Stools aren’t just for the bar or breakfast nook anymore. Indeed, these functional furnishings can find a home in any room of the house, as diversity of designs dictate multiple functions. From seats to side tables, coffee tables and more, stools stand to serve a variety of purposes, not to mention stylistic endeavours.
Encompassing designs from bar stools to ottomans & benches, stools provide no shortage of versatility within the dining room, bedroom and living space, enhancing an interior with both function and form.
One of the first connotations & one of the most traditional uses for a stool: the seat of choice when we belly up to the bar. Since the early 20tth century, Bar stools have been serving as space saving seating, conceived to seat a higher number of patrons at commercial pubs. Modern kitchen designs have come to incorporate an island bar or similar, while a lucky few among us have the pleasure of a dedicated home bar for entertaining.
To while away the hours after dark, or for a quick bite pre-work, seating options in the realms of my Atlantic High Bar Stool offer the comfort and support of an upholstered seat and back, along with all the style a metal frame provides. Modern minimalists might prefer the Ayers Low Hide Bar Stool, featuring luxe leather threading, holding a distinctive textural hide upholstery taut across the stools’ seats and back.
If a rustic, Hamptons-like style is closer to your home aesthetic, opt for my Waverly Upholstered Bar Stool or Waverly Woven Back Bar Stool. For yet another twist, try my St. Louis Swivel Bar Stool, which features splayed legs for added stability, a distinctive carved timber back and linen-blend upholstery on both the back and seat, for a determinedly refined aesthetic.
Bar stools aren't only confined to the bar. Higher dining tables like the Rosewell High Breakfast Table benefit, nay, require the height of a bar stool, lest your guests chins rest on the surface; certainly not conducive to a comfortable dining experience. Consider a perch like the Charlston Bar Stool, coupling clean lines with an upholstered seat, as a seating option with a nod to mid-century modern design to complement the on-trend hair-pin legs of the Rosewell Table.
Beckoning, with the promise of comfort, my Cardiff High Dining Chair combines elements of a bar stool and a traditional dining chair. Featuring a distinctive base, casual upholstery and characteristics that render it equally suited to a bar or a high table in the dining room or kitchen.
I mentioned versatility, and I've not yet been proved wrong. Despite multi-functional attributes, ottomans and stools possess the inherent qualities required for an immediate dose of style, elegance and design panache, in any interior.
Adding visual variety with a unique iron base and thick woollen upholstery, a pair of Santa Monica Iron Branch Stools won't fail to enhance an interior decor with a sense of whimsy. Try a pair flanking the fireplace, easily rearranged for intimate winter evenings with a special someone and romantic, roaring fire. Why not capitalise on these versatile traits and style the Santa Monica Stools within a bedroom scheme, allowing for instantaneous boudoir updates.
With its delicate silver cross metal frame paired with a rich espresso leather seat, the Donovan Low Stool also offers form and function to fit almost any setting. Offering double-duty as an ottoman, or a stand-in as a coffee table, its modest proportions and multiple uses make it an ideal decor piece, particularly for smaller living spaces in which it pays for every furniture selection to be both pretty and practical.
Similarly, my Cardiff Woven Stool, featuring a woven leather seat and stippled stain finish, packs a lot of style into an easily movable piece. Indeed, the Cardiff Woven Stool’s manageable dimensions make it an ideal fit for tight breakfast nooks or even smaller bedrooms, where it can serve as anything from seating bed-end, to a unique bedside table that looks equally at home next to an Eltham Twin Single Headboard as it does something boldly substantial like the Cardiff Queen Bed.
As a close cousin to the stool, the ottoman can serve the same functional offerings on many occasions. Due to budget-friendly and space-saving qualities, ottomans present an opportunity to experiment with an interior décor by adding a fresh element or accent piece without an overwhelming change or overwhelming investment.
And the versatility continues! Large ottomans or smaller, paired pieces can stand in for a coffee or cocktail table with enviable effect. An upholstered look as an alternative to traditional timber or glass coffee tables is making waves in interior circles; options including my Toulouse Large Ottoman & Savoy Rectangular Ottoman serve this aesthetic to aplomb, while space-saving storage aspects add yet another layer of functionality.
Outside the living room, consider ottomans as extra seating options around a dining table. For the ultimate in casual entertaining style, try partnering pieces such as my Charlston Ottoman with the Jefferson Extension Dining Table, an unexpected, yet on-trend seating option. And ottomans can be perfect for intimate spaces, too. Place a pair of Ayres Hide Ottomans at the foot of your bed to add a distinctive accent that also functions as a practical place to get dressed and prepare for your day each morning.
From bar to bedroom, stools and ottomans can provide the perfect balance of form and function without draining your décor budget. So, whether you are looking for a unique accent piece or a practical extra seating option, there’s a stool or ottoman to suit your style.
How do you use stools beyond the bar? Leave me a note below sharing your style inspirations: