Love them or hate them? Bentwood rockers

leafy02February 23, 2014

Maybe I am having a midlife crisis?

Lately I've been thinking about a bentwood rocker my aunt had when I was little. I remember liking to sit in it and thinking that it was very 'fancy' because it had lots of curves and twirls, unlike my mother's very severe straight-lines only style in furniture.

I need an additional chair in the living room, but don't have the space for a rocker without reconfiguring things a lot. And, we have cats--not sure cats and cane seating go together. Still, I secretly want one.

Told my mom and BFF, they both snorted at the idea.

Anyone but me like these old chairs? The photo is from eBay, just as an example....

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I, too, love them but have never owned one and probably never will. I especially love what people are doing with them these days. Have you seen this?

Here is a link that might be useful: Bentwoods

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:19PM
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I've not seen one of those in a while! I would use it if you like it. I think it has been so "out" for so long it's surely it's soon back in again. Especially a nice quality one.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:22PM
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olychick, that's a great pinterest page. If Picasso had one, I can hardly go wrong!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:31PM
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Holly- Kay

I always thought they were very cool looking. I don't have room for one but would love to have one.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:35PM
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I like them. Haven't yet decided whether I like them enough to buy a few, paint them a pretty pastel color and place them on our veranda, but I'm seriously thinking about it.

Thanks for pinterest link, oly.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 8:35PM
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I love mine. Our present cat and our last cat have both left the caning alone. Now my grandson liked running his cars over the curves when he was about two... he's only three so will probably be doing it again!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:22PM
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DH had one when we married. Once DD1 was born, two years later, we had to turn it over to keep her from rocking it forward - knocking her over. She began using it as a slide. She loved it, and I loved it as a rocker.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:27PM
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Of course I've seen this rocker before but I don't think I've ever sat in one. Are they comfortable? it's a little ornate for me but if it's comfortable, I do love a good rocking chair ;-)

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:30PM
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I had one just like the one pictured. I had in the nursery when my first was born. It killed my back and was hard to get out of while holding a baby. I couldn't wait to get rid of it and find a chair that was more comfortable.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:36PM
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I picked one up at a rummage sale for $10! Had to have new cane put in, then my son tripped on one of the rockers and it split. Yes, I had that fixed, too. I loved that chair. Then something else happened, can't remember, but it was too much to repair,

It wasn't a good chair for rocking babies, but I put it in "my corner" and enjoyed it for reading, chatting, etc. and it was very comfortable,

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:47PM
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Be very careful to test it before you buy.

Some look fabulous but tip way back if you settle in.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2014 at 9:47PM
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I had one in the 1970s. I bought it at a furniture store and it was different from the ones being sold in the chain stores, sturdier and larger. We used it and used it and used it and the cats used it too. Three of them could nap there at once. I wanted to incorporate fabric and removed the seat and had it upholstered by a great upholsterer. Our DIL is using it, and has no problem arising or turning over with the baby.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 1:27AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I have one up in the attic...literally picked it up off of the side of the road. On mine, the back caning is fine, but the seat is torn...I was thinking about upholstering the seat and leaving the caning on the back. But it sits in my attic as I have no specific place to put it in the house. If I ever figure it out, I will.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:19AM
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I rocked my first baby in one. I loved that chair, but the seat began to sag after a year or so. Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:32AM
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I had one too! One of my first purchases for my studio apartment when I was in my twenties.
I like the look of it still, but it is not a curl up and read in type of rocker, so I would not be interested in having it again.
I love the idea of painting it a pastel color.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:38AM
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I remember having one, but I think it was my parents' and never in my own place. I don't know what happened to it. I always liked them, but I couldn't say love them. If I had one now, I think I'd do something like that needlepoint back. The stitches would be so large it should work up quick!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 7:51AM
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My husband gave me one for my birthday when we were dating. I rocked three babies and several grandkids in it with no problem. I have had it it re-caned. I guess it is the oldest piece of furniture we own. I think it would be lovely on a porch if I had room. Never thought of that.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 10:23AM
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Leafy, I would encourage you to get a bentwood rocker since that's what your heart is telling you. I'm all for embracing midlife crises! Life is too short to deny such small pleasures. From my own experience family members and even BFF are not always the best ones to make our decisions for us. Several times DH and I did what family advised and later realized it would have been better to have done what we wanted rather than what they thought was good for us. They think they are protecting us from bad or trivial decisions but not all trivial decisions are bad. With such an inexpensive purchase as a bentwood rocker you cannot lose because if you find later that you don't love it you can sell it. Decorating can be trial and error and we mustn't be afraid of making inexpensive mistakes.

I've always liked bentwood rockers and even the dining chairs but never had any. I couldn't justify the cost back when we were 'poor' (relatively speaking) and later didn't want one as much. Later, in the late 70's (I may have been having an almost-midlife-crisis then ;D) I did buy a hanging rattan 'hippy' chair and still have that. I bought it in Europe when we lived there. There is quite a cottage industry in wicker wear in the Black Forest and it's larger and of better construction than the cheap ones that are made in Asia. I even put it in my LR when I began to decorate in a more BoHo style and the Grands love sitting and rocking in it. I like the contrast between it and my more traditional pieces and have never regretted buying it altho I know some people look askance at it.

Thanks for the link olychick. I love the painted bentwood rockers.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 11:34AM
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I think if you can find a Thonet reproduction that adheres more closely to the design of the originals, they are better balanced for rocking and getting out of than some of the cheaper knockoffs. Some people selling (like families doing estate sales) might not know the difference and if you can find one, you might be able get it very reasonably. I think a lot of those redone ones in the link were very inexpensively acquired, or even freebies.

This post was edited by olychick on Mon, Feb 24, 14 at 15:39

    Bookmark   February 24, 2014 at 3:32PM
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