now to discover indoor and outdoor wicker furniture that is as unique as the place you call home.