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Thursday, January 6, 2011


I defy anyone over the age of 15 
to tell me they have never seen,
or sat on a bentwood cafe chair.
225 East 60th Street
between 2nd and 3rd Avenues
New York, NY 10022

If you haven't been....GO!!!

Steaming Hot Bentwood!!!
No, Really!!!!
That's how it was made.
Steaming the wood and then


Bentwood is graceful.
It's wild.
You look at it and wonder....
How did they ever do THAT????
It reminds me of pulling TAFFY.
And of an era in design gone by....
the 60's.
But  I predict BENTWOOD will return again.
Stronger and more appreciated.
What a gorgeous Bentwood bench.

....and a mag rack too.

Bentwood Bed Frames
A real 1960's look.
How fun is this??

For some weird reason
I have ALWAYS wanted these particular Bentwood Chairs.
'The Austrian Cafe Chair.'
The Bentwood side chairs are available at Conrans.

It's true.
After all these years.....
{since the age of 18}
I am STILL OBSESSED with them.
Even today....
I want to use them at my my kitchen table,
but they would not work in this particular space.
I say kitchen...
 I could see a dining room done with them.
I will get to finally do them for my daughter 
when she has her own home.
I will get to finally use them myself.
I love Michael!!!
I have included in this post a few excellent links 
related to Bentwood and it's history.
 If you would like to know more
BENTWOOD see links below on left.

What do you think??
Do you like my favorite chairs??


KNOW MORE about Michael Thonet
my chair is here
watch the THONET movie here
designs by Michael Thonet

Renee Finberg 'TELLS ALL' in her BLOG..... Interior Design, Palm Beach, Boca Raton,Ft.Lauderdale,Design Service, Window Treatments, TurnKey Interior Design Service,Paint selection, Floor-Plans,Online Interior Design,bentwood, michael thonet, bentwood bed frames, chairs


  1. Ok Ok ...I was prejudiced...BUT those Austrian cafe chairs and the GORGEOUS bed frames...have brought me 'round. I'm not kidding...I have been looking for a bed frame/headboard to please a picky mom/teen daughter....THIS IS IT!...where do I send the finders fee?

  2. completely agree with you-I've just used them in a kitchen and at an island. they are great really great. pgt

  3. I've always loved Bentwood. Love all of this, particularly the little stool and the rocker is gorgeous!

  4. alaine
    thank you ....
    i am glad you like bentwood as well.
    i just never see it in homes anymore.

    it needs to come back into fashion!!

  5. Renee, I love the unique pieces like the chaise and table: always found the chairs to be uncomfortable.

    Art by Karena

  6. Last year I found 14 original Thonet
    Austrian cafe chairs for a friend!
    They came from our closing Masonic lodge and had been purchased when the lodge first started about 1890!
    From the same place I got, and kept, 8 of the plain bentwood chair which I plan to renovate!
    So yes I love Bentwood! xoxo Jules

  7. They are fab when coloured although it is a bit of a all your illustrated examples! Luckily no room left.

  8. I forgot about bentwood, but yes, I love it and of course I love your favorite chairs.

    Now I can add them to the dining room of my imaginary house I furnish before I fall asleep every night.

    xo jane

  9. Dear Renee,
    I LOVE Bentwood chairs. We had the iconic Bentwood rocking chair ( goodness knows what happened to that !!) and, we have 4 Bentwood dining chairs in the loft....all of the caning is broken and they need to be mended.The dining room chairs that we have now have caned seats and bent wood but more Provencal looking with cross over wood at the would know them if you saw them. Is Bentwood back in fashion now ? XXXX

  10. jane
    we obviously are designing the same type of home
    at the same time each night!

  11. jules....
    that is amazing.
    they are the REAL DEAL.

    yes hold onto them.

  12. Renee,
    Look at you talking about a classic of course! I was given a Bentwood rocker when I had my daughter. Loved the gracefullness but in a tiny house, it took up so much space. Thank God we stored it and it now has a life again!
    That setee is just beautiful and the cafe chairs in dark wood are wonderful.
    Funny, The Sugar Bowl Icecream Parlor in Scottsdale Az has bentwood chairs too. That's where I went as a little girl for icecream on sundays.
    Happy weekend to you!
    xo Lisa

  13. lisa
    you haver the rocker!!!
    what a wonderful heirloom for your daughter.

    bentwood and ice cream go hand and hand.

  14. Bentwood chairs just sum up a Paris Cafe. I love them too and to own even one would be a thrill. I watched a piece of the CBS Sunday Morning Show on how they were made. It was fascinating. You my dear are the Bentwood of designers. Classy, gorgeous and sleeeeek!

    Happy 2011 Renee. I don't think I've said that to you yet? I'm thinking it's going to be the year of the blond!

    xo xo Deb

  15. One of my first antique purchases (as an eleven year old) was a bentwood chair (that I still own). A distinctive feature is the wood seat impressed with an alligator pattern.

    The architects of Parish-Hadley sometimes had a group lunch at Serendipity 3: footlong hotdogs and ice-cream drinks.

    __ The Devoted Classicist

  16. deb

    oh yes.....

    let it be
    "the year of the blonde"

    from your lips to G-d's ears!!!!

  17. I'm an interior designer from Melbourne, Australia - I loved your blog, I found it very inspiring. This is all new to me but I have just set up my own blog
    You may like to check it out because I had so much fun doing it.
    Thanks for providing me with such great entertainment!

  18. I was so happy last year to finally find an old bentwood in good condition for only $20.00! I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them and I agree we need to see more in homes =0)
    Ness xx

  19. I love that they're so lightweight. Growing up, my grandparents owned an apartment building in state college PA, that was furnished with old 'junk' furniture from old family houses, garages sales, junk shops. I remember most of the kitchens had these bentwood chairs that I've always so loved. Sadly, when the building was sold to a developer in the late 80s, it was torn down to make way for a gas station, TOTALLY FURNISHED! Can you imagine!

  20. S,
    that is ,
    i am afraid the way most of these treasures went.
    it seems now ...
    that there is only the good stuff left (when you find it)
    i guess that is not such a bad thing.
    except it has become quite pricey.


  21. Oh what happy memories you bring back with the photo of Serendipity ! That is where I had my first "date" with my husband , where we took our children for their birthdays when they were small, such happy memories.
    And Thonet ! while living in Buenos Aires and furnishing our apt, in a French style building from the late 1800s .. we went to the Thonet store in BA. My dining room table and chairs are from Thonet, but not the style one automatically imagines .. they are curved but 1930s modern curves. Fabulous :)



Thanks for participating!!

About Renée Finberg

I have been in this business since the age of 22.

I love what I do and cannot imagine my life without Design.

Design Challenges are great.

And because of those challenges

I have imported fine antique pieces from Paris,

Designed and Manufactured Furniture,

Created Fantastic Window Treatments,

And solved all kinds of spatial & architectural issues

With my unique style.

If I can't find it, I create it.

My rooms would make excellent movie sets.

I am a visual, tactile and audio sensitive individual.

Creating is what I live for, not math, not spelling, not science.

Just Great Design.

Just imagine how it would be if each of us,

If only for a few hours of everyday,We could be in a space that is our very own.A place that is exactly the way we want it to be

Surrounded by all the things we wanted to see,

The atmosphere we wanted feel, smell and the sound we wanted to listen to.

Private Paradise



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