Why Are Tolix Chairs So Popular?

Who would ever have guessed that the following its debut in the mid-1930s the Tolix chair would become so popular that it’s still widely used today in cafes, bars, and bistros? What was it secret and why is it still so popular? Let’s take a quick peek at the story behind this iconic piece of furniture.

The history of Tolix

The story starts in 1880 with the birth of Xavier Pauchard in Le Morvan, France, a place more renown for its wood than its steel. Yet, despite this, both Xavier’s family were a generation of zinc roofers.

In 1907 Xavier stumbled upon the idea of dipping sheet metal into molten zinc to galvanise it and protect it from corrosion and 10 years later he started up a factory producing household items from steel. Eventually, he registered his trademark symbol as Tolix, a name which is recognised globally today.

The classic Tolix chair which is hugely popular in cafes and retro establishments was designed in 1934 and was intended for outdoor use, hence the holes in the seat which were for drainage should it rain. However, cafe owners complained that the chairs didn’t stack properly and Pauchard was forced to tweak his design a little. By 1956 the Tolix chair, as we know it today, was created and with a slimmer frame, it was possible to stack the chairs 25 high, with a combined height of 2,3 metres.

They were immensely popular in French cafes and bars and were often given away by breweries in return for a bar stocking the brewery’s beer, and in addition, they were used in schools, factories, and hospitals. Its popularity was such that in 2006 it was exhibited in the Georges Pompidou Centre and in the Amsterdam Design Centre. The Tolix brand is still going strong today and is made in one of the original Tolix factories.

But why is it so popular?

This classic chair owes its popularity to a winning combination of design and function. Manufactured from a single sheet of metal it was intended to last longer than wooden furniture and be easier to maintain. Strong and durable it can be used both indoors and outside and with its timeless design, it will never go out of fashion.

While you can still track down original Tolix chairs they are likely to set you back a lot of dollars which is why At Cafe Furniture Brisbane we stock a selection of replica Tolix chairs. Manufactured in the same way as the originals, they come a wide range of funky colours from metallics to warm colours like burnt orange and red, as well as the obligatory black or white. Lightweight and stackable they make the ideal choice for any cafe or bar owner.

Why not take a look at them in our online store or visit our showroom in Brisbane to see them close-up?

We Love Yellow Cafe Chairs How About You?

We’ve posted numerous articles over the past few months about chairs but today we want to concentrate on one of our favourite colours for the summer – yellow!

Our Favourite Yellow Cafe Chairs

Nothing epitomises summer more than the colour yellow – it’s the colour of the sun, for one thing! Ranging from bright marigold yellow through to the soft buttery shades of yellow – vibrancy, warmth, and joy are at the core of these sumptuous hues.

Here are 3 of our favourite yellow cafe chairs together with a few tips on ways you could use them in your cafe.

No. 18 Steel Cabaret chair in matte yellow

There’s something about this chair that just makes us smile. Designed for interior use it’s manufactured from steel and powder coated in a glorious bright yellow paint. While the style is classic Thonet, the use of steel elevates it to a different dimension. It’s perfect for a contemporary twist on industrial design since it adds a bold splash of colour in what is usually a grey palette and with its circular seat and sinuous curves, it softens hard lines. When paired with rich timber table tops, however, you can also use this chair to create an environment that feels warm and homely. This chair also evokes a feeling of sunshine on the dullest winter morning, so bring it on we say!

The Specta chair in yellow

If you’re looking to brighten up an outdoor dining area then look no further than the Specta chair in yellow. Manufactured from durable polypropylene which is weatherproof and UV treated it’s got summer written all over it. Try pairing it with stainless steel table tops and colourful parasols for a look that will dazzle passers by and tempt them to take a seat and order a drink of something cool. Alternatively, for a real traffic stopper why not pair them with jet black tables and add in some green foliage to soften the look.

