Friday, March 21, 2008

Tulip Chairs, aka Motel Chairs, aka Candybouncers

Tulip chairs, aka candy bouncers, aka motel chairs are a piece of America' s history. I think most can remember seeing these chairs at some point in their lives. I really like my two. They don't look like much here, but oh are they ever comfortable.

I am always on the lookout for nice sturdy chairs for sitting in after a long day working in the garden. I spotted these two in a neighbor's front yard with a for sale sign on them. Mr. Fix-it (the great barter man that he is) acquired them for me for the small sum of $17 for the pair.

I wanted some chairs like this because I am a nostalgic person and they seemed to remind me of times past. But since I have had them, I have really come to rely on them. These two chairs are seated in my front yard, no pun intended. They are easy to move around when I mow the lawn, and they don't harm the grass. They are lightweight, comfortable and sturdy. My little cat and I usually sit here each evening for some quality time. That is her cuddled up on another comfortable chair in my garden. Orkin lives on the front porch with occasional forays into the garden on hunting or potty trips. She is a spoiled cat who gets her way with all the seating areas in the garden. This little redwood chair is also a bit of an antique, and I haven't seen any in stores in a long time. Has anyone else?

Lola sent me some great information about the tulip chairs. I warn you they can be rather pricey. Even before we got ours at a good bargain, I had been pricing them in flea markets and antique stores and found they are very expensive. The man who sold Mr. Fix-it these two initially wanted $20 per chair. Mr. Fix-it said no way. The man did protest telling Mr. Fix-it his friend sells them for twice what he was asking for in his antique store. Mr. Fix-it was not impressed and stuck to his guns. Bargain landed.

These chairs are considered retro. Like all things retro, they come in and out of style frequently. If you are interested in learning more about Tulip chairs, aka motel chairs and candy bouncers, you can find further information at This website has the whole story of the tulip chair and it is quite interesting. The story takes me back to when things were a bit different than they are now, a simpler time.

in the garden....sitting on a candybouncer chair.


  1. Good morning Tina, I really like these chairs whatever their called!I had a couple green one's when I moved to the country. They eventually rusted out from setting on the ground. So check yours periodically and keep them painted real well. I've also been the redwood furniture route!!

    Have a great day, I have some help today so will take advantage of it and get a few projects done.

  2. good morning nina! i am on my way out to see some purple martins but thought i would check in here first.

    i will definitely paint and check mine. i hate it they rust. that must be why there are not so many of these chairs around anymore. do you like redwood? seemed it was all the rage in the 80s and 90s. now it is more modern stuff. i still like the redwood. haven't seen it anywhere though. do they even sell it anymore?

  3. Good morning to all.

    I checked the site out Tina and compared to the cheap plastic ones they sell today they are pricey but anything that will last a long time is gonna be pricey but cheaper in the long run. I like the colors they now have.

  4. Love the chairs....have fun with the birds...


  5. I grew up sitting on the Aqua colored ones! When my parents moved out of the old house, the chairs did not make the move to the new house. Not sure what ever happen to them...

    I see those chairs in yards and on porches all over the place here in Georgia!

    Have a good weekend all...

  6. hey all. lovely, lovely day here. i have a bunch of work to do outside. not sure why i am here but it is nice to relax and talk a bit. even i do that with neighbors every now and then.

    found some AWESOME deals at kmart. it is a post for tomorrow i think. the purple martins were so cool! as was their 54 acres! of course, we didn't see it all. but as far as we could see there were daffys everywhere and woodlands and omg. nice. will post on pat and frank soon too.

    mom, i just like these chairs because i guess i like retro. i looked in kmart at the patio furniture for redwood. could not find a stick of redwood. anyone ever notice it? the colors are nice too. how is the weather there?

    gail, i had so much fun with the birds. they are really something else. i mean, i love most all birds (even starlings which they dispose of), but these are some special birds. hope all is great in chez cedar glade. i love this name. i really do. it is nice here.

    skeeter, would those be the same chairs your dad fell through? i am betting an aqua color went well with hotel pools. i am not surprised georgia has a bunch of these chairs. i personally think it may be because down south they have more patio furniture for longer seasons and the furniture lasts longer because it is mild? bet everyone thought i would say because georgia, like alabama, is the South. no, not why i think so many are down there at all.

    hope you rest up well for your surgery. make sure you are well hydrated.

