Please show me your stools in context

aliris19September 4, 2012

I know we have a couple other threads going with good stools-at-counter pics (that is, the counters thread and the size-of-island thread). Still, it often results in tantalizing glimpses of stools that are just out of sight or seemingly removed from the photo to illustrate one of these other points!

So I'll start this new thread explicitly related to stools-at-your-counter. Could you please show me what you chose, and the context you chose it for: the counter, the cabinets and backsplash - in short, the gestalt to which you decided these particular stools contributed.

Because I've agonized about this a long while and in the end did nothing really. I just couldn't find anything I thought seemed right.

To be fair I feel hampered by a number of constraints that might not bother others. I don't like the indiscriminate use of rainforest hardwoods for cheap, poor-quality furniture, painted, often, even. Kinda hurts my heart to see beautiful mahogany slapped together with staples, kinda sorta joining and then painted to boot. All for way-too-cheap prices. That said, another constraint that really hampers me is cost, too. I'm blown away by how expensive stools are; expensive and too-cheap all at the same time.... see the problem? ;)

So, if it's not too much trouble, I thought maybe a gallery of inspiration pictures might help me and others as well. Please show me what you decided on and the context of why. And if you're willing to provide an approximate price-point and purchase location too that would be helpful (I suppose year of purchase would help too now that ancient GW threads can and are being resurrected).

Many thanks!

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OK, I'll play. I don't have anything as fancy as gestalt, but I chose these because the wood ties in with my walnut dining furniture and the metal ties in with my light fixtures. They are acacia wood (which I don't think comes from a rainforest) and raw steel. Sadly, I think they are made in China, but they are sturdy, well-made, and fairly comfortable. I bought them at West Elm, and they are normally $189 but were 15% off at the time. I love this picture with the fruit on the stool. Hilarious.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:11PM
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Thanks, mpag -- I agree the fruit is hysterical. We once had a funny thread about that. I hadn't realized that fruit was a required staging-presence (I'm pretty doltish about that sort of thing) and people were very funny in commenting on this realtor-tic.

I appreciate you explaining the "gestalt", acknowledged or otherwise! ;) it helps me to appreciate a choice to know of the thinking behind it. I actually like the way the grain of the wood on your chairs seems to mimic your floors. If you hadn't pointed out the light-fixture-metal I would have completely missed that; I don't do pendants the way GWers do! :)

One last piece of information I should have asked for above: are the stools comfortable? Are you happy with a no-swivel choice, for example? No-padding? is the - ahem - "butt-curve" functional? Is the foot-rest properly situated? (I think the two photos you show are of different height stools, right? Looks like you own the lower ones? I base this on the shape of the metal cross-beams but it's possible the photo-angle just hides them on the higher chair)


    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:20PM
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I own the same WE Rustic Counter Stools as Mpagmom. I had looked at them for a while for my space, but they didn't become a front runner until I sat in them IRL at a store (nearest one is more than 60 miles away). Surprisingly even though the sets and back are all wood, they are comfortable. Now, I wouldn't sit there for two hours studying, but that activity can be done elsewhere in the house. I was able to sit there once this summer for more than an hour (bribed the kids with popsicles and the sprinkler in the backyard on a hot day when I needed a break) and was happy with the seat and the leg rest position. The back is also nicely situated.

I posted here about them when they were on sale in the spring, but was still timid until Mpag bought them during the sale and reported her pleasure with them. Sold me! Thanks again, Mpag!

These also fit my criteria for stools: backed, easy to clean, non-swivel, and armless. Did I mention easy to clean? I have two little ones who usually eat breakfast there. Can't tell you how many times I thanked myself for not getting a pretty fabric stool! Moreover, I felt the very clean lines fit my aesthetic and the wood complimented my walnut island top.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:33PM
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Here's mine. I bought them originally for display at a trade show. My kitchen was set up temporarily at the trade show, then disassembled, and re-setup at my home.

They were $45 per on amazon. I think Target carries similar ones too. They are adjustable height, and swivel. They are quite comfortable for me, though I haven't sat at them for more than maybe 30 minutes at a time.

I bought them because they matched the contemporary style of the kitchen, and a similar tone to the cabinetry. They are painted plywood, and the chrome matches the faucet finish.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Best thread title! Yes, I'm twelve years old. :p

This is timely, because, after ordering and waiting endlessly for some unfinished (tragic rainforest hardwood) saddle stools, then painting them umpteen coats and waiting weeks on end for them to cure, I decided they have two fatal flaws.

