Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Tolix Marais Chairs: Real Deal or Real Steal?

My marble shopping is going pretty terribly - I'm about this close to steam coming out of my ears.  Its just so hard for me to believe that these companies that sell such a big ticket item can be staffed by sales people who are rude and lack even basic knowledge.  Argh.  But I digress...let's talk furniture.


Today's topic of the day is the always amazing Tolix chair.  I never quite took notice of them until our trip to Rome a few years back where I walked right into a huge pile of them.  I have no idea why they were so much more appealing in mass but ever since I've wanted a set.

I've bided my time but now that we are renovating the shore kitchen, I think these would make a great compliment to the room. But the question is: Do I spring for the real thing? The knock offs seem reasonably similar are less than half the price.  Hard to pass up!

tolixrealdealvsrealsteal

The real Tolix Marais chairs can be purchased at DWR and Pottery Barn while the knock offs can be found on Overstock and Home Decorators.  I'm sure there are others out there as well but they all seem to be about the same as far as I can tell.

Aside from that dilemma: what about comfort? Of course I've sat in them many times at restaurants but are they impossibly uncomfortable for home use?

If you have them, I'd love to know where you found them and how you like them in your home.


49 comments:

  1. Real real real! They just look so much better!The proportions of the knock offs just look wrong.

    DWR seems to sell them for 250 vs 269 at Potterybarn. Not sure if the shipping costs offset the dwr savings or not....

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    1. The proportions look a bit different in the photos but when I checked the sizes, they are within a 1/2 difference. So I suspect its just the way the cheaper one is being photographed.

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  2. Not sure if you're a Target shopper, but they now carry those stools in fun colors and have chairs very similar to those also in fun colors. Took me by complete surprise as I was shopping last week - set of two for $99. I know cheaper isn't always better, but you might want to take a look.

    Have a great day!

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    Replies
    1. one of the ones at Target wasn't bolted down to the shelf so I pulled it down and sat on it! pretty comfortable too!

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    2. Do they carry the chairs? I've seen the stools but I need chairs.

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    3. Here's what they have. Not an exact match, but in the same vein.

      http://www.target.com/p/carlisle-dining-chair-set-of-2/-/A-14632009#prodSlot=medium_1_8

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  3. I got the knockoffs from Overstock and love them... We have them in our breakfast nook and they are great for cleanup with the kids after every meal. I got 4 chairs for $200 (I think).

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    1. Thanks. I just popped over to your blog (your dining room is lovely!) and you have the arm chair knock offs. How do you like the brushed finish? How heavy are the chairs themselves? I'm partial to the shiny steel versions but the price is so much better, its hard to justify.

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  4. I ordered four in peppermint from Industry West - i hope they are as great as they look!

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    1. I'd love to hear more about them once you have them in hand. I found Industry West in my google searched - they seem to be more expensive than other knock offs but cheaper than the real thing. Would you mind letting me how you like them?

      ps: LOVE THE PEPPERMINT!

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    2. so my chairs did finally arrive. i am happy with quality, don't tip over easily, paint color was perfect match, wipes down easily and fairly comfortable. I would only mention for those with a larger frame, the poles in lower part of chair might make uncomfortable but you would have to sit all the way back and be pretty big to notice this.

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  5. I got the knockoffs from Overstock (mine have the arms though)--with a coupon, I was able to get 8 chairs for $375, so I was happy with the purchase! They're easy to clean and have held up well over 6 months. Another thing that I didn't expect is that they're quite comfortable. We've had long dinner parties where all the guests sat for 3+ hours and didn't want to leave the table even when I suggested we migrate to the living room! So I'd highly recommend them.

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    1. Thanks Laura. That is what I was hoping to hear about their comfort level. Overstock doesn't seem to carry the armless version anymore (when did that happen?) which is a bummer but I assume they are all being sourced from a similar place.

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  6. I was all ready to but the ones from OVerstock, but the reviews say they are light weight and I have 2 crazy toddlers/small humans that I am afraid they will push back from the table and the chair will tip backwards. Anyone have any of these issues? It is the one things keeping me from pulling the trigger. I can really only afford the knock-offs, don't know if there is a weight difference in the types of chairs.

