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I *Heart* Bentwood Chairs

June 11, 2012


I have been on the hunt for some bentwood chairs for our kitchen. Our chair saga has been going on for quite some time {we have oak Windsor style chairs from Costco that we bought 13 years ago, and I can't stand them}. 

I did purchase 4 bentwood chairs on Craigslist yesterday, not the real ones, but knock offs made by Ikea, years ago. The problem they are a hard plastic, made to resemble wood but not wood. I bought them as they were $5 each, so for $20, not bad.



 My family has said, no way. 

They are not large like the Windsor chairs we have, which in my opinion are large beasts but these bentwood chairs seem to look so small. The family was thinks why replace wood chairs with ones that aren't wood, even if they "look" nice. *insert* my eyes rolling...

**After a few comments, I should mention those Windsor-esque chairs are painted black, unfortunately I was lazy and didn't use primer, so let's say the paint isn't lasting....***

Thoughts? 

Would you keep them even though they aren't wood. Should I stick with our sad set of Windsors until I can come across some REAL wood ones like my friend Lily did for her home. 
I am jealous, as they are originals and they are from the Czech Republic, my parent's place of birth.


So should I whip out the spray paint to spruce them up, listen to my family complain everytime they sit on them. 

OR

Should I keep the old Windsor-esque chairs {sell the fauz bentwood} and keep searching for real wood bentwood chairs?



XO Barbara


26 comments:

  1. I too love the look the look of the Bentwood chairs...but considering they are plastic, and your family doesn't like them, I would stick with the Windsor. Have you considered spray painting the Windsor chairs in a bright accent color?? I think it would update them and they would look great!!

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  2. Hmmmm I like the idea of Bentwood chairs too but I would hold out for the real ones.. Especially if your family doesn't like them! I agree with you though... I'm so over the windsor chairs but they are generally good quality which makes it hard to find a replacement!

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  3. I would spray paint my windsors and use them for the time being. Wait until you find the right chairs for your kitchen and make sure they are the best quality and comfort you can afford. The bentwood Ikea chairs may be perfect for the garden though given they are plastic.

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  4. Sometimes function needs to come before form. You want comfortable chairs at the dinner table, so I say keep the windsor chairs and give them a funky makeover. What about painting them black and then dipping the bottoms of the legs in silver paint? Here's some inspiration for you: http://littlegreennotebook.blogspot.ca/2011/08/dipped-legs.html

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  5. This is a tough one, because I'm always tempted to immediately go with design over comfort, but given that these aren't the real thing, its probably not worth the grief you will hear every meal time! I agree with the comments above to funk up your Windsors and keep searching for the real Bentwoods, for which it may be worth taking the family complaints. :)

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  6. If they aren't comfortable then I'd keep them for spare occasional chairs or for an exterior porch, being that they are plastic. I have windsor chairs at the cottage and they are very comfortable, probably due to their width ;-). I like Kelly's idea of painting the windsor chairs black and dipping the legs in silver, or some other colour that would work in your space.

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  7. I agree with most of what's been said so far. Keep the windsors for now and update them. I like Kelly's idea of painting black, but dipping the feet in RED. (or vise-versa)

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  8. Oh my goodness, I remember those!!! I grew up sitting in one of those fighting my mom because I didn't want to eat lamb chops and peas. We had wooden ones but they were painted white with a yellow cushion. A white oval table came with the set.

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  9. wow...did not know you wanted these chairs (must have missed that!) ...(did you see Kerrys story about her's!) We have an armed one @ the booth & am always getting them ...I will let you know next time!
    I love everyones idea about the windsors...paint them & dip! G R E A T ! Having uncomfortable shakey kitchen chairs is a bummer!..great idea for plastic for the patio tho!

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  10. I think it would be tough to keep them and hear the complaining alllll the time! So maybe refinish the wooden chairs and keep the plastic ones for a patio or extra seating? until you can find the real deal of course. Good luck!

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    1. I am thinking I should. 3 out of 5 of us are at least or taller than 6 ft. I am leaving two in the kitchen as "testers", then we'll see.

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  11. I'd hold out for the real ones, mainly because you don't need to hear about them at every meal! Good luck!

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  12. I found my set of 4 on Craigslist a few years ago and have come across many more in my travels since. Mine are pretty sturdy but others are often rickety...I'll keep my eyes peeled for them for you for sure! But family complaining is the worst so I'd agree with the others and paint your Windsor chairs something bright and cheerful in the meantime! Thanks including my dining room in your roundup :)
    ~Lily

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  13. I vote for the Ikea chairs over the windsors. For $5 a piece -- I say keep them and replace them as you find real ones. I have had Ikea "bentwoods" in my kitchen for years and use them every day. Ikea used to sell a nice pad for them, but I haven't seen them lately. Also, this way you'll know if your family will like the real ones, which would be over-all similar, just wood.

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  14. I wish I could take them off your hands (but I'm in Toronto). I have 6 of them out on my patio, but I need another 4 to fill up the table, I've been looking for a year!

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    1. Ooh, I wish. I am thinking of using them on our patio now. Will think about it!

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  15. I would wait for other wood pieces to come along ... especially if your family is that 'upset' about the new purchase! I had purchased some chairs that look like Sarah's chairs before thinking they are close enough .. only to come to realization down the road that maybe I do want the real deal. Budget permitted of course.

    Keep looking, kijiji and CL is a great place for amazing pieces. I scored some crazy deal of the century (by now I must be over 1000 yr old .. if one deal for century).

    xo

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    1. You always find good deals! I know....I made a quick decision in the sellers hallway. They don't look like plastic until you really look close. They weigh like a wood chair. Who knows. They will sit in my kitchen as testers, if the family keeps complaining then, out they go!

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  16. Your Windsor chairs are beautiful Barbara, I would definitely keep them and stay on the lookout for bentwood. Would you believe I found one on the curb?? The caning is broken, but I was so jazzed. They are out there for sure. Although I do have a soft spot for Windsors too - they would be pretty a soft light grey... and you could dip them as Kelly brilliantly suggested - maybe hot pink? ;p

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  17. I love the look, but can never own these, since I fell backwards on a wobbly one growing up and ended up in the ER with stiches in my head. I now distrust them all. ;)

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  18. I think those bentwood style Ikea chairs are lovely. I really don't mind that they're not wood, especially at $5 a pop. Can't wait to hear what you end up doing!

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  19. I know this goes against the rules of our secret girlfriend pact but I'm with your family on this one. I can't stand to sit in chairs that aren't super comfy. Why not paint your Windsor chairs in red or something that will make you happier? Hold out for the real deal!

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  20. Hmmm... tough one. Maybe the family will warm up to them? I bet you'll luck out and find a real set soon!!!

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  21. I have to say...wait for the real ones. Start a little fund to save money just for the chairs and keep your eyes posted. Jazz up your Windsor chairs and hold out for the real thing!

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  22. I'm sorry but your family is way too hard on you. Please tell me that your artsy daughter was there to stick up for you again ;)

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  23. haha.. if not, I'll head on over there first thing in the morning ;)

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