Desperately need counter stool help!

soibeanApril 3, 2013

After the design, and the appliance choices, and the cabinets, countertop, hardware, and color decisions, I thought I was home free. Tough decisions behind me, right? Only to be foiled by the counter stools and the backsplash. Well, the backsplash shouldn't be such a surprise, but who would have guessed that the stools would give me so much heartburn?

I've already tried and returned two types of stools, so I'm hoping someone can give me direction. I know now that I can't go too modern, but definitely not too traditional either. I have one absolute requirement, which is that the stools swivel. I have been studying white kitchens with dark islands on Houzz, and what seems to work for stools is either white or brown seat, dark wood or chrome base. Before I order a third round of stools, I'm hoping you guys can weigh in on what would work.

As a reminder, here is my kitchen:

And here are some stools I'm currently considering:

Don't be afraid to tell me if they're all bad choices, or to suggest others. Any help at all is appreciated!

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kgolby

Have you seen this stool? Not sure if it's too traditional for you. This is one I'm considering for my new kitchen.

Here is a link that might be useful: Ballard Designs

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:48AM
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ck_squared

Really pretty kitchen!
I think the first two are way too modern for your space and for the description of what you want (though personally, I really like them)... perhaps the first brown one as well.

The texture of the rest help make them more transitional though they don't look that comfortable.

Have you tried all the usual stores? Overstock, Ballard Design, Crate&Barrel (Spin Barstools), Pottery Barn (Seagrass Bucket Swivel) or even Target?

(p.s. Can you tell me about your pendant lights?)

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:52AM
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debrak_2008

I learned while searching for my own stools that those with the pedestal base can leave marks on wood floors. You may want to research that.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 10:16AM
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smiling

The quilted homey softness of the second one struck me as a nice match for your fabulous kitchen! Is it white leather? Might present a wear issue...

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 11:22AM
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sas95

We got our stools from Saloom Furniture and I think they have a variety of styles that would suit your space. The things I love about them are that they are wonderful quality, and also that you can choose your wood stain and fabric. They have both swivel and non-swivel options, and I think the fabric could really add to finishing out your space.

Link to stools on Saloom site

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:06PM
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localeater

I am someone who just passed the counter stool hurdle so I empathize. I heartily second what debrak said. I learned that the pedestal base can mark your floors and eliminated them from my criteria.
Can we narrow your criteria more?
One of your options is backless, and one has a low back. Have you sat in either of these types of stools? My DH insisted on a back, and really disliked low back. I think you should try both back styles somewhere and see if you like them.
A dark base will blend into your dark island. A chrome base will pop and draw the eye. Which do you think will work? Personally, I see a dark base in your space. I don't however think this needs to mean you need a wooden stool, there are lots of warm dark metal finishes.
I also think you may want to wait on the stools until you have at least a hint of a direction on the backsplash and the window treatment(if there will be one). The cohesiveness of these three elements is really important and once you lock in on one of the three the others become limited.
For example if you went with a soft washed blue or green backsplash tile I could really see a dark wooden base stool with a fabric that played with the color.
I am sorry to say I don't love any of your choices, that's probably because the pedestal base and the backless removed them from my own personal list. Here are two that I do like, both are what I consider "modern, but not too modern": the first is the Knicker stool from BluDot, the second is from West Elm.From GW Photos

From [GW Photos](https://picasaweb.google.com/117628792381036933260/GWPhotos?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCI67x9mcxtGJSg&feat=embedwebsite)
    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 12:34PM
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Molly Phillips

I am right there with you! I feel your pain.

I would eliminate the wicker just because I can't imagine cleaning the crumbs out...then again, I have young kids and don't know your situation.

What stools did you send back and why did you not like them? That may be helpful to know.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:14PM
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Whit461

We are not far behind you and your great kitchen. And we hit the same wall with hardware and stools. After visit from our designer, we.bit the bullet and ordered 3 from RH, piano stool type, distressed black with wood seats. We do not want the stools to be the focus point, but the marble behind.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:44PM
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suzanne_sl

How about something like this?

I think it goes well with the style of your kitchen. This is one of a page full of barstools currently at Costco.

