Wicker Furnishings for Home and Garden Wicker Furnishings for Home and Garden

Wicker furniture and other assorted household objects enjoyed great popularity in the 1970s, yet even then, wicker was nothing new; the ancient Egyptians employed wickerwork as long ago as 4,000 B.C. Even today, wicker furniture and accents enjoy considerable enthusiasm in many houses and gardens for their decorative charm and relatively low expense.

Wickerwork is a broad term that applies to woven pieces of rattan, willow, cane, reed, and dried grasses - a hodgepodge of mostly natural materials that are formed into various pieces such as chairs, tables, plant stands, stools, hampers, baskets, etc. Some pieces of wicker are constructed with great artistry for optimum durability and design artistry. Some are painted and can be weather-treated, although wicker is not ideal for unsheltered garden spots due to issues of moisture and subsequent rot.

Wicker furniture and accents are ideal for houses, sunrooms, breezeways, covered porches or gazebos and patios that tend to be essentially warm and dry. Wicker work in the form of benches and other garden props can be used in the garden and landscape but is usually for decorative functions only and is not likely to hold up for many seasons without being treated or protected though winters.

Throughout history, wicker has gone in and out of fashion. The Victorians loved it, but it was well out of fashion by the 1930s and did not regain a strong footing in the house until the late 1960s and 70s when "natural" materials were again in vogue. Some pieces from the nineteenth century are quite collectible today - settees, wide-back wicker chairs, rockers and strollers coated with a simple varnish are among the most sought-after pieces. Also, eccentric pieces like pie carts and ornate tables would be considered good finds and make for interesting décor whether vintage or replica.

In the right location, wicker can be a delightful addition. First of all, it is functional and can be made more comfortable when paired with cushions for instance. Frequently used in subtropical or tropical locations where it seems most at home, wicker can be used anywhere from a Minnesota front porch to a New Mexican courtyard garden. Design styles are quite varied, and finding a style that suits any décor is easier than ever, but wicker is always an enticing element for décor styles suited to the natural world - which is why it continues to be beloved in gardens.

Wicker adds an eclectic element to any room. A den or office can feature a sturdy wicker desk and chair - pair it with a few safari prints, old world maps, and leopard skin rug, and you have a room out of Africa. Or, add a couple wickerwork palmetto chairs to your sunroom and you invoke all the lazy day pleasures of a Florida afternoon. For an Oriental touch, paint some wicker pieces black and coat heavily with lacquer.

Because of its apparent lightness, wicker results in a decorative style that never appears burdensome or weighted down. Its airy presence and artistic style make it an excellent choice for any piece of furniture for any room of the house from bedroom to bathroom, living room to home office.

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