Thonet: The Father of Bentwood


Visionary is a word that is bandied about freely in all kinds of fields from politics to music to business. One of the most interesting things about the furniture available at Bauhaus 2 Your House is that many of our pieces are the product of designers who could only be described with this word. Take for instance the work of Michael Thonet – a German-Austrian cabinet maker and inventor of bentwood furniture. Bentwood furniture is made by carefully wetting wood, bending those pieces and allowing them to harden so that eventually they can form shapes, patterns and designs not normally associated thonet cataloguewith wood. During the 1830’s Thonet began refining his technique of bending wood and integrated it into furniture design.


Through this innovation, wood became and is now almost as flexible a medium as plastic or metal. It is capable of lending itself to intricately woven patterns and designs no one thought possible before Thonet came on the scene. A clear example of his artistry is the no. 14 Thonet chair which Bauhaus 2 Your House proudly makes available to the public. Designed in 1859 the no.14 is still considered by many to be the “chair of chairs.” It is beautiful, intricate, functional and easily disassembled. It and perhaps a Sapiens bookcase – which utilizes lateral space – could be lovely additions to your home.


Visionaries change people’s perceptions of the ordinary; they challenge our adherence to staid and settled conventions and beliefs. That is simply their role in society. This term so aptly fits Thonet because of his pioneering work with bentwood furniture and because his work has outlasted many of his contemporaries. Add the unique and influential no. 14 Thonet chair to your collection of the masters of design.