1. Too wide for my peninsula

2. Edge under my thighs is too sharp

Why didn't I sit on them first? I have no idea. Round-tops are due to be delivered today, the finish of which will be the subject of another thread.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:48PM
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I am seriously procrastinating today. Maybe I should go get me some gestalt.

I mentioned the stools are comfortable, and they are for a wood seat. There is a bit of a curve, and the back rest is at a good angle. I sit in them for breakfast and lunch every day and I don't even notice them. My husband and 4 kids, age 7 to 16, all sat in them before I bought them and thought they were comfortable as well. The foot rest is good for me. Yes, there are two different height stools pictured and I have the lower one. I definitely didn't want the one with fruit on it! I guess I could have further mentioned that because of my kids I was looking for ease of cleaning (no fabric or nooks and crannies), stability, and no swivel. Sometimes I wish I'd bought a backless stool so I could totally tuck it under the island, but I think that would take away from the comfort and safety for kids.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:51PM
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linelle and I think alike - I thought "in context" meant in a toilet bowl :-)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:55PM
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Oh my, linelle - you made me blush. Thanks for the belly laugh. oops. I really should have known better!

pektel - I love the way the stools mimic not even so much the faucet as the legs on the island and the vertical pulls - maybe it's just the photo that emphasizes this. These stools do look great in your kitchen. Also the metal outlet covers on the backsplash -- just all of the same sort of nervous energy. Also, BTW, I've always loved those curvy light tracks like you have.

Breezy - despite your name you just do still have the dead-calmest space ever. How do you keep it so precise? Hmmm... I guess with wooden stools! Are they hard to pull out? Sturdy enough to contain someone small standing on them? ;) (not that I have to worry about that anymore ... except for me when I need to get into the cabinets above the range!)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 1:59PM
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Here are mine:

These are from Costco, less than $100 each (maybe $70-something?) in October 2011. Unlike many, we didn't agonize over the choice. When the time came, Costco had these and they looked good, so we bought them. Nearly a year later, I still like them and they're comfortable to sit in. Actually, visitors gravitate to them over other seating choices. My 4-year old grandson climbs up and down with no problem. They do swivel, so we put acrylic bumpers on the chairs at the point where the chair back hits the counter. You can see the bumpers in the first pic.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:04PM
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weissman, you kindred spirit you.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:06PM
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linelle, you cracked me up, too! You reminded me of the funniest thing I just read in a magazine that I've been wanting to share: "The shower and toilet should each have a dedicated task light, such as a recessed canister light...Place the fixtures on dimmer switches so that light levels can be adjusted depending on the mood and task at hand."

You're welcome, breezygirl - those stools look so great in your kitchen. I've been meaning to ask what you put on the bottom to protect your wood floors, and I'm too polite to ask now because I don't want to hijack the thread. :)

pektel - I love, love, love your stools.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:08PM
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I am in total sympathy with this question, because we are supposed to move in in four weeks (less, even!) and I do spend a fair amount of time sitting at the counter stools on the peninsula. Prepping, making lists, using the laptop, etc. Our last counter stools came with the house and are very wobbly and sort of ugly, but since consigning them to oblivion (or in other words, leaving them there saying "trash" and having the workmen using them to put their stuff on), I realize they are really pretty comfortable compared to the VERY FEW stools I have been able to find to sit in in real life.

They had backs but not arms. They looked like the attached photo. They did not swivel. They required gluing the legs on, on a fairly regular basis.

I think I'd like something similar but I haven't see much IN REAL LIFE. I think I'd also like the swivel feature as long as the seat part was still square, rather than circular. I imagine that the swivel feature would mean easier getting in/getting out without moving the floor legs too much.

As with so many of these house purchases, I want to SEE the item before I buy it. I know that is really weird or something. What did the rest of you do? Buy "blind" and just returned and returned until you got what you wanted? Can you show me your upholstered counter (not BAR!) stools and where you got them?



    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:15PM
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We have the same ones as Suzannes - they belong to our landlord, though. I didn't know they came from Costco! They are relatively comfortable and quite sturdy.

Ours are a little banged up where they hit the counter, though. I should have thought of the bumpers.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Suzanne -- I had no idea these stools were available at Costco! I have been eyeing them for a really long time! Had I known.... I wonder if they're still there; I just never thought to look?

DH doesn't want swivel but I do -- I think they'd save the floor a bit. Plus, I know i like to swivel :) dd's do sit in these things for long stretches of time doing HW, so more-comfortable would be better than less. Though I agree that cushioning does not at all necessarily mean comfortable - I think that's more in the realm of the actual shape of the seat.

