Donatella Bianchi. Bar Stools. November 27th, 2017.
Bar Stools - The continuous evolution: In the old days bar stools were strictly utilitarian, just wooden pieces nailed together to form sturdy seats. There was not much call for aesthetic modifications, and life back then was generally plain-looking by today`s standards. If you have seen movies depicting the medieval or Middle Ages, then you will be familiar with the rough-hewn appearance of their furniture. They were often unpadded as well, so sitting for long periods of time was not an attractive prospect. The Renaissance saw a sudden uprising in the call for beauty, and everything became covered with carvings and etchings. These bar stools were no exception, and their long legs in particular were made more aesthetically ornate. Padding as part of the seat and not as a separate cushion was also introduced. Not surprisingly, not everyone could afford these fancy seats, so the simple designs were still common in the seedier bars and public houses. This disparity is important to consider, since it has led to the richness of choice that we have today. In the previous century, every decade saw changes in popular fashion and aesthetics, so public houses changed their appearance regularly. Those periods saw the use of chrome, leatherette, rotating seats, and polyurethane foam. These stools became fixtures around counters, literally speaking. Being bolted to the floor, their fixed nature prevented them from being used in the inevitable bar brawl. Alcohol seems to often lead to violence of some sort, and many a bar has seen destruction at the hands of inebriated patrons. At least, the stools would be spared too much damage.
If your horizontal (floor space) is limited, you may choose armless. Arms generally add 3 to 6 inches to the overall width of a single bar stool and can add up to 18" in width on just 3 bar stools. (See "How Many Do I Need?)
Backless stools are great when you need occasional extra seating or in situations where you don`t want to obstruct a view with tall backs. Example: You may have an open floor plan and do not want to obstruct your view from one room to another. Also consider any outside views. If your game room or kitchen faces a lake or river, for example, you may not want backs extending above your counter that may obstruct your view.
Bar Stools - The new generation: Today, with the recognition of many interior design styles and themes, bar stools have been manufactured to complement the choices for public rooms. Some go for the old-school gentleman`s club feel, while others like the sleek and chic chrome and leather styling. There are some that appropriate Oriental design elements and incorporate bamboo in motif or material form, while some turn to wood and etching in the tradition of Old Europe. There are even some that use molded plastic and brushed steel for that futuristic, streamlined ambiance. And that`s not even to mention the various accouterments used in various theme bars all over the world. The seat offers a tempting canvas for stylized lettering or graphics including the ever popular Harley Davidson and Jack Daniels for instance, while chair sides would prove good grounds for scrolling artwork. Of course, for the older establishments that wish to retain an Old World charm, wicker stools are light, easily replaceable, and totally in character. Modern padded seats have to regularly have their cushions replaced, what with the constant traffic of derrieres both tight and not so. Of course, just because they are "bar" stools does not mean they are only found in bars and home bars have become increasingly popular. Man caves also tend to have their fair share of bar stools for a movie and drinks night in or just a good old knees up style party. Other house may also have a few of these seats around a kitchen counter or similar feature.
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