Retro design enthusiasts unable to afford A-list mid-century classics can find solace in the Tam Tam stool. Long before Ikea, Tam Tam was a visually distinctive, low-cost, easy-to-assemble alternative for those with modest means and design preferences that skewed towards the more adventurous. Designed in 1968 by architect Henry Massonnet, founder of a plastics company, the Tam Tam stool was originally intended to be a lightweight, cheap seat for fisherman, but took off on the commercial market, due, in no small measure, to a low price point and simple, sexy shape.
Thanks to a photo of the very sexy actress Bridgette Bardot perched on a Tam Tam, the stool sold an unprecedented 12 million copies before the 70’s oil crisis made plastic too expensive, and production ceased. Revived in the 21st Century by Branex, Tam Tam continues to be manufactured under the exact specifications of the original, but now offers a mind-boggling range of colors and finishes. Most impressively, it remains Ikea cheap (under $40).