Odds are you probably remember growing up with Cesca chairs at your kitchen or dining room table. Maybe even your parents have fond recollections of them. They have, after all, been around since 1928. Lately, though, we’ve been noticing them in all kinds of modern décor and home designs, not to mention on TikTok and Instagram. It’s pretty clear these beautiful dining room chairs are having a bit of a comeback, which makes now a great time to add one to your home, too.
Celebrity designer Debra Salmoni, who stars on HGTV’s Vacation House Rules with host Scott McGillivray, says these chairs have never gone out of style. “It’s a simple design, yet it looks complicated,” she tells SPY. “The tubular, seamless structure is flawless. It looks continuous, which I love. It really fits into any space and adds tons of character!”
What Are Cesca Chairs?
The Cesca chair was invented in 1928 by a Hungarian-American architect named Marcel Breuer who worked with Bauhaus. As Salmoni says, the simplicity is part of the appeal: the frame is made with one continuous piece of steel tubing that has been bent like macaroni in order to provide that stool-inspired frame. A caned seat and back are then attached for a comfy and classic look.
Back then the chair was known as the B32 and retailed for under thirty bucks. But by the 1950s when an Italian furniture manufacturer named Dino Gavina started making the Cesca with Breuer’s permission, the name changed to Cesca, after Breuer’s adopted daughter, Francesca. About a decade later, in 1968, Knoll Group purchased the rights to the Gavina factory, and before his death in 1981 Breuer made a couple of notable improvements to the chair: he created a shallower back and a front edge that slopes less. Meanwhile, he split the frame into two pieces rather than one.
Today, one of Breuer’s original chairs sits in the Museum of Modern Art. It has also been called one of the most important chairs of the 20th century. That’s because of its simplistic design, sure. But it’s also timeless — Salmoni says it will never go out of style.
“Something that has lasted this long in the design world, will be as they call it ‘a classic piece’— it’s timeless,” she says. “I don’t think they were ever out, but they are certainly getting the spotlight again. What’s old is new again. Caning is so beautiful and really making a comeback.”
How To Incorporate a Cesca Chair Into Your Space
These days there are all kinds of Cesca-inpsired chairs you could go for. There are models with arms, colorful iterations, industrial takes, monochromatic looks and even chairs with seats made from different materials.
“The beautiful part of this chair is that it fits in any and all designs,” Salmoni says. “Midcentury modern, transitional homes, modern farmhouse styles, traditional spaces, commercial spaces … It’s limitless. You can use them as a desk chair in a modern, contemporary space or they can be used as dining chairs in a farmhouse style residence.”
Need an accent chair in a living room? Grab a Cesca chair, she advises. Salmoni is even a fan of using them in restaurants to achieve a certain vibe. “You can buy an original, authentic Cesca chair, a vintage one or a knock-off, it all depends on your budget,” she says.
The Best Cesca Chairs and Cesca-Style Chairs Now
1. Cesca™ Chair Armless with Cane Seat & Back
Love the original look and don’t want to settle for any knockoffs? You can get your hands on the original model but it will cost you. These chairs feature all of the original Breuer features and come in a natural beech or an ebonized beech frame finish for a more dramatic, black look.
2. Cesca™ Chair Arm Chair with Cane Seat & Back
THE ORIGINAL CESCA ARMCHAIR
If it’s an original take on the OG Cesca chair you’re looking for, Knoll still produces these handy armchairs, which are ideal for the office or a homework desk. This chair also features all of the original Breuer craftsmanship designers have come to love over the years, and it too comes in a natural or ebony beech frame finish to suit your personal style.
3. Cesca™ Stool Cane Seat & Back
THE ORIGINAL BARSTOOL
Looking for some swanky chairs to deck out your kitchen island or home bar with? Add flawless style with these heightened Cesca bar stools, which were created in honor of the 100th anniversary of the Bauhaus. These stools are designed with the same methods and materials as the original, only they feature an extra footrest bar and an extended height.
4. Cesca™ Chair Armless with Upholstered Seat & Cane Back
Love the idea of getting your hands on an original iteration of this classic Cesca chair but want something that fits in a little better with your home design and budget? These upholstered models come in a variety of materials and colors while still incorporating many of the traditional methods and materials to give you the best of both worlds.
5. Casa Living Design Cesca Chair
If you’re a fan of the original Cesca chair design but can’t necessarily afford the hefty price tag that comes with decking out your dining room with these chairs, Amazon has you covered. Casa Living Design offers a set of two Cesca-inspired chairs that works out to be about a third of the original chair’s price each.
6. Breuer Chair Company Cesca Cane Arm Chair in Chrome and Walnut
Another affordable option for the traditional Cesca chair is this chrome and walnut take from Overstock. The midcentury-style piece is made from chromed steel and metal with a walnut beechwood to add those classic vibes to your room for a fraction of the cost. Add one to your dining room or home office for a retro but stylish look.
7. Mcnabb Tufted Upholstered Side Chair
Get the Breuer look but in a more modern style with these side chairs, which feature the same unique design but with a polyurethane upholstery that’s updated and easy to clean. They come in a set of two and add that extra sleek vibe to any dining room, office or living room. Plus, Wayfair reviewers happily report these chairs are just as comfy and sturdy as they are stylish.
8. Crossley Upholstered Side Chair
If the thought of white chairs freaks you out, Wayfair also offers these contemporary black Cesca-inspired chairs, which hold up to 250 pounds of weight and feature a curved design for extra comfort. The faux leather finish is easier on the budget than the real thing, and we love how these chairs — which come in a set of two — are nimble enough for any home space: from the office to the kitchen or the den.
9. Modus Furniture International State Breuer-Style Dining Chair
Have your chocolate and eat at it too with these chocolate-colored, overstuffed dining chairs inspired by the classic Cesca chair. The chairs come in a set of two and feature that notable bent stainless steel tube, which is then finished with a vintage brushing effect to give them extra design appeal. The cushions and backs are totally updated, with a thick, overstuffed design to give you the most possible comfort while you’re at the dining table with good food and good friends.
10. Zesthouse Mid-Century Modern Dining Chairs
If you’re looking for a mix between the classic chair and a more modern design, these distinctive chairs may be the best option for you. They feature the same leg design as a Cesca chair, along with the rattan backing you know and love. However, the black finishes and comfy upholstered seats are designed to give the overall look more modernity, but still with that minimalist feel.
Space-Saving Furniture Ideas Guaranteed to Max Out Your Living Space