Wicker Patio Furniture: History, Porches, Chair, Victorian - Vickie

Vickie at the Lavender Fest

This weekend, Janet and I went to the Michigan Lavender Festival. We had a great time at booths with everything from lavender oils to candles to foods (lavender honey is amazing!). But what grabbed my eye most was a piece of wicker patio furniture: a wicker chair named “Vickie”.

She’s called “Vickie” because she dates from Victorian Era in the late 1800s. I was captivated by her details, especially the wicker scrolling on her arms, and the flower petal shapes on her back.

The owner, Lori Rotarius, who has a company called Country Comforts, found “Vickie” at an estate sale. “She was this ugly gold color,” says Lori. “So I painted her.”

Seeing how “Vickie” stood out among all the beautiful things at the lavender festival got me thinking about wicker patio furniture as an outdoor dec√≥r — as opposed to wrought iron or rust-proof aluminum.

Wicker’s Roots

Wicker Patio Furniture: History, Porches, Chair, Chairs - Girl - Australia - 1800s

Wicker Chair, Australia

This is almost exactly like our Story on Pergola, in that wicker dates back to ancient Egypt. It was made from grasses and reeds, and some families could afford small tables. The Pharoahs had what may have been the first wicker chairs.

Ancient Rome carried on the tradition — people in Pompeii used wicker baskets before Mount Vesuvius destroyed their city.

During the time of Columbus, sea traders brought back rattan from Southeast Asia — a stronger material for wicker. And in the 1800s, during the Victorian era, wicker’s popularity exploded. Here’s a girl from Australia around 1900 sitting in a Victorian wicker chair.

Wicker Patio Furniture: Hawaii

In searching the globe for ways people use wicker patio furniture Americans, I started with Hawaii. It’s a place my wife and I visited on our 25th anniversary, and the palms and grasses make me think wicker would be a natural here.

The patio below is NOT in Hawaii (it’s in Santa Monica), but it’s inspired by Maui, and certainly would look at home there. I love the pillows on the wicker sofa on the left!

Wicker Patio Furniture: Hawaii - Maui - Porch - Wicker Chairs - Wicker Sofa

Maui-Style Sanctuary by Natalie Younger

I’m not sure which island this on but what a view! I believe the wicker chairs are from Crate & Barrel. The ocean is stunning and I also love the leaf-shaped ceiling fans!

Wicker Patio Furniture: Hawaii - Sunset - Deck - Wicker Chairs

Ocean View in Hawaii by Jenny Carter

Talk about a tropical porch! This beauty from Hawaii has rattan furniture, incredible colors, and an arched ceiling so beautiful I feel relaxed just looking at it!

Wicker Patio Furniture: Hawaii - Porch - Tropical - Rattan Chairs - Wicker Furniture

Tropical Porch by Philpotts Interiors

The wicker patio furniture here is off to the sides and the on the veranda at the far end, but the overall effect of this courtyard entrance is a great way to say “Aloha!”

Wicker Patio Furniture: Hawaii - Entrance - Courtyard - Wicker Furniture

Tropical Porch by GT Design


Wicker Furniture: Australia

In a recent poll on our Facebook page, our fans voted Australia their 2nd of their most desired places to visit. (Hawaii was 1st).

We already saw the Australian girl above in wicker chair. Here’s a contemporary wicker patio in Melbourne! I love the pergola! (See our Story on Pergola Spaces!)

Wicker Patio Furniture: Australia - Melbourne - Pergola - Patio - Contemporary - Wicker Chairs - Chair Cushions - Wicker Ottoman

Australian Patio by Andrew Renn

Here’s the same space from another angle. You can see how the patio integrated with the garden. I love the thickness of the chair and ottoman cushions!

Wicker Patio Furniture: Australia - Melbourne - Pergola - Patio - Contemporary - Wicker Chairs - Chair Cushions - Wicker Ottoman - Garden - Plants

Melbourne Garden Space by Andrew Renn

This dock with a wicker chair is in Sydney, about a 9-hour drive from Melbourne. I love the shape of this contemporary chair — it looks cozy!

Wicker Patio Furniture: Australia - Sydney - Dock - Wicker Chair - Contemporary

Wicker Chair on Dock in Sydney by Secret Gardens

Elsewhere in Sydney (on Australia’s east coast) is this pool deck with contemporary wicker chaise lounges. I could definitely relax here! (The piece of “tumbleweed” garden art on the right intrigues me!).

Wicker Furniture: Other Countries

United Kingdom — Drive a couple of hours west of London and you’ll find the historical “sea port” city of Bristol. That’s where this contemporary kitchen and wicker dining set open up to the outdoor garden beyond!

Wicker Patio Furniture: United Kingdom - Bristol - Wicker - Chairs - Wicker Dining Chairs - Contemporary - Garden - Dining Room

Bristol: Contemporary Kitchen in Bristol by hobsons|choice

British Columbia — I love the woodsy look and feel of these handmade chairs woven from branches. The backyard is in Vancouver (one of several Canadian places on my “bucket list”).

Wicker Patio Furniture: Canada - British Columbia - Vancouver - Wicker Chairs - Traditional - Garden - Backyard

Vancouver: Backyard by Okanagan Dream Builders

Ontario – I really like how these chaise lounge cushions and pillows look, and would love to stretch out and relax on them! This deck and patio are near Lake Joseph, a couple of hours north of Toronto.

Wicker Patio Furniture: Canada - Ontario - Lake Joseph - Wicker Chaise Lounges - Lakeside - Patio - Deck - Pillows - Patio Cushions

Ontario: Lakeside Deck by KellyBaron

If you like beautiful patio furniture, check out our Story on Wrought Iron Chairs!

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