There is something about rattan weaves and bamboo furniture that transport me back to those carefree summer days when my only concerns were swatting flies away from the food during a picnic lunch, making sure not to track sand into the car after a day at the beach, or enduring the itchy bites of mosquitoes that were happily not dengue-carriers.

Nowadays I see so many global companies (e.g. Ikea, H&M Home, Zara Home, Anthropologie) push products that could easily have been made in the island where I came from, a place known for the artisanal weaving of rattan or the bending of bamboo to make furniture. This could be what influential trend forecaster Lidewij Edelkoort meant when she said “handmade arts and crafts will be cherished.”

 

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The Summer of 2020

Summer this year will have to be spent in the “flyless, sandless, mosquitoless” safe space of my mind. That’s fine with me, I’ve got oodles of imagination.

If it takes rattan furniture to bring me this happy and bubbly feeling, then I am going to celebrate the masterful craftsmanship of our islands and share with you some photos, each with an accompanying mood board.

Sunbeam Sprite

Move the slider horizontally to see the photo and its mood board.

Weaving Colorful Dreams This SummerWeaving Colorful Dreams This Summer

Yellow is such a bright and happy color. It speaks of sunshine and cheer. Just add a dash of yellow in a space and you get that instant bubbly joyfulness. Dot specks of sunbeams playfully around the room for a refreshing, energetic vibe. Pair it with basketry, woven blankets. and an abaca rug or a banig. All these weaves are made by craftspeople in different parts of the country. Buy local and help boost the economy.

Then, like icing on a cake, bring plants into the space to give a natural energy to the room and to purify the air.

Tropical Twist

Weaving Colorful Dreams This SummerWeaving Colorful Dreams This Summer

There is something so graceful and comforting about these headboard and footboard. There are more choices available in the country with more intricate patterns made of woven rattan. A personal favorite is solihiya.

The colors of rattan and bamboo look beautiful paired with any paint color. This is a more dramatic pairing with the dark blue walls. It doesn’t get sombre though with the weaves in there. The textures and colors bring in a natural, organic look to the space which is why this room feels friendly and comfortable. The flirty fringe on the hanging lamp adds a relaxed and fun vibe to this bedroom.

Breathe some fresh life into your bedroom with a huge architectural plant like this cactus, which also adds an interesting focal point. This is something to balance the visual weight of the bed frame.

Imagine having this place to rest in after a day at the beach? You’d be sure to slide into a peaceful slumber in this bedroom.

Summer Soft

Weaving Colorful Dreams This SummerWeaving Colorful Dreams This Summer

Casual comfort is how I would describe this space.

The rattan furniture found in this bedroom and in the adjacent nursery look very much at home in this Scandinavian interior style. These work very well with the classic herringbone-patterned wooden floor and the white walls and furnishings. A peacock chair by the crib is a decorative element and a practical one too, similar to the foot bench with its simple rattan weave pattern.

The only wall decoration is the macrame wall hanging. If you like macrame, you can always make one yourself during this quarantine. Just surf the internet and you will get loads of search results.

Philippine Rattan Furniture Weaves

In the hands of a Filipino master weaver, rattan transforms into art and fits many interior styles here and abroad. Even though rattan emits a vibe of an easy tropical lifestyle, this looks at home in other interior styles like contemporary, minimalist, coastal, shabby chic, modern rustic, and even Scandinavian design.

The Peacock Chair

Did you know that the iconic peacock chair was born in the Philippines?

“Although the origins of the Peacock Chair have been widely debated, most accounts trace the throne-like chair to Asia,” explains the book. “It is likely to have originated in the Philippines, which is why it is often referred to as the Manila or Philippine Chair. One report traces the chair to the Bilibid Prison in Manila, where the incarcerated population was tasked with weaving home furnishings from weeds or rattan.” – Phaidon, “Chair: 500 Designs that Matter”

The peacock chair became a pop icon culture in the 70s when many artists used to sit on it for their album covers. This early 20th century chair may have been made originally by prisoners in Bilibid but then it became a symbol of freedom and power.

Famous Spanish architect and designer Patricia Urquiola created her Crinoline chair for B&B Italia using the distinctive silhouette of the peacock chair. The weaving was done in the Philippines but the materials are no longer rattan but abaca fiber interlaced with polyethylene fibre woven on a frame made of polyester powder painted aluminium.

 

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Although the aluminum is rust proof, the chair is better used indoors or in covered outdoor spaces because of the natural abaca fiber used in the weave which is better kept dry.

Woven Outdoor Furniture

Global brand DEDON started the design and innovation of woven outdoor furniture about 30 years ago. Its headquarters are located in Germany but its production facilities are based in Cebu.

The DEDON fiber, which is recyclable and non-toxic, is a feat of modern German technology. The craftsmanship is centuries old and found here in our country.

 

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You will find DEDON furniture from Maldives to Manhattan, from Fiji to Abu Dhabi. Despite a super flimsy connection (read non-existent), I am proud that all these furniture found in high-end spaces around the world are created by the hands of Filipino weavers from the island where I came from.

Weaving Summer Dreams

 

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If you are stuck in your small apartment in an urban jungle, let your mind take you to the delicious memories you have tucked away inside your head of those sweet summer days of years past.

Whether it’s rattan weaves that take you there or the colors of sunshine, sea and froth, don’t resist the invitation to relax your mind and body. Feed your spirit with happy thoughts, and make your heart light with memories as bubbly and delicate as sea foam.

Subscribe to Let it B if you want more color inspirations and get a dose of cool vibes regularly.

 

Annie H Adlawan
Author

Annie is the Managing Editor of Let it B | MyBoysen Blog. An unrepentant workaholic, she runs this blog and her own company Talking Lions (https://talkinglions.com). She thrives on collaborating with people who are good at what they do, and working together with them to create something special.

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