Mad About . . .

Five of the best Kitchen Stools

3rd September 2020
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There are certain pieces of furniture that are essential to the functioning of any house – I have written before about the power of the Persian rug, the lure of antique furniture and the flexibility of the console table, but there is another that is so useful in any home and given that the WFH situation seems unlikely to change any time soon I thought I would give you a few examples here. The kitchen stool.

by crea stools in the home of Chelsea @thehousethatblackbuilt

by crea stools in the home of Chelsea @thehousethatblackbuilt 

Firstly anything that gives you another place to sit, ergo a different angle of the same four walls has got to be a good thing. Secondly, you don’t need to have a proper breakfast bar to add a stool. We do have an island but for eight years it didn’t have an overhang and the boys just sat sideways. For eight years they had breakfast and tea at that island and when, two years ago, we replaced the worktop and added an overhang to make it more comfortable they promptly stopped eating there and now prefer the table…. of course they do.

industrial bar stools in the style of Charlotte Perriand from pure white lines - these are the ones I have wanted for years - the originals are impossible to track down

industrial bar stools in the style of Charlotte Perriand from pure white lines – these are the ones I have wanted for years – the originals are impossible to track down

But the point remains the same. A kitchen stool allows you to perch by the cupboards and work there instead of at the table. The lower stools can double up as spare seating, spare tables. Our bedside tables are actually vintage Singer sewing machine stools that have been kitchen stools before sitting room side tables ending up in the bedroom.

tuck navy blue painted wooden stool from habitat - you can buy any wooden stool and paint to add a flash of colour

tuck navy blue painted wooden stool from habitat – you can buy any wooden stool and paint to add a flash of colour

We tend to have two (vintage) stools permanently at the island with a third tucked into a corner that can be pulled up as necessary. For most of the time it sits under a pile of laundry waiting to be taken up but the other day I rebelled and stuck a plant on top. It looks lovely. I suspect the laundry will end up on the floor next to it however so it’s very much a solution of style over substance.

curved back velvet bar stool from rockett st george

curved back velvet bar stool from rockett st george

Mind you I have another stool in the corner of the bedroom that holds the laundry once it has made it upstairs but I can’t quite summon the energy to put it away. Or, once I have accomplished that Herculean task, it works perfectly to drape those clothes that aren’t quite dirty enough for the wash but not quite clean enough to go back in the wardrobe either.

wooden bar stool from zara

wooden bar stool from zara

You see a stool is vital, because if you can’t quite summon up the energy to work at your desk instead of the sofa it can double up as a laptop desk in front of the sofa too. Working from home? Easy.

Now these stools are a bit fancier than the straightforward wood table substitute but I figured you’d know where to find those and I have recently come to the conclusion that if you do want a dedicated bar stool a little low back is exceedingly comfortable these days. Plus I have the green chair version of the Rockett St George one and I can vouch for its comfort. Another idea is to buy a plain wooden one and paint it to suit. This means you can change it whenever you like. It’s also a great way to add a flash of a brilliant disrupter colour which you might tire of on a kitchen cupboard but just brings a wow element to a room that might be mostly neutral colours. This works really well if you can see from the ktichen to the living room – bring in a bright colour to match one of the cushions for example and link the two spaces.

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4 Comments

  • Reply Claire 3rd September 2020 at 9:10 am

    I prefer stools with backs. I love the velvet ones but it is not easy to pick Weetabix out of velvet (!) and so I purchased Kartell Masters bar stools instead. Comfortable and wipe clean! Cx

    • Reply Anne M. 4th September 2020 at 10:11 am

      Totally agree re the Kartell Masters stools. A big point in their favour in our situation was their weight. They are extremely light so can easily be picked up and moved out of the way. Only drawback is the rung at the bottom which has a sharpish edge – uncomfortable on bare or stocking feet.

  • Reply Catherine 3rd September 2020 at 8:44 am

    Thanks Kate. Great article. We bought a pair of beautiful emerald green bar stools from @woodmancoteretro in lockdown (after seeing them in one of your blogs earlier this year). They are hand made in the UK by a small company who use recycled wood and are similar in style and price to the Zara ones. They look stunning, add a flash of colour to our kitchen, linking it with other greens in the house and the plants in the garden and we haven’t stopped sitting on them since they arrived – eating, having a glass of wine, working in a different place.

  • Reply Sandra 3rd September 2020 at 7:34 am

    Habitat Tuck stools are on my list. Love the simplicity and they tuck out of the way when not in use – planning to paint them black.

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