the timeless beauty of bentwood.

mismatched dining chairs. / sfgirlbybay

i never tire of a beautiful bentwood chair, or thonet as some are called. you can recognize the real thonets by signature steam bent legs, backs and braces on the legs, and a mix of birdseye cane and wood seats, and some even still have their original paper labels, which are so ornate and quite wonderful. michael thonet created the first thonet chair with its curved, graceful shapes by forming the wood in hot steam. the first thonet, or “coffee shop chair no. 14” was made in 1859! i’ve got a few vintage beauties around my dining table and i like them best when mixed and matched. they also look great all by their lonesome, say next to a bed as a kind of night (or book) stand, or in any empty spot just longing for a gorgeous statement chair. here are a few looks i find most inspiring. i sometimes find these vintage chairs for super marché at the french flea markets but if you’re on the hunt, check elsie green — they’ve got a few of these rare beauties in stock right now.

bentwood chairs with faux fur throws. / sfgirlbybay

mismatched vintage thonet chairs. / sfgirlbybay

decorating with thonet chairs. / sfgirlbybay

inspiring dining table styled with mismatched vintage chairs. / sfgirlbybay

vintage thonet chairs. / sfgirlbybay

bathroom with vintage bentwood chair. / sfgirlbybay

vintage thonet chair as bedside reading table. / sfgirlbybay

matching bentwood dining chairs. / sfgirlbybay

vintage bentwood dining chair. / sfgirlbybay

mismatched vintage dining chairs. / sfgirlbybay

dining room with mismatched vintage chairs and gallery wall. / sfgirlbybay

bentwood desk chair in whitewashed home office. / sfgirlbybay

vintage bentwood desk chair. / sfgirlbybay

modern loft kitchen with bentwood chairs. / sfgirlbybay

bentwood desk chair with cane seat. / sfgirlbybay

• photography credits in order of appearance: mason st. peter; @samiyla; alexander white; hannah trickett; glitter guide; @wholesomelyliving; @femte.til.venstre; remodelista; rock n deco; @white__sage; thonet; nordic design; elle decoration; design studio nu; tine k home; rue; @samiyla; @un_fold_ed; @tintaluhrman; mason st. peter; afound; stadshem; our food stories; alexander white; claire delmar interiors.

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