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    1. I believe the knockoffs are aluminum and the real things are steel - so definitely a weight difference but I can't imagine you really need a super heavy chair provided the base is stable.

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    2. Yep, major issue for us! Totally tippy!

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  7. Can you please tell me what item you put in to find these on overstock? I put in tolix and aluminum with no luck. Thank you.
    karen.bugan@ldcom.com

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    1. I could have sworn they were at Overstock at one point but I can't find them anymore.

      Ive seen them here: http://www.instylemodern.com/Tolix-Chair-p/10014-4.htm

      and here: http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Garden_Side_Chair/200/

      There may be others as well.

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    2. You probably already found alternatives but they are back on Overstock now. Here is a link: http://www.overstock.com/search?keywords=metal+chair&SearchType=Header#Home-Garden/Tabouret-Bistro-Steel-Side-Chairs-Set-of-2/7725495/product.html?recset=a3c96e95-05be-4ca5-b194-abbba87d8e6c&refccid=RFUO3QODEDGY5N2CUJ67NX3X74&recidx=1&recalg=61&searchidx=1

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  8. I purchased my knockoff Tolix chairs from Restoration Hardware. They're called Remy and Marcel ($89 each and lots of colors) and I waited for a sale. I LOVE them! The seat is large enough to be more comfortable than my previous traditional wood chairs, and the easy clean-up factor cannot be beat if you have kids. They're sturdy and a nice quality. Their customer service was awesome - the guys that delivered the chairs brought them in and set them up and took away the packaging. I cannot tell you how pleased I've been with this purchase.

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    1. How have I missed the fact that RH is selling a knock off version of the Marais? Duh! That might be the perfect solution. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. You might want to look at what's offered at Joss & Main today:

    https://www.jossandmain.com/The-Retro-Kitchen-5-Piece-Cafe-Dining-Set-in-Red~CRY2241~E5779.html

    Good luck!

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  10. I bought mine at the Restoration Hardware outlet. With kids they're great bc they're sturdy and indestructible. I also use one at the computer and I can't say I'm sitting in the lap of luxury. Maybe a cushion would up the comfort? My vote is if you like the look of them, get them. They're fine. Not uber-comfy, but they serve a purpose.

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    1. Thanks! Until the comment above I had totally missed these at RH. Do you mind sharing what you paid at the outlet? We don't have one close by but I could drive to one if the savings were enough.

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  11. Not my blog, but http://theletteredcottage.net/industrial-chairs/

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  12. I don't have them, but they are fab!

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  13. Have the real ones and they are surprisingly comfortable. Bought them at HD Buttercup in LA, and got a 10% discount for being first time shoppers. Not huge, but we took it. 4 cost us around $800, but I really loved them and our table was a salvage find, so we figured it all balanced out :)

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    1. I'm sure the real ones are well worth it - its just so tempting to go with the fakes! Do you find them reasonably comfortable?

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    2. They are actually quite comfortable!

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  14. I have the ones from Home Decorators they are pretty awful. We got two in red and two in the galvanized steel look. They are SUPER light weight and ding easily. My boys have flipped back in them on a few occasions. The red ones came pretty scratched up and with two little boys they are in pretty bad shape after two years. My husband is 6'2, of pretty average build and the back of the chair he sits in is bent from the weight of him. The worst part however, is how cold they are! In the winter a chair pad is a must. I don't recommend them. World Market had some heavier weighted ones in fun colors that looked to be of higher quality than the HD chairs. After two years , I am in the market for new dining chairs. The good deal didn't work in my favor. I think I'm going to go with the DWR salt chairs. Good looking, good price and good reviews. Good luck!

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  15. get the real ones...the fakes simply do not have the same longevity....

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  16. i have 4 different styles of these chairs, 2 of each so 8 total, and they're all just slightly different. i intentionally wanted the mismatched chair look for my dining table. mine are from crate and barrel, world market, and industry west. industry west is great for lots of color options and variations on the chair, good customer service. the crate and barrel ones are the most different from the original style, but i love the finish on them. as far as comfort goes, i don't really find any difference from a wooden chair...if you're coming from something upolstered, you might be let down, but we love ours. another plus for us, we got a puppy this spring and she can't chew these guys! 8 less pieces of furniture to worry about!

