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10 Easy Pieces: French Bistro Chairs, High to Low

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10 Easy Pieces: French Bistro Chairs, High to Low

August 28, 2019

The rattan bistro chair, longstanding staple of French cafés and sidewalks, is newly available all over: from boutique family businesses to Target and Home Depot. The seats come in an astonishing range of color combinations and shapes, including bar stools and benches. They’re traditionally made of natural fibers, but convincing facsimiles in aluminum and other more weatherproof materials now abound.

Here, 10 classic side chairs that have a summery, Gallic vibe—and stand ready to be put to use year-round, indoors and out. Bonus: they’re not only comfortable but light and stackable.

Since its founding in 1885, Maison Drucker of France has specialized in traditional rattan designs made by hand to order in customizable colors. Shown here, the Drucker Chaise Arlequin; inquire for pricing.
Above: Since its founding in 1885, Maison Drucker of France has specialized in traditional rattan designs made by hand to order in customizable colors. Shown here, the Drucker Chaise Arlequin; inquire for pricing.
Serena & Lily offer a range of French-inspired bistro furniture, including the Riviera Side Chair, made of rattan with woven plastic seats; $248 in several color combinations. The company also offers versions made of weather-proof, powder-coated aluminum and in children’s sizes, too.
Above: Serena & Lily offer a range of French-inspired bistro furniture, including the Riviera Side Chair, made of rattan with woven plastic seats; $248 in several color combinations. The company also offers versions made of weather-proof, powder-coated aluminum and in children’s sizes, too.
The Poncelet is one of a vast collection of bistro chairs from Maison Gatti, founded in 1920 by the current owners’ great grand parents, and supplier to Paris’s George V Hotel and the River Cafe in New York, among others. The chairs are made in France with seats and backs woven by hand from Rilson, a trademarked, waterproof material derived from the castor plant.
Above: The Poncelet is one of a vast collection of bistro chairs from Maison Gatti, founded in 1920 by the current owners’ great grand parents, and supplier to Paris’s George V Hotel and the River Cafe in New York, among others. The chairs are made in France with seats and backs woven by hand from Rilson, a trademarked, waterproof material derived from the castor plant.

The company sells its designs wholesale and retail and has a New York-based branch, Gatti House USA, run by Annick de Lorme, whose brother oversees French operations. Standard-size chairs, as shown, retail at $995. Go to Style By Annick to view the catalog and inquire about purchasing.

Maison Midi’s White and Blue Mediterranean Bistro Chair has a classic bentwood hairpin silhouette. It’s made in Italy of rattan and synthetic fiber; $295.95.
Above: Maison Midi’s White and Blue Mediterranean Bistro Chair has a classic bentwood hairpin silhouette. It’s made in Italy of rattan and synthetic fiber; $295.95.
Currently available on Etsy from SF-based vintage dealer Erin Lane Estate: a pair of 1990s Palacek Bamboo Rattan Bistro Chairs; $800.
Above: Currently available on Etsy from SF-based vintage dealer Erin Lane Estate: a pair of 1990s Palacek Bamboo Rattan Bistro Chairs; $800.
The Cappuccino Dot Monique Rattan Side Chair is $368 from Dear Keaton. It’s made of rattan and synthetic fiber by Sika Design, which offers a range of bistro furniture that the company sells directly and through a number of retail sources.
Above: The Cappuccino Dot Monique Rattan Side Chair is $368 from Dear Keaton. It’s made of rattan and synthetic fiber by Sika Design, which offers a range of bistro furniture that the company sells directly and through a number of retail sources.
The Chloe Bistro Side Chair has a rattan frame and weatherproof cording (we like the striped banding); it’s $240 from One Kings Lane, which also offers a range of other bistro chairs.
Above: The Chloe Bistro Side Chair has a rattan frame and weatherproof cording (we like the striped banding); it’s $240 from One Kings Lane, which also offers a range of other bistro chairs.
Designed for use outdoors, the Paris Cafe Patio Dining Chair has an aluminum frame finished with UV-resistant synthetic fiber. It’s currently on sale at Perigold for $169, marked down from $190.
Above: Designed for use outdoors, the Paris Cafe Patio Dining Chair has an aluminum frame finished with UV-resistant synthetic fiber. It’s currently on sale at Perigold for $169, marked down from $190.
A variation on a common theme, the Salcha Indoor-Outdoor French Bistro Stacking Side Chair comes in five colors at Target; $349.99 for a pair. It’s made by Safavieh, which also supplies the same or similar designs to Home Depot, Wayfair, Overstock, and others.
Above: A variation on a common theme, the Salcha Indoor-Outdoor French Bistro Stacking Side Chair comes in five colors at Target; $349.99 for a pair. It’s made by Safavieh, which also supplies the same or similar designs to Home Depot, Wayfair, Overstock, and others.
After hours in Paris cafés, bistro chairs get piled in tall stacks. Shown here, the Sofie Side Chair in two of its seven color combinations; $340 each from Sika Design.
Above: After hours in Paris cafés, bistro chairs get piled in tall stacks. Shown here, the Sofie Side Chair in two of its seven color combinations; $340 each from Sika Design.

Featured image: Sika Design’s Sofie Side Chair, $340, and Simone Dining Stool, $263.

More of our favorite indoor-outdoor furniture:

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