Student chair in yellow

If the previous yellow chairs were a little too much in your face then for something totally different how about our Student Chair in yellow? Designed for indoor use this chair utilises more of a buttermilk yellow frame with a timber back and timber waterfall style seat. This chair looks fabulous grouped around timber communal tables to lend what is undeniably a casual informal approach to dining. You could also pair it with individual timber top tables with a backdrop of white walls and whitewashed boards on the floor which would be great for a beachside feel.

So what colour do you crave?

At Cafe Furniture Brisbane you’ll find a wide range of cafe chairs in an assortment of gorgeous colours and attractive styles. Why not browse our onsite store for inspiration or visit our showroom where you can try out your favourite chairs for comfort.

This Summer’s “Must-Have” Cafe Chair

We’re so excited because we believe we’ve found the ‘must have’ cafe chair for this summer season and even better, we’ve got it in stock and ready for you to buy and get ahead of the game.

Welcome to the Belle chair

This stylish chair is made from polypropylene and before you start muttering that you really don’t like plastic chairs, take a closer look and we’re sure you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Manufactured using a single mould injection method this chair is made from molten resin which is poured into a mould which means there are no unsightly seams which can weaken the structure or feel uncomfortable if a person’s body comes into contact with them. The Belle chair also has several other benefits, including:

  • Indoor/outdoor use – One of the benefits of this chair is that it is suitable for indoor and outdoor use which if you use it this way, means you can create a seamless flow from one area of your cafe to another and also helps to grow your brand.

  • Lightweight – We’ve already mentioned that the lack of seams makes the chair stronger but in addition, it’s also lightweight which means it can be moved easily from place to place to meet your business needs.

  • Weather resistant – Another advantage of the Belle chair is that the polypropylene has been UV treated so the colours won’t fade in the sun nor will the chair warp or crack in the heat. On the flip side, the material is also waterproof so if your chairs are left outside throughout the year, there’s no way they will split, rot, or rust.

  • Fully assembled and stackable – The Belle chair requires no assembly which means we can deliver them to your door and you can use them right away! What’s more, these chairs are stackable which speeds up the process of clearing away at the end of a busy day and is ideal if your storage space is limited.

  • Easy maintenance – Cafe chairs are in regular use but the good thing about the Belle chair is that it is very low maintenance. All you need do to keep them looking pristine is to wipe them down with a damp cloth and mild cleanser to remove any dirt, dust, or stains.

  • Classic design – It’s all well and good to follow fashion but as trends come and go you can find yourself having to replace furniture sooner than you would have liked because it suddenly seems outdated. The good thing about the Belle chair is its classic design which literally will fit into any décor or theme. It features a slatted back, generously proportioned seat, and slim tapered legs.

What do we like most about this cafe chair?

Quite simply we love the great choice of colours. The Belle chair is available to buy in the more conservative colours of black, charcoal, white and latte as well as more vibrant shades which include red, orange, blue, and green. Perfect for mixing and matching with your existing cafe furniture. It also comes with or without arms, adding to its versatility.

Looking for A Great Cafe Chair?

Choosing your cafe furniture is probably one of your most important decisions since your choice can make or break your business. Cafe-goers can afford to be picky since there is so much competition and while a tasty cup of coffee is important, so too is the furniture a customer has to sit on.

Timeless design

If a good chair design can be judged by time then Michael Thonet’s No. 18 chair has to be considered as one of Europe’s most popular chairs with a design that has remained the same for over 100 years and which is still made today in one of the existing Thonet factories in Europe.

Thonet chairs have been in existence since the 19th century with Bentwood furniture being a great example of what can be achieved through design. The very shape of it symbolises and expresses the process of manufacturing which lays behind it. The No. 18 chair, also referred to as the Viennese cafe chair, used a simple process of steaming wood in order to bend and shape it into the sinuous curves which make up Bentwood chairs.

