Add Warm Memories to Your Home With Vintage and Retro Chairs

For admirers of vintage and retro chairs, nothing is more enjoyable than seeking out chairs that take you on a journey to the past. Vintage chairs stir memories of Granny, and retro chairs take you back to a period when furniture took on its own personality. eBay offers a wide selection of both vintage and retro chairs, in many different styles.

Is there a difference between vintage chairs and retro chairs?

Yes. Vintage chairs match the furniture of a period in the past. Retro chairs adopt the style of a chair from a time that has past us by. Vintage describes a period, and retro describes a style. Several of the retro and vintage chairs on eBay, however, suit both descriptions.

Can vintage or retro chairs be new or re-upholstered?

Yes. Some vintage chair styles and retro designs have made a comeback, and have been re-introduced by furniture manufacturers. Others are original period pieces that have been re-upholstered. Note that vintage chairs that have been repaired, or made to look new, are quality pieces. Otherwise, they would not be designated as vintage.

The defining features of retro and vintage chairs

You know that a vintage chair has a history and that a retro chair is designed with a look from a previous decade. But there is more to the story. The chairs all have something special that help them to stand out from the crowd. You sit up and take notice when a chair's features include:

  • Colours that make you look twice: Retro chairs are often distinguished by bright colours. Red retro chairs in your kitchen convey a certain style, especially when they are mixed and matched with other bright colours, such as lime green, sunny yellow, or a deep blue.
  • Interesting patterns: Patchwork upholstery is immensely popular. The chair becomes even more of a conversation piece when the patchwork fabrics that are chosen don’t match, but do come together beautifully. Look also for theme-based patterns, such as corals or forests.
  • Atypical chair legs: The legs of a chair may not be the first thing you’ll notice. However, both the shape and the material of retro and vintage chairs can be quite unusual. As part of a metal frame, they give the chair a butterfly-shaped look or a school desk chair appearance. If separate from the frame, wooden legs may be reminiscent of the slightly angled positioning that was popular in the 1950s and 1960s. Count the number of legs. You may be surprised to see only three.
When to buy single chairs and sets of chairs

Many of the retro chairs on eBay are available in pairs or in sets. Others are available as single chairs, but with the option to buy more. Some vintage chairs for sale are only available as single one-off purchases. Single chairs are unique relics of a particular period. An example would be an accent chair that can stand alone because of its inimitable design.