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Wicker Furniture Debut in Boardwalk Empire

The first wicker sightings and history in HBO's hit series Boardwalk Empire!

By | Fri, 12 Jul 2013 09:45:00 EST
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What happens when you mix 1920s United States history, wicker furniture decor and HBO?

Mix those together and you get the hit series, Boardwalk Empire bringing us back to the start of the "Roaring 20s" filled with fun, excitement, and hopes of a brighter future!

If you follow Wicker Paradise on social media, you know we are huge fans of Boardwalk Empire, with multiple Instagram pictures from favorite scenes, amazing antique wicker reproductions from the set, and a story line keeping you on your toes at all times! We are hooked on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, appreciating how far they go to give you the most authentic experience from that era. Enjoy this sample clip of Terrence Winter going inside episode one and of course it is spoiler free!

Ep. 1: Inside the Episode Part 1



First Sighting of Wicker in Boardwalk Empire!

By definition, wicker is anything that is woven, so our first glimpse of the wicker style in the series is this gentleman wearing his wicker hat on Atlantic City's boardwalk!

One thing Boardwalk Empire has is wicker and lots of it!

Going back to a time in America where everything was changing dramatically, culture always remained a big part of one's lifestyle and wicker furniture was associated as way of expressing personal taste and timeless traditional decor we still see today!

If you are a fan of this remarkable HBO series, you know Boardwalk Empire episodes are filled with props, costumes, and design sets remarkably consistent of Atlantic City in the 1920s.

They have gone as far as to reproduce the entire scene of interior design including wood furniture with intricate details and the multifunctional "woven" wicker design featured as:

  • Wicker trolleys on the Boardwalk.
  • Wicker fashion, hats worn by characters.
  • The Porch as the home of the wicker conversation and entertaining area.
  • Wicker chairs as accessories to decor.
  • Baby carriages made out of wicker and wood.



You would think there should be a baby in that wicker carriage, right?

As much as we would like to entice you into using your antique wicker baby carriages as wine racks and liquor cabinets, let us paint the picture of this scene! We are about to hit the prohibition era and everyone on the boardwalk is saying their "goodbyes to liquor" in different ways, as one man is wheeling this carriage filled with alcohol.



Inside the Ritz-Carlton hotel lobby featuring wicker chairs.

Wicker furniture makes a grand debut on the very first episode of Boardwalk Empire.

These appearances of wicker are no coincidence, as wicker furniture being a hand made work of art in the north east United States, and used as a luxury product of the time period where everything was changing in America yet traditional wicker was a must have for your home decor. Even up to the finale of season three in Boardwalk Empire, you will spot wicker.

Do you wonder why this is the case?



In the 1920s, materials such as plastics, resins, and other synthetics that can take outdoor moisture and weathered conditions were not invented. Transportation also had limitations, so importing furniture had many limitations. The great news was that natural wicker was a material we had and was handwoven into designer furniture to ship right here in the United States, so it was easy to deliver the wicker furniture and became the top choice over wood for luxury design. Convenience and charm packaged into one. The intricate detail, scroll work of this flexible wicker made for exquisite designs and became a status symbol for the wealthy in larger living areas and porches.

If you think of today's outdoor patio furniture seating areas, the origin comes from your typical 1920s wicker porch furniture setup. Only difference was that the outdoor wicker materials have not been around in the 1920s, so wicker furniture owners had to settle for their porches as a living area retreat! As the technology of furniture and transportation upgrades, so does our choice of where to host our gatherings and how we present them!



Isolating the two wicker carriages in color, leaving the rest of this scene in black and white.

So with a little taste of Boardwalk Empire, its connection with wicker furniture and a history lesson wrapped in one, make sure to check it out. This episode was enjoyed right from our iPad on HBO GO. We are looking forward to what season 4 has in store premiering, Sunday September 8th on HBO.