Covetable Outside

Outdoor Dining Chair Options

Now that the weather has (mostly) warmed up, I’m eager to get to work outside. I’m still looking for a matching set of dining chairs for the backyard. I would love to own any of these, but buying eight of them would be pretty pricey:

Here’s what we’ll likely end up with:

I haven’t sat in the Blankö chair (my IKEA doesn’t have it yet), but Brandon and I both like the simple lines of it. I’ve considered the Urban chair before, but I always think it looks a little funny in person. Maybe out of the store and in the context of my garden it would look more stylish? They look sharp in this photo that ran in Blueprint:

Which chair would you choose?

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  • April Johnson
    April 6, 2010 at 10:03 am

    I think I’d go with the Blankö chair. The other one does look good in the magazine, but it still looks very kiddish to me for some reason.

  • janet
    April 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I bought 4 white Blanko chairs a few weeks ago and really like them. They are pretty small, but look nice indoors as well as outdoors. And they are not wobbly or cheap looking.

    I guess I should be grateful my IKEA had them in stock. They were near the checkout line, not in the normal chair section.

  • Katie
    April 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    I’ve always thought metal chairs outside would be so uncomfortable, especially in the hot sun. I have a mixture of pink, red and white Snille ikea chairs in my backyard and they’ve treated me well for two summers.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 6, 2010 at 10:13 am

      What is the weather like in your area? Chicago weather likes to go to extremes and I’d worry about the plastic cracking or fading.

      And I’d love to see a picture of the chairs in your yard!

  • tammy
    April 6, 2010 at 10:14 am

    I own 6 of the Urban chair and we use them both inside and out. We’ve had them for 2 years with 3 kids using them heavily every day and I would completely recommend them to any family.

    Although, if you buy the white ones, consider sealing them with something as soon as you get them. I didn’t, and I have never been able to get them as clean as they were new.

  • Holly
    April 6, 2010 at 10:14 am

    If you really want the metal look, you might want to check restaurant discount supply stores to see if they stock outdoor seating. Something like this…

    Love your style. Can’t wait to see your yard! =D

  • Danielle
    April 6, 2010 at 10:15 am

    #2! It had your name written all over it!

  • Sarah
    April 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

    The Urban chairs look like they’ll be a lot more comfortable.

  • Sara
    April 6, 2010 at 10:20 am

    I wonder if you could spray paint one of the plastic chairs metallic. Over at the blog Good bones great pieces, they just did that to some lamps and it looked fantastic.

  • brooke
    April 6, 2010 at 10:25 am

    love those aluminum chairs, but i agree, much too pricey.

  • Mary Beth (Cats, Books, Life is Good)
    April 6, 2010 at 10:31 am

    I’d be worried about sitting on the metal chairs during the summer. Things have a tendency to get very hot here in the sun. We’re looking into rattan chairs with cushions – but it’s a more rustic look.

  • Kim
    April 6, 2010 at 10:34 am

    I love #2!

  • Erika
    April 6, 2010 at 10:50 am

    I love the Blanko!

  • ModFruGal
    April 6, 2010 at 10:59 am

    With the dough you save going with the Blanko, you can get cushions. I think metal is a good choice for the harsh Chicago winters, but either would look great. Tolix is on sale at Pottery Barn. Maybe you could ask for one or 2 for Mothers Day and build your set over time…

  • Brooke
    April 6, 2010 at 11:01 am

    they have the same chairs from the Sundance Catalog and their home stuff is 20% off in store right now. i wish i could pick up a set of them!

  • Laur
    April 6, 2010 at 11:23 am

    I have 4 of the Urban chairs in green around my patio table and I love love love them! In fact I love them so much that I’m considering bringing them inside for my dining room.

  • Mary T.
    April 6, 2010 at 11:28 am

    The #1 chairs are really uncomfortable; the back bar hits you at a weird spot. I know because I sat on them every year at the DWR sale but never purchased them because…uncomfortable.

  • Jaime
    April 6, 2010 at 11:34 am

    I got some of the Blankö chairs in blue and I love them. They are actually super comfy. I probably couldn’t sit in them all day but through a meal or for a party they totally work. The backs are the right height and don’t stick out funny or hurt my back. They also clean really well and stack nicely!

