Butterfly Chairs

January 31st, 2011

I’ve been slowly amassing butterfly chair frames to use as seating around the fire pit for the past year or so. Unfortunately, buying individual frames over Craigslist is a bit of a problem when it comes to having all the chairs and their covers match. Why won’t a bunch of unconnected strangers in different towns have exactly what I want?! So inconsiderate.

Mismatched and falling apart, the random ugly slings on each chair were making things look a tad dorm room ghetto.

I recently received an email from Steve Dunning of Circa50 whose subject line literally read “help is on the way”. He had noticed my past post and how terrible the chairs were looking and then a wave of embarrassment about the state of my ghetto chair covers hit me like a tuna in the face. With much shame, I admitted that they had been neglected for far too long.

Thankfully, Circa50 rescued me yet again.

They sent six white indoor/outdoor vinyl weave slings in size D. The heavy duty exterior vinyl is a Circa50 exclusive and so very thick and fabulous to sit in – they are like white clouds of slingy heaven.

I can’t decide if six chairs may be a bit much around the fire pit, but once we install the stock tank pool I have a feeling that a pair will navigate over to the other side of the yard. Then it shall be decided…do I need still more? Probably…because I am obsessed with butterfly chairs…

It’s amazing how a matching set of slings instantly changes the patio area. It’s like the whole thing just went up a thousand notches in the über fancy design category.

Honestly, I kind of don’t want anyone to sit in them since they look like the hotness.

Thanks again, Steve and everyone at Circa50! These really did save the side yard. Now everything else needs to get better to keep up.

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  1. Mea on 01/31/2011:

    Very, very hot! I agree: I would cringe everytime somebody sat down on them with new dark blue jeans or spray tan or whatever!

  2. Dan @ Manhattan Nest on 01/31/2011:

    GAH THEY LOOK INCREDIBLE. Damn, that side yard does look uber fancy!

    Like I always say*, when you have fabulous chairs, who needs friends to actually sit in them?

    *actually, I’ve never said this. Not out loud anyway.

  3. Susan on 01/31/2011:

    This is uncanny. Over the weekend I sent Circa 50 an email asking about your leather slings (they must get a million queries originating from your site). As soon as I can get my hands on a small enough frame (unfortunately I keep finding size D frames) I’ll shell out the small fortune for freight. As soon as…..

  4. Annika on 01/31/2011:

    Hi there !
    Just wanted you to know there is more of us out there, people with an obsession for butterfly chairs, I’m still busy collecting..
    Yes I’m afraid it will lead to a divorce soon…Him or more chairs..hmm tough one…
    They look great…

  5. erin@designcrisis on 01/31/2011:

    Like a butterfly, a wild butterfly, I will collect you and I will capture you.

  6. Carolina Eclectic on 01/31/2011:

    Oh yes, they are fantastic!!!

  7. Totally weird coincidence – I was combing through brochures of our house from the 1950s and there was an article about “outdoor decor” … beautiful, perfectly coifed women were lounging away in their butterfly chairs.

    Definitely a thousand notches of hotness!

  8. my little apartment on 01/31/2011:

    omg, I can’t wait to maybe see rad little side tables nestled between a couple of those chairs. perhaps just some thick tree-trunk slices topped with a ceramic planter and a little succulent nestled inside.

    also Mea is right. my jeans left blue marks for the first couple of months. this obviously means that you’ll need to enforce a strict “no pants when lounging” rule.

  9. Lesley on 01/31/2011:

    You definitely don’t have too many butterfly chairs…says the girl who is up to 6 and wants another 4! I want to have the patio and yard lined up with them. Since I don’t really have any living room furniture, I brought 4 of them inside for the winter. It’s my favorite drinking chair!

  10. Kaitlyn on 01/31/2011:

    So I am becoming a bit jealous of your great vintage finds. What are you tricks for finding butterfly chairs on craigslist?

  11. modernhaus on 01/31/2011:

    Don’t be surprised if you find refugees from the Parker that couldn’t find an open butterfly chair there…now if you could only charge them $400 a night.
    OMG, the Brick House Bed & Butterfly Chair (cuz I know you don’t have breakfast) is born.

  12. Kat on 01/31/2011:

    OMG your side yard is looking so good! I so want a butterfly chair, maybe with a cowhide cover. But I have no place to put one. I’d have to get rid of an vintage Wagner teak rocking chair, which I don’t want to do. Dam small condo living with no outdoor space!

  13. THE BRICK HOUSE on 01/31/2011:

    Kaitlyn, usually on craigslist I look under butterfly chair or Hardoy or patio chair or wire chair or vintage patio, ect…it takes a lot of browsing and some luck. The Craigspro app on the iPhone is a lifesaver.

    I asked Steve about cleaning since I didn’t really think about it before. Its pretty simple – he said: For general cleaning, use 409 or Fantastic, and while the cover is on the chair, spray it down, use a scrub brush if necessary, and then just hose them off!

    I love anything you can hose off.

