Stool Musings…

Me + a picture of our kitchen + photoshop = this post.

Back in December when we bought our kitchen stools (from a school supply store for $32 a pop) we mentioned we were entertaining a number of ways to tweak them down the line (painting them, upholstering/staining the seat, etc) but just couldn’t shake the feeling that we should live with them a while first – just to make sure we weren’t doing anything rash in the middle of a kitchen remodel. We basically wanted the room to come together, live with them a little, and then make the call.

It was actually really nice how they tied into the stainless appliances, felt kind of geek-industrial, and even brought the gray color in the wall of penny tile over into the other side of the room. But after a nice long time of thinking it through and weighing our options, we decided… it’s time to paint them! It’s not that we don’t like how they look as-is as much as we think a new coat of paint could look infinitely better. From good to great if you will. So without further ado, our musings…

Our first thought was a dark teal color. Don’t mind our horribly photoshopped stool rendering (it’s not a very accurate portrayal at all, but in our brain we think we can almost picture it).

Why dark teal? Well, see the back of the built-ins in the adjoined dining room in this older shot of the room on the right?

Since the kitchen and the dining room are now open to each other, we just love seeing a sliver of that dark teal on the built-ins when we’re in there, so we thought bringing a bit more of that color in with the stools could be fun. Although it could be a little too matchy-matchy too, so we kept playing around with other options.

Like white, which is a little too… white for us. Haha. There’s just so much lightness in the cabinets and counters that although glossy white stools would look modern and clean, we think it’s just too flat for us.

Next we tried ORB (oil-rubbed bronze), which would probably be an easy win. We worried it would blend in too much with our floor, but at least from this terrible rendering they look like they’d pop in front of the white cabinets/counter. And they’d balance the dark hardware on the pendant lights above (I also tried a dark charcoal gray but they didn’t look as good as the ORB rendering, so I figured that was the better option. But it’s not the most happy and exciting choice out there.

Then we tried yellow since we like the other random pops of yellow in the room – like that jar next to the fridge and that planter on the open shelves. But it looked crazy-scary. Might just be photoshop though, so I decided to bring Clara’s yellow highchair in and see how that looks in front of the peninsula (since surely it can’t look this nuts in real life).

Sure enough, it looks pretty cute:

I also brought in a random HomeGoods/Joss&Main stools from other rooms (blue = HomeGoods, red = Joss&Main) just to see how those colors would look. We actually really liked all three of these color options. It’s fun to have a little pop of happy at the peninsula, right?

Of course the blue one looked awesome with the pops of blue on the open shelves, but this exercise actually got us seriously considering tomato red, since it’s not in many other places around the house (so it feels exciting and new). It would also pick up some of the red tones in our Lady Swimming print next to the fridge, which could be fun. But since the chairs wouldn’t be low-lying garden stools, and would be four metal stools with backs, in order to picture it, I bounced back to my good friend Photoshop.

Our only fear is that with the yellow-green walls, red or deep orange chairs are a little too McDonalds for our tastes (especially when viewed from the other side of the kitchen – looking back towards the fireplace nook, which has a lot more green paint going on than this view). So next we decided to give leaf green a try…

… and a deeper emerald color…

All of them could probably work, so they got logged as other alternatives. It was at this point that we realized that a number of things could work in our pretty neutral kitchen (white and gray and brown pretty much goes with everything), so it’s just going to come down to choosing whatever color we like best.

Next it was onto blue, where we tried a lighter teal color with a fair amount of gray in it:

Of course these renderings aren’t very true to what things will really look like in real life with light bouncing around and not everything being the same flat shade – so something that looks the best here could totally read differently in real life. But the truth is that we love a room with a pop of color in the stools, like this, this, and this), and our minds change about what color we want to go with every day.

Oh and how funny is this? Right after I shot this picture…

… I walked into the office and saw this stack of books…

Guess I’m just a die-hard fan of those colors. Haha. For accessories, potential stool colors, and beyond!

You know we’ll keep you posted when we make a final decision! Hopefully within the next week or two – because these renderings are getting us excited. Haha. And this little photoshop exercise was comforting because it helped us realize that there are any number of ways we could go instead of having to find the “one right color” like hunting for a needle in a haystack. I’m sure you guys will weigh in with your favorite stool colors in the meantime, right? Anyone else playing around in Photoshop or bringing items from other rooms to see how certain colors or shapes will work?

Comments

  1. Erica says

    Have you thought about having the stools be all different colors? Like Monica’s kitchen on Friends?

    • says

      We did think about that for a little while but wondered if it’s too rainbow-bright for us. I think we like all of them the same color like the bright stooled kitchens we linked to as inspiration down near the end of this post!

      xo,
      s

    • Sabrina says

      The different colors would SO be my husband’s first choice (well, our kitchen table chairs are all currently different (sadly faded to subdued) colors.

    • says

      i thought the same thing – paint them all different colors. then if you hated the rainbow brite look, you can commit to one of the colors (and paint the rest to match).
      of course, that’d be a lot of work.

      (i also really like them as-is. that’s the option that involves the LEAST amount of work!)

    • Randa says

      I was going to ask if you were thinking about picking two colors, like the outer two in teal and the inner two in yellow or something. That could be fun without too much chaos.

    • Kitty O says

      I really think that would be overkill. You already have so many different bright colors in that room; adding more would just seem riotous. I think it would look like a kindergarten classroom.

    • kristin says

      i like this idea – each stool a different color – but only if each stool was a different style….