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    1. Love the idea of mixing them up when you have 8. Nicely done :)

      Does World Market sell a version without the arm rest?

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  17. I have the counter stools in the knock off from Overstocks! Comfort wise they are the same as the real deal, metal is metal! Mine are two years old and look as good as the day i got them. I love mine!

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  18. I have a version from World Market with armrests that I've been really pleased with. Between a sale and an extra 10% coupon I had, I got them for about $80/each. They are surprisingly sturdy/heavy for how inexpensive they were. The only issue has been cold butts in the winter, but that might be true of all the brands. They are metal, after all!

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    1. Thanks. Love those chairs too but they just dont work with the room I have (I need to be able to push the chairs under the table).

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  19. I'm commenting on your marble situation. Try posting over at Gardenweb for places in your area. I have both marble and soapstone in my kitchen and find the marble easier to care for. If you get the right kind of sealer, you will have no staining.

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  20. I would highly recommend Industry West for their knockoff Marais chair. They offer great customer service. We have the Marais armchairs outside on our deck. They are quite comfortable and have withstood the weather for over a year. One thing I would say about having a metal chair (we have the Navy chairs in our kitchen) is that it can be quite cold to sit on, especially first thing in the morning. The problem was easily solved by some ikea rubber pads and round place mats.

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  21. I have the ones from Home Decorators! I can't really say that I love them, but they are not terrible. They look super cute and I get lots of compliments on them... but sometimes I glance over at them and regret not buying the real deal. We needed 6 chairs for our farm table though, and it just wasn't in the budget! I have the aluminum finish, and they are super sturdy but very (very!) cold in the winter and they sound so tinny- (not sure if that's even a real word?) just so LOUD and the kids bang them into each other all the time. But when it's just for a weekend place, maybe that's not such a big deal? Just thought I'd throw my two cents in- can't wait to see the new kitchen! Always love your style. :)

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  22. I have ones from Overstock, the ones with arms, and love them. We've had them for a couple of years and they still look great. We don't use them everyday, I originally bought them to have on hand for Thanksgiving and a couple of other occasions when we host a crowd. They are great for that, but we now have them in our playroom and the kids sit at them to do art projects (they clean up great). I did buy some cheap seat cushions on clearance from Target that I attach for Thanksgiving because although they are comfortable for a regular meal, I think metal (and wood) chairs get uncomfortable after a while.

    These are the ones I have - http://www.overstock.com/Home-Garden/White-Tabouret-Stacking-Chairs-Set-of-4/5095636/product.html

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  23. I just went to the Restoration Hardware outlet this weekend and they have their version marked down to $90 + 25% off! That's one heck of a steal if you ask me!

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  24. I have 6 of the Marais chairs that I bought probably in 2003-2004. I like the Marais better than the Tolix because the seat is wider and more comfortable. They have held up through 4 kids, countless dinner parties, being used as step stools, drug outside, made into forts, etc and look like new. They are indestructible. Worth very penny. I ordered them through Sundance catalog. My sister in law has the knock-offs. The finish isn't as nice and tipping over is a definite problem because they are so light. I haven't seen the RH ones, but I would check them out before purchasing. You will love the Marais!

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    1. Isn't the Tolix version calleD Marais? I thought they were one in the same.

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  25. I would go with the original Tolix Marais. They are on sale now at DWR.

    Be careful when it comes to the metal. Some reproductions are steel but others are galvanized or aluminum. Also check for the weight of the chairs. You can find the original's weight at DRW website. Be cautious about lighter weight chairs,.

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  26. I have the real deal (red ones from DWR purchased in 2010). Paint and heavyweight has held up over 3 years, 3 moves, and 2 kids. loved them so much I purchased 2 Tolix mint green stools from Ebay DWR outlet for my kitchen. Those have been great as well. Can't recommend them enough!

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  27. I just saw these at Home Depot for $29, I suppose I should grab some and see if they will work for my kitchen ...they had red ones also

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    1. Great price. I paid a lot more than $29 but our Home Depot doesn't sell furniture at all. This might be one of those times when Canada rocks! (Now if they start selling saarinen tables, ill have to fly up and get one!)

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