8.03.2012

Is Kubu For You?: Kubu Grey Rattan Dining Chairs

The revamping of our kitchen eat-in area continues to s-l-o-w-l-y move forward.  We've been enjoying cozying into our new kitchen bench seat and eating at our (desk turned into a) table, which I spruced up with a few coats of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in French Linen. The bench seat takes care of seating on one side of the table but we were still in need of two chairs for the other side of the table.  I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted - two Kubu grey rattan chairs.  Not familiar with Kubu? Kubu furniture is created with a woven rattan material that has a gorgeous natural grey color.  Kubu chairs bring texture and interest into a dining space and their classic shape and natural color allow them to work beautifully with almost any type of table. They are also very sturdy (a must in our house with a dog and kids!) and can withstand lots of wear and tear. While you might think that rattan chairs would be uncomfortable, most of them are sold with cushions and the backs are shaped in a way that makes them much more comfortable than you'd expect.  The look of a dining table with Kubu chairs is one that I love:
{Artwood}
{Restoration Hardware}
Home Beautiful
{MilK Magazine}
Cottage Living
{Vignette Design}
{Cote de Texas}
Pottery Barn
You might have noticed from these images that there are two basic style of Kubu dining chairs.  The first style is the classic curved back Kubu armchair. One of the best places to get this style of Kubu chair at a great price has been Cost Plus World Market, where it's been sold as the "Kooboo Chair" for $149:
The World Market Kooboo Chair is no longer available online, but according to the "Kubu Queen", Joni of Cote de Texas, at least some World Market stores still get them in but they sell so quickly that they no longer advertise them. Another great option at a very reasonable price is IKEA's BYHOLMA chair.  I saw this chair on a recent visit to IKEA and really like the look of it:

Ballard Designs also has a woven wicker/rattan chair - the Malvern Dining Chair with Cushion - that they describe as being "hand-finished using a kubu technique to achieve a warm, gray wash finish". I saw this chair at the Ballard Designs' Outlet and like the shape and design of it but it was much more brown than a typical Kubu finish:

The second style of Kubu dining chair is a more classic Parsons style chair. While I actually like the style of the curved back Kubu armchairs the best, it's this second style of Kubu chair that I was looking for because my small kitchen table can't accommodate the width of the larger curved backed chairs. I've found several sources for the more simple style of Kubu chair, the least expensive of which is the Kubu Hand-woven Dining Chair (no cushion included) at Pier1 Imports:
Surprisingly, Restoration Hardware sells the second best priced chair that I found - the Handwoven Rattan Side Chair. Again, the cushion is not included.
If you're looking for Kubu chairs for outdoor use, Restoration Hardware has a similar all-weather wicker chair named the Provence Side Chair that is made to withstand the elements but it's a bit on the pricey side. 
Some other options for simple Kubu chairs include Wayfair's Astana Chair,
their Boca Kubu Chair,
or Arhaus' Oceano Chair (BTW - this chair is more grey in person than it appears in the photo):
Which chairs did I decide on? The Handwoven Rattan Side Chairs from Restoration Hardware. They are the perfect size for our space and I like how the rattan continues down to within a few inches of the bottom of the legs, giving the chairs a bit more visual weight. My chairs arrived last week and I'm loving how their texture and natural grey color (they are definitely more grey than they appear online) add decorative interest to what used to be a pretty boring space. I'm having cushions made for the chairs in the same fabric as my kitchen bench seat and will share some pics of the chairs in their new home once the cushions are done! Now it's on to making some final decisions about art above the bench and a new lighting fixture.  Do you have any plans for home projects this weekend? Have a great one! 
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15 comments:

  1. Hi! I recently purchases the restoration hardware kubu chairs also. I love the look of them in my kitchen but my husband finds them uncomfortable and keeps banging his heels into the base of the chair. Just wondering how you were finding the chairs?