  • Andi
    April 6, 2010 at 11:44 am

    I like the Urban chair personally. At first I wasn’t sure either, but once I saw that it came in another color besides white, and how cute it looks in that article, it is my choice. As a matter of fact, if I can talk to the husband into it I will be buying a few this summer!

  • Allie
    April 6, 2010 at 11:47 am

    I have also seen similar metal chairs at Overstock for a much more reasonable price, and they get great reviews.


  • Christian T
    April 6, 2010 at 11:55 am


  • Funnelcloud Rachel
    April 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Thanks for posting this! We have had the same issue and for the past two summers have been eating outside sitting on our chaise lounges! Now I may have to make the dreaded trip to Ikea to pick up some of those Blanko chairs!

    Also,(thanks, Holly) the restaurant supply furniture is a great idea!

  • Kate
    April 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I have two of the urban chairs (in light aqua) and I have used them inside and outside for about four years. I take them inside in the winter and they stack so they are easy to store. They are really comfortable and sturdy and you could easily make or buy cushions to further enhance their comfortableness! the Blanko chair looks like it might not last, but I would have to see it in person…

  • Marissa
    April 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    The Blanko is really cute and the price is nice. I wish I knew which was more comfortable though, I’d likely base my decision on that since they are both nice looking.

  • Ana
    April 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I say go with Urban.

  • Sara
    April 6, 2010 at 12:04 pm

    I would definitely choose the Blanko. I’ve sat in chairs similar to the Urban and they are incredibly uncomfortable–no lumbar support whatsoever!

    (Side note: I am an Interior Designer, so have sat in many a chair!)

  • casey
    April 6, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    i have had my eye on the urban chair forever! and i also bookmarked that spread in blueprint… love the color! i want a modern backyard, so i am thinking the white urban chair, with a wood table (like in the mag) and then have colorful accessories and flowers/plants!

  • Julie
    April 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    I wouldn’t go with any of the metal chairs you posted (1-3) for two reasons: they’ll be too hot to sit on if they’re in the sun, and they are just WAY too expensive. Personally, I’d skip the Blanco chair for the same reason, though with a seat cover they’d probably be fine. I think I’d go with the Urban chair from IKEA. Though it doesn’t look like a super-substantial chair, I think it’d serve it’s purpose for outdoor meals and would look SO cute if you spray painted them a fun color (unless they come in more colors in the store than they do online).

    Can’t wait to see what you choose!

  • laurel
    April 6, 2010 at 12:35 pm

    oh i love, love, love numbers one through three! with a colorful pillow, they would be great. these would also be cool for indoor chairs. love!

  • Nikki
    April 6, 2010 at 1:16 pm

    I have another solution to the outdoor chair dilemna! I sell patterns to cover your old resin chairs in 2 styles. If you can sew, it’s an inexpensive way to really dress up cheap chairs. They’re not hard to make and I provide an illustrated guide for those that need it!

  • Nuit
    April 6, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    The Blankö chair is $19?????????????? I love it!!! seriously, it is my favorite and would totally look divine in your backyard!!! i am thinking about working on my outdoors too… gotta start working on building a budget though ;)

  • SLK
    April 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I paired the orange Urban chairs with my stainless steel table years ago. I love them. They are remarkably comfortable. They also stack very nicely. I can’t speak to their durability outside though.

  • cathie
    April 6, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    i love the metropolitan chairs.

  • caitlin creer
    April 6, 2010 at 2:59 pm


    I have a wholesale source for the # 1. Chair e-mail me if you want more info.

    I can’t wait to see how it all comes together.

    • Nadia
      April 7, 2010 at 10:30 am

      I would LOVE the wholesale info for chair #1!!!!!

  • Hilary
    April 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    We have 6 of the urban chairs for use on our porch and backyard eating. We went with the white color and love them. They are used almost year round, we live in Florida, and we haven’t had a problem yet.

  • marisa
    April 6, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    my local yogurt place has the urban chairs and i love them!

  • Veronica P
    April 6, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I also considered the Blanko chairs but thought they were tiny. I’m petite but any average size adult looks like they are sitting on child-size chairs.