  7. Tina I think they do still make the red wood stuff but you need to go to a high quailty store so gonna pay a lot.

    Good for them for disposing the starlings. Wish I had the heart that could do that cause I do not like starlings at all. I hate it when they eat my bird food!!

  8. Hi Tina, the chairs are pretty cool --I do remember seeing those quite a bit down here --of course now that I am looking I can't seem to see any, lol. Too nice to be inside today. I do have to run to the store -I hope it isn't crowded. I will probably color eggs when it gets dark since the kids want to be outside --can't blame them:) Spring Break!!!! Enjoy this lovely weather --y'all!

  9. Tina,

    I am off to see my mom in MO...I will wave toward you as I pass through Clarksville.


  10. Hi Gail --expect a lot of waves as you pass thru --my kiddos love to wave :0) So, all those extra arms flapping out toward the interstate will be my crew:) Have fun visiting with your mom. I'm happy my mom is coming over our house for Easter this year --we did Christmas at her house so it's my turn:) I think it's easier when it's my turn --I guess I'm a homebody. Hi Tina --hope you are out having a great time in the candybouncer --what a name, lol. Anyhow --have fun relaxing in your cool chair --how did the fence turn out? The house on the corner is putting in the prettiest white picket fence -smaller about 4 feet high --if it turns out as nice as it is looking maybe I can convince hubby to try that on our backyard:)Hi Jean --you ready for the Easter Bunny? Hi Lola --Hi Skeeter --Hi Nina --I hope your little one helped pick up all the sticks:) I'd make it a prize --who can get the most sticks --treat would be ice cream :0) I'm sure she would get a ton of them --

  11. hi mom, anonymous and gail! hard day working in the yard putting up more fences. had to fix the backyard fence so the dogs don't get out. lots of work. it is nice! yes! to nice to be inside! i am on my way back out.

    gail, you are more than welcomed to stop by on your way through. 9316452359. i hope your mom is doing well.

  12. dawn with peachesMarch 21, 2008 at 7:36 PM

    I used to see these about 20 yrs ago, guess they don't last in our weather, bitter gusty winds today. 50 mph, almost enough to make you think you'll be swept off your feet AND don't bother fixing your hair!
    Tina, wouldn't it be prudent to construct a lawn set out of pressure treated and apply a redwood stain? We have a table and two chairs made that way and the table has a umbrella. I've already planned waterproof shower cloth curtains to be stitched over foam for the chairs. For some reason I think I need the extra padding when I sit down.Ha! Not! I don't know the cost of redwood but it sounds expensive. I've seen landmark redwood in books and know there aren't that many left.

  13. dawn with peaches, you always have such crafty ideas and are so smart. pressure treated stained redwood would work perfectly. i was just wondering if they even sold this stuff anymore? i have enough as i have held onto mine for all these years. fortunately i have a covered porch so it lasts forever. other than the carpenter bees living in one of the arms (it never bothers us), the chairs and chaise are all in good shape. what kind of patio furniture do you have?

    the winds are what we had a day or two ago. they were pretty bad. it will pass quickly.

  14. Nice blog Tina. I got to see the chairs up closer. Did you paint them? They look more pink than red. Any way I plan to make next weekend a trip to Ocala to check them out. Then will check out the other source.

    Good you had help Nina. By all means I would have taken advantage of it. Seems these days you can't find good help.

    Jean I agree in the long run the retro would be cheaper. The plastic doen't last long. They are being made cheaper & they don't have the ability to hold much weight. Us pleasingly plump need something solid under us. Not funny winding up on the

    Hi Gail. Enjoy your trip & have a nice visit with your Mom. But be careful of the flood waters. Sounds bad up that way.

    Skeeter, seems as though that is where I remember seeing them most. On front porches. You don't even see people sitting on their front porches much any more. Have to be in under lock & key these days.
    Surgery not far off, do start to rest more. It will pay off in the end.

    Hi Anonymous Maybe one day you will get your picket fence. I think they are so pretty. To me it is a sign of welcome & security. Like olden days when people weren't afraid to visit with one another. Like "talking over the back fence". so neat.

