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Iconic Design Love: The Acapulco Chair

Hailing from the 1950s and ‘60s is the iconic Acapulco chair, whose clever designer is strangely unknown. The story goes that while visiting Acapulco in the 50s, a French tourist was uncomfortably hot sitting in a solidly-constructed chair in the Mexican sunshine. Inspired by the open string construction of traditional Mayan hammocks nearby, he designed a chair fit for the modern tropics.

True or not, this chair clearly integrates the traditional weaving technology with ergonomic comfort and retro-modern style. It is usually made of vinyl cords on a metal, slightly pear-shaped frame, whose bright colors beckon the idea of a tropical getaway. While the Acapulco chair has most commonly been used as outdoor lounge seating, it has recently founds its place in interiors while giving off a folk, modern, and glamorous flair.

Whether in vibrant or neutral colors, the form of Acapulco chair brings in an interesting design element to any space. This symbol of laid-back, midcentury resort style looks as comfortable today as in the 1950s. Drape over a faux fur throw or toss a patterned pillow, and the chair is accentuated further.

The chair’s simple, geometric lines make it an easy to mesh with other styles. Current designs experiment with a departure from the classic bowl seat and vinyl material. Updated barrel backs and cotton or other natural fibers offer variances that are suitable in contemporary and eclectic spaces alike.

Leather has also made it's debut with the Acapulco chair, making it a more of an indoor accent piece. The Citizenry has some gorgeous options in both black and natural leather finishes. For crafty DIYers, this Always Rooney blogpost shares a Target hack that results in a gorgeous chair at a fraction of the cost.

I've always been in love with the Acapulco chair and had to find a home for my 3 toned beach-y one back in San Francisco. Well, seems like the void was too large! I recently purchased the beautiful brown/black twine one seen above for the re vamping of our San Miguel de Allende office space. Love it's subtle rustic modern look; it found it's perfect corner. (Available in Natural twine too. Drop me a line if interested in prices).

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