As spring comes around, you might be scanning for the perfect vintage stools. They can add creative seating around your home, vary the layout of your kitchen, and add comfort. While you’re on this search, you’ll notice the quality, variety, and functionality of your available vintage choices. Before you reach for something mass-manufactured last year or made with the latest trendy material, look to the past.
Vintage and antique furniture designs have stood the test of time. Let yourself become inspired by design periods of yesterday; Art Deco, Mid Century Modern, or even Neoclassical. You’d be surprised by how quickly a personal mission to buy vintage stools can reinvigorate an interior.
Furniture History: Stool Seating
A stool is a seat with no back or arms, typically resting on one, three or four legs. Stools have origins dating back to ancient Greece, Rome and Egypt. They are one of the oldest forms of wooden furniture, commonly made out of oak, mahogany, and other desirable hardwoods.
You might be surprised to find out that artifacts of this furniture piece’s early beginnings are in the MET Collection. This marvelous example of an early stool from Egypt is on display there, and dates back to 1450 B.C. For additional context, that means this piece of furniture is over 3,500 years old. This is nearly unimaginable. Nonetheless, this fact serves as a reminder that the furniture we find most useful today has been valuable to human life for a long time.
How Stools Developed
For many centuries, stools were essential household items. They were considered standard seating for the average individual. Chairs with backs were reserved for the wealthy and high status. As stools developed, ones made for richer households were typically upholstered, and reflected changing aesthetics. Stools involved ornate woodwork details, luxurious quality fabrics, and more comfortable cushioning for the seat.
The most common form of stool became the four-legged joint stool. This style of stool almost mirrors a miniature table, with four legs, connected by low stretchers. The low bar on the stool beneath your feet is structural support, but can also double as a footrest.
Get Comfortable: Stools with Upholstery
Stools originally had woven fabric or leather seats on a folding frame. Otherwise, they had a fixed frame with a more solid seat. In the late 17th century, we saw the emergence of stools with cushioned and upholstered seats.
This Pair of Italian Mid Century Stools in brown faux leather are a gorgeous example of cushioned vintage stools. These stools may be more appropriately used as a foot stools or ottomans in some homes, but could also work exquisitely as low stools for gathering around a coffee table for a board game or puzzle. They are not only comfortable, but adaptable. Vintage stools kept in such immaculate condition are a treasure.
Stylistic Choices and Pairings
You can choose from a range of styles for your stools today. Modern, farmhouse, industrial or traditional might suit your aesthetic. While searching for the best option, you might also uncover an antique or vintage stool that suits your space best.
Your office renovation would be complete with a desk and stool set. Instead of searching for the perfect match, consider something like this Bauhaus Desk and Stool pair. This vintage stool showcases galvanized steel tubes and the original leather.
The Art Deco Vintage Stool
Perhaps, your quest for furnishings leads you to fall in love with something like this Cubic Art Deco Stool from 1930’s France. The stool showcases an eye-catching polished walnut veneer, and is covered with anthracite fabric and border finishing. A dark teal fabric covers the cushion, and contrasts beautifully with the rich wood finish. If you’re drawn to this sophisticated stool, you’ll find that it could be the perfect compliment to your living room.
If you are excited by this retro vibe, consider this Art Deco Stool with Amboyna Veneer. This piece is from France, and dates back to 1930. The unique form and features of this stool are hard to find just anywhere. A rich gorgeous color like this showcased in your living room will highlight your commitment to aesthetic excellence.
Not Just “Stools”: More Monikers
Stools are occasionally referred to as “backless chairs”, although adaptations of the stool since its earliest days have involved versions with backrests. You may also be familiar with another kind of stool, the beloved foot stool, piano stool, or bar stool.
Developments in stools led to a range of nicknames we are less likely to hear today. A “double stool” has become more commonly known as an upholstered bench. Also, a “window stool”, which we might call a daybed, with raised ends and the ability to seat more than one person at a time. It is marvelous to track the history of these pieces and uncover how a stool may have led us to a charming piece like this Neoclassical Daybed.
The Popular Bar Stool
Arguably, bar stools are among the more sought after home furniture items today. They save space in kitchens, and can add stylistic flair. Bar stools provide a delightful chance to feature mixed materials and textures.
Your next elegant and chic addition could be right in front of you with this Mid Century Bar Stool from 1950’s France. The stool features chrome metal, black lacquer and gray leather. It is not easy to find beautiful, high quality items restored in such pristine condition. But when you do, they are worth holding onto.
More Options: Antique Stools, or Modern Ones?
We’ve focused in on specifically vintage stools this week. But you should not feel limited! There is a bounty of possibility in both stools pre-1920, as well as Consider traveling back even farther in time.
You might be struck with a vision for a seating layout when you examine these Ebonized Beech Wood Stools from the 1820’s. This petite pair of antique stools from the French Restoration and Biedermeier period are immaculately reupholstered. The cream white velvet would pair beautifully with many wood tones in a room, drawing in warmth and comfort.
If you’d like to peruse options in the 21st century, look no further than this Custom Bar Stool “Hex”. This custom bar stool sits on a metal base, and has a customizable hexagonal wooden seat. Dream big! You can collaborate with a designer to find the perfect unique style for you.
Our Vote: Buy Vintage Stools
There are bountiful opportunities to enrich and embellish your home with vintage stools. Stools can help you incorporate levels, texture, and color in any room. Whether you are renovating your kitchen space and expanding high-top seating, or adding to a living room layout, there is a stool that suits your needs.
You’ll impress guests when you host gatherings, and reflect back on the storied history of furniture making. Visitors might not know that the stools in your space represented centuries of history and adaptation, but you’ll get to wow them with what you’ve learned today. Find furniture pieces that strike up a conversation at Styylish.com.