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Tolix: One Cure for the Boring Dining Room | Manolo for the Home

Tolix: One Cure for the Boring Dining Room

Let’s say you’re bored with your current dining area outfit: a wood table, four wood chairs that feature precisely the same shade of stain. It’s basic, maybe there’s a padded seat or cushions, but nothing to showy. And let’s say, too, that you’re looking to get away from the whole matchy-matchy thing in your entire home. Your newest obsession is mismatched…everything, from mismatched bedside tables to mismatched headboards and more. First step? Lose either the table or the chairs – and right now, I’m thinking it’s the chairs that have to go. You can replace them with these:

And just what are they? Those would be classic Tolix chairs – Chair A, specifically – designed by Burgundy artisan Xavier Pauchard in 1937 for the Tolix brand he himself launched.

It was the fifth time that day that Xavier Pauchard had left his office and headed – impatiently – to the workshops. Walking towards his foreman’s workbench Xavier Pauchard pushed back the black beret that seemingly never left his head and examined with his expert’s eye the prototype stackable chair that was the object of the team’s unstinting endeavours. “This will be the Model A” he said to himself. Tinsnips in hand he deftly began to fashion a new seat base from a sheet of steel. Working on his tinsmiths block he then started to hammer away, curving the steel to the exact shape he wanted. “Tack it together please,” said Xavier Pauchard, who was keen to see a trial assembly. Pierre Moreau roughly assembled the various elements with a few dabs of weld. “That’s enough for today,” Moreau said as he left the workshop, glancing as he went at the strange metal chair that so obsessed Monsieur X.

That’s a pretty romantic backstory for a chair, non? And why not? It’s a rather romantic chair, appearing as it has in just the sort of French bars and brasseries that you and I would no doubt like to be sitting at right at this very moment. But let’s get back to that wooden table of yours. There’s nothing wrong with a nice sturdy wood table that will last for decades under the stresses of both dinner parties and children wielding crayons like daggers. It just so happens that the strong straight modern lines of the Toilix Chair A look amazing next to an old wood table that’s a bit beat up. You could go scouring the world for originals, but they’re not easy to come by from what I’ve heard. It will probably cost you less in the long run to get the re-issue, which is sold in lots of places in various colors and finishes.

(For those who, like me, can’t afford a set of Tolix chairs just at this moment, there are always basic brushed aluminum chairs to fill the gap until the money rolls in.)

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