Here is a link that might be useful: Costco bar stools

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:46PM
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soibean

ck_squared - yes, I've looked everywhere, or at least it feels that way. The pendants are Clarity by WAC Lighting.

debrak_2008 - thanks for the tip on pedestal bases!

localeater - I started out with many more requirements but have been whittling away at them as I go. So we wanted a back, but find that a low back or no back is less important for the stools than having the swivel.

I am on my second backsplash attempt - the first one failed horribly! I am getting 3x9 ceramic tiles from Heath in a blue-gray color that matches the kitchen/eating area paint. I don't see it impacting the stool decision too much.

My first misfire with stools - they were too large, dominated the room. I was trying to get a wide seat to accommodate DH comfortably; now I'm thinking of just going with no arms.

My second misfire - too modern by far! I was hoping the stools would disappear, but the don't.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 1:52PM
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ck_squared

Thanks for the info on the pendants. That's what I thought they were but I just had to double check. I didn't realize they were that big but that's a good thing for me. Might have to add them to my short list.

Re: the last stool you posted... what about the Vapor stool from Crate&Barrel? You've probably already ruled them out since they don't swivel, but they will certainly "disappear" and they look quite comfortable (lots of good reviews, too).

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:02PM
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soibean

ck_squared - the pendants are actually quite small, though you can hang them at whatever height you want.

Yes, re: the vapor stool, it was my first choice, but for the swivel. Since our family room and TV are behind the island, my family want to be able to swivel and watch the TV while sitting at the island. That's the one requirement left that seems to be non-negotiable.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:10PM
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soibean

OK, here is a view in the opposite direction. Still a work in progress, please ignore the non-matching towels. This is why they want swivel.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:26PM
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murpharoo

soybean such a knockout gorgeous kitchen! i am starting stool trek as well and if i see something for you, will post

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:32PM
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ck_squared

I think you should rethink the swivel. It's easy enough to simply turn in a chair/stool and if they plan to do any prolonged sitting to watch TV, they'll move to the other room. We have the same set-up as you (now and still will after our remodel) and while initially I thought I wanted swivel stools for your same reason, I can't let that rule out something else I might love (in fact, the stools I love aren't swivel). We don't have swivel stools now and it's never been an issue.

Now go get your first choice stools!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 2:45PM
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localeater

I am sorry, I completely forgot the swivel criterion when I posted two suggestions. Here is a swivel I really like. It is very similar to the third option you posted in your original message. I do also like that one, this one just looks more balanced because of the leg formation. Also I think it will disappear more, because the bakc and seat will form one line of fabric by not having an open back. The fabric on the example doesn't disappear obviously. It comes in a choice of 15 different metal finishes and 108 different fabrics. The seat is a comfort seat which means it is padded on all the edges not just the seat surface. You can find it at wayfair, or other places. It is the Nicholas by Trica.

From [GW Photos](https://picasaweb.google.com/117628792381036933260/GWPhotos?authuser=0&feat=embedwebsite)

Have you looked at any of the old GW counterstool threads?

Here is a link that might be useful: counter stool thread

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 3:39PM
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localeater

soibean, aren't you in the Boston area? You should go to Chair Fair in Braintree. They have over 300 stools on site. Even if you don't buy anything there you can do a lot of sit-testing and find out more about things you like and don't like. If it is not too far, it could be very helpful.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 3:49PM
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soibean

sounds like a good idea, localeater. I didn't even know they existed!

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 5:21PM
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soibean

If I can get away with the Vapor stools, then what about the Calligaris L'Eau? My neighbor thought it would pick up on the ripples in the pendants. However I had come to the conclusion that they would be too modern.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 5:35PM
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Molly Phillips

Those are super cool but maybe a little modern for your space. Those also have that dreaded pedestal that apparently messes up wood (never heard that until I read this thread). i think the pedestal and footrest make it seem a little more modern than the Vapor - more like a space ship. But I love the ripples and that would look cool with the pedants.

Have you looked at allmodern.com? They have some neat stools.

We must have the same taste - I'm probably getting the Vapor (I don't want swivel for my 6 and 3 year olds to play on and bump my counters) and I ended up getting those pendants! They go up this week so I'll see how bright they are in my space.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:16PM
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Molly Phillips

Okay, so I'm out searching for stools myself and figured out your problem - anything somewhat contemporary is going to have a pedestal. I did find these that are somewhat more contemporary with legs.

But now I'm going back to thinking those you posted may be pretty cool - IF you're okay with short back. If people are swiveling to watch TV, I would wonder if the shorter back would be comfortable after awhile.

