04 March 2010

more catalog chair goodness

it must be spring catalog season, as our mailbox has been stuffed to bursting every day this week. we last posted of one of our favorite chair styles being introduced at a mass-market level, the klismos outdoor dining chair by restoration hardware (at a rock-bottom price of $325.00), and we were pleased to see another favorite style, the classic thonet-influenced bentwood cafe chair being sold by crate and barrel for a similar bargain price of $119.00 (m21 wouldn't call it a knock off, as the original vienna chair was introduced over 150 years ago, and is by now in the public domain).
the crate and barrel vienna chair.

m21 has longed loved the classic style of thonet chairs as they are simple and timeless and pair well with any decor. because of it. we find them to be a nice counterpoint to modern styles (you know how m21 likes to mix it up), taking a bit of the edge off, and in particular, maison21 loves to pair them with a saarinen tulip table; it always looks casual and chic.

fanciful thonet chairs paired with a saarinen tulip table in a kitchen by the super-talented tom scheerer. m21 is a cocky mo fo and thinks himself to be as good as any designer working, but that tom scheerer may be the exception to the rule- he makes sophisticated yet casual look so effortless and easy, it's almost supernatural. in fact, you have m21's permission: if you can afford mr. scheerer, by all means hire him; if you can't, call me- we'll talk... ;-)

in fact, a couple of years ago maison21 actually purchased a set of 4 thonet chairs to go around a client's large saarinen table, but by the time we added in 4 more,(8 were needed) and lacquered them, the resulting set became too expensive for our budget, so we scrapped the concept and went another direction (reselling the chairs we bought at cost to a lucky friend, btw). we sure wish these c & b versions had been around back then as they already come lacquered black or white, and at $119.00 per, would have fit our budget quite nicely. heck, they fit into anyone's budget at that price- add in a docksta saarinen knock-off from ikea for $149.00, and you have a chic dining set for less then seven hundred bucks!
vintage thonet chairs around a saarinen table, featured in the late great domino magazine- designer unknown.


Tracy @ ComfortandLuxury said...

I saw those chairs too and love them. (I've always had a "thing" for bentwood... from growing up in the 70's? probably) The catalog says they're made in one of the original Thonet factories. That's even cooler than the price, don't you think?

Michelle Salz-Smith said...

Love it!!! Thanks for sharing. I have a tulip table and have been stressing over which chairs to surround it with. I think the Thonets may just be the ones!!!

FYI, if you're ever in San Diego, check out Cafe Chloe in the East Village. Super cute restaurant bar with silhouettes and Thonet chairs everywhere.

ashlina said...

definitely loving those chairs...especially in high gloss black....perfection!

katiedid said...

I took note of that catalog too, and not just for the chairs. Love the marble top table!

Karena said...

Black painted chairs really set off a table, be it wood stained or white, or black for that matter. great buys!
Art by Karena

Brillante Home Decor said...

So glad to see these timeless chairs. I still have a few from my grandparents and always marveled at their simplicity and beauty.
Happy to be on your blogroll, grazie.

honey living said...

you make all good points here m21...i have been agonizing over what to do in terms of a round table and chairs ... and i think you might have convinced me to go this way.

Seraph said...

My grandparents' home features a table with a set of six bentwood chairs (probably from the seventies, based on when the rest of the house froze in style--does this happen to all old people?) that I recently told my brother are MINE when the time comes (though hopefully still many years away). They are so simple and classic.

Allison Hasel said...

Yay! Thanks for sharing this. Didn't notice in the catalog yet. I had found reproductions of the bentwood from a restaurant supply company, but it is located in the Midwest and the shipping to the West is outrageous. These will be much more affordable. Now to decide when to buy them. :)