Popular for the masses

In essence, the chair was born out of frugality. In 1876 Thonet wanted to make a chair that everyone would be able to benefit from. Technically the chair was extremely simple being made from just 6 pieces of wood which were steam-bent and secured in place with hardened resin. The chairs were quick and easy to produce, strong and durable, and easy to transport in large quantities. Instead of just the wealthy owning chairs, suddenly this chair was available to the masses. While the chair enjoyed great success, its popularity waned, particularly after the 1st and 2nd World Wars when Austria, the country of manufacture, was unable to carry on churning out the numbers they had been doing. That coupled with a trend for modern furniture saw a decline in the number of No. 18 chairs available. However, this all changed with the turn of the 21st century and in 1972 it was Lisa Minnelli who bought life back to this forgotten chair when she was seen dancing provocatively around it in the 1972 film ‘Cabaret’ during her Mein Herr routine. Suddenly the demand for all things retro, including the Viennese cafe chair went through the roof – Bentwood was back!

A modern twist

Our No. 18 steel cabaret chair puts a modern spin on the iconic chair of the 19th century, being made from steel rather than wood and finished with a powder coating to make it stronger than ever. Available in a range of gorgeous colours including black, white, yellow, forest green and red, there’s sure to be a cabaret chair to suit your venue. Lightweight and readily assembled they’re the perfect choices for cafes and with their timeless design, you won’t find them going out of fashion in six months time! Better still, we’re currently running a cabaret chair sale, but hurry because they’re flying off the shelves.

Hate Plastic Chairs? 5 Reasons to Change Your Mind

With summer in full swing here in Brisbane outdoor patios are full of happy smiling people enjoying the warmth and the sunshine over a cup of coffee and a delicious muffin. Now is definitely time to get a piece of the action and if you’re not utilising any spare outdoor space then you’re surely missing a trick.

The thing is, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to set up an outdoor area, especially if you take advantage of any sales or promotions that furniture retailers are currently offering. At the moment we’ve got a 10% discount offer on all of our plastic or polypropylene chairs, with the exception of the Specta chair. Perhaps you haven’t considered using plastic chairs before, because let’s face it, they did once have a bit of a stigma and were considered cheap and tacky. Today, however, this couldn’t be further from the truth and if you haven’t checked out plastic chairs recently, then you will be pleasantly surprised.

Today’s polypropylene chairs come in a wide range of exciting styles and colours, and even better they’re extremely affordable. So that said, let’s take a closer look at the benefits of plastic chairs.

Lots of options

Plastic chairs come in a huge range of styles and colours, so whether your tastes are classic or modern, you’re sure to find something that takes your fancy. If you like a traditional chair then you might be interested in our Belle chair which comes in serene colours of latte, charcoal, black, white, plus red for that extra pop of colour. You can also choose this chair with or without arms to give you even more options. If you’re after something a little more eye-catching and funky, then our Grace chair fits the bill perfectly. The cut out back rest adds interest and with vivid shades of blue, green, and red as well as black, white, and charcoal, it’s sure to cut a dash on any outdoor dining area.

Easy to clean

With kids around, and a few accident prone adults, it’s hardly surprising that spillages occur, so it’s good to know that plastic chairs make easy work of cleaning up. There is no damaged fabric to worry about, and all it takes is a quick wipe over with a damp cloth and non abrasive cleansing agent to keep your chairs looking as good as new.

Lightweight and stackable

Another benefit of plastic chairs is that they are light and easy to move around to fit in with your customers. If an extra couple of people arrive, it’s easy to ‘borrow’ plastic chairs from a neighbouring table. In addition, because most our plastic chairs stack on top of each other, they’re ideal if your storage space is limited.

Durable and weather resistant

The great thing about polypropylene chairs is that they’re mostly made by injecting the resin into a pre-fabricated mould. This means that there are no seams or joints to worry about cracking or splitting, and is why so many different styles can be easily manufactured. In addition, the plastic is designed not to fade, and it won’t crack, warp, or rot, even in the harsh Australian climate.

