1972 Solair chairs still made today — and 8 more retro style patio chairs

solair-chairsWith the promise of summer sun tantalizing us nationwide, we thought we’d take a look at authentic and retro style seating for patios and porches. To start: We were pleased to discover that the Solair chairwhich has been around since it was designed in 1972 by Fabio Fabiano and Michelange Pazini in Quebec, Canada, is still available for purchase today.

solair-chairs-vintage

Above: Vintage Solair chairs — photo from reader Marty’s porch — one of more than 100 photos added to our 2012 porch and patio uploader.

Made of colorful UV treated plastic with an welded steel base, the Solair Chair will stand up to all that summer has to offer. It is a bit difficult to track down these chairs here in the U.S. I tried to contact the company for purchase information, but received no response. After doing a bit of detective work, I found that Stardust Modern sells the Solair chair in 6 colors — white, black, orange, yellow, green or blue — but must be purchased in multiples of two through Stardust Modern at the cost of $250 per chair. If you happen to live in Sonoma, Calif., you can visit their showroom for a huge discount, since local customers can purchase the chairs for $149.99.

Reader Geraldine wrote us to share her fond memories and a link to a story (the text is in French) about the revival of the Solair chair:

I’m sending you this message because a product made in late 70 from a small town in Quebec is back. It is the amazing solar chair. I always loved it as a kid…. hoping I could still buy somes one day when I’ll get my pool house. But they were always broken or really too expensive (300$ ?!??) But they are back in funky colors. I know the text is in french but I hope you’ll enjoy it!

innit-chair-mid-century-modernThe Innit company also makes several woven retro style porch and patio chairs. Their signature style is the round-framed Innit Chair above, which retails for $475, and is also available as a rocker. It appears all of the Innit’s chairs are available in 11 cord colors — white, orange, red, black, pink, yellow, grey, blue, turquoise, olive green and purple — and three frame colors — black, white or chrome)

Innit-Acapulco-chair-mid-centuryAbove: Innit company’s Acapulco chair ($475) — also available in baby size, as a rocker or micro sized.

Innit- concha chair-mid-century

Above: Innit Concha chair ($475)

CB2-Ixtapa-chair-mid-centuryFor some more affordable, strikingly similar in design options — though color choice is limited to one option per style — try the Ixtapa yellow/aqua lounge chair from CB2 — which retails for $229 but we have spotted it on sale for as little as $199.

CB2-Acapulco-chair

Another option from CB2 is the Acapulco black/blue lounge chair. Very similar to the Acapulco lounger from Innit, this is a more affordable option which retails for $249.
Pier-1-Swingasan-circles

We all know that Pier 1 is the home of the Papasan chair — but have you seen their fun and retro looking Swingasan chairs? Ranging from $279.95 for a basic model to $499.95 for a double — these coordinate well with retro decor and appeal to the kid in all of us — who doesn’t love to swing? You don’t even need to have a tree or roof overhang to be able to install one — stands are available. The above — circles model — retails for $299.95. Watch for sales.

Swingasan-daisy-pier-1

Above: Daisy Swingasan chair from Pier 1.

Swingasan-peacock-Pier-1Above: Pier 1’s Peacock Swingasan Chair — actual Peacock not included.

Any of these options would be perfect for your retro or mid century modern patio, porch or yard — and provide the perfect perch for the summer season.

Want more ideas to create a retro style porch, patio or deck?

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Comments

  1. Janet in CT says

    Neat chairs but strangely I do not remember them at all. I do love the Swingasan chair and wish I had a porch to put it on! I could read the article so if anyone is interested, I can translate it but my French is a bit rusty and maybe there is someone here who can do a better job!

  2. Laura says

    I had a neighbour when I was young who had one of those swing chairs IN the house, hanging from the ceiling. That was the coolest thing EVER.

    • Robin, NV says

      LOL – I bet! I’m envisioning a living room with classic 70s decor. Hanging ferns, diagonal rough-hewn wood panelling, accessories in avocado and orange. A swinging pad with a swinging chair.

  3. Marty says

    Those are my two Solairs in the picture–used to be four. My parents bought them in Maine, where it seemed in the 60s/70s all of the hotels had them.

    Anyway, after I had them a couple of years, the plastic started to crack with no real way to fix them (although I tried to reinforce them from the back with webbing and adhesives). Finally, two were so far gone, I put them on the curb. The next year, the others had also split, but I decided to do some web searching to see what could be done. (Took a while to just figure out what they were called.)

