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Elegant, casual, timeless :: Why wicker furniture isn't for sissies

In this image of a Connecticut home featured in Architectural Digest, Miles Red creates a handsome and informal seating area using wicker furniture that once belonged to tobacco heir Doris Duke.  

In this image of a Connecticut home featured in Architectural Digest, Miles Red creates a handsome and informal seating area using wicker furniture that once belonged to tobacco heir Doris Duke.  

With wicker, it seems, that you either love or hate it. I happen to adore it and I find that it lends itself so perfectly to so many decorating styles. I do love it for its casual, coastal and relaxed feel, and yet it lends itself so perfectly to the most sophisticated and formal of spaces from from traditional to modern - from Island Boho chic, to British Colonial to the relaxed elegance of Ralph Lauren. Wicker is a term that refers more to the style of woven furniture than it does to the materials used. Rattan, a natural grasslike fiber,  is another term used to describe wicker. Wicker furniture is also widely available in synthetic materials which is preferable for those outdoor pieces that are exposed to the elements.  From Sister Parish to West Elm, from Hubert de Givenchy to Nate Berkus, wicker is truly timeless. I think wicker is often misperceived and seems not to be taken seriously enough - Those who've not been properly informed too often think of it as frilly or juvenile as opposed to strong, elegant and bold. I'd like to change people's minds and erase those preconceived notions and give wicker the recognition and respect it deserves. 

Mary Macdonald uses wicker to create an elegant and yet relaxed seating area with a tropical feel. 

Mary Macdonald uses wicker to create an elegant and yet relaxed seating area with a tropical feel. 

Master of style, Hubert de Givenchy utilised wicker in this understated, casual space. 

Master of style, Hubert de Givenchy utilised wicker in this understated, casual space. 

Wicker chairs surround the dining table at Bunny Williams' pool house in her Litchfield, Connecticut home, creating a rustic and casual yet elegant space. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Wicker chairs surround the dining table at Bunny Williams' pool house in her Litchfield, Connecticut home, creating a rustic and casual yet elegant space. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan.

Wicker Furniture sits elegantly and casually on the porch of Bunny Williams' pool house. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan. 

Wicker Furniture sits elegantly and casually on the porch of Bunny Williams' pool house. Image via Jessica Gordon Ryan. 

Ralph Lauren, master of relaxed elegance showcases this welcoming wicker bed in his Ralph Lauren Home line. 

Ralph Lauren, master of relaxed elegance showcases this welcoming wicker bed in his Ralph Lauren Home line. 

West Elm gives wicker a modern touch embracing it with bold colors and clean lines.

West Elm gives wicker a modern touch embracing it with bold colors and clean lines.

Remodelista introduced readers to these incredible IKEA wicker lamp shades.

Remodelista introduced readers to these incredible IKEA wicker lamp shades.

Wicker is the perfect material in this Queensland houseboat, home of designer Katie Gallie as featured in Australian Home. 

Wicker is the perfect material in this Queensland houseboat, home of designer Katie Gallie as featured in Australian Home. 

A simple wicker tray is just the right touch to create a gentle coastal inspired vignette.

A simple wicker tray is just the right touch to create a gentle coastal inspired vignette.

Nate Berkus is another designer to favor wicker.  These delightful chairs have a commanding and yet relaxed presence. These are, perhaps, wicker's tribute to the iconic Eames chair. Modern, classic, simple and sophisticated. 

Nate Berkus is another designer to favor wicker.  These delightful chairs have a commanding and yet relaxed presence. These are, perhaps, wicker's tribute to the iconic Eames chair. Modern, classic, simple and sophisticated. 

Barclay Butera, known for his elegant coastal style utilizes wicker to create casual yet dramatic spaces. Image via Traditional Home

Barclay Butera, known for his elegant coastal style utilizes wicker to create casual yet dramatic spaces. Image via Traditional Home

HomeBunch features this kitchens with multi textures and layers where wicker, marble and stainless steel make a perfect pairing. 

HomeBunch features this kitchens with multi textures and layers where wicker, marble and stainless steel make a perfect pairing. 

It should be no surprise to readers that Tory Burch should have an elegant wicker filled room in her elegant and beachy Southampton home. Image via Vogue. 

It should be no surprise to readers that Tory Burch should have an elegant wicker filled room in her elegant and beachy Southampton home. Image via Vogue. 

This House Beautiful image pairs old and new to create a united and yet eclectic look that transitions yesterday's styles with today's functionality.  

This House Beautiful image pairs old and new to create a united and yet eclectic look that transitions yesterday's styles with today's functionality.  

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