An undeniable classic, the Thonet bentwood cafe chair has been around for well over a hundred years and still holds the same charm and elegance today as it did in 1855 when the #14 chair was first produced. Michael Thonet and his sons were known for their innovative method of steaming and bending wood into beautifully shaped furniture through an inexpensive manufacturing process¬†and at an achievable price point for most. In many ways, the Thonet men laid the ground work for the Eames duo in the mid-twentieth century (another pair of designers who were tremendously influential in the history of furniture manufacturing). Lately, I’ve been running into these pieces all over the place! First at the local thrift store (gorgeous set of four cafe chairs in wonderful condition…if they stay put for a few more days, you may just see them here on this blog), then at the Starbucks corner of our near-by Kroger, and now in this lively painting by Toulouse-Lautrec.

Image Credit: Toulouse Lautrec

You’ve probably passed these pieces many times before and never thought twice about it. But now you are savvy to the wonderful history and heritage of Thonet’s work! Doesn’t that bring a greater understanding of the spaces and designs they are used in?

Photo Credit: Tom Scheerer

Photo Credit: via Carrier & Company

Photo Credit: Tom Scheerer

Photo Credit: Suzy Hoodless

Photo Credit: Tom Scheerer

I told you…they were a standard then and they’re a standard now!¬†Where have you seen this style of furniture?

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