A common fixture in Paris bistros and sidewalk cafes, caned chairs have classic French appeal. With its beautiful woven look, cane was also once found in many homes. Although not as common as it once was, caning is seeing a resurgence. Caned furnishings can fit into almost any decor and look updated, while adding that famous texture and woven pattern. It's time to give cane a second look.
New and improved
If you've thought caned chairs were for your grandmother's house, there are new caned furniture styles that will change your mind. A modern twist on British Colonial style, a pair of end tables with caned insets protected by glass tops (www.frontgate.com) makes a modern statement with a nod to yesterday. Caned accessories are another option for bringing in the traditional style with its touch of natural appeal. A caned and handled tray like the Bedford (www.serenaandlily.com) is the perfect item to set atop a dresser or cocktail table to hold magazines or to serve cocktails.
Of course, the classic piece will always be a caned chair. It has shown up in almost every era and will look good in today's homes too. Topping the list of the best-known chair styles has to be the bentwood chair. Most often found in antiques stores, the bentwood cane chair is a classic like its cousin, the bentwood caned rocker. These rockers are smooth, comfortable and still being made in Poland where they originated.
For a comfortable seat of bentwood and cane, look no further than the Era Chair that comes in both arm and armless varieties. When you see these chairs, you'll see their modern appeal. This is especially true of the Cesca cane armchair (www.DWR.com). This armed and bent metal chair is just like that chair you remember from the 1980s and makes a fun throwback addition. Cane doesn't have to be stodgy or feel antique to look great, and it doesn't have to be a chair.
The Colonial Caning Bench (www.gilt.com) is a stylishly updated bench that would be perfect in a hallway or foyer. Its upholstered seat and caned back offers a new twist on caned furniture while retaining a modern edge. Traditionalists will love the Kubus Cane Settee (www.onekingslane.com) that has a rustic formality and references a casual French style.
The Sausalito bed (www.potterybarn.com) would look right at home in a contemporary bedroom with the caning adding warmth and style. The Elise Bed (www.ethanallen.com) is more traditional, and its linen color has a cool, calming appeal with caning on the headboard and footboard. But, if you just can't resist the pull of a caned chair try the Dorrit French Country Cane Chair (www.houzz.com). It sounds traditional but it would fit in any upscale setting with its sleek, sophisticated lines, neutral color and caned side panels.
(For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her website, www.redlotusletter.com.)