So, you’ve just signed the lease on your new and first — apartment, congrats. The next step is moving in and starting the fun part, decorating. But if you’re strapped for cash decorating might sound scary. It’s OK, you can furnish your place on a shoestring budget easily with items such as wicker.

Wicker furniture is something that we’ve all owned, or at least seen in someone else’s home at one time or another. It looks pretty, yes, and it’s cost-effective for those just starting out. Whether you buy a wicker table, find one at a flea market, or inherit your great grandmother’s wicker goes well just about any place.

Lots of Choices

Wicker can also be found in a variety of forms such as in room headboards, coffee tables, dining room chairs, sofas, and more. The great thing about wicker is that it has certainly come of age since it’s early beginnings. Wicker furnishings are trendy, versatile, comfortable and can be placed in any room where they will undoubtedly look terrific.

If you do decide to buy or unearth some great wicker pieces, it will need some special TLC. Unlike wood, it does require some attention to detail when cleaning, etc.

Here are some tips to help make it a bit easier.


To care for your wicker furniture, dust it regularly with small brush or vacuum. Spills
should be taken care of immediately before they harden or stain, by wiping with a sponge wrung from sudsy water.

Not for Outside

Wicker likes humidity, but it is not outdoor furniture. Rain, direct sunlight, and dew are damaging. Dry indoor heat dries wicker causing it to crackle and creak under pressure. Wiping occasionally with a damp (not wet) sponge may help.

Vacuum Dirt

To clean periodically, vacuum away loose dirt. Prepare a solution of detergent and water. Skim the suds off into a damp sponge and apply to furniture, working on a small portion at a time. Use a small brush in crevices. Do not wet wooden parts of furniture. Wipe off suds with clean damp sponge.

Total Wash

Perhaps once a year, raw wicker may need complete washing. Dust with a vacuum brush. Scrub with warm water and detergent using sponge or soft brush; spray rinse with a garden hose outside or put under the shower. Dry chair as fast as possible by putting in the hot sun, using hair drier, or directing a fan onto it to keep air circulating. On painted wicker only wash and rinse as you would painted wood; wetting as above may crack and peel the paint.

Time to Search

Once you have unpacked your boxes after moving in, do get out and start hunting for items to decorate your new home. If wicker sounds like something you want to invest in, start looking at consignment stores, mass retailers, specialty shops, or just ask a family relative. Chances are good they will have one or more pieces that they’d love to give you, so you can be comfortable and stylish in your new home.

You can also go hunting for wicker at garage sales, flea markets as mentioned, and swap meets. Wicker has been around for a long time and there must be a reason why!