We’ve seen them around and we consider them rustic, old and even very familiar even when we’ve never actually used them. We’re talking about wicker baskets. They have, indeed, a long and rich history. We often associate them with rattan furniture and other accessories with which they bear similarities. Wicker furniture is believed to have been around since ancient Egypt and to have become incredibly popular during the Victorian era when it could be seen all around Europe and North America.
As far as wicker furniture is concerned, its rapidly increasing popularity was due to the fact it was believed to be more sanitary than upholstered furniture. Wicker baskets, on the other hand, were just incredibly practical. They’re still appreciated even today for how lightweight and sturdy they are. They’re also very affordable so if they get damaged and need to be replaced the cost is quite minimal.
The term wicker refers rather to the technique used than to the materials involved in the process. Traditionally, materials of plant origin were used (such as rattan, willow, reed or bamboo) but lately the term also started to incorporate baskets and furniture made of plastic. In any case, there are many different uses for wicker baskets, some of which are demonstrated with examples in this very article. Not sure how to use wicker baskets in your own home? Maybe you can find some inspiration right here.
Sometimes a wicker basket can be quite ambiguous as far as its function is concerned. There are also cases when something looks like a giant wicker basket but it’s actually a chair which can be hanged on the wall or seated casually on the floor.
Wicker laundry baskets are actually incredibly popular these days, being appreciated for their casual and at the same time stylish and elegant appearance. Those made of real rattan or other natural materials are becoming increasingly rare as plastic baskets take their place.
There’s one other area where wicker baskets have remained surprisingly popular and practical throughout the years. They’re often used as storage containers for vegetables, fruits and other things we usually keep in our kitchens and pantries. They’re great because they’re lightweight and also because they let air pass through them, keeping the contents fresh.
Wicker baskets also make nice planters. Actually, they’re more practical as pot holders since the soil and water would seep through them. Some are specifically designed to serve this purpose but it’s also possible to use other types of baskets which are not necessarily intended for this particular use.
The versatility of wicker baskets is in part due to the fact that they can take on a lot of different shapes and sizes. The weaving technique used allows it and that’s how all those wicker trays, containers, planters and boxes came to be. This also applies to wicker furniture, hence the lots of different designs to choose from.
Not all wicker baskets look alike and that’s because the weaving techniques and the actual materials used in the process can differ. In fact, we know about four basketry categories: coiled, plaiting, twining and wicker or splint, the distinction between them being made based on the material used.
There are many interesting and practical ways to use wicker baskets around the house. They’re obviously great for storing things so they can be used in any room of the house. You can use them to store vegetables in the kitchen, extra pillows and cushions in the bedroom, various supplies in the office, toiletries in the bathroom and pretty much anything in the living room.
Wicker baskets have also inspired lots of interesting designs. For example, there are pendant lamps and lampshades that look a lot like them. It’s even possible to repurpose actual baskets into ornaments and accessories for the home.
Woven baskets and boxes are particularly useful for storing and organizing small items on open shelves. Consider using some in the kitchen to keep all those utensils and cleaning supplies nice and organized.
The laundry room is another area where wicker baskets can show just how practical they are. Because they’re so lightweight, they’re easy to carry and move around so you can use them to keep all the detergents and cleaning products in one place.
Hallways, mudrooms and dressing rooms can make good use of wicker boxes and baskets too. You can use them to organize and store accessories such as gloves, scarves, watches, belts and other things that would otherwise just be thrown in drawers or left around.
Check out this lovely window nook, with its comfortable built-in bench and that great storage area underneath. You can see wicket baskets nicely lined up, each containing some extra pillows, extra blankets or other things that can come in handy here.
You don’t have to keep all your baskets and containers on shelves, inside drawers or under benches. You can casually leave one on the floor, in the corner of a room if you think it makes the space look nice and welcoming or if that’s simply a practical spot for it.
In a way, this rattan coffee table is just a big basket. It seems to have a detachable top and that suggests it hides a secret storage compartment which makes it even more practical. Of course, the most important thing in this case is the look and the fact that the table adds a touch of rusticity to the space.
As mentioned before, wicket baskets can be very practical in the bathroom where they can be used to store and organize things like toiletries, extra towels, toilet paper rolls and other items.