Here is a link that might be useful: Stool to consider

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:29PM
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SaraKat

sometimes when I sit in those without the back but a partial back that makes me think it has a back I almost fell out of one, it scares me!!! I think if they want to really swivel around to see the big screen I would forgo the arms. They can knock into the countertop and are a bit of a bother that way. Also sometimes pose a problem for scooting under the counter. I agree that these days there is a lot out there for sale but so little that is appealing or right for a space making it extra hard to come upon a really great fit that feels completely satisfying.

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:32PM
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soibean

lovetodream, could we have been separated at birth? The link you sent is so close to our old kitchen table set that I had to take a photo of what I have. Here it is:

Then I went to the website and looked at the collection. We have the whole set! Here it is on the website, the table and chair set that matches the stool:


I've never seen that set anywhere else, how on earth did you come across it?

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 8:52PM
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murpharoo

sunbrella fabric, comfy and swivels!

Here is a link that might be useful: ballard designs stool

    Bookmark   April 3, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Molly Phillips

Haha - great minds think alike! How funny.

Let me know what you choose. I'm probably biting the bullet on the Vapor chairs but I keep hoping I'll come across a discount code somewhere that will at least take off the shipping charges.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2013 at 8:47AM
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soibean

What about this stool? Does anyone think this would work?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 8:41AM
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scoutcat

We have stools from Room and Board. They are leather with low backs, and are very comfortable. They're about 3 years old now, and still great. I don't see the exact style that we have, but they're similar to the "Madrid" style now shown.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 9:22AM
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localeater

You gave up the swivel?
Is this stool the lisbon? If it is, it has a bar that goes through the leather back that I found very uncomfortable. I do have a long torso so that could be the issue for me.
I do like the square lines of this stool in your kitchen. Is there a picture of the back of it? With stools, the look from the back is very important. One thing I don't love about it is the stitching- just a pet peeve but white stitching tends to get very grimy looking after a while and you can never get it clean again.
Have you looked on the site 2bmodern? I haven't ever bought from them, but they do have free shipping and no restocking fees. Like I said though, this is not a recommendation I have not yet purchased from them, I have just looked so far.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 9:45AM
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ck_squared

Soibean, that is the stool I want! I have it bookmarked at the top of my list. Unfortunately, overstock sold out and now I can't find them anywhere else. My kitchen will be more modern than yours, but I think they would work in your space as well.

Is it the Montclare Brown Leather Modern stool?

This post was edited by ck_squared on Fri, Apr 5, 13 at 10:06

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 9:55AM
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soibean

Yes, it is the Montclare counter stool by Wholesale Interiors. It seems to be in stock at Bellacor. It doesn't look like there is a bar in the back, unless you mean the one at the top?

I am feverishly negotiating with my family on the swivel aspect. I just want to find something that works in my space and I'm getting desperate at this point. So practicality aside for the moment, does this work in my space?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 10:17AM
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Molly Phillips

So, if you remove the swivel option, why don't you go back to the Vapor since that was your first choice?

I do like those, but wonder how that cool gray leather would look up against your warm cherry cabs?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 2:54PM
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Molly Phillips

delete, double post

This post was edited by lovetodream on Sun, Apr 7, 13 at 13:17

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 3:00PM
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soibean

Vapor is definitely still in contention. I just need to get something past the family committee (stools being one of the few areas where they are guaranteed to have input, thereby making the decision even harder by trying to arrive at consensus).

Not sure what you are seeing on your screen, because the stools are chocolate brown leather, which I was hoping would go well with the cherry.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 3:00PM
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localeater

Hi soibean, saw this picture on Houzz and it reminded me of your kitchen.

Contemporary Kitchen by San Francisco Interior Designer Nina sobiNina Design
What do you think of these stools?

    Bookmark   April 7, 2013 at 10:33AM
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soibean

localeater, those are lovely and would probably be great; unfortunately, they are no longer made. But having moved on (tentatively) from swivel, I am now considering these:

Here is a link that might be useful: Blu Dot Counterstool Counterstool in Ebony

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Pattyjill

Soibean..just curious, what type of ovens to you have? I noticed the handles.

Sas95...tell me about Saloom? I looked at the website and was intrigued by a few of there dining tables. How is their quality and price point? Thanks.

