There are areas throughout the world where cafes are tightly packed, wall to wall all looking to get that extra bit ahead. These places, the coffee must of course be superb, but they must also provide that something extra. Some add fancy pictures, making an art gallery/café styled space. Others have gimmicks or themes like a subway station from some far-away place. But surprisingly, many forget the furniture!
How often I have found a nice café, in an expensive part of town, with good coffee but old, second-hand, drab furniture, letting the whole place down. Well, I’d like to share with you a few of my choices for café chairs to spice up your venue and why I think they work. Of course, it is all a bit subjective but I believe café chairs can have a few different purposes and it all depends on your venue. Generally speaking, chairs for dining tend not to have armrests as they can interfere with utensil use. Some cafes attract a lot more professionals looking to set up laptops or have work meetings, so loungy-type furniture won’t work. And still, there are others that want people to drink their coffee and get out so comfy may not be their thing.
I hope I’ve covered a few of the bases here anyway but feel free to let me know if there is something else you want to see. Enjoy!
We have a huge range of outdoor aluminium bistro chairs at Serenity Made, and can even custom design the patterns, colours and shapes if needed. The frame can be painted with a wood finish design which is indistinguishable just from looking. The aluminium and plastic weave is perfect for outdoors and the plastic can be UV protected if your intention is to use it as an outdoor piece.
I chose the Gaston Outdoor Aluminium Bistro Chair specifically for this blog for a couple of reasons. The first is the curved armrests, reminiscent of a bentwood design that add that extra comfort when enjoying your coffee. Its outdoor appeal is another reason making it a very attractive café garden or sidewalk piece. Finally, it is a stackable chair making it perfect for cafes that like to pack up their outdoor spaces at night.
As the name suggests, the Alex Braid Dining Chair is often used as a restaurant piece. Despite this, it is still a perfect café chair, especially for when food is being served. The durable metal frame is light and designed so that the chair is stackable making it perfect for cafes that pack up every evening. The seat and back is made of recycled leather, which is essentially ground up bits of leather shaped with an artificial layer to give a flexible, strong leathery band. It is, of course, available in a range of colours.
The Emeco 1006 Navy Chair was originally designed for use on a US warship during WWII. As expected it is designed to be strong and durable. This Replica Emeco US Navy Chair comes with a stylish hardwood seat and the typical aluminium frame. Looks uncomfortable? It does but it isn’t. Surprisingly comfortable, a close inspection reveals the contours that make it so.
As a café chair, the Replica Emeco US Navy Chair is an all-rounder. It looks good indoors and outdoors, light yet strong and durable, as I mentioned, quite comfortable. But it is also an iconic piece that brings its own sense of class to a café.
Check out some of our pictures and write-up for our project: Maltshovel Taphouse on the Sunshine Coast, Australia to see how it was utilised to awesome effect in a bar.
Another classic, the bentwood chair was first imagined up way back in the mid-19th century by Michael Thonet in Vienna (for a more thorough history, see our blog here). Stylish and now iconic, it was actually originally developed as a flatpack piece, making it extremely well welcomed around the world.
Nowadays, the Bentwood is a common site in weddings and cafes and has certainly earned its right as such. Easily decorated for events, available as a stackable piece, this beechwood design is included in my café chair list because of the style it brings to an establishment. To see how it can really bring a place to life, have a look at our project, Café Moka in Perth.
Taking a step towards more comfortable seating now, the Noosa Café Chair is, in my opinion, the perfect café chair. Adequately padded with a strong timber frame and slouch-accommodating armrests, this fancy piece looks good in real leather, faux leather, or a range of fabrics.
Looking at a more relaxed, lounge-style café for this piece, the Marshmallow Chair is designed for comfort. Not made for the type of café where people setup their laptops and business meetings, this cushy seat is, however, ideal for the ‘relax and enjoy a book’ or ‘chill and catch-up with a friend’ scene.
Plush and plup, this armchair, as all of our pieces, can be customised to fit your theme. Change the material, leg colour, or even firmness of the upholstery to suit your needs.
One of my favourite choices in this list, the Artist Seat is fantastically creative and brightening to any scene. Of course, the colours are customisale but I find the current choices to give an almost fruity feel within an abstract framework.
The metal frame is heavy strong and durable with a convenient handle at the back to help when moving it. The depth of the seat and the shape of the armrests make it ideal for lying back with a cuppa and contemplating the world.
Throughout China and many other eastern countries, teahouses with their wooden furnishings form a type of centerpiece for their cultures. Places where the people go early mornings or in the evenings to chat, laugh and socialise boisterously. This Wooden Ming Padded Chair attempts to bring that oriental flavour to our western equivalent venue, the coffee shop.
If timber and exotic designs are the looks you are going for, this piece is perfect. Customise the finishes and paddings (or choose a rattan seat maybe) to really make it fit in.
What more needs to be said? Coffee, book, reading chair…the makings of the perfect café!. Comfortable with a sloping half-armrest and a timber frame, I can picture any cosy café with this as their feature chair.
Forest your café with a combination of these timber beauties. I have included the Sapling Chair as the half-armrests make it a more appropriate piece for dining if that is something your café offers.
With their comfort, armrests, and stylish design, these pieces would fit neatly with natural timber tables and a timber floor.
That’s a wrap! As usual, if you have any questions, feel free to send them through to me at [email protected], and be sure to check out our range of furniture at www.serentiymade.com.