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Lounge chairs: They're the new cheap seats

August 23, 2007

The so-called democratization of design has spawned a new category of home furnishings: the cheap lounge chair, heavily hyped during the back-to-school shopping season. Here are a few options, most of which cost less than a tank of gas for an SUV. Clockwise from top left:

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Score: Chair or soccer net? Maybe both. The PS Axvall from IKEA is almost large enough. The piece doesn't fold, but it does rock, rivaling the best of the bunch in terms of comfort. This one was marked down to $29 at the Burbank IKEA. www.ikea.com.

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Garden color: The Marigold Floral Loft Chair from Urban Outfitters has a hollow steel frame and a cushion that comes in other patterns and solids. The piece doesn't fold, but the frame can easily be disassembled and stowed in a carrying case. $80. www.urbanoutfitters.com.

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Papasan mod: The Sphere Chair from Target comes with a microfiber or corduroy seat, available in more than a dozen colors. It collapses for easy storage and is arguably the most comfortable of this group. Prices vary; the microfiber model shown here

is $39.99. www.target.com.

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Floor models: For a grown-up-looking alternative to the bean bag chair, try these oversized felty pillows we picked up on sale at EQ3 for $49. In three colors. www.eq3.com.

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Join the club: The Tribeca Swivel Chair from Target delivers a different look with its chrome frame and black faux leather upholstery. One caveat: Of the chairs that required assembly, this was by far the most difficult. Listed on www.target.com for $89.99 but scanned in the store for $69.99.

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For the frugal: The least expensive chair in this group is also the biggest space-saver, folding up and sliding into a closet nook only 6 inches wide. Comfort? Well, that's another story. $24.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond, www.bedbathandbeyond.com.

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