  • Dianne K. Nelson
    April 6, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    I like the Urban much more than the Blanko. Much sturdier and able to withstand the elements. It’s what my IKEA uses in the food court area, so you know it stands up to a lot!


  • Stefanie
    April 6, 2010 at 5:23 pm

    I have these, purchased years ago from

    They’ve survived Michigan rain/snow and still look great. When I bought them, they were sold in sets of 2 and came in quite a few fun colors.

  • Lauren D
    April 6, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    We bought the urban chairs in orange when the cleared them out at our Ikea, and for as unattractive as we felt they were to look at, they are really comfortable. They are super easy to clean and stack-able we are very happy with them.

  • Erika
    April 6, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    i have the urban chairs and they are indestructible.

  • Natalie
    April 6, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    I’d go with either the Blankö Chair or the Urban Chair. They’re both cute, and if they get damaged by the weather, you can breathe easy because they were so inexpensive! :)

  • Ludmila {}
    April 6, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I’d go with the 2nd!xo

  • Lisa
    April 6, 2010 at 7:10 pm

    I’m thinking nothing metal. It would burn any exposed skin. Nothing like burnt thighs.

    Also, kind of along the same lines, thinking about sitting on a slotted seat in shorts/skirt/sundress…lines, pinching, etc.

    I’d go for the Urban in non-white, because white is just too hard to keep clean outside.

  • Blondie
    April 6, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    The Urban is one of the most comfortable chairs out there, it also has a chair paid you can add to it.

    To make your final decision you’ll have to sit in them both and think about what you would last the longest in, sipping wine on the patio…. :)
    The urban used to come in a great green and pale blue, they probably have some other colours now, maybe even pink!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 8, 2010 at 11:12 am

      I wish they had pink! ;) They only come in white and pale blue now.

  • Elisa @ whatthevita
    April 6, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    Here in Austin, a lot of outdoor cafes have #1 chairs and I always salivate over them. I wonder if I can catch one of these restaurants going out of business or redecorating and buy the chairs from them? How would I find out? Any ideas, anyone?

  • Condo Blues
    April 6, 2010 at 9:47 pm

    I’d go for the Urban Chair. It comes in cute colors and might survive being outside better.

  • Dana @ House*Tweaking
    April 6, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    I have 4 IKEA Urban chairs that we use inside. No, they aren’t the most stylish but they are great for cleaning up after my boys eat on them! They look much better paired with our traditional style black dining table. Mix-and-match is good. I have no complaints about them: sturdy, affordable, practical, wipeable and modern!

  • Vicki @ Piccolo Takes All
    April 6, 2010 at 9:59 pm

    I’ve always loved the Marais chair. But because of it’s price, it disqualifies itself.

    Now, when I first saw the BLANKÖ online (and then saw the price!), I said, “That’s it, I’m finally getting a set of chairs for the deck!” Unfortunately, when I got to IKEA and sat in it, I was underwhelmed. It is scaled rather small (like a lot of IKEA chairs are). The seat is particularly short. It would be okay for me (5’4″), but I’m sure my husband (6’1″) would find it less than ideal. That said, the URBAN is now back to the top of my list (although I’m upset that the orange seems to no longer be available).

    • Making it Lovely
      April 8, 2010 at 11:14 am

      I checked the dimensions and yes, the Blankö seems tiny. And I wish the orange Urban was still available too.

  • Emily
    April 6, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    The Urban Chair is interesting, but in practice I think it would end up framing unflattering anatomical regions. It reminds me of the cafeteria chairs in high school, when extreme low rise jeans were an unfortunate trend.

  • meredith
    April 6, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    i just saw this while browsing craigslist, and thought of you:

  • Erika @ Practical Princess
    April 6, 2010 at 11:41 pm


    Just wanted to say that I adore your style. Whether it’s your home, business or blog, love it all!

    I have an interior design type of blog and wanted to know if it was OK that I shared all this love for your style on my blog. I made sure to link back to your page.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  • samarahuel
    April 7, 2010 at 12:15 am

    #1 and #4 are my favorites.

  • Jen
    April 7, 2010 at 2:07 am

    I like either of the IKEA chairs…but now I’m really missing Blueprint. Dang that was a good magazine!

