Five Must-Have Low Stools

I’ve got a thing for stools. It may sound strange, but low stools are one of my favorite pieces of furniture because they are so versatile. These unassuming little pieces are the workhorses of minimalist design; they can be used as… well… stools, but if you think bigger, their sculptural quality makes them great for so many more things.

I love to put a rustic stool next to a sleek freestanding tub and let the contrast speak for itself. Pile a few ultra-fluffy towels or luxurious bath salts on top for a little extra storage. Place an antique stool at the end of a hallway or mix it up and use one as a table near a sofa. They work well when you need something less clunky than a chair and more versatile than a table.

Design by  Bloom  | Photo by Armelle Habib

Design by Bloom | Photo by Armelle Habib

Stools may be the most ancient form of furniture (I believe that’s partly why I love the super primitive, raw look). Think of the one-legged stools used when milking cows. It’s a seat on top of one leg, which sounds like it doesn’t work at all, but when you sit on it you add two more legs and make it a three-legged stool [insert mind-blown emoji]. Stools were used in Africa by some tribal leaders as a sign of power or to place wedding gifts on. And the ancient Egyptians created some beautiful versions with curved legs and intricate embellishments.

So in the spirit of celebrating these often-overlooked pieces, I’ve collected five fabulous stools to share with you that are not only beautiful, but also incorporate sustainable principles. Enjoy!

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1. FARR SISTER STOOL BY DZIERLENGA F+U

Dzierlenga F+U is the real deal: they are a collection of craftswomen who use locally sourced, sustainable woods, natural finishes, and traditional hand-tooling techniques. Their farmhouse is wind-powered and heated with the off-cuts of the furniture shop. The pieces they create are thoughtfully designed with an emphasis on the materials and highest quality craftsmanship. Their Farr Sister Stool has a delicate grace and classic form with subtle updates like the dipped legs that immediately elevate any space it’s in in an understated way.

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2. DOMINO SUGAR STOOL BY URUHU

I absolutely adore these fun stools. There are 9 unique multi-dimensional designs for the tops, each machined precisely. Then the bases are cut into a hexagon shape using a chainsaw, giving each stool an individual fingerprint, if you will. The contrast of the machined top and rough base gives this a truly dynamic aesthetic. The concept was based on the geometry of a sugar cube, very appropriate considering each is crafted from sections of reclaimed beams from Brooklyn’s Domino Sugar Refinery.

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3. TRIPOLINA CAMP STOOL BY CITIZENRY

This camp stool is hand-carved, hand-dyed, and hand-stitched in Argentina. Citizenry partners with master craftsman who source their materials locally and ensure those partners fair wages and happy work environments. The care the craftsmen take over their work is really showcased in this beauty. The Tripolina Camp Stool is perfect for small apartments because of its tiny diameter and the fact that it folds up easily.

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4. AFRICAN SENUFO STOOL FROM 1ST DIBS

I love these stools because of their lovely organic and sculptural quality. And I’m not alone: this is a designer favorite. African Senufo stools are hand-carved from a single piece of wood by the Senufo tribes in Mali and Ivory Coast, Africa and come in many different wood tones. Each stool is unique and you can always find these second-hand. They add a beautiful, raw, textural quality to a space.

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5. RAWLINGS STOOL BY ENVIRONMENT FURNITURE

As their name suggests, Environment is all about environmental sustainability as “a component of good living.” I would definitely call their Rawlings Stool good living… just look at that gorgeous stitching. The frame’s slight twist on a classic “x” form allows it to fit into any style interior, from modern to eclectic to updated traditional. It has a light, minimal aesthetic that does well in pairs or in contrast to more solid furnishings.