The “Not New” Trend That We’re Suddenly Leaning Into HARD
By: Sara Tramp / 3.2.20
What could possibly be a “not new” trend that all of EHD is suddenly in love with? Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, because it’s WICKER (that was my attempt at a joke). But what does “not new” mean? Let’s get one thing straight right out the gate – wicker isn’t making a comeback, because itnever went anywhere. It’s not a new trend, but an eternal, timeless way of life. But recently I’ve noticed a serious uptick in the amount of wicker I’m seeing, and not just in vintage-inspired rooms. I’m seeing wicker in some real modern spaces and it’s looking FRESH. Which is where my new found obsession with this age-old decor trend sprouts from.
The wicker I’m seeing now isn’t boring, cliché, or dated. It’s warm, organic, and VERY COOL. It’s all about taking vintage wicker pieces and re-working them into modern spaces. Or using wicker to create interesting modern shapes. Remixing it with industrial metal or sharp contemporary lines. You’ll find no orange lacquered wicker around here.
And just as a side note, the term “wicker” refers to the method of weaving together natural fibers while “rattan” and “cane” are the names of actual fibers used. You learn something everyday . . . .
I’d like to take a moment to reflect on the sheer hilarity that is wicker having a moment in 2020. We’re supposed to be living in the future, the age of chrome and jet packs. And yet . . . Wicker. So what is it about this weaving of natural fiber that has wormed its way into our modern hearts? Here’s my theory – We’re surrounded by fast, shiny, and new all the time, which makes us yearn for those connections back to the natural world. We just want those moments of grounded warmth in our new build, white painted, homes. Enter that perfect, vintage wicker basket.
Jess, on the other hand, has a theory that the recent “granmillenial” trend (or in our case, eccentric english grandma, which wicker is definitely a component of), stems directly from our need to feel safe. With all our instant access to horrible news, and the polarizing state of our politics, the feeling of being back at grandma’s, safe and happy, is driving us to replicate those cozy rooms of our past.
Thank you for coming to our TED talk.
In all honesty, those are some pretty lofty theories (and we’d love to hear your theories in the comments), but the cliff notes version of this thesis is that wicker is once again a prima ballerina in the design world, not just an ensemble member. Listen, I’m here for it. I already ordered a vintage wicker lampshade to use somewhere in my house, because I’m easily influenced and quick to imitate the cool people I follow on Instagram. *shrugs*
Speaking of lamps, that’s where I’ve really seen this wicker trend the most, so let’s start there.
Athena Calderon of Eyeswoon is really the pioneer of this modern wicker lampshade trend in my opinion, and I’m gonna give credit where credit is due. How is she pulling this off so successfully? Modern ideas, vintage materials. Above she uses a lamp that has a wicker shade, but the shape and style of the lamp body is very modern. So that hit of wicker brings a touch of warmth that a black metal or white linen shade COULD NEVER.
Here, the base on the lamp is a modern touch, while the shade is a super traditional, yet clean silhouette. Plus, there’s a nice mixture of a modern and vintage in this vignette that helps balance the addition of the wicker. The combination of the clean picture frames, organic stool, wicker, and the vintage table all balance each other.
Wicker and wood is a power couple, I’m calling it. Together they’re neutral and monochrome, but the difference in textures really elevates the overall look. The key here is choosing wood and wicker that are similar enough in tone to achieve that monochrome feel. Or if you want contrast, go big or go home. I could see a black wood lamp with a super light wicker shade looking particularly sick.
When it comes to wicker furniture we’re not talking about the white wicker nightstands from your aunt’s “beach cottage” themed guest room (I know that’s an oddly specific and very personal example). Instead, these are natural-toned wicker pieces in seriously elevated shapes, mixed in with cool and modern materials. That dining banquette (used by the illustrious Amber Interiors) is WHAT. I’M. TALKING. ABOUT. It feels organic and laid back, but still gets serious style points for amazing design and that u-shaped leather cushion.
I honestly can’t get over these wicker bar stools, and want mini versions as dining chairs. They’re super minimal, and in contrast with the sharp black metal, feel totally modern. They work great in this warm, deco-vintage space, where they feel super tonal. But I could also see them being the element that brings in some warmth to a minimal, modern, white space.
The category is: Drool-worthy wicker furniture. Does anyone else get heart palpitations from staring at the above photos? I NEED the ones on the left for my patio this summer. I probably needed them last summer and didn’t even know it. They’re mod, they’re casual, they’re unique, THEY ARE VERY COOL. And that image on the right is a two-fer, because you’re getting a hit of that pleated lampshade also endemic of the Granmillennial trend (Did I order one of those too? Yes. EASILY INFLUENCED BY THE PEOPLE IN MY OWN OFFICE).
Alright friends, this one is CONTROVERSIAL. But we’ve been seeing a lot of what we’re calling “wicker drape” furniture recently. We’ve seen it mostly as taller console tables, and it can be a lot wavy wicker to stare at. But this little stool from Sarah Gibson’s home is making a strong case for it’s kind. The super traditional vibe of the vignette is softened just enough by the inclusion of this little wicker baby and its white cushion hat. It’s the baby Yoda of the wicker world, and I want to protect it at all costs.
Want to dabble in the wicker arts, but aren’t ready to make the commitment to a giant wicker chair? Why not?! HAVE I NOT INFLUENCED YOU ENOUGH?? If you’re stronger than me, but still wicker curious, enter the wicker accessory. We’re talking vases, we’re talking trays, we’re talking baskets. These are the small pieces that bring a pop of warmth, organic vibes, and serious cool-factor into your home.
A wicker basket is the easy and classic answer to using wicker as decor in your home, and we’re pretty sure that it will never go out of style. What I love about the bowl-shaped wicker basket on the right is that it’s vintage and feels like it has a story. It’s a big punch of warm soul to those shelves.
And just to prove the point that wicker has been cool for while, here’s a shot from a room Em styled all the way back in 2015. It may have been 5 years ago, but that wicker bullhead is still looking pretty cute. It’s more of a whimsical way to incorporate wicker into a space, and you can find tons of these wicker animal heads online.
Frands, just hang a wicker bag on your wall. So you can realize the joy and warmth it brings not only to your heart, but to your home. It’s another super easy way to try out this new-to-me-but-not-new-to-the-world trend, with very low risk.
Ok, my time is up. And now it’s your turn to tell me all about your wicker wins OR your wicker woes (I’m pathetic, I’m sorry). Are you team granmillenial/eccentric English grandma or team GET THIS WICKER OUT OF MY FACE. I’ll still like you either way, I promise. Meanwhile, I’m off to create an entire wall out of wicker because I feel like it’s my new purpose in life.