So OK, I'm not too polite to hijack the thread and as it's "mine", I think I can't anyway:
Breezy -- how do you protect your floors please? ;)

Dr Beannie -- is there some difference between bar and counter stools other than height? Bar are pretty tall, right? And counter are higher than regular chair, but not by much....

mpag - at least I'm not the only one who should have thought more carefully before typing....

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:27PM
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Here they are ... only they're a lot closer to $200+ than $100- nowadays. :(

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:34PM
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These are 26" barstools. We have a 36" island and the lower barstool heights didn't seem right. Incredibly comfortable, they are a hit with all. We supplied our own fabric, the microsuede, which is more or less impermeable to stains. Original goal was to blend in with the grey island (I was thinking about repainting for a while); hence the color. Purchased from NC (my home state), they were slightly less since COM.

Today's project, grouting my cutting board cabinet. The fruit is not staged, just kept here in easy reach:)

PS - linelle, ha!

Here is a link that might be useful: Source of stools (hee hee)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:42PM
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I picked out our kitchen finishes relatively quickly, but it took me forever to find stools.

I knew I wanted swivel. I knew I wanted fabric to give the room some additional texture. I knew I wanted something a little different, and was so tired of seeing the same thing over and over at the chain stores and online.

I ended up getting these sight unseen, but I did see some dining chairs by the manufacturer in person so I could at least see the quality. I liked the fact that they are made in the U.S., and that I could choose my own fabric and wood finish. They're from Saloom, really comfortable and extremely well-made. I chose the particular fabric/finish to tie in with the floor and the backsplash. Not a great picture, but you get the idea.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:44PM
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I guess I've been dealing with so many stool issues lately that I didn't even blink at the title. :)

Dead calm?!? Calming is what I was going for with the kitchen. I feel enough chaos from my life. But...when in use my space looks like...

Having the background fixtures and materials serene helps me function in this mess! I try to return the kitchen to the dead calmness at the end of every day as it's the only room put together enough since the reno that I can do that.

As to the stools, they are sturdy enough to not tip when my 2yo monkey gets crazy with a tantrum during a meal/snack. I've seen her stand on them briefly knowing she's going to get in big trouble so sits down quickly. The cats jump around on them also with no issue. The base is wide and weighted appropriately. On the other hand, they are light weight enough to slide easily. Just for an FYI (not that anyone asked ;) ), DH put those little felt pads like from HD or Lowes on the bottom of the feet for floor protection. I've noticed that they help the stools slide easier. We have them on everything that touches the wood floor. I wish they didn't collect the cat fur so much because I'd like to avoid the extra step of pulling it off when vacuuming.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:48PM
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It took me so long to type my last reply that Aliris asked the same question about the floor as Mpag while I was composing. There ya go!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:52PM
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My apologies in advance, alaris19, I think asking to see tall chairs (I can't even think the word without cracking up) along with where they're used is an excellent topic.

(Stop reading, serious people).

I know I really shouldn't post this, but now I can't stop thinking of other thread titles... What color are your stools? How soft are your stools? And of course, the old standby: whose stools are these?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 2:54PM
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Well, far be it from me to overlook a thread about stools! :)
I am embarrassed to say that pretty much no thought went into our stools. We bought them because they matched the PB Napoleon chairs we use at our breakfast table (which were also purchased with no thought as to function.,,ds was an infant when we bought them, and we weren't experienced enough parents to know that toddlers + woven rush seats = a not so clean combination!) I at one time liked the look of them (now bored with them) but dang it...they just might be the only indestructible PB around! I keep waiting for a leg to fall off or something! I am hesitant to replace them now as ds and dd, while older (12 and 9) are still plenty rough on all of the friends! So...I guess I"ll keep them a bit longer...
Here is same tired pic I always post....:)

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 3:16PM
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I wanted swivel stools as I thought that might allow four to be used at our counter instead of three. They are very tight but it works for us for now as it keeps our 3 LOs from getting up and down several times during meals. I also knew I wanted leather as our old counter height table stools looked so gross after, again, three LOs ate every meal at them. I can wipe these down quickly and easily.

We bought these at an overstock rotating furniture warehouse for about $129 each. I think the brand is Berkline, model is Donovan.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 3:19PM
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For my barstools I wanted comfortable - meaning a decent back and actually sit -in-and-try-it-out comfy, no swivel, no arms, relatively simple and unfussy, and easy to clean - ie no fabric

These fit the bill. Had I seen some clear acrylic ones that I liked sooner I might have tried to see how those looked in the space (to avoid blocking out the fun of my red island!), but I'm really happy with these. Here's a photo:

posting threads or googling info about stools is always good for a laugh!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 4:44PM
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I don't have a good picture of my stools in context, but I do have one of them "in action" ...

