22 Apr

The History and Evolution of the Bar Stool

Category: Bar Stools

When it comes to furnishing your dining room, there are plenty of options for seating. You can choose armchairs, benches, banquettes, or bar stools. But you have ever stopped to wonder about where these various forms of seating came from and what made them so popular that they’ve been around for centuries? In this article we give you a bit of the history and evolution of bar stools and why it’s such a popular choice for dining room, bar, and kitchen seating.


Where Did the Bar Stool Come From?


Eiffel Tower bar stool. By Ditigibt – Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=129658429


As with many of our modern furnishings, the history and evolution of the bar stool starts with ancient Egypt. These seats had a humble start, being the preferred form of seating for artisans hard at work making their goods. Later, during the Italian Renaissance of the 1400’s, the bar stool became more of a status symbol, often inscribed, and adorned with jewels and stone inlays. This is when stools first began to swivel, and an extra leg was added, at times. Further down the road, in France during the reign of Louis XXIV, bar stools became very popular among nobles of the court and they got even fancier in style and design. Stools during the 1700’s were considered pieces of fine art adorned with precious gems and metal alloys.


What Materials Were Used?


swivel bar stool with arms

Winston swivel barstools feature arms and footrests which are comfortable but add to the width of the stool.


The first bar stools in history were carved from wood and today that is still the most popular material, although there are many different species of wood now being used. Metal bar stools, especially when combined with wood seats and backs, are always in style, particularly when used in with industrial or rustic décor. Modern consumers can even find bar stools made out of tractor seats, plastic, or HDPE for outdoor use. Of course, we now often upholster stools to make them more comfortable.


Bar Stools in the Home


The most common place to find bar stools in the modern home is in the kitchen, bar, or dining room.


Bar stools are always a great addition to a kitchen. These Layla wood and metal stools feature a great style and supportive backs.


Kitchen bar stools just make sense as they most often extend the amount of seating in this workhorse room. Most kitchens today feature an island, either standalone or as an extension of the countertops. This space would not be nearly as functional without bar stools for family or guests to perch on while you prepare a meal.


Victor bar set with stools

No home bar would be complete without a set of bar stools.


Of course, many of us associate bar stools with, well…a bar. And that is certainly part of this humble furnishing’s history, as well. Bar stools were often used for public seating in crowded pubs because they take up little space, they are easy to move, and they provide seats for lots of thirsty patrons. Today, your home bar could benefit from at least three or four barstools to give your space a great place to entertain reminiscent of an old-style pub.


Theo counter height table and stools

Counter height dining tables are higher than traditional dining tables and make a statement in a casual dining area.


Finally, the history and evolution of bar stools would not be complete without mentioning how they work perfectly for seating in a dining room. No matter the style and décor of your dining room at home, a counter height or pub height table with stools looks great, functions well, and adds a unique bit of style as well as a casual vibe.


We hope you have enjoyed reading about the history and evolution of the bar stool. Does it make you want to shop for new seating in your home? We invite you to browse through our wide selection of bar stools for sale in every style. You are sure to find a model that perfectly matches your aesthetic sense and reminds you why this seat is still so popular today.

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