1st Feb 2020 @ 6:00 am

Milkmaids, pianist naughty children, and barflies are all used to sitting on stools, but maybe it’s time you reconsidered these perennially versatile items of furniture, as well.


Stools are one of the oldest forms of seating, and also one of the most versatile. They can be anything from a slice of tree-trunk to a state-of-the- art contraption made of plastic and steel, but they’re never going to go out of fashion.

A stool, defined simply, is a chair without arms or a back. It’s designed for you to take the weight off your feet without relaxing too much, and that’s why it’s perfect for workplaces where you need to sit upright and focus.

A stool is perfect for perching, rather than sitting, and it’s becoming increasingly clear that this sort of dynamic activity is much healthier than the sedentary flopping down in an armchair that we’ve become used to. Stools also allow us to be more mobile – we can swing round and move to either side on them, which is why they’re so popular at bars.

Even footstools have an important place in today’s homes. A strong one with a step will give you a safe way to reach high shelves, as well as a place to take the weight off in an otherwise busy kitchen.

Fast-food restaurants have also realised that stools don’t allow anyone to get too settled, meaning that customers move on and clear space fast. This theory also works in the home, where family members may gather around a raised ranch-style work surface rather than sit down in a chair.

So next time you’re shopping for furniture, don’t ignore the humble stool. It could be the perfect ergonomic item for your home, it could save space, keep you healthier, and provide attractive design all at the same time.


Stools are one of those increasingly important elements of modern kitchens – versatile, adaptable, compact and progressively more attractive.

Today, kitchens are an important social area, a space that can serve as a food preparation area, a dining room, a study and a place where families meet.

Much as we value the tradition of sitting down at a table and dining together, it seems to happen less and less. Instead, we tend to hover, perch, graze and flit in and out of the dining area. A child may finish their homework with a friend at a table while a parent prepares the evening meal, or a dad may grab a piece of fruit and sit at a kitchen island to chat quickly to his wife before heading out.

Stools are essential to this type of living, allowing us to rest a little while being easily moved around and not taking up too much space. This is something that has been understood by bar designers for well over a century – tall stools allow drinkers to move around, chat and see the whole establishment without letting them get too comfortable.

And another advantage is sheer elegance – tall stools are beloved by designers for good reason. They’re one of the most elegant and attractive items of furniture there is.