The offending bar stool 

The offending bar stool 

I’ve been thinking a lot about bar stools recently.

I bought my bar stools five years ago when I moved in to my last house. I was a single girl and just wanted something chic to fill the space along the not-often-used bar. I found a great set of vintage wood slat chairs at Retro Ranch. They had that old schoolhouse charm that would play nicely off the mid-century modern elements in my home.

Then, two years ago, my husband and I moved into our home. I remodeled the kitchen to include a live-edge wood breakfast bar that was the centerpiece of the space. Suddenly those old bar stools took center stage, not just visually but functionally. We ate breakfast there every morning, guests sat and enjoyed drinks while I cooked on Saturday evenings, and it was the perfect spot for coffee and newspaper reading. 

Quickly, we both realized that my form-over-function decision years earlier was a pain in the arse, literally. We’d layer up for breakfast just to ease the pressure on our behinds. Our happy hours would last about 30 minutes before guests would get up and move to the living room.

At work, more bar stools: I am working on the interior design for super chef Stephen Jones’ new concept. The counter of this ‘American cooking with essences of the South and a touch of smoke’ restaurant is the focal point, and so the bar stools must be appealing to customers both visually and tactilely.

In my research so far, I’ve been a little disappointed. It seems only the very wealthy can afford the level of design I crave. My budget of $300 per chair seemed generous when I started and has now become a reality-TV-worthy challenge.

So here, to help anyone else on such a quest, are a few of my favorites under $300, and a few over $300 (because I just can’t help myself).

Here’s to happier bums everywhere.

 

Backless bar stools (L-R): Restoration Hardware $159, CB2 $279, West Elm $259, All Modern $274

Backless bar stools (L-R): Restoration Hardware $159, CB2 $279, West Elm $259, All Modern $274

Mid-Century bar stools (L-R): All Modern $312 (set of 2), CB2 $279, Dot & Bo, $184 Target $199

Mid-Century bar stools (L-R): All Modern $312 (set of 2), CB2 $279, Dot & Bo, $184 Target $199

Vintage bar stools (L-R): Target $127, All Modern $129, Dot & Bo $209, Target $99

Vintage bar stools (L-R): Target $127, All Modern $129, Dot & Bo $209, Target $99

Splurge worthy bar stools (L-R): Crate & Barrel $349, All Modern $660, All Modern $430, All Modern $2,160

Splurge worthy bar stools (L-R): Crate & Barrel $349, All Modern $660, All Modern $430, All Modern $2,160



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