Affordable

As already mentioned, polypropylene chairs are extremely affordable with our lowest priced chair currently selling for just over $35. What’s more, some of our plastic chairs such as the Ribbon and Stephanie chair, are designer replicas, so if you like all things designer but tend to shy away because of price, then these could be a great alternative.

So throw up a few tables and parasols, invest in some polypropylene chairs, and make use of that outdoor space while you can. Here at Cafe Furniture Brisbane we stock a wide range of cafe furniture so why not download our 2018 catalogue, browse our online store or visit our showroom in Brendale to check it out yourself.

Our Favourite Wood Chairs

If you’re looking to create a timeless look in your cafe then nothing does it better than the smooth finish of a classic wood cafe chair. And when you want elegance and durability, nothing beats walnut, oak, or beech minus the stuffiness.

From a dark ebony finish to a colourful upholstered seat, we adore modern wood cafe chairs for the warmth and comfort they can bring to your dining space. We thought we’d share 4 of our favourite wood chairs in celebration of a style that never dies.

Ladder back chair

Ladder back chairs have been in existence for centuries which just goes to show the longevity of a good design. Nice and chunky, this particular ladder back chair is constructed from light oak, which gives it more of a modern aesthetic, with a padded black vinyl cushion. This type of chair is instantly recognisable and in that way it feels comfortable and almost reassuring – a bit like being reunited with an old friend.

No. 18 Bentwood chair with embossed seat

We just had to include a bentwood chair amongst our favourites. We adore the curves which bentwood use both in the backs of their chairs and the sea – which in this case is also embossed for a subtle but decorative effect. Again, this chair is instantly recognisable and one you’ll see in loads of cafes. It presents just the right amount of whimsy and nostalgia, adding a Parisian feel to your dining space.

Bow Chair

Okay, we put our hands up and admit that this chair is a bit of a cheat since it’s designed to look like wood but is in fact constructed from metal with a wood finish. We felt we had to include it, because it of its modernist style with a high rounded back rest and a boxy body. Shown here in walnut with a padded vinyl seat, it’s a thing of beauty and extremely durable too.

Cross back metal chair in light timber

Again, this chair is a bit of a cheat but it is one of our firm favourites because we just love mix material chairs and this one has a steel frame with a timber seat and back rest. Styled in a bentwood fashion the cross back gives it real impact and because of the mixed materials it works well in traditional style decors as well as with industrial decors. Love it!

Here at Cafe Furniture Brisbane we’ve got a wide range of cafe chairs to suit all tastes, decor, and budget. Why not take a look in our online store or visit our showroom in Brendale to try them out for yourself. If you’ve got any questions for us, then please just give us a call on (07) 3205 1616.

Cafe Chairs – How To Choose The Right One

Choosing cafe chairs can be a daunting task with so many different styles, materials, and colours to choose from. Ultimately the success of your cafe depends on you creating the right ambience and providing a good level of service. Choosing the right seating layout and combination of tables and chairs will not only allow your customers to sit in comfort but also allows for easy manoeuvrability so that staff can move between tables with ease and customers have easy access to toilets and exits. With so many chair designs to choose from, it’s hard to know where to start, so to help narrow down your choice, we’ve put together a couple of points to consider.

Take your theme into account

Most cafes have a particular style or theme which runs throughout their cafe and although it sounds pretty obvious, your choice of chairs needs to reflect your theme. For example if you’ve gone for a sleek minimalistic look with sharp clean cut lines and lots of shiny surfaces and glass, then bulky wooden ladder back chairs are going to look totally out of place. Make sure that you’re completely clear on your theme and then it’s easier to know what you’re looking for in your choice of chairs.

Who are your customers?