    Dawn with Peaches, I really like your idea for covering your cushions. They will be pretty as you can color coordinate all. Go for it girl.

    Warm here. Nothing done. Got kiddies tonight. Feel real crummy. Hope it passes. Hope Young'un will at least mow the yard tomorrow. Told him if eggs were to be hunted the grass would have to be cut. Can't walk out there. A trap.

  15. hi lola! sorry you are not feeling well. are you tired? been working too hard in the garden? i have been. it is a definite ibuprofen night tonight.

    i did not paint these chairs yet. they have some surface rust but are solid. i bought some rustoleum in a bright red to redo them (one of these days). well gotta hit the sack. another busy day tomorrow.

  16. dawn with peachesMarch 21, 2008 at 9:02 PM

    Just a simple 4' x 4' table with 2 chairs that have arms, I also have a adrondick(sp) recliner but it is unfinished and I'm thinking redwood stain. I have a wicker set but it needs major work. Today they make repos of the wicker loveseat and chairs, in plastic. Cost an arm and a leg.
    The wind is awful, froze all the slush from yesterdays rain, made driveways a sheet of ice including mine. My yellow birch (what a ancient looking tree) has buds even though a quarter of the branches are sticking out from the snow!

  17. Not sure what is wrong, just hope I'm not coming down with all that is going around. Not been in garden to do any real work. Leg not wanting to work right. Rats.
    Windy here. Picked up all my potting material the other day, put it back on my potting table--well guess what--it's all back on the ground. Now to do it all over again.

    Redwood stain sounds great. Still fabric should match easy. what color are the table & chairs?

    Tina, you & Dawn are dancing real close tonight. lol

  18. Hi Tina --hope you feel better in the morning. And, Lola --I hope you feel better for that Easter Bunny visit:0) Hi Skeeter --hope you aren't moving loads of rock and gravel this weekend --kick back and watch the Saint do the work, lol. You want to save your energy for this coming week. Hi dawn with Peaches --yeppers one of the boys takes piano --begged for years and we finally gave in and he plays rather well. The girl model changes her mind about what she wants to play on a daily or shall we say hourly basis. She wanted to play the drums, the guitar and now the piano because she always wants to do what the older two boys are doing. Whether it be shooting hoops or shooting a BBGun --she wants to be JUST like them. LOL I think we might let her try piano soon --not sure how soon but she is rather flighty:) Hi Nina, hope your little helper and you got alot accomplished today. Howdy Jean --ready for the Bunny? We colored our eggs tonight --great part is only one of the four actually eats hard cooked eggs, lol. But, they all want to color, color, color so many eggs. I will have to give them to my mom and sister:) Better chase the kiddos to bed --girl model has been asleep for hours --the boys all three are up playing the Wii. Nighty night!

  19. Hi everyone....

    Gail I am glad you will get to see your mother this weekend but like Lola said, be careful.

    Anonymous I guess I am ready for the bunny as I don't do anything anymore. Used to do it all but now that Terri-Lynn lives next door she does it all and won't let me do a thing. Wants me to relax and enjoy it. Actually I do make the Monkey Bread. I'm like you and would rather be in my own house but I must admit it is nice to walk 100 feet and not do anything. The ice cream idea is good!!

    Dawn we have bare ground and just wet but won't be long and you will also if the birch has buds.

    Lola I hope you feel better tomorrow and even better Sunday so you can enjoy the kiddies on the bunny day.

  20. Oh darn it meant to tell you to take it easy Tina so you will feel better. There is always another day.

  21. hi all, good morning. another glorious day in tennessee. i am not feeling any better. need some more ibuprofen to start the day. it is always like this the beginning of the season.

    dawn with peaches, soon that birch will be in full leaf. this year is passing quickly. i always think about spring and how this year my garden will be the best. always. each and every year so i am trying to figure out when it will be the best and when i don't have to worry. time goes on. quickly too.

    hi lola, i didn't see dawn with peaches comment until this morning. we were close. maybe the new beta version will show when others are online and we can avoid that. not sure. i hope your leg starts working! it is from your hip problems? you might need to see the doctor.

    good morning anonymous, how many eggs DID you color? three dozen? giving them away would be the way to go. i used to try to eat all of ours when i was a kid. yuck! does the girl model still have her 'studio'? or did you clean it out?

    mom, it is so true gail should be careful in mo. the flooding is bad. where our other house is located they had 7.5 inches just on thursday! lots of flooding there! no problems where i live but the red and tennessee rivers are very high. very muddy too. i saw a tire with rim floating down the red river a few days ago. couldn't imagine! then figured the tire must've been inflated for the whole thing to float. anyhow, work to do and ibuprofen to snack on. bye now. lots of love.