These are made by Acme 07258 and were not terribly expensive. I think about $50 each ??? They are padded and swivel and don't have a back on them that renters can swivel and bang into the countertop.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:10PM
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Hmm... Since we are talking about stools, maybe all of you have an idea for me.

I am looking for something like the stools in the below picture (from crate and barrel) on that swivel. Any ideas?

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 5:15PM
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Not done yet, but these were on sale at cb2 for $50 each. Bought 3, then they sent 4. Not sure if they still carry them though.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 6:19PM
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breezy, you really ought to take something for your stool issues. See, once you're primed for this stuff, it's hard to stop. I was trying to tell my friends about my red stools and nobody wants to even talk to me anymore.

Also, breezy, can I just say how refreshing it is to see your lovely zen pristine kitchen in the throes of stuff happening.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 6:20PM
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I am actually taking something, or more doing something, for my stool issue. I had a colonoscopy almost two weeks ago! LOL! Warning: don't drink any red liquid before a colonoscopy or they will think you *do* have red stools! ;)

And yes, my kitchen is sometimes a disaster area in a fit of cooking and baking. Like people like to say, "it's a working kitchen."

Sorry to go so OT, Aliris!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 6:28PM
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Breezy, thanks for bringing up colonoscopys! If you're over 50, this needs to become part of your healthcare routine. For those like me who have a family history of colon cancer, you need to start at age 40. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

We have two different stool styles and heights in our kitchen. At the island which is counter height I wanted to mimic our dining room chairs. These swivel and are very comfortable.

At our raised peninsula I was looking for something less intrusive so decided on these without backs. They swivel too and are extremely comfortable.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 7:18PM
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I'm LOL'ing. Greatly relieved (!) that people with such tastefully done kitchens can still laugh at allusions to poop.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 8:27PM
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It's dark and even with the lights on can't seem to get a good picture but here they are. There are 3 at the counter height kitchen bar that opens to Great Room. They look a lot better in person, the color is all off (cell phone pix).

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:08PM
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I meant to say bar height instead of counter height...sorry!

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:32PM
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Ours are "Way" stools made by Calligaris (Italy). Our primary criteria was comfort, so we had to sit in them. We got them in Seattle (we live in E. WA) and they were not inexpensive; I don't remember what they cost and I'm not home so I can't look it up. But they are REALLY comfortable. The picture doesn't show it but we have our iPad set up on the bar and I sit there for longs periods of time with no problems (and I'm old). The other important factor for us was we did not want wood as we have a lot of that going on with cherry cabs, maple floor and a pecan dining room table and chairs.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Just changed the covers on mine since they were a little too boring- these are Ikea and I have to say I love them:)

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 12:15AM
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Ours are the Baba leather counter stools. We ordered them from Design Centro Italian in CA, without actually seeing them in person. They were the ONLY place that carried them in leather. We did check out the wood version at an outlet store (an hour away), figuring, if they were even somewhat comfortable in wood, they'd likely be even more so in padded leather.

Luckily they were comfortable, as they fit our requirements. We wanted black leather, low-profile (small space, so needed a small footprint, not overpowering in looks stool), four metal legs (not powder coated), not a post type base, no swivel, with a back. Style wise they fit our taste and decor perfectly.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:02AM
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just had it brought to my attention that all this talk of poo had me forgetting the details of my stool. Since enquiring minds want to know. It is a lovely and simple stool that can be found in a wide array of colours. I loved the orange stool but it would stand out a bit too much in my kitchen, so I decided on the black stool instead. OK, enough poo humour for one night.

Sorry my American friends, mine defaults to the Canadian website, but you can still find where to buy them in the US from there.

It is the Chair Tech Venice.


Here is a link that might be useful: Chair Tech

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:09AM
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Our kitchen is small so I didn't want to add more visual objects to an already small space.
Because of that I insisted on backless stools that I could hide until the peninsula overhang.

Pottery Barn Seagrass stools.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:38AM
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oldbat - you're so speedy! That tiled towel nook looks tremendous.

Let me just note that (1) you're any and all more than welcome to hijack any thread as far as I'm concerned and (2) I'm ever so happy so many find such relief here.... :)

I also wanted to note the array of photos has great impact.


    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 2:32AM
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gr8day where are yours from?

