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The Origin Of Tolix Chairs And Bar Stools

Posted by Ryan Owens on

A chair design style you may not be aware of could be the answer to your event venue or restaurant’s future needs. These stylish, stackable, bistro style chairs, known as Tolix chairs, feature a sleek, modern design even though they descend from an original look going back nearly a hundred years and spanning an ocean away. Made from metal and a contoured back for added comfort, the chairs are armless to avoid having that confined feeling. It also makes them more lightweight and easier to stack in groups of eight.

And before you dismiss these metal chairs out of concern for the flooring at your restaurant, banquet hall or other venue, each foot has a plastic glide to protect flooring surfaces. (And who wants to hear that annoying grating noise every time someone gets up or sits down?)

Origin of the Tolix Chair

The first Tolix chairs have their origins in France and are attributed to Xavier Pauchard. In the late 1800s and into the turn of the century, wood was the construction material of choice for nearly all furniture. However, Pauchard’s father and grandfather were zinc roofing contractors. In 1907, 27-year-old

Xavier discovered he could protect sheet metal from rusting by dipping the furniture in molten zinc or by, essentially, galvanising it. A decade later, after World War I, he was able to set up a factory in Autun, Burgundy, France, which manufactured steel household items. Pauchard would later register his trademark symbol as Tolix and the company is still known by this name today.

In 1927, Pauchard began to switch the company’s focus to chairs, stools, armchairs and metal furniture. Seven years later, he came up with the design that would become known as the Tolix chair style, only it was known as the Marais A Chair then and has been called his most iconic design style. The Marais A Chair was given such labels as “the quintessential cafe chair”---very French-sounding, no?---and even graced the decks of the famed S.S. Normandie ocean liner, considered one of the premier luxury ships of its day.

Modern Design for a Variety of Settings

So, the fact that a chair design from 1934 can still be called modern today is no small accomplishment to how timeless the Tolix style is and will remain in the future. This can be reassuring to event planners and buyers for facilities who plan year-round events months, if not years in advance. It’s not likely this chair will go out of style any time soon!

With the number of modern look bars, restaurants, sidewalk cafes, coffee houses, wine bars, breweries, and other hangouts developing in urban areas---such as reclaiming old space in the heart of Atlanta with the opening of the Roof at Ponce City Market---the contemporary design of sleek lines, coupled with the sturdy galvanized steel construction make these an excellent fit for these settings. The Tolix chairs or the big brother, matching look of the Tolix bar stools still manage to be pounds and the pocketbook.

For those in need of both chairs and bar stools for your commercial venues, Tolix furniture comes in the matching styles and colors so you can maintain a consistent look throughout your venue.

Rustic Look Can Complete the Right Setting

Sometimes, industrial restaurant furniture can really complete the right setting, such as a mountain region wine bar or cozy pub at a lodge. Brushed copper Tolix chairs or bar stools, in particular, are an excellent fit for such surroundings. Because Tolix chairs are also lightweight, durable and stackable, they would also be a good addition for a mountain wedding venue. The same chairs, in black, also offer a modern elegance that can pull off just the statement you may be trying to express in a high-end, linen table restaurant setting.

Questions about what might work best for your situation or setting? Our professional sales staff has more than 70 years’ combined event furniture knowledge. Whether you need event furniture for a rental company, wedding venue, banquet hall facility, hotel, convention center, school, church or other type of organization, CTC Event Furniture covers all your seating needs. And that now includes our latest addition of Tolix chairs and Tolix bar stools, available in a variety of colors and finishes. Learn more at or call us toll free at 1-844-280-0032.