  22. Hi Lola,
    Hope your feeling better. My table and chairs have a redwood stain on it. The fabric has a copper color thistle-like flower w/dark green petals, beige background. The umbrella has a red and green band of color around the top. I got a deal on the shower curtians and bought 3. I forgot to mention we have a set of ice cream chairs for the balconey, they will have the same fabric. I'm like you and just want to sit. We can see everything in the yard, plus the street from this area.

  23. dawn with peaches, is the shower curtain plastic? how will you keep it waterproof once it is stuffed and you sew it? you do know they have some awesome outdoor fabrics now? we are trying to come for a visit early summer. i doubt i will take any classes this summer, and if i do they will be all online. this will allow us some freedom. can't wait to see your new house.

  24. It's the waterproofed cloth ones, the ones that make a noise when rubbed together? We looked eveywhere for them, found them at Mardens of all places. $6 apiece.
    We'll be all settled this summer, can't wait to do other things this year, last 3 spent building. Gonna be different.

  25. Feeling about the same but things have to be done.
    Tina you must take it easier. Just think if you are laid up how will it get done. A little at a time. I know how it is to want to do & can't.

    Dawn with Peaches, it sounds marvelous. I just know it's going to be a knockout. It will be great with you new house. What is an ice cream chair?

    Kiddies will be here to hunt eggs tomorrow. Easter Bunny will have seen them here also.
    Big day, better go.

  26. dawn with peachesMarch 22, 2008 at 9:10 PM

    Hi Lola,
    Ice cream chairs have sorta a heart shaped back with padded seat and backrest inserts. Small and usually made out of wrought iron.
    Sounds like you are at full springtime in Fla. Can't wait, have fun with the hunt tom.

  27. Are the ice cream chairs the same as what they call bistro chairs-usually with table & 2 chairs. They are nice for patio or intimate nook in yard tucked away from all views. Don't ya think?
    Pretty much full--some have planted gardens. Others not far behind. Probably by end of June all will be gone--too hot by then.

  28. Lola, we call them bistro chairs also! I had a set with glass top table that I toted around for years but had to get rid of when we moved into an apartment when we arrived in GA. No room for them anywhere! Now we have this nice front porch and I wish I had them back. Am sure someone at the Goodwill store was happy to find them as we donated them....

    A few miles from us is a real old Ice Cream parlor all original as was built in the early 60’s. They have the tables and chairs in them so I can see why you call them ice Cream Chairs Dawn with Peaches....

  29. dawn with peachesMarch 23, 2008 at 9:16 AM

    Also during the days of soda fountians, these chairs could be found without the tables, only at the counters.

  30. dawn with peaches, when you first described the icecream chairs i thought they sounded like bistro chairs. they are very nice in the garden. lizzy has a bistro set and i loved sitting on it. you can still find them even new in big box stores. sounds like we all like them. i remember soda fountains. some stores still have them. maine has a few and they bring back LOTS of nostalgia for me. anyone else?

  31. Sure Tina. I remember those days well. There is a little store in Murray, Ky. {I believe} that my sister-in-law use to take me when I went home for visit. It had the old fashioned soda counter & boy did they have this fruity drink that was out of this world. I told the "soda jerk" as they use to be called that I had drove all the way from Fl. to get one of those drinks. I would have to. It was that good. To me they represent the olden romantic days that we envision at one point in our lives. A time of quiet, gentle, caring times.

    Dawn with Peaches, don't let go of your ice cream set. Hang on to it girl.

    Skeeter sorry you couldn't hold on to you set. Now it would look grand in your garden setting or on you front porch. I really miss my front & back porches. Front was to the East & back was to the West. Shady porch either way.