The History of the Humble Bar Stool

Hello, dear friends, and welcome once again to another of my musings. It gives me great pleasure to share with you how I see the world, and most particularly how I see it populated with the pieces of functional art that are well-made items of furniture.

Today, I would like to speak with you of an item that is used daily, and yet goes unnoticed by many who use it. Only days ago I was indulging in a drink and conversation with a close friend at the local bar, and I was struck by the simple design of the bar stool on which I sat. How often had I sat there never once noticing its perfect symmetry? Or how the absence of a high backboard such as you would find in a chair prompted tense muscles to relax comfortably into the conversation?

But once I had noticed, my interest was piqued. I endeavoured to find out a little more about the bar stool, and here is what I found.

The bar stool has been a part of society since the early 20th century, and was designed to seat more people at a commercial bar for less expense. It was an evolution from the traditional stool, which - I was amazed to discover - could trace its origins back as far as the Byzantium Varangian guard.

There are many different styles to bar stools today, but there are only really three designs - a seat as the base with a low back and short arms, a seat as the base with a low back, and the most simple of all being the seat only.

Which style do you prefer?

How very clever of this designer to use the darker wood of the stools to bridge the colour gap between the light, earthy hues of the kitchen with the darker tones of the chandeliers.

But using the same toned wood for your stools as your flooring can be remarkably effective at creating a cohesive living space, as is evident in the kitchen below. Who wouldn’t look forward to strolling happily into such a kitchen in the mornings?


So, my dear friends, the next time you frequent your local to meet with others, I hope you take a moment to look down at what you are sitting on and admire the design of your bar stool.

And perhaps when you do, you’ll think of me.