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Trend: Raffia

A breezy summertime staple.

Raffia has shot up the style barometer from tropical kitsch to avant-garde accent. The humble material continues to conjure days at the beach, but designers are now shifting the emphasis from gimmicky to glamorous. As upholstery fabric from Kravet, the inspiration feels almost tribal. Modern types can get in on the trend with Alessi's Blow Up bamboo collection, which uses raffia to tie together the reeds that form tables, baskets and even a magazine rack. Whether woven, tied or wrapped, raffia is enjoying its time in the sun.

See more photos in our 2011 Decorating Trends gallery.

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