Five Creative Ways to Customize Bentwood Chairs

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Bentwood chairs are a design classic — they've been around for more than a hundred years, but still manage to look fresh and modern. They're also fairly easy to find at garage sales and thrift stores, and there are plenty of creative ways you can customize them to fit the look and feel of your home. Here are a few of our favorites.

Pictured above is a threaded bentwood chair from Feliz Home (via Poppytalk). Feliz no longer has these in their store, but the look would be easy to replicate with some colorful embroidery floss (and a lot of patience).

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Here's a similar treatment (on the chair in the foreground), spotted in Residence Magazine. This particular wrap looks like it has a little texture to it — this could be achieved with two different sizes of thread (or maybe with some creative knotting if you're an erstwhile friendship bracelet expert).

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Of course, there's always painting. I love the idea of multiple bentwood chairs in different shades of the same color — you could create a lovely ombre effect, as in this dining room from Leva & Bo (via House of Turquoise).

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Further painting inspiration comes by way of Hally's London, a little cafe which features these colorblocked bentwood chairs. Of course color dipped furniture is nothing new, but I think it's especially nice on bentwood chairs. You could assemble a collection of chairs in slightly different styles, and use paint to pick out the most interesting parts of each.

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A common problem with the bentwood chairs you spot in thrift stores is the caning on the seats, which can suffer a little after years of wear and tear. Re-caning can be complicated and expensive, but this DIY seat replacement tutorial from Homelife, which uses clothesline cord and plastic string, is simple, inexpensive — and colorful.

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Here's another fun option for sprucing up your seats — upholster them with an antique rug. I can imagine this being especially beautiful with a colorful Turkish kilim — and since you're only using part of the rug, one that's a little worn in places (and maybe marked down as a result) can suit your purposes. Not much of a DIYer? The set pictured above is available from Love Furniture Design on Etsy for $200.

(Image credits: Feliz Home; Residence Magazine; Leva & Bo; Hally's London; Homelife AU; Love Furniture Design)

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