My Design Dilemma: Bentwood or Cherner Bar Stools?

Nowadays, it’s very hard to imagine a kitchen without bar stools. Or at least in my case, it was hard for me to imagine my kitchen without some simple, yet tasteful ones. While getting bar stools or not wasn’t even a question, there was one other dilemma I had to face – choosing one between two identically iconic designs: the bentwood and the cherner bar stools. All I knew is that I wanted a timeless, wooden design. Keep reading to find out what made the choice so difficult and what I eventually decided to go with.

bentwood style bar stools

My Heart Bents for Bentwood

This type of design can be found all across the globe and for a good reason too. Beauty, sturdiness and breathtaking structure are the best three words that describe bentwood style bar stools in my book. Designed to pass the test of time, Bentwood has an interesting timeline regarding its origin. These chairs are considered an invention of Michael Thonet, however, he only perfected the design that already existed two centuries before his time. This is why the chairs are sometimes refereed to as thonet chairs.

I am a fan of wordplay, so I very much like the fact that these chairs derived their more commonly used name as due to the fact that the design is actually pieces of wood that are bent. This was made possible by using a combination of heat and moisture. Once the wood becomes soft and flexible enough, it can be bend into different shapes and when it dries out, it becomes hardened and retains its new shape for years and years. Famous people who used to own this type of chair are Albert Einstein, Pablo Picasso and Henri de Toulouse Lautrec, to name a few.

bentowood lounge chair

But I Get a Kick Out of Cherner Too

Shapely, classic and even a bit dramatic is what best describes these chairs, the twists and curves of which appear like tree roots of ancient trees. Their inventor was Nomran Cherner – hence their name. Although at a first glance they seem quite fragile, it appears that they are actually very sturdy. Some people have even used a cherner chair as a standalone sculpture or as a part of a dining set. What’s more, many people re-paint them and they still look incredible, white being the most popular colour for doing this.

As my research was coming to an end, so was the strength of my dilemma. I realized that with the cherner chairs, due to their dramatic design, there is a possibility for them to limit me when it comes to being a bit more crazy with decor and being able to alter my kitchen frequently. The bentwood style bar stools, on the other hand, allow for more freedom as they do not stand out as much.