If you’re an avid secondhand furniture stalker like I am, you probably have a (long) list of items that you would be absolutely thrilled to stumble upon. One thing I’m always on the lookout for is faux bamboo furniture. And although it’s having a moment thanks to the Grandmillennial movement, it’s been around for a long time.
THE HISTORY OF FAUX BAMBOO
The French began copying the bamboo look from the Chinese during the mid 19th century as it was a welcomed, whimsy change to heavy Victorian designs, but the Chinese were making faux-bamboo furniture since at least the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644).
Real bamboo was used for trim or furniture supports, but it wasn’t strong enough for cabinets, so cabinet makers started creating faux. Unlike most “faux” things, faux bamboo is just as good (if not better) than the real thing.
There are so many wonderful pieces made of real or faux bamboo – tables, chairs, beds, headboards, nightstands, and flatware. The key is good design and quality craftsmanship.
Like wicker, cane, or rattan, bamboo is another chic element that can really work in any setting. It’s a casual detail that makes everything feel a bit more natural and relaxed – no matter what your style is. It’s a staple in classic, traditional design.
A few days ago, I was trolling FB MP, thinking about how I haven’t found anything great in a few months. Then lo and behold, I stumbled upon a unicorn – this beautiful 19th-century faux bamboo chest!
It wasn’t a steal but I think it was a fair price, so I snagged it for the nursery and I think it’s going to be perfect in there.
Here are some beautiful, classic rooms featuring faux bamboo furniture:
Bamboo chair recovered in one of my favs – Sister Parish Dolly via Whitney McGregor
A sweet chair via Amy Berry
Last two photos via Meg Braff
Last two photos via Maine House Interiors
Loved this article and pictures! Thank you
What great timing for this post! I was trying to explain to my husband that the mint condition mid-century faux bamboo chest of drawers I just got of FBMP was classic, not “tiki bar.” I will say that the mid-century versions are often painted an unfortunate color – mine is that yellowy cream color rather than wood tone. Do you happen to know if these pieces can be stripped down to bare wood?
Vintage Chinoiserie Home says
Great post, you always go out of your way to educate and share-thank you! The examples you gave are gorgeous. I adore faux bamboo in natural wood tones. I also see many designers purchasing the original off-white or yellow pieces and painting them. Most of those vintage pieces have laminate tops so they look best painted. I think another great inexpensive way to incorporate faux bamboo into your décor is to find a smaller piece that may not be in perfect condition and paint it black. Most rooms could use a hint of black for grounding! Thanks for sharing.