  • Kim
    April 7, 2010 at 3:58 am

    we have the urban chairs in green; they are inside mostly, so I can’t tell you how they hold up to weather, but I can tell you that they are comfortable, and great for the kids – no sharp edges or corners, light and sturdy.

  • Lynnie
    April 7, 2010 at 6:44 am

    I love the Urban, think they look so comfy. We bought our garden furniture just before they hit IKEA in Dublin and I wish I’d seen them before making purchase.

    That said, I’m not sure I love them $20 per chair more than the Blankö ;) Unless maybe there was a pink version of the Urban… Yum.

  • Laurie Jones
    April 7, 2010 at 7:38 am

    The Urban Chair has always been a favorite of mine, everytime I’m at Ikea and having a slice of their chocolate cake with some of their yummy coffee I’m always surprised at how comfy those chairs are in the restaurant, that just so happen to be the urban chair! Can’t wait to see what you do to the backyard this year!

  • Gwendolyn
    April 7, 2010 at 8:00 am

    I have the Urban chairs for the kitchen table and they work fine in my small apartment. They are pretty sturdy and I plan on using them as outside patio type seating once I buy a home next year.

  • Valentina
    April 7, 2010 at 8:26 am

    I think the Urban chairs are really great for indoors and outdoors!

  • Ivanchika
    April 7, 2010 at 8:36 am

    U R B A N!!!!
    Have a nice day!!

  • TerrorDome
    April 7, 2010 at 9:31 am

    A Metropolitan & Urban Combo

  • TerrorDome
    April 7, 2010 at 9:31 am

    Re Above: Not a single chair mash-up but a few of each ; )

  • Taylor B.
    April 7, 2010 at 9:58 am

    I would go with the plastic, anyway, just so I wouldn’t get burned on the metal chairs when they heat up in the sun…even if you did add a cushion…just leaning back would hurt.

  • kristy
    April 7, 2010 at 10:18 am

    Honestly, these chairs do not look comfortable. You want to have dinner outside and linger and relax and talk, etc. You may not find any in your style, but a swivel, rocker type of outdoor chair is my pick. I have 3 sets of outdoor furniture scattered in/around my pool, upper deck and outdoor kitchen area. I love them for the following reasons:
    1. Comfortable – totally!
    2. U don’t have to scoot them in/out to get up – you turn (b/c they swivel) and get up
    3. They rock, so you can lean back a bit and really relax and have a conversation.

    I have tall back and standard back chairs and would not buy the tall backs again – can’t see over them, etc.

    My table also has a lazy susan in the middle – great option as well. Just a thought – but with table, 4 chairs, cushions, etc the set was about 1,200. Not sure where that falls in the price range you were aiming for – but isn’t comfort priceless(?) – Kristy

  • Heather
    April 7, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    My mom found similar chairs to #1 at Costco last year. Perhaps they’re carrying them again!

  • Minna
    April 7, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I like the IKEA chair, the Blankö one. But then, I’m from Sweden so I might not be objective :) It just looks like a semi-traditional chair, just more….weather-functional :D

  • Misty
    April 7, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    I would go with the Blankö one and spray paint them to look like the Metro chair!

  • Fernanda
    April 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm

    I like chair number 5. Don’t worry about the damages because of the weather. Wherever we live, exterior furniture don’t last as much as the inside one.

  • Lynn
    April 7, 2010 at 3:26 pm

    I vote for the Urban chair – and love it in the orange like in the Blueprint picture.

  • Holly
    April 7, 2010 at 5:35 pm

    I just saw the Blankö chair at Ikea, and I LOVE it, I think I might get some for myself.

  • Spenser
    April 7, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Urban all the way!

  • L
    April 7, 2010 at 6:12 pm

    I like the urban, esp. in the baby blue…

  • Elisa @ whatthevita
    April 7, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I just went to a local restaurant in Austin and saw the urban chairs in their outdoor patio and thought of you! These chairs are green and they look whimsical and cute. I liked them paired with their wood tables…

  • amy
    April 7, 2010 at 7:46 pm

    You have to check out the Loop chair at Urban Outfitters…super cute.

  • Lindsay
    April 7, 2010 at 7:57 pm

    What about these Reed chairs from CB2?

    I just ordered a few for my dining room, but I’m sure they’d be beautiful outdoors as well. And at half the price of the Tolix chairs, they’re a bit more affordable.