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    1. Hi Sandy,
      My husband is picky about the comfort of chairs so I dragged him to Restoration Hardware before purchasing them to make sure he was on board - he thought they were comfortable enough and still thinks so after having had them for a few weeks now. When we are at the table, we both tend to stretch out our feet in front of us so neither of us has had an issue with banging out feet into the base of the chair. I never thought about it before, but I could see how someone who is used to tucking their feet under the chair or resting them on a rung under the chair could find the low base annoying... Hopefully your husband will come around because they sure are pretty! :-)

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  2. I went to look at the Pier1 chairs and they were not as well made as the Restoration Hardware chairs. Thought they might work, since the skirt is higher on the chair. Have you seen Wayfair's Boca chair in person?

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    1. I totally agree - the RH chairs seemed more well made than the Pier1 so I thought it was worth it to spend a few more bucks to get chairs that will last. I haven't seen the Wayfair chairs in person - since I was happy with the RH chairs and the Wayfair chairs were much more expensive, I didn't seek them out!

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  3. Sag Harbor Dining Armchair - not cheap--$902 for 2 chairs - cushions are more $$!
    from wayfair
    http://www.wayfair.com/Kingsley-Bate-Sag-Harbor-Dining-Armchair-with-Cushion-Set-of-2-SH15-KB1699.html

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  4. Hi - I was just wondering if all Kubu wicker is eventually grey in color?? I have seen them both at a high end furniture store and they are on line right now on One Kings Lane and I am ready to buy but they look light brown- not grey at all! If you have the time, I would love to hear from you!
    Thanks!
    Lisa W

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    1. Hi Lisa,
      The color of the Kubu chairs may fade a bit with time but I wouldn't buy ones that look light brown thinking that they will eventually turn grey in color. There's simply a lot of variation in the color of Kubu chairs with some being more brown and others being more grey. I would be hesitant to buy Kubu chairs without seeing them in person if the color tone is important to you. Hope that helps!

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  5. I just discovered your site by looking for Wicker Dining Chairs...great site!!! I am a broker and design consultant with my company, M.B. Properties and I assist my clients in preparing their homes for sale or making recommendations for design ideas when they are looking to buy a home. But, this time around, I am trying to locate a good wicker dining chair for my own antique pine table in my great room. I was wondering if the Kubu end chairs as depicted in your top photo would work with the Restoration Hardware side chairs or does Restoration have a larger end chair and if so, is it the one in the photo that says, "House Beautiful". Or does Kubu have side chairs that go with that first lovely photo?

    Thank you so much,
    M.B. Properties

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    1. Restoration Hardware doesn't have a larger Kubu end chair that matches their side chairs and I don't know if there are side chairs to match the end chairs in the other photo. I love the look of mixed dining room seating so my recommendation would be to use Kubu side chairs with something different such as upholstered end chairs. Good luck with your project!

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  6. Can you please tell me where the white table is from in the pottery barn picture?

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    1. Molly, that's a Pottery Barn table but they no longer carry it. Sorry!

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  7. I purchased 4 Kubu chairs at Pier One and love them but my friend finds them uncomfortable and they didn't carry pads. Where can I buy the pads that either tie or have a velcro closure as pictured above?

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    1. Pottery Barn has them but I don't know if they fit the Pier One chairs or not - you'd have to check the size. Here's the link: http://www.potterybarn.com/products/jacqueleyne-woven-rattan-dining-chair-cushion
      Another option is to add ties to the ones from Pier One - that's beyond my sewing capabilities but it shouldn't be that expensive to have someone do that. Good luck!

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    2. I have the Kubu counter stools from Pier One and they are literally falling apart. They started doing so after just a few months of use. I am also looking for a cushion, not for comfort, but to cover up the holes that have formed from the rattan pieces breaking off. I was wondering if anyone has tried the Pottery Barn cushions or any other that fit the Pier 1 chairs?

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    3. Thanks for giving us some info on the Pier One chairs - that's so disappointing. Even though you've had them longer than the return period, I would try taking them back. It's ridiculous for chairs to be falling apart after only having them a few months. I've had my RH chairs for a year and a half now and they are still holding up really well.

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