OF ALL the morning rituals that take place in Paris, my favorite is the transformation of those whimsical, colorfully woven chairs from towering stacks to orderly rows outside the city’s brasseries, cafés and bistros. Sinewy but delicate, masculine but feminine, rational but romantic, they have always felt to me like little ambassadors, exhilarating indicators that I am truly in the city.

When bistro seating recently began showing up in American shelter magazines and friends’ houses as indoor furniture, I became fixated on…

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