  14. Charlotte on 01/31/2011:

    Oh, they are just beautiful. Congrats!

  15. bekah on 01/31/2011:

    Did you use Rustoleum to paint the bases? Did you need to sand them?

    Its very striking, looks like advertisement! Well done!

  16. The brick house on 01/31/2011:

    Yes. Some are painted…and some I haven’t gotten to yet. I usually give them a rough sand and clean them off. Then spray them black and it works great.

  17. bianca of terri planty on 01/31/2011:

    those are some sexy chairs.

  18. helloshiella on 01/31/2011:

    i hope this is a sign that My butterfly chair cover is coming today. thats right, i actually found a BFK chair too! i bought red canvas (size C) from circa50 in hopes to use it as a pattern and make some custom ones (like b&w cabana stripe). so Excited!

  19. Martha on 02/01/2011:

    So glad to be reading this! I found a frame outside of our building next to the dumpster about a month ago and have been wondering where to get a cover ever since. Many thanks. Now to measuring!

  20. The brick house on 02/01/2011:

    So awesome! What a score. I have serially never found something by a dumpster. I keep waiting for that special day…

  21. Tonia on 02/01/2011:

    They look fabulous! I love the white.

  22. Ryan on 02/01/2011:

    They look sweet.

  23. Laguna Dirt on 02/01/2011:

    i have dragged my mom’s butterfly chair she bought in the 50s or 60s with me from my first apartment to my current home (and now it’s groovy again!). since some unlucky person will soon bust through the current cotton cover, i’m going to try your pals at circa50!

  24. MidCenturyHome on 02/01/2011:

    I wish I could find a couple of them, but I’m afraid that they were not so common around here 🙁
    Anyway, they look amazing and the white slings are perfect on them.


  25. lizzie on 02/01/2011:

    they look so beautiful! i love how fresh the white is!

  26. Fat Cat on 02/01/2011:

    Super classy indeed ! I bet though the feral cats from next door love lounging in them 😉

  27. THE BRICK HOUSE on 02/01/2011:

    Haven’t found one in there yet…just a matter of time though…

  28. DelishMag Tamara on 02/01/2011:

    Oh my, with our new house I think I need an inbox FULL of emails with that subject line!!

  29. pam on 02/01/2011:


  30. the vintage cabin on 02/02/2011:

    They look awesome! You’re so lucky to have these magical leprechaun people emailing you with pots o’ gold. I’ll be sure that I never have my period when I come over and sit on them, k?

  31. Lindsay on 02/02/2011:

    all that white and black – looking yummy!

  32. carolyn bahen on 02/02/2011:

    What colours and what are your prices of these chairs please. I am looking for 2 to 4 at this time.

    Thank you


  33. THE BRICK HOUSE on 02/02/2011:

    Check out Circa50, I think I put a million links to their site in my post because they are cool guys and prices are really affordable and I like what they are all about.

    Like $40ish-$60ish for a sling in all sorts of colors and materials. Check it.

  34. Becky on 02/03/2011:

    That definitely looks better! It’s weird, I can’t get into the butterfly chair. I just find them to be boring and uncomfortable. The matching slings look fantastic though, and I actually kind of like the army of chairs!

  35. redneckmodern on 02/04/2011:

    The vinyl’s pretty durable. we got some in black a few years ago and they look as good as new. watch out for the wind, though — it can/will carry them away. you might want to get some bocce balls to weight them down when not in use. or cats.

    as for refurbing the frames… we wimped out and took them to a local powder coaters. they sandblast the frames to a gorgeous smoothness and coat with a super-durable plasticized coating which is a great material for outdoor use. it’s more expensive than sandpaper and rattle-can paint ($50-100/chair depending on where you live), but it’s likely a longer-wearing option.

  36. ARQ. JAIME NISNOVICH on 02/06/2011:

    Les recuerdo que los autores de estos sillones fueron los arquitectos Bonet, Kurchan y Ferrari Hardoy, de Argentina, y por ello son conocidos como SILLONES BKF.—– Fueron diseñados en Buenos Aires aproximadamente en 1950. ——— Una de las muchas glorias del diseño argentino.
    Please, sameone, traslate sthis question.

  37. Claudia on 03/16/2011:

    Translation of Arq. Jaime Nisnovich’s comment..

    “Let me remind you that the authors of these chairs were architects Bonet, Kurchan and Ferrari Hardoy from Argentina, and this is why they are known as BFK Chairs — They were designed in Buenos Aires around 1950 — This is one of many glories of Argentinian design.”

  38. LA salt on 09/24/2011:
  39. arista on 02/29/2012:

    Any recommendations on where to buy the butterfly chair frames would be much appreciated. I am in Austin, Texas and can’t find them anywhere.

  40. eiendom i alanya on 09/05/2012:

    Hello, I enjoy reading all of your article post. I wanted to write a little comment
    to support you.

  41. R. Hartt on 07/20/2013:

    I have a pair of 50s iron chairs for sale perfect condition

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