This year saw the debut of some gorgeous new outdoor chairs from companies like Fermob and Coalesse. Unfortunately, the prices on most of our favorite new designs aren't cheap, but don't worry — our list includes affordable options from CB2, classic bistro chairs under $100, and a new IKEA favorite that debuted in 2011.
Designed by Weiki Sommers for French furniture company Tectona, the Grasshopper Chair is made from powder-coated aluminium and steel and sells for $380. Available in "grasshopper green," white, and ebony, it's distinguished by a perforated steel pattern.
This French company makes bistro sets in every color of the rainbow, as well as contemporary variations on European outdoor classics. My current favorite is the 7101 Flower Armchair, $410. (They also sell more affordable basic bistro sets.)
Their Rex Gray Armchair (on sale for $50, marked down from $70) is an aluminum-frame armchair with a faux wicker seat. It's simple, modern, and affordable, and it's a CB2 favorite that's remained in the catalog for several years.
American Country Home Store
Don't let the name fool you — they sell a lot of pieces that aren't at all country, in a wide range of prices. On the high end, they have French Fermob bistro sets and this classic tubular aluminum stacking Luxembourg Chair, $760 for a pair.
New this year, the Reidar Chair ($50) is made of aluminum, so it's suitable for indoor or outdoor use. It comes in five colors, and it was created by cutting-edge Swedish designer Ola Wihlborg. It's one of our favorite new IKEA picks of 2011.
This California-based online store imports chairs from Fermob and other European outdoor furniture manufacturers in a wide range of styles and prices. Their Classic Folding Bistro Chairs start at $99 and come in multiple colors.
New this year, the Emu Pattern Collection by Arik Levy is "a family of stackable chairs, bench seating, and tables; all featuring a distinctive cut-out hexagonal pattern." These steel chairs aren't cheap — they start at $930.
The Bellini Chair ($150) was created by Mario Bellini for Heller in 1998. It's a sculptural, stacking chair made of molded polypropylene, and it's available in multiple colors through several modern retailers, including online store Hive.
Designed in the 1980s by Barcelona architect Jorge Pensi, the Toledo is a super-strong, stackable aluminum chair. Starting at $1,074, it's expensive, but it's a durable, heavy object that will last forever. Comes with or without a seat cushion.
Design Within Reach
Originally designed by Xavier Puchard for Tolix in the 1930s, the Marais Chair is an often-copied design, meaning versions of varying quality are available all over the place. DWR has the high-end Tolix version, available in exclusive colors and starting around $250.
Room & Board
Their outdoor furniture selection is solid, and they have quite a few options from US aluminum chair manufacturer Emeco. The Red Navy 111 Side Chair ($245) is the plastic version of the classic aluminum chair. It's made from 111 recycled Coca-Cola bottles.
• Best Outdoor Furniture Stores 2011
• Best Outdoor Dining Chairs 2010
• Best Outdoor Dining Tables 2010
Photo: Emu Pattern Seating by Arik Levy at Coalesse