counter stool update

I did a little counter stool research this weekend. While I’m happy to buy some furniture and decor items sight unseen (I’ve had great success with rugs!) there are some things I think you need to try in person to be absolutely convinced. Seating is one of them. You need to know if they are going to be comfortable and the only way to do that is to actually sit in the seat.

Besides comfort, the other thing I wanted to test in person was what we are calling “the wobble factor”. Would the stool stand up to a four year old climbing onto by himself? Once seated would the stool remain stable and hold it’s ground ? We took along our resident wobble tester (it’s always good to give a four year old an official title and important job when you want them to cooperate!) and made him try out all the stools.

After reading all of your comments we decided that having stools with backs was important to us. This quickly eliminated many of our choices which was a good thing!

Our first stop was Design Within Reach where we happened upon the Era Stool designed by Michel Thonet.


These stools are very reasonably priced and come in a selection of colours. They’re classic, stylish and fun. From a wobble point of view they are a bit light on their feet. Henry was okay getting up on the stool by himself but when he jumped the stool gave way a bit giving him a startle. I’m also a little concerned that over time nicks and scratches would start to ruin the finish.

Our next stop was Style Garage to check out the Factory Barstool.


These stools with their rubber feet and heavy construction are sturdy. They passed the wobble test with flying colours. I wouldn’t be afraid to let Henry climb in and out of these stools by himself. They also come in a range of colours -at least 20-30 options. We narrowed down the selection to about 6 choices which you can see on the table above.

The interesting fact about these chairs is that they are made by Lyon. In actual fact they are the same stools that Martha Stewart uses in all of her kitchens (which if you remember I has listed as a separate choice.) The backs are removable so in essence you get two stools in one. The next step for me is to contact Lyon directly to see whether or not I can get a better deal directly through them.

In the meantime, I’m still open to new suggestions. I would really love a wood or leather stool but haven’t found anything that is a) budget friendly and b) beautiful to look at.

The search continues….

Filed under house projects


  1. Marybeth
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:38 AM | Permalink

    Love the look of the Lyon stool.
    Affordable leather? Crate and barrel have a leather counter stool. I have sat in the chair height version of the same one and thought it was comfortable. I can’t remember if Toronto has a Crate and Barrel to check it out.

  2. Marybeth
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:40 AM | Permalink

  3. Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:54 AM | Permalink

    I too am searching for counter stools! I really love Blu Dot’s knicker stools but have decided against an upholstered stool right next to our upholstered dining chairs :-( I also considered the Thonet stools, but you have just confirmed my fear that they look tippy. Bertoia wire stools are another favourite, but I really like these factory stools you found as well. Love the colour choices and that he back is removable. They remind me a bit of the School Outfitters stools that Young House Love originally used in their kitchen. Another stool in the running for us is the French T back chair at Restoration Hardware. Great suggestion to try them out! I’m a bit concerned about height as well. Counter stools seem to vary in seat height up to 2 inches! I really don’t enjoy eating at a table that feels too high. Can’t wait to see where you end up!

  4. Posted January 21, 2013 at 11:17 AM | Permalink

    what about the Studio Bar Stool from West Elm? It has a nice silhouette.||NoFacet-_-NoFacet-_–_-

  5. Laura
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

    Hey Emma! I just love those Factory Barstools by Style Garage in the bright orange…what a great choice…even if you’re still deliberating! Hope you’re well!

  6. Lily
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 4:23 PM | Permalink

    Hi Emma! How about this option from From the Source?

    It comes in other colors for the legs too. :)

  7. Kristen
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

    Hi Emma.

    We’ve had the Era Stools (in red) in our kitchen for over a year, and we still love them. They’ve stood up well to visiting children, and the occasionally klutzy adult, with no slips, tips, or nicks. They’re comfortable as well.


  8. Emily
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 8:58 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for doing (my) research (for me) – as we will soon be buying stools for a new kitchen, this couldn’t be more timely.

    Interesting that Style Garage is actually Lyon – now, are they comfortable?

    And that red Thonet – swoon!

  9. Emily
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    PS – I love these stools, and as owner of the matching chairs, yes, they are very comfortable; however, at $800 a pop, I don’t think they qualify as “affordable”.

  10. Emily
    Posted January 21, 2013 at 9:01 PM | Permalink

    Sigh – forgot to add the link

  11. Lesley
    Posted January 22, 2013 at 3:25 PM | Permalink

    Pricey but beautiful:

  12. Posted January 23, 2013 at 3:05 PM | Permalink

    The things that people that don’t have children (yet!) don’t even think about! I would never imagine that this wobbler factor exists! LOL

    I like the Factory Barstool with its industrial look. And those colors are beautiful!

  13. Susan
    Posted January 24, 2013 at 1:55 PM | Permalink

    I adore the Era chair but my 4 year old has been known to fall out of the back of a chair so we needed a full back. We went with the Petit Stool from CB2 and have been thrilled! The glossy white has held up surprising well to all sorts of spills and abuse, too!

  14. Posted January 25, 2013 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    I love the look of the Factory Barstool. But, it’s definitely not as warm as wood or leather would be!

One Trackback

  1. By the marion house book » new kitchen stools on September 3, 2013 at 8:46 AM

    […] last, my new kitchen stools have arrived! You might remember back in January of this year I started my search for some new counter stools for our kitchen island. After much deliberating, I settled on these […]

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