Your choice of cafe chairs also depends on the type of clientele you’re hoping to attract and the sort of environment you’re looking to create. For example if you’re in the middle of an industrial estate then your customers are likely to be staff from other units simply looking to grab a quick bite to eat before heading back to work, or it may be their customers looking to have a quick coffee before heading elsewhere. In this case something like a rugged metal replica Tolix chair is a good choice, as it doesn’t lend itself to being sat on for lengthy periods of time. You might even want to investigate options with vinyl seat cushions that can be quickly wiped down should they incur spillages. If, on the other hand, you’re in the middle of town and play host to several freelancers, then your customers are likely to appreciate something more comfortable, perhaps with a padded seat or back and arm rests.

Here at Cafe Furniture Brisbane we’ve got a wide selection of cafe chairs to choose from. Whether you’re looking for modern or traditional; wood, metal, wicker, or resin; with or without padding; we’ve got it covered. Why not browse our online store or visit our showroom in Brendale to try out some seating for yourself.

Design Or Durability – Should You Have To Choose?

There’s no denying that it’s an exciting but also daunting task choosing the furniture for your brand new cafe or revamp. However, many people agonise over whether they should focus on design or durability. Here at Cafe Furniture Brisbane we say why should you have to choose between one or another. We firmly believe that both design and durability should go hand in hand, and this is why all of our cafe furniture is carefully selected with both of these factors in mind.

We totally ‘get it’ that cafe furniture needs to be durable but design is also a large part of our ethos. As a result all of the furniture that we stock is here to make your commercial dining space pop. While all of our products comply to the strictest of design and durability standards, we’ve chosen 2 of our favourite collections which hit the brief.

The Bentwood Collection

 

Bentwood chairs have long been a cafe staple and are loved for their enduring style. However, because the chairs are extremely light, it’s often misconstrued that they are flimsy. This couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact Bentwood chairs traditionally get their strength from just one single piece of curved or bent wood which extends from the back of the chair and the rear legs. We’ve got a variety of modern bentwood style chairs to choose from which use other materials such as polypropylene and metal for their frames, adding to the overall durability, so why not take a look and get inspired.

Collection Highlights

  • Available in a choice of styles and materials

  • Different colours to choose from

  • Commercial grade

  • Stackable

  • 12 month warranty

Tolix Chairs

 

Tolix chairs were first produced in 1934 and are as popular today as they were then. We love them for their iconic shape, fabulous colours, and robust appearance. Our replica Tolix chairs stay true to the original design and offer a cost effective designer look. Manufactured from steel and powder coated, they’re extremely durable and yet light in weight. They look equally at home in an industrial themed cafe as they do a rustic farmhouse kitchen. With so many colours to choose from you can be as playful and creative as you like with your design.

Collection Highlights

  • Available in wide choice of colours and finishes

  • Some chairs have timber seats

  • Commercial grade

  • Stackable

  • 12 month warranty

  • Tolix tables available too

Here at Cafe Furniture Brisbane we have an extensive array of cafe furniture for indoor and outdoor use. Why not browse our online store or visit our showroom in Brendale to see our products first hand. Meanwhile if you need further information on any of our products please give us a call on 07 3205 1616 and our friendly knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist.

What Exactly Is Commercial Cafe Furniture Anyway?

what-is-commercial-furnitureHere at Cafe Furniture Brisbane our sales team are often asked about the difference between residential and commercial furniture. After all a chair is a chair and a table is a table. This is irrespective of whether you buy it from a bricks and mortar furniture showroom or a commercial retailer right? Unfortunately that line of thinking is incorrect for a number of reasons. Let’s take a closer look.

How often do you sit on your kitchen or dining room chairs at home? If you’re like the vast majority of people the answer is probably less than 2 hours a day. Now contrast that to cafe’s, bars, and restaurants where that particular chair is continually in use for anything up to 12-14 hours a day. It’s understandable therefore that getting 6-7 times more use per day than your typical residential chair means that it’s subjected to far more stress.

In addition your chair at home is used by the same people all the time. Whereas in any given day a typical cafe chair can be used by a multitude of people of differing shapes and sizes. For this reason very few residential chairs are built to accommodate weight of up to 160kgs (350lbs). Whereas commercial grade furniture is; and some are built to accommodate even more weight.