  • Funnelcloud Rachel
    April 7, 2010 at 9:29 pm

    This is kind of similar to #2 – not quite as cool and industrial, but only $59.

    (I’ve been obsessed with finding chairs for our patio and your post yesterday has spurred extensive internet research!)

  • alexandra keller
    April 8, 2010 at 12:18 am

    wow – people really have opinions about chairs. i say go with the best you can afford. if you get cheap plastic chairs, they won’t last (AZ weather is extreme also), so i would go with metal and soften them up with cushions – Sunbrella fabrics last and won’t fade. while you may spend more initially, you won’t be buying chairs every year.

  • Link Time! |
    April 8, 2010 at 4:34 am

    […] – Copy Cat ChicShopping for outdoor dining chairs? Check out a few great options. – Making It LovelyFind out where you can design your own duvet cover. – ShelterrificEames molded plastic chairs […]

  • French furniture
    April 8, 2010 at 4:53 am

    I can’t believe the Blanko chair is only 19.99. That’s real bargain!

  • tiina
    April 8, 2010 at 5:21 am

    I remember that Blueprint article – very cute. I think I would go with chairs same style as chair #1. I have had this photo on my inspiration board for a while now.
    The stool in it is the same style as the chair. I also like the table set up with those metal chairs that I posted a while ago. I love the way the chairs mix with many styles.

    • Making it Lovely
      April 8, 2010 at 11:23 am

      So pretty. Brandon just told me yesterday that he thinks those chairs look like “cheap watering cans”! I love them though.

  • Sarah
    April 8, 2010 at 6:41 am

    Thanks for posting the picture of the teak table with the urban chairs! We have a teak table and chairs in the backyard and I have been toying with the idea of switching out the chairs for the urban chairs. Just as a heads up: someone is selling 4 of the white urban chairs on the Chicago craigslist for $70. Not a bad deal!

    • Making it Lovely
      April 8, 2010 at 11:24 am

      I’m waiting to hear back from the seller… hopefully I can grab the set!

  • romeoandjewels
    April 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    We just got the Blankö and they are super comfy – the in-laws were hanging out on them last weekend. You can buy .99 cent cushions at ikea that match. Our ikea didn’t get the white ones, so we went with the turquoise and loooove them! They look really expensive in real life – nicely powdercoated. Good luck!

  • BettiV
    April 8, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    All these chairs have great lines…the Urban chair does look fantastic in that photo spread….Are you looking at a particular color?…that orange looks fantastic & really pops…its very you…stands out in a classy way :) Cant wait to see what you decide on.

  • A Jill of All Trades
    April 9, 2010 at 10:45 am

    My mother has some bucket style metal chairs that look like they were made from old wash bins….I’ll aske her where she got them and how much they were.

  • A Jill of All Trades
    April 9, 2010 at 10:46 am

    They’re shaped like the #3 in the first group, but the back is solid.

  • melanirae
    April 12, 2010 at 3:24 am

    I love these! But metal outdoors? Burned bums come to mind ;)

  • cat
    April 12, 2010 at 12:21 pm

    highly recommend the cafe chair from dwr. we have four of them and i can sit in them for much much time. dont bother with the cushions.

  • Lisa sp
    April 12, 2010 at 8:30 pm

    We have these chairs on our deck in Minnesota, although I do bring them in during the winter. We have had them for two years and they still look great.

  • Making it Lovely | Transforming the so-so. » Blog Archive » Our Backyard Patio Furniture
    April 17, 2010 at 5:42 pm

    […] We’ve decided to go with IKEA’s Urban chairs for our backyard. They’re comfortable, modern, inexpensive, and they won’t burn your bottom (as we fear metal chairs may). Plus Meredith and Sarah alerted me to a set of four on Craigslist, so we only needed four more to complete a set. […]

  • Susan
    June 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    Went with the Tolix. Bought four without the arms, but will buy two with the arms this summer. You can buy them at
    They have an amazing collection and located right outside of Chicago.

  • Jessica
    December 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    I just bought the urban chair and am looking for a colorful seat cushion to with it. Did you ever find the need for a seat cushion to make it more comfortable? If so do you have any leads? The size is unique.