Trending Now: Why Wovens Are In Summer’s Hottest Spaces
What’s not to love about wovens? In our August 2018 issue, star designer Celerie Kemble compares wovens to ‘sunlight on the water.’ It’s the perfect summer material because it’s breezy, with big-time tropical associations. Often crafted from renewable plant fibers such as bamboo, seagrass, coir, willow, reeds or banana leaves, wovens bring nature inside. Let’s take a closer look at why this texture is as effective as a squirt of lemon juice when it comes to creating a lighter, brighter space.
Raffia’s tight, smooth weave can actually read as very refined, but when it’s trimmed with a lush fringe, like these pillows, the result is as festive as a Caribana float. In a white room, the natural coloration of neutral wovens adds interest and texture.
A tiki umbrella is too pretty to just leave outside and becomes a sculptural object in this cottage entryway. Beachy woven floor cushions are durable and naturally dust repellant and antimicrobial, perfect for extra seating in stylist Jenn Cranston’s breezy cottage.
Woven chairs, like this showstopping fan chair with a back that radiates like the sun rays, lights up any spot it’s in. The oversize pendant shade gets major props for its dramatic scale — and it’s lightweight enough to hang by a thin rod.
The key to this look lies in the mix of woven materials. The combination of a leather woven rug, rattan chair and linen drapes with a raffia woven trim keep the look natural, without being too thematic.
This pendant shade carried roosters in Madasgascar in its previous life. The primitive weave of the openwork shade is contrasted by another surprisingly durable material, twisted-paper chair backs.
The boho appeal of wovens makes them a perfect partner for Scandi blond woods and sleek mid-century modern furniture designs. Don’t be afraid to mix different materials and weaves together (or hang baskets as artwork); this pastiche of offerings conveys a feeling of endless summer.
A graphic black and white palette looks modern and makes the natural materials pop. Layering a wool blanket behind a woven headboard underscores the “Ibiza summer house” vibe.
A thick, ropey coil back gives these chairs a nautical look that’s perfectly in step with the boathouse location.
A porthole-shaped mirror amps up the seafaring character of this boathouse bedroom with a lush rope frame that sets off the fluid shape.
On an actual boat, wovens are more than a pretty face. The texture of a seagrass rug (derived from an aquatic reed, it’s impervious to water, unlike sisal which can stain) adds warmth and provides traction underfoot when the waves get rough.
Wovens aren’t confined to rustic bunkies; they work to soften slick urban spaces like this Toronto home. Placed next to a glam mirrored console and a vintage white chaise lounge, a woven silk rug and beachy dining chairs are tactile and inviting.
Layering in wovens ties a room together. In this cottage bedroom, a raffia headboard, rush-seated bench and a catchall basket casually propped by the window is an example of effortless decorating.
In rooms with global patterns such as ikat or Indian block prints, a raffia stool fits seamlessly into the mix as easily as the ruby babouche slippers placed nearby.
You can find baskets in practically any size to serve as containers. The generously sized, low basket is a natural alternative to plastics to organize toiletries and conceal them from sight.
What pairs naturally with palm wallpaper? A very ’70s glam armchair. In this Vancouver condo, the fresh, leafy wall treatment and rattan end chair makes every meal feel like an afternoon on the patio.
You don’t have to rely on woven furnishings — a collection of straw hats demonstrates the beauty of how this strong but soft material can be shaped in myriad ways. This collection of toppers were picked up at a market in the Bahamas and make a striking statement on a cottage’s white walls.
Want to drive home a tropical theme without going full-on bananas? Pair wovens with a classic, sophisticated trellis print like designer Collette van den Thillart chose for her Barbados home. The coral-hued piping adds a shot of zest to black and white box cushions.
In the tropics, an open weave is practical as much as aesthetically pleasing. The woven back and seat of this chair mimics the demerara louvers of the shutters to enhance air flow. A chunky basket makes a sturdy carryall for blueprints: it’s much prettier than a metal filing cabinet.
Lightweight wicker stools can be moved easily from the bedroom, to the living room and even the patio when extra seating is required. The woven stools can be updated seasonally by switching up the box cushions.
These armchairs are designed to stay indoors, but there’s a trend for using all-weather woven patio furnishings inside (dressed up with pretty pillows). If the lines are clean and the furniture is comfortable, it’s a cost-effective, smart solution in sunny rooms and vacation homes.