Classic Parisian Park Chairs: High (Frederic Sofia) & Low

Classic Parisian Park Chairs: High (Frederic Sofia) & Low

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Maxwell Ryan
Jun 11, 2008

Two years ago Sara Kate and I took a sweet trip to Paris in March. It was delectable, like jumping into a design chocolate box, and I chronicled a number of our finds in posts like these:
>> Paris Design Notes: Trees, Chairs & Chairs
>> Paris Design Notes: Bonpoint
>> Paris Design Notes: Perriand & Bottles
One thing that really surprised me, however, was a new park chair design we saw in the Luxembourg Gardens. Paris has long been famous for their folding park chair design, and this was a whole new version with a very modern look and feel...

It turns out this new design was actually a reinterpretation of an old 1923 design (above) for the gardens that had been updated by designer, Frederic Sofia, at the request of the French government in 2000 (top, in Paris, below, in Los Angeles last week). It is manufactured by Fermob, is made of aluminum (very light), comes in 13 colors and is stackable. This new design has only recently reached the US and is also available in a whole expanded collection of chairs and tables. We like.

Sources:
>> Janus et Cie
>> American Country Home Store (particularly good prices here)
>> Cafe Society

Meanwhile, what about the classic old Parisian FOLDING park chair design?

Now reproduced and filling public parks around the globe, we found that the original has also been made for years by the French company Fermob. Designed at the end of the 19th century, these durable folding chairs filled parks and cafes in France, affording cheap, flexible seating for a growing cafe culture. We gathered up some good sources here:

>> Cafe Society for Fermob - the original
>> Really nice chunkier Venika versions at Teak Gardens
>> Tarno from IKEA - super cheap
>> Fancy version from Smith & Hawken - for those who want a little frill
>> American Country Home Store

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