First published April 6, 2018
Have you noticed there are a million good options at every price point for bar stools and dining chairs but for that nether region of counter height stools....crickets. Many of my clients (and me!) have kitchen islands where we want counter height stools and the options are limited indeed. Either super cheap and cheesy looking or way more than the cost of an average bar stool. I found a few styles that truly work but first, let me tell you where I went wrong with my own counter stools.
These were the ones you saw in my finished photos. I really liked the organic modern style, the natural wood finish, the psuedo zen inspired style, and the fact that they were backless and showed off the front of the island. In fact, I had grabbed these for styling the Pacific Palisades kitchen shoot because the stools we had ordered hadn't come in yet and then kept them for my own kitchen.
They were great for about 6 months and then they started to fall into pieces. Every glued joint (I was disappointed to see there were no dowels or nails holding the joints together) was coming apart and it was becoming dangerous to sit on. I should have known better than to buy from the discount source I did (I won't say which big box store it was but you can DM me if you want to avoid my pitfall) because their customer service was non-existent when I pointed out the defect. If the price is too good to be true for the style, there is your first red flag. If you are buying something just to buy something in a rush, don't. Hundreds of dollars down the drain and I started the counter height stool search from scratch. No need to throw good money after bad. First I looked at the successful installs from previous projects to figure out what I was looking for.
It turns out I was looking to buy from a more trusted source (with items not made in China). Looking for a metal frame base where the joints were welded, or the screws could be tightened....I landed on these counter stools from Scandis. The taupe color (sold out for now) is perfect for our home's color story. The plastic seat with a back and the metal base makes these seem indestructible (time will tell) and they are made in Italy, which is a good sign.
We are really happy with these stools so far and hopefully for years to come. For you, here is a round up of moderately priced favorite counter stools from my past projects and for future reference.