Can you tell the difference?

Most people assume that they can tell the difference between commercial-grade and residential furniture simply by looking at them, but the truth is that it has nothing to do with aesthetics. In fact in these days of advanced technology, modern day commercial furniture can appear incredibly design-led and inspiring. Instead the difference lies in the construction. It’s about the materials; it’s about how the piece is bolted, glued, riveted together; and it’s about how practical the furniture is. For example a heavily lacquered real teak wood table looks great, but in a commercial setting it probably wouldn’t last 5 minutes. Spills would cause stains in the lacquer and heat from endless cups of coffee would cause it to bubble. On the contrary commercial cafe furniture might incorporate hard-pressed laminate which can also be made to look like real wood, but at the same time has been treated to prevent warping, buckling, and bubbling.

Longevity vs price

Although commercial-grade furniture can (but not always) cost more than residential furniture it’s worth considering the longevity factor. As we mentioned at the start of this post commercial furniture can easily accommodate 6-7 times more wear and tear than residential furniture, yet it might only be 1.5 to 2 times the price. So in the long term, if you want to save money then you really should consider commercial-grade furniture for your establishment.

If you’re in the market for high quality commercial cafe furniture at great prices then look no further than Cafe Furniture Brisbane. We have over 400 products ranging from Tolix inspired bar stools, rustic ladder-back chairs and sumptuous tub-chairs, through to state-of-the-art polypropylene chairs and fantastic Isotop tables. So why not log on and take a closer look. In addition our highly experienced team are here to answer any questions you may have about our products, so feel free to call them on 07 3205 1616 today.

Introducing Our Funky New Olive Chair

olive3Some things are indisputably beautiful as is our Olive chair. The latest arrival to our wide collection of cafe chairs, this one is shown in a glossy black finish that fits in well with a modern design. A replica of Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec’s Vegetal Chair, it’s an exciting way to bring the feel of nature into your modern cafe design, with an elegant refined edge.Just imagine a couple of these stunning chairs sitting opposite a sumptuous black leather sofa, in the relaxing ambience of your cafe. Place these chairs centre stage wherever you want to draw attention to a particular area of your cafe space.

Stackable option

The Olive chair is an accurate replica of the Vegetal chair and uses nature for its inspiration as did the original Ronan and Erwan Bourloullec chair. Its plant like structure made of polypropylene throughout from just one piece of resin has an organic form and modern feel which makes a bold statement wherever you place it. Lightweight, it’s easy to move around from one one place to another and since it stacks, it’s also a good option for those with limited storage space. Easy to care for and low in maintenance, it’s also a chair that can be used indoors or out and its stunning design is sure to capture the attention of anyone passing by.

Get the look

Just imagine how good these olive chairs would look on your terrace placed around jet blacks with gleaming white parasols and planters full of green foliage and white blooms. Modern and trendy, it’s a place that people would want to enjoy and relax in. Or, imagine lining up these olive chairs on your pavement area sat behind gleaming chrome tables beneath large white canopies. They’d be sure to catch the attention of people passing by. They’d look equally as good inside your cafe grouped round large white tables with a glossy black tiled floor and slate lining the walls for a bold, contemporary feel. You could easily change the look from tie to time simply by swapping out accent colours in the form of napkins or condiments, or even picture frames or mirrors.

Here at Cafe Furniture Brisbane we’ve got a wide range of affordable care furniture in a myriad of styles, materials, and colours. We’re constantly adding to our range with the latest trends as well as keeping iconic favourites such as our Tolix and Bentwood range, close at hand. All of our furniture is designed for commercial use and much of it has passed AFRDI testing. Why not browse our online store or pop into our Brendale showroom to see our products for yourself. If you need any further information on any of our products then please don’t hesitate to call us on 07 3205 1616 and our knowledgeable staff will be happy to assist you.