Industrial Chair Hunt

Last month, we decided to say good-bye to our bargain black table we had purchased from Target 3 or 4 years ago. It was solid wood, and had served us well in our various apartments, but it allowed a maximum capacity of 4 people. FOUR. And then maybe 2 or three serving dishes if we were lucky and if the dishes were small.

We replaced it with the fantastic industrial table from West Elm (the shorter one, we still live in a relatively tiny house with no dedicated dining room):

The new table comfortably seats six and it feels like there’s just miles and miles of space on the table top. The only problem is that we’re still using the 4 black chairs that went with our old table. Chairs, it turns out, can be as expensive as a table when you need to by them en masse.

We were a bit bummed that West Elm didn’t sell any benches that naturally matched the table (our original thought was to save on costs by purchasing two benches and 2 end chairs) and we couldn’t find any elsewhere that seemed to be the right size/style combo, so we set our sites on finding some awesome vintage (or reproduction) industrial chairs.

I think our dream chairs are these hammered copper-finished ones from Anthropology:

See how nicely they go with the table that almost looks like ours? Unfortunately, at $198 a pop, that works out to around $1200(!!!) for a set of six. Which is way more than our table even cost. Ouch.

So then The Husband remembered eating at a local restaurant that had somehow gotten a whole of a dozen or so old wood & metal school chairs. They look something like this…

(via Apartment Therapy)

…and apparently were made by a company called Vintage American Seating Co. They are also, so far, proving to be pretty much impossible to find.

So back to the possible and the affordable.

Our beloved Anthropology chairs seem to be based on a design from French cafe chair maker Tolix. Design Watcher has some lovely photos of these chairs in all sorts of environs, like this one:

Though there are some vendors in the US, all of them fall under the category of prohibitively expensive. But, after a little digging, I found two very similar options:

Option 1, the Jackson Tub Chair from World Market is by far the more budget friendly option at just $89 a pop, but neither of us are sure about the relative comfort of these, or whether they would be able to slide underneath the table completely because of the arms. The nice thing is, if they have them in stock locally, we can actually give them a try and see how they look up close and personal.

Option 2 is from manufacturer Industry West, called the Marais Vintage Chair and runs slightly more at $145.00 each. Defiantly more expensive (and would have to be shipped), but I feel like they might be better quality than the World Market Options.

Honestly, we’re still not 100% sold on any of these options and we’d really love to find something that’s actually vintage rather than new. Right now, we’re just holding off and scouring ebay and the local craiglist. Have you picked up any awesome industrial chairs lately?



  1. March 2013 Restoration Hardware has their version of the Tolix chair called Remy and Marcel chairs on sale starting at $89. We just got 2 and paid no shipping. We love them. They are taller and wider than the Marais/Tolix chairs so they look better with our large table.

  2. Try also. I found ones like the tolix and RH ones two for roughly $189.
    Also, school chairs can possibly be found at your university/community college/public school auctions.
    Craigslist too.
    Used restuarant supply.
    Try Etsy also.
    Good luck.
    Keep me posted on what you find please.