Farmhouse Counter Stools

We just finished up a giant kitchen island with seating on three sides –

modern cabin kitchen

We love all the seating, but now I need six stools.

I looked and looked for affordable counter stools with a simple design, but with needing so many – I couldn’t find any options for less than $400. 

I also was having trouble finding a truly simple stool – since you can see through the island, with all stools visible at the same time, I wanted the stools to be as clean lined as possible. Any ornate details or fussiness could create a busy look.

Unable to find exactly what I wanted, I decided to DIY my kitchen stools.

So here’s the verdict:

1. Sturdiness – We splayed the legs out so it’s very difficult to get these stools to rock one way or the other.  My husband did quite a bit of testing and approved them for sturdiness (this is following a couple of prototypes that were not sturdy enough)

2. Comfort – I was very worried about comfort with the flat seat, so I found a way to decrease the load on the seat by as much as half!  How?  These stools are designed with a higher footrest – yes, footrest! – a little higher up and wide enough for both feet to take the weight off your bum and share it on the footrest.  It’s also nice to be able to put your feet up.  We all have been surprised at how comfortable these humble stools are despite no saddle seat or cushion.

3. Style – If these stools had any more fuss to them, can you imagine how busy under our island would look?  We have gotten many compliments on the stools even without a finish on them yet.

4. Moveability – Stools are always being moved, moved to sit in, moved back out of the way – especially in this tiny cabin where being able to tuck the stools away frees up so much space.  I purposely designed these stools with no supports directly under the seat, so your hands can easily grasp the seat and move it.  We also add glides under the legs to protect the floor and help the stools slide better.

How We Built The Stools

So the first four stools, my husband and I built together, and this is definitely the way to go.  Two people makes for quick work.

But the last two stools, I put together myself, and had to come up with some marking and clamping techniques to make it possible to build with just two hands.  You can watch me build this stool in our Farmhouse Counter Stools Video