Patty

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:22AM
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soibean

Pattyjill, they are Gaggenau ovens. I could not be happier with them! Of course, I got them new but 1/2 price on eBay, so the cost didn't sting as much.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:43AM
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nycbluedevil

Soibean--take a look at McGuire. They are really expensive, but their stuff is really well-made and beautiful. I have four backless stools from McGuire in my new kitchen. The ones with backs are beautiful--I had no room for them. I think a number of them would work for you.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:44AM
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soibean

nycbluedevil, I agree, they are beautiful and a number of them would work well for me. Unfortunately, way out of my price range. Maybe in my next life, though.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 10:52AM
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localeater

Soibean, I like the bludot one you posted.
The one from Houzz that is discontinued, is pretty similar to Crate and Barrel's Felix stool, which comes in espresso and other finishes. Have you tried that one? My DH works in the Pru Center fairly often so one day I had him go across the street and do a sit test on it. He thought it was pretty good. Ultimately we didn't go with it but it was a contender for awhile.
For the Bludot stool, you may want to give Addo Novo in Boston a call. They have a lot of Bludot on display, so you could give the chair a try, and they are actually having a pretty big sale right now. I actually went there to try the Blu Dot Knicker stool- which I love. I decided none of the colors were right for my space otherwise I would have gotten it.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 11:40AM
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Molly Phillips

Oh, Soibean, we WERE separated at birth! Those bludot chairs you posted were top contenders for me too. :)

I do say that I like the Montclair stool the best out of those two. I think adding in the leather would be a nice compliment to your other textures, yet still be easy to clean. Sorry that I thought it was gray - the tint leaned that way on my monitor.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:15PM
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soibean

I agree with you on the Montclare. I really love it and want to get it. However, the leather is a very dark espresso brown, while my island is cherry and has a lot of red in it. The problem I'm having with pretty much ALL of the brown leather stools is that the browns don't really blend well with the cherry. If you recall (see one of the early posts), the first stools I tried were brown leatherette, and aside from being too imposing in the space, the color just didn't blend in with the island. Even though the blu dot stool isn't a reddish-brown, I think the variation in the wood might allow them to blend a little better with the island. I've requested a sample of the "ebony" color wood from blu dot, so I will wait to see how it looks up against the island before committing.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:37PM
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BrianVarick

I like the look of something more industrial like these.

Here is a link that might be useful: Restoration Hardware

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 2:56PM
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island

Oh goodness another dilemma to look forward to! :>)

Honestly the only one I like is the wood stool with the rush top. Pretty, classic, unobtrusive, can push it all the way in, and don't have to worry about the seat backs lining up, if that's something that would bother you.

Love the idea of a swivel. Less wear and tear on the floors and without a back there's even more of a chance people won't have to move the stool much to get on.
But does the color match your island?

I also like that the rung for your feet goes all the way around so you have some options of how you sit and where you put your feet rather than on the little bird perch on some of the others. That would be a no go for me.

Normally I assume I want a back, but when I think about it, I typically don't sit back anyway. As long as I can lean on the counter when socializing and can reach the rung or floor comfortably I'm usually good.

I think most of the others are too modern and/or look like beauty parlor chairs, especially with arms. The wicker tulips very modern or islandy and they do not look comfortable, especially if you don't have the right size butt!

The red fabric one someone posted looks nice, but does the base with tapered out legs take up more room?

I think you should just wait until you get your backsplash and window treatments up. Even though you know what they are they can still change the look of the space, but overall I think most of the options you've been pulling are too modern. The stools don't need to make a statement in such a beautiful kitchen.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 6:42PM
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sas95

Pattyjill, to answer your question, the quality of the Saloom stools is excellent. They are very sturdy and comfortable. Much better than what I generally saw in stores when I was looking around. I believe I paid around $400 a stool.

This post was edited by sas95 on Mon, Apr 8, 13 at 19:05

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 7:04PM
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soibean

Island, I love that one, too. So far I haven't been able to convince anyone in my family, though. Maybe I should give it another shot.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:33PM
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island

Really, why don't the like them? Hey, what do they know! :>)

Have you seen LittleFishes? If you decide against the swivel, hers are beautiful. Don't have the original link where she gives all the details, but you can see them here.

http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg04144055464.html?20480

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 8:39PM
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