Cool Stools

From the August 2010 edition

In this era of sleek and modern design, the choices are numerous. Whether you want to accommodate a kitchen island, a high-top table in a breakfast nook or a simple counter where you dine, various styles can update your home’s look—at a variety of price points.

These cool, and sometimes funky, stools can easily blend with any décor. So, if you’ve been a traditionalist, take this opportunity to add a modern edge. If you’re stuck with ’90s wooden stools, try a cushioned seat on the Italian-designed Bottega model. After all, it’s 2010—mix it up and diversify!

For the economical and space-challenged, consider the stackable Hugo Barstool from Ikea ($74.99). Its versatile structure allows for easy storage, and its smooth plastic seat is comfortable, durable and easy to clean.

Put an extra snazzy spin on the classic Jamaica Barstool (Design Within Reach, $739). The Spanish polished chrome frame is lightweight, yet sturdy, and the contoured seat spins 360 degrees.

The Bottega Stool (Design Within Reach, $910) merges the functionality of a bar stool with the comfort of an armchair. This adaptation of other Italian-designed Bottega furniture features a hand-sewn, rotating leather seat and is adjustable from bar to counter height.

For a retro look, add a contemporary twist that has a wooden influence with the Felix Walnut Barstool (Crate & Barrel, $119 to $129). This chair features a chic curved backrest and sturdy chrome legs and is available in two heights: 24-and-a-half-inch and 30-inch.

Stick to a classic with the Spin Barstool (Crate & Barrel, $99.95 to $109). The sleek aluminum design comes in both 30-inch and 24-inch heights, for bars and counters, and features a smoothly rotating seat.

For the charm of a malt shop with contemporary flair, try Airlift Adjustable Stools (Target, $139.99 for set of two). The comfortable, padded seat and sleek footrest adjust for counter or bar height.