Are you into gardening? Have a patio, terrace or a garden with a small pavilion? If so, you surely know Kettler, the German manufacturer of outdoor furniture. If you are invited over to friends, to have a look at their garden, to admire the lawn or for Barbecue - I would place a bet that you will sit in a Kettler chair.
Their classic product is the "Garden Master" chair. This behemoth made of Aluminium and Plastic is heavy, bulky, a pain to store away but is more comfortable than any other deck chair, wooden or monobloc. Now the sad news: they stopped manufacturing it. Your best bet is to grab one from eBay, preferably from Europe, as thousands of these must be lurking around in German Schrebergardens and European backyards.
As the Kettler chairs already have the reputation of being the classic and sturdy choice for seating outdoors, the names - as on every successful product - have kept up with time: Trento, Riva, Strato, Venezia, Roma. These names seem to be a closer match for our modern wellness obsessed world. Still, quality is unsurpassed.
Let's have a look at the current line of products: The Kettler Venezia is an allround chair, having a lower back and somewhat resebling the looks of a director's chair. Despite it's basic look, it inherits the family qualities of rigidness and comfort.
The Kettler Classic and Excelsior represent the modern face of Kettler chairs. The seat and the back is made out of a mesh fabric, stretched inside an Aluminium frame (see the Herman Miller Aeron chair for a similar design). These nonfolding(!) chairs score in terms of lightness, while they literally lose ground on the storage side.
Finally, there is the Roma and its sibling, the Kettler Tiffany , a high-back outdoor chair which is the current successors of the original Garden Master line of designs. They are available in classic white, black or blue and are sporting the same unagitated boring looks that decent seating seems to require. Add a few chair cushions and you can doze away for hours, listening to music, reading a book or watching the birds. The Kettler will always be good companion for many years to come.
It might be, these chairs aren't candidates for MoMA, but they serve a daily use, and do it well - all over the world. I thought it was about time to take my hat off to such an icon of contemporary suburban life.
And, if the toddler is around, grab one of those Kettler Kettrikes to complete your outdoor ensemble.