Friday, June 29, 2012

Stool S.O.S.

I hope you are all having a fantastic week!  I'm in desperate need of some stool advice.  Here's the background:  I've been dreaming about woven counter stools with backs for our kitchen since we moved in.  I specifically had these stools in mind:

Elana Banana Counter Stool

I like the woven look, the comfort of a backed stool, and the fact that they are much heavier duty compared to our current backless stools which tip over on a fairly regular basis thanks to our monkey children:).  The problem with purchasing these particular stools is that the nearest World Market is about 4 hours away, and they charge some pretty ridiculous shipping rates.  For example, for 4 barstools, I would have to pay $60 shipping and $80 in surcharges.  The other problem is that they dropped off the website for several months, so I figured they must have gone out of stock or become discontinued.  

They popped back on their website a couple weeks ago, however, and I was able to track down a 'free shipping' code, so I ordered up 4 of them using my some of my garage sale fun fund:) and excitedly waited for them to arrive.  When I opened up the first of two huge boxes, I discovered that the wood legs were darker than I was anticipating and the color of the sea grass didn't work as well with our granite as it did in my head:

I panicked for a bit, but decided to pick up one of my 'back up' stools for comparison:

Kubu Counter Stool

Sold by Pier 1, the Kubu Counter Stool is gorgeous and made of grey rattan combined with even darker legs.  The grey colored complements our granite better, but I'm concerned about how well it would hold up.

I took this picture of a headboard made of the same material at Pier 1.  One of the fibers was snapped, and while it could be 'repaired' by taking a piece of a koobo basket (Target sells these) and gluing it into the broken area, I'm not sure I'd want to be worrying about that happening on a regular basis.  Also, the legs of the Kubu stool are almost black, and I don't love them against our cherry cabinetry and floors.  

The stools cost about the same amount, and we could return the World Market stools on an upcoming trip to a town that has a World Market, but it would be a nuisance.  I've been looking for stools with backs for years, and I prefer woven stools to pleather or wood versions.  Perhaps a metal stool would work?  Does anyone know of any alternatives in my $130/ stool budget?  Do the World Market ones 'work'?  If they don't work, is it the color or the woven pattern?  Has anyone tried staining banana leaf before?  Perhaps I could achieve a darker/grey color with a little stain and solve my problem.  Or I could go with the Pier 1 version and sand/stain the legs and pray it doesn't break?  Should I return them all:)?  Sometimes, furniture buying is the worst!!  If only I could custom order everything:)!!

I so appreciate any feedback you can provide.  I'm anxious to make a decision and move on to the next project!  

P.S.  I just found these:
Tolix Bar Stool
...though they probably cost a fortune!!

P.P.S.  Have a fantastic weekend, and if you live near a Cherry Berry, check it out if you haven't already.  It is frozen yogurt heaven!


  1. I personally enjoy the Pier One ones better. I like the color and the line of the chair from behind. But you are right, if it is a chair that you use everyday I would worry about the wear as well. Although, I know how often you like to change things up so I would keep them and then if and when they get beat up you will be ready to replace them anyway. ;)

  2. Ha Ha Tami!:) I can't keep both:). I totally agree that the color and lines of the Pier 1 work better with the counter, however, I'm leaning towards keeping the WM ones because they aren't that bad, and I think they will hold up much better. The weave is tighter, so playdoh and food are less likely to get stuck. I just don't want stools in my house that will make me nervous when people sit on them:), and the Pier 1 stools would do that. Bill's vote is to keep the WM ones and since they aren't 'perfect', we can just enjoy them and not worry about spills, etc. I actually want them darker, so maybe I could get the brown and gray finger paints out:)!

  3. Colorwise, I prefer the ones from Pier 1, but I worry about the durability of either. And something about the back of the Pier 1 stools says "dining room chair" to me. LOVE those metal ones! Sherry and John over at Young House Love used that style in their recently reno'd kitchen. (and from reading, I know they shopped and found a deal on them!).

  4. you should just try to dye the ones you like. I am not sure what you would use, but it would be like tea bag dying fabric and then it would have the darker color.

  5. The wm ones look good with the tile backsplash over the stove! Keep them!

  6. I think that the WM set looks the best (I love the color) and look great with your kitchen.

  7. I like the WM ones the best. The meatal stools look cool, but I would worry about the damange they would do to the floor when they get tipped over ( and they will with monkey children) . ;)

  8. Thanks for all the stool advice! We are still pondering our options and appreciate you taking a moment to give us your thoughts!

  9. Hi Beth, I had the KUBU chairs from Pier 1, LOVED THEM but after 3 month they looked bad already...the ratan is woven too large and it just got beat up very fast...I returned them after well over 3 month and luckily Pier 1 was great at taking them back and giving me in store credit. I ended up getting leather chairs for my kitchen nook. I also prefer the Rattan style but it wasn;t worth it.....what did you decide?

    1. Hi Christine,
      That's too bad about the Kubu chairs. They are adorable, but you're right, the weave is too large for frequent use. I returned the Kubu stool, because I have young kids, and I just didn't think they'd hold up. I pondered leather too, but our kitchen is so dark already and I didn't think light colored leather would be great for use with kids either. I really liked the World Market stools, but not the color and since it would have been an enormous pain to return them, we decided to stain them. I would never normally pay $500 for stools and then have to stain them, but I had looked for stools for over 2 years and these were exactly what I had in mind...except for the color, which I could potentially change. Staining them was interesting. It took me 2 months to build up the courage and pick a stain color, but the job is done and the results are fantastic. The weave is tighter on the WM stools, so I'm hoping they'll hold up well, although I do have some laminated material waiting to be turned into slip covers for play doh time:). I'll be posting pictures soon:)!!