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 3:47AM
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@beagles I got them at the Atlanta Merchandise Mart some years ago. They are so comfortable and swivel which I really like.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 7:33AM
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some really nice stools. We wanted something cheaper and low profile, so these are working great for us, getting a little play doh action:

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:44AM
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Here's ours: Holland Stool Co. Nickel finish with charcoal PVC free vinyl. Super easy to clean with two messy kids. Memory swivel design. Semi-comfortable-very cushy. I always prefer to sit at the dining table though.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 8:48AM
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Here's mine. I chose them because I wanted something modern, and I wanted something clear so that the back side of my island was visible!

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 9:21AM
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We use two kinds- the brown stools along the side and the backless black on the ends (the brown would stick out too far).

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:26AM
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"Please show me your stools in context"

maybe I have just been at too many doctor's appointments lately for a family member, but this title struck me as really funny....

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 10:42AM
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Since our kitchen is kind of vintage with white, soapstone, etc. we wanted a more modern feel for the stools to give it contrast. We only had room for 3 because of the length of the peninsula so they also couldn't be too bulky. They are leather and were very reasonable Here's ours:

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 1:16PM
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One add'l comment- some manufacturers will let you specify the stain or paint color for the frame, as well as select or provide material for the stool. It takes a little longer but price is often the same.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2012 at 4:03PM
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I can't resist.

I discovered my cat liked beet juice once when I was making a salad with fresh beets.

Imagine my HORROR when I cleaned the litter box and all that red poop was in there!!! It took me a few to calm down once I recalled him happily slurping up beet juice.

I don't have .. um .. stools in my kitchen because my peninsula is too shallow. Oh well!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:51AM
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Really cool stools in this thread thanks for posting. Cat mom love your leather stools. Awesome! Beautiful kitchens everyone.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:18AM
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Ratrem - what a pretty kitchen! At first I thought you had a giant humongous baguette on your table though. I was so jealous, ha!

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 8:36AM
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The old beet trick. Who hasn't nearly had a heart attack because they forgot they ate beets earlier in the day?

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 10:54AM
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OT comments

ratrem - beautiful kitchen. Where did you get your stools? When I was looking I could only find that shape is light wood and I wanted dark wood.

breezygirl - yes, the old fur balls from the cats wrapped around the floor protector dilemma. It seems every couple of days I'm walking around the house lifting chairs to pull those furballs off.

My stools are like mpagmom's and breezy's except where the wood is I have woven dark leather. But the metal base is the same. It appeals to my sense of clean, unadorned, simple lines.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:10PM
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linelle - I announce a "beet alert" at the dinner table when I serve beets. Saves a lot of hysteria! :) The beet alert is in affect for 48 hours...

Ratrem & cottonpenny -- me too! I couldn't make that thing out ... thought you were taking the pun of this thread-title a little too seriously. It looks like you have a pretty hand-pegged table too.

I have another, related question: is there any consensus regarding comfort? square v rounded edges? molded wood v flat? padded v wood v leather? I had thought the swivel issue could permit more stools stuffed into less space but on other threads this has been discounted; swivels may mostly be related to banging up counters and keeping kids safe, not to mention floors.

And here's the last question: why are stools so expensive? Don't answer that....

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 12:29PM
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I wanted modern(ish), comfortable, with a back and a foot rest and a great colour. I really wanted these:

But they were too expensive, so settled on these:

We've been very happy with them.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2012 at 1:00PM
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Oh, I looked and looked and looked and sat and sat and sat ... eventually ended up with these from Ballard Designs:

Context: wanted some warmth (the rush seats) to bring in some of the pine we have in the room (breakfast table, and a couple of armoires and a hutch), the gold in the marble, and the brass hardware. Also, the spindles on the legs added a bit of curve to a room with lots of straight lines. I have another French country-ish armchair, with rush seat and spindle legs, elsewhere in the room. The black finish echoes the soapstone counters.

The stools have been great. Kids are older, so the rush hasn't gotten dirty. It does leave marks on the back of your legs when you wear shorts, so I bought some cheap cushions at World Market for summer use. The black finish is starting to get a little worn, where we put our feet, but I figure black is easy enough to paint over.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 10:40AM
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seg.... I absolutely ADORE your island

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:03AM
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Thanks, remodelfla! Apparently fruit flies love it just as much as you (and I) do. :-(

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:15AM
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Here's ours.

We wanted comfort for full-sized adults, we wanted sturdy, we wanted swivel and footrest. No kids involved. Our designer selected the fabric. We've had them for a year and they are working great.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 11:33AM
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