Cozy and relaxing is what comes to mind when I think of wicker on a porch. Depending on the style of wicker, the look can be Victorian formal, soft romantic, or country charming; even uptown modern. Wicker can conger up thoughts of long, lazy afternoons. For me, it speaks of slowing down and setting a spell, relaxing with a glass of tea, grabbing a good book, or just propping up my feet to watch nature. The scenery could be your favorite gardening spot, a dancing river, the ocean blue, the mountaintops, or neighbors strolling by on the street. There's just a charm about wicker that remains timeless.
Searching for the history of wicker, I learned it can be dated back as far as the Egyptians in 3000 BC, and was made of reed. I wonder if Cleopatra enjoyed it as I do? Wicker refers to a method of weaving from any of a number of different substances. Rattan, reed, and willow are some of the common fibers, which hold up well outdoors. Wicker had a resurgence in popularity during the Victorian era with more elaborate and romantic designs. In the early 20th century, cleaner lines of mission style became popular. Rolled and treated paper was used as a source for making the wicker when production turned to machines.
Of course furniture hasn't been the only use for wicker. You can find a long list of wicker items such as baskets, hat boxes, suitcases, lamps......the list is endless.
Today wicker can be found all over from high end furniture stores to discount box stores to our beloved thrift stores. The price range is fit for any budget. The different styles are numerous, while the material used is also various; including the newer resin fully weatherproof type. There is a style to suit everyone's taste.
Garden Style by Better Homes and Gardens is one of my older and timeless books. It remains at the top of my favorite decorating books. There are several beautiful vignettes of wicker among its pages. I have shared a few of them. Other pictures have come from selected magazines such as Victoria, Romantic Homes, Decorating Ideas, and Southern Lady.
The beauty of wicker is that it is just as stylish indoors as out. If you don't have a porch to furnish, you can create a cozy place inside. Even just a wicker chair in a corner can become a cozy welcoming spot.
Do you have wicker in use in your home? I have an off-white set on my back porch and two large dark chairs in my bedroom. In or out, they are always tempting me to come sit a spell when I walk by. Here is my porch wicker below. This is an older picture, as the set is in the process of a face lift with new cushions and pillows. And please ignore the lack of balance of the wall treatment. That has been in transition waiting for more items for a few years now ;-) I will post pictures of the porch redo and my bedroom chairs soon. Meanwhile, I think I'll go sit a spell.