Top Ten Barstools: High & Low

Top Ten Barstools: High & Low

Sarah Coffey
Apr 11, 2011

A good barstool is hard to find — often made for commercial use, barstools can lack the smaller scale and warm materials of home furniture. Here are 10 that range from inexpensive industrial metal models to painted wood to upholstered seating, at price points between $100 and $1,000.

High-End Barstools: $200 and Up

90d3c90e31e6bc2ec3aae77320fa51317396c1f1. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Design Within Reach
Designed by Xavier Pauchard in 1934, this classic metal cafe stool was updated in 2009 by Tolix designer Chantal Andriot. Perforated steel gives the Marais Barstool a lighter, more contemporary look. DWR carries it in four colors for $398 each.

c8a666bb5ed92bbb7a5816c592c71ac2511c0778. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Knoll
In 1952, American designer Harry Bertoia experimented with bending metal rods into seating shapes, and his collection remains in production today. Knoll manufactures and sells the Bertoia Barstool for $890 — it can be purchased with or without a seat cushion.

ac67f8d4d13455d2c8df1ca8712c17956f3ddd0f. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop The Conran Shop
Shin and Tomoko Azumi designed this adjustable height barstool in 2000. A single steel loop frames the seat and forms a footrest, while a gas lift adjusts the height from 26.5 to 31 inches. Available at the Conran Shop, the LEM Barstool is $725.

3e7a88d65962185541675f1b3c4134688462a78d. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Emeco
American company Emeco first produced the Navy Chair in 1944. Made from lightweight but super-strong aluminum, it was designed to stand up to the rigorous wear and tear of use on naval ships. The Navy Barstool is made from over 80% recycled aluminum and starts at $690.

2246eabac112e9eb55f59c0693c95282fd233e3f. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Velocity Art & Design
In the 1950s, Norman Cherner created this chair from molded plywood with a small "waist" that defines the iconic design. Seattle-based Velocity sells the Cherner Bar and Counter Stools in four finishes, starting at $700.

d87f23038c687200ff8ba1649caae550335e3a8d. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Design Within Reach
Bentwood Thonet barstools have been in production since the late 1850s. A classic French cafe design, these can be found in thrift stores and modern furniture galleries alike. DWR sells the Thonet Era Barstool in four colors for $210 - $240.

Budget Barstools: Under $200

080ebfac256cb6c3d7b3859d243e1ac83d1b3b7b. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop C&H Distributors
One of Maxwell's Daily Finds, the basic metal Lyon Adjustable-Height Industrial Stool is sold in various heights, including a barstool version ranging between 30 and 33 inches. It's available through industrial supply company C&H for $100.

7b32936f95fedc12033c819432c6c3f06b19ca82. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop McMaster-Carr Supply Company
For metal and wood versions of Industrial Bar Stools, check Midwestern supplier McMaster-Carr. They have a range of designs with or without backrests and steel glides. Pricing ranges from $50 - $170.

14ac6eb684c9e0b0d844970b94231c4920b86bb4. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Richardson Seating
This Chicago-based company supplies barstools to restaurants, and they've got a collection of mid-century-style swivel stools with upholstered seats, available through various retailers. This Barstool 2510 sells for $190.

13c01612f4e447a7f24b30bf292be58ad8b7f243. w.94 h.71 s.centercrop Restoration Hardware
An update on the wooden French cafe stool, Restoration Hardware's Madeleine Barstool is made from oak with an X-back and caned seat. It comes in brown, weathered, or burnt oak finishes, and it's currently on sale for $150 (reg. $180).

RELATED RESOURCES: Top 10 Barstools (for the Home)

Photo: Era Barstools at Design Within Reach

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