Tropical Island Chic

The use of wicker and rattan can be traced back as far as ancient Egypt. Today the use of wicker and rattan are still going strong in the world of design. Many top designers of today such as Amanda Lindroth, India Hicks and Bunny Williams use wicker and rattan with frequency in their designs because it adds a sense of casual functionality to any room. Today it is easy to pick up used pieces of wicker or rattan and refresh them with a quick coat of paint or stain. If you currently own real wicker and rattan that needs a facelift; I would say it is worth every penny. Paint it, stain it, or recover it and keep using it because it adds a nod to tropical Island chic each time it shows up in design. Let’s take a peek into a living room to see how recovering the rattan couch and chair brought the room back to life in tropical island chic style somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• Elevate the rattanFresh and looking tropical island chic - Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
Rattan is not cheap! Anyone who has been shopping for rattan lately will be nodding their head to that right now. Though rattan is made out a renewable palm tree, there is much labor involved. The rattan is processed and made by people. Most of the rattan supply comes from different Asian countries that rely heavily on the trade for their livelihood. This homeowner understood the value of her rattan and wanted to refresh it and elevate the look. Re- upholstering the cushions and re- strapping the ties on the platform would make the couch like new again. The homeowner chose a solid teal fabric for the sofa and the chair was recovered in a white and teal stripe. The finished look yields a fresh take on the rattan that allows for blues to take over as the feature in the space.

• Slip cover sofa
We added a slip covered sofa along the back wall of the living room and it worked so well with newly recovered rattan. I can’t say enough about how much I love slip covered sofas! I own three of them myself and the couch always looks fresh and clean with a fitted custom slip cover. There are several online retailers and a few local retailers that offer new sofas with a slip cover line. However, if you have an awesome sofa that needs a facelift but you want a fitted slip cover; there are several online companies that will create custom fitted slip covers for your furniture. I am currently using one to make a slipcover for an ottoman. Custom design is within your reach with slipcovers.

• Rug
The rug is a plush wool rug that offers a visually stunning presentation of palm fronds. The layers of blue add eye catching interest to each palm frond and the touches of crème in the back ground make the blue hues pop! I love this rug and never tire of seeing it! This rug is an 8×10 and fills the space with tropical luxury.

• New TV Console
The homeowner purchased a new TV console in white. This console has a fireplace in it and at night the space has a warm glowing light that provides ambiance and a feeling of coziness.

• Art
The homeowner loved the sea turtle and so it stayed in a place of prominence above the sofa. We were not set on changing everything in the space so we chose things that complemented what was staying in the space.

• Lamps
New lamps were definitely in order to tie into the rug. The homeowner chose two deep blue glass lamps in the classic single gourd shape with white lamps shades. These lamps provide a color framework for the wall and help to tie everything together. A third lamp was placed at the end of the rattan sofa.
This lamp was also glass but a teal glass with drips of silver running down the lamp. The lamp is definitely more modern but the color works with everything in the room.

• Pillows
Don’t forget the throw pillows! The homeowner found some pillows with a small palm frond pattern that reflected all the colors of the rug. She also found some solid colors to complement the pattern and I think they all look great and visually connect to everything in the room.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

Before and After Pics Below