There’s just something classy about wicker and rattan furniture. It makes you think of spending summer days at a mansion on long island in the nineteen twenties; sitting down for lunch on the porch at an elegant wicker dining set with Jay Gatsby and Daisy, and going out after lunch to play croquet with other members of the smart set, eternally young and yet somehow old fashioned. Maybe it’s because wicker furniture looks handmade, even though modern methods of manufacture may be used.
Whatever the reason, wicker furniture, with its retro yet timeless appearance, fits in everywhere from a small apartment to a Gatsby sized estate. But in my case anyway, wicker patio furniture always seems to call up these exotic tropical images to mind, and can make a suburban deck overlooking the back yard suggestive of an episode from a short story by Somerset Maugham or Joseph Conrad set in some distant tropical local.
Maybe the real source of these images isn’t the books themselves, its movies, especially older movies, with their innocent fascination with the mystery and romance of distant places. Even if you don’t quite remember all of the movie Casablanca, you can still probably see Sidney Greenstreet sitting in a wide backed rattan chair, laughing with Peter Lorre, or Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart seated close together on a rattan sofa talking about Paris before the war, and how the problems of two little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world.