    Found a hardware/garden store in Maine that sold replacement plastic shells, and I was able to get two to fix the chairs (kicking myself that I didn’t think of it before trashing the first two, and also because–by coincidence–when I was in Maine on vacation a month earlier, I actually drove by the store. If I’d known, could’ve saved on shipping.)

    • Kate says

      Thanks for identifying your chairs Marty! I’ve updated the story to reflect it.

      Sorry to hear that they cracked…at least you were able to find replacement plastic shells!

    • Karen says

      Hi Marty – would you have the name/address of the hardware store in Maine? We have the same chairs and problems with them. Thanks!

      • Marty says

        Kate–I wasn’t looking for credit, just sharing the experience. (my problem now is that on the rocker in that picture, some of the blue plastic is turning brown–I guess I can’t leave it in the sun anymore)

        Karen–I got the shells from http://www.loweryspatio.com/ , but don’t see them on the website now (got ’em in ’09). Might be worth a call, though.

  4. says

    My great aunt had a pair of chairs on her back porch that were very similar to the one in the third picture. They didn’t look like they would be comfortable to sit on, but they really were.

    • Kate says

      I actually have some of these! There aren’t any Old Time Pottery stores near me, and they don’t ship the chairs, but my parents live near one and they picked some up for me and drove them to my house when they came to visit. For metal chairs, they are quite comfy, though the paint job was kinda mangled, and I will need to repaint them. Still, an affordable option if you live near an Old Time Pottery! 🙂

    • MsKittyMuses says

      Oh my gosh, thanks so much for posting this! These look so fun, and are in our price range! We’ve been looking for something retro looking and funky, and were having a hard time justifying $300 for 2 of the IKEA PS patio chairs. I really hope our local store has them! Thanks again for sharing!

  5. Natalie says

    Okay – maybe I am missing something but I can’t seem to find the Swingasan circle chair on the Pier 1 website. Do you think it’s soldout or worse – discontinued!? That one would be perfect on our porch!

    • Kate says

      hmmm maybe they sold out? When I was writing this story, they had them. Looks like most of them are on sale, so maybe call your local store and ask if you must have one. Good luck!

  6. Robert Lavoie says

    I saw these chairs today at my hardware store in Montreal for 99.99$
    They have several colors.

  7. Carolyn Self says

    Our local garden center has the Innit in aqua. I drool every time I see it.

    It is pricey though!

  8. says

    I was at Old Time Pottery and there were some funky metal patio chairs in 3 colros for 39.99 each similar Innit you have above in shape and style for anyone who has that store near them.

  9. Tracey C says

    Hi,
    I just received the Pier 1 Swingason Peacock chair for my
    50-something birthday:) I also got the stand (sold separately) so I could bring it indoors and use it in the winter. Right now, it is swinging under the deck next to the retro motel chairs. I also got a cushion for it but it is really comfortable without the cushion, too.
    I have stalked these chairs at Pier 1 for well over a year and THEY DO NOT GO ON SALE!!! They also have a slot on the side for magazines and cup holders as well. Now, I am all set up for summer and feeling groovy.

      • Tracey C says

        Thank-you Kate.
        And thanks to my wonderful husband who wasn’t afraid to ask…”Hey, what do you think you would like for your birthday???”

        • Kate says

          hehehe, my husband does the same thing! It is how I got the hot pink winter coat I wanted for Christmas! 😉 Sometimes it is best if they ask for ideas… right?

    • Tracey C says

      Ahem….update to the adamant declaration that these “DONT” GO ON SALE!!” The sale price of $269.99 is the lowest I have seen since I began stalking them! So sorry I let my love of the Swingasan chair cloud my vision. I just r-e-a-l-l-y love this chair.

  10. Scott says

    Love the styling of the Solair chairs and could envision them with some fun indoor usage too, in fact I was sort of scheming how a pair might look in my “blue room” office until I saw the prices. Unless you live around Sonoma that’s a pretty scary figure.

  11. Michele Haro says

    I have 2 orginal orange chairs that my mom bought back in the late 60’s or early 70’s. She said they would outlive her, me and my daughter. So far, they have outlived her. I’m 61. I think they’re gonna outlive me too….but I cherish these chairs and my daughter will get them next. I have photos but no place to post and anyway, it looks exactly the the ones in the first images on this page.

  12. Grace says

    I just found a frame in an alley but needs new plastic pipping if that’s what it’s called it just like the turquoise Chair , where can I order that from

    • pam kueber says

      Grace, I don’t know the answer to your question. I suggest you contact the company — they are hotlinked in the story (bold blue text is a hotlink). Good luck.

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