    • Anne Weber-Falk says

      That’s what I thought too. I really like the yellow red and blue together. It’s fun and not too serious. Go for it! If you don’t like it you can still change it. Just a little time and a bit more paint.

  2. says

    I know I’ve cribbed about you guys using too much yellow. But I’m kind loving the yellow stools!!! Have you thought about using different colors for the stools? Just a thought. The blue, red, yellow, and white looks good together.

    • says

      We did think about that but wonder if it’s too rainbow bright for us. I think we like all of them the same color like the bright stooled kitchens we linked to as inspiration down near the end of this post!

      xo,
      s

  3. Eric says

    Not much going on at the house these days I see. Hopefully you’ll have an update soon on a project.

    • says

      We’re working on deck stuff today as we mentioned yesterday (it rained yesterday so we couldn’t get out there – boo!). We also got a permit, tackled a Dude Get On That Challenge and tried out a ton of rugs for our kitchen in the past two days. We definitely hop around and do projects big and small pretty much all the time, so some weeks it’s big stuff and some weeks it’s smaller stuff!

      xo,
      s

    • says

      I’m with Cassidy, haha. Not everyone can do complete room makeovers every day (if that was the case, YHL would have bought their 47th house by now.) Sometimes tweaking is just as important as a massive project, and personally I think learning about there process is just as interesting!

    • says

      Aw thanks guys! Our posts definitely run the gamut! Sometimes we’re demo-ing something and other times we’re just talking about cleaning and organizing!

      xo,
      s

    • Amy says

      While I totally get that you aren’t going to be redoing a room a day, I still think an entire post dedicated to hanging up a clipboard is pushing it, haha.

    • says

      We love small Dude Get On That challenges like the clipboard project, and they seem to get lots of comments (even requests for more when they fall off for a while) so they stay! Our blog is definitely about everything house-related, so the small/quick/free projects are just as much a part of our site as the large and elaborate stuff. It’s a smorgasbord around here!

      xo,
      s

    • says

      Oh please don’t stop posts like these!! I agree that the process is just as interesting. I love how you decorate, and reading your blog has been very helpful in helping me grow in decorating my own house. :)

    • Kristin H. says

      Guys!! Please don’t try to stifle J&S!! J&S- I absolutely adore and admire your ability to never be stifled.

    • says

      Haha, thanks Kristin! No worries. We know not every person will love every last one of the 2,500 posts that we’ve written, and it would be crazy to even aim for that (one person’s favorite post is another person’s least favorite!). So we just do what we’ve done the past almost-five years: use this little corner of the internet as our DIY diary, full of undertakings that work, things that fail, random tangents, plenty of planning, and projects big and small!

      xo,
      s

    • Wendy says

      Count me in for being interested in all the small little things! I think the little things really make a big impact and bring everything together. Secretly I’ve been wondering if you’ll fill us in when you get a bathmat for your master bathroom because I’m curious if you’ll coordinate it with the towels or if it will be a different color. But I’m wondering if that will be big enough news to make a post…

    • says

      Haha, oh yes! That will be a giant fashion show since I have photographed a bunch that didn’t work (waiting to find the one that does to share the whole shebang). You know we love a fashion show!

      xo,
      s

    • Heather Flint says

      I am absolutely loving these posts lately where you show the decision making process of making a choice (ex. rug fashion show, photoshopping stool colors, etc. etc. etc.!!). It’s actually comforting to realize all the little steps and decisions that you guys have to make to turn your house into something so beautiful. So many times on blogs, you see an ugly before picture of a kitchen, and then TADA! the picture-perfect after. I then go ahead and leave the land of reality and daydream about snapping my fingers and having our kitchen remodeled. Explaining to my fiance, “LOOK HOW EASY IT IS!!”. LOL!! I love the step-by-step (ohhhh baby! gonna get to you girrrrrrl……) okay, where was I? Oh yes, I think I was saying our awesomely awesome you guys are!! Love me Young House Love…look forward to your posts every day!!:)

  4. Anneliese says

    Oooohhhh, a color picking party… you just know you’re going to get 750 replies today, with everyone picking different colors, right? Right.

    My vote (for what it’s worth) is for the deep teal or the leaf green. With all your other light, bright action going on in the kitchen, those stools would bring some nice, deeper, calmer tones and balance.

    But you really can’t go wrong with any of them… any interest in picking one color per stool? You could calm it down by staying in the blues/greens, but still bring in some interest.

    • says

      We did think about some sort of subtle gradient or something that’s not too busy, but I think ultimately we love the bright stools in the inspiration kitchens that we linked to so much (and they’re all the same color in each room).

      xo,
      s

    • Mary says

      Anneliese – I agree with your choice too! I think the yellow would be a great option as well. And the gradient might be a nice touch!

      I’m an overthinker as well! I renovated my whole house in the last year with only the bathroom left to do (there are so many options!!). If there is no “overthinking” then there could be a lot of re-doing! Overthinking will save you time and money in the end :)

    • says

      Haha- sorry Mona! We’re nothing if not chronic over-thinkers and over-sharers! Hopefully within the next few weeks we’ll actually stop changing our minds and pick a color!

      xo,
      s

  5. says

    Pretty colors…..I’m loving all the greens/teals, and also love a pop of color.
    I’m thinking of even spraying my traditional dining room chairs a pop of color, or upholstering each chair in a different color…..I think the different colors is fun too!

    • says

      We definitely thought about that, but worried it might be a little rainbow bright for us! It would work better if we had a collection of different stools I think (like how we had different garden stools an that high chair mixed and matched in different colors).

      xo,
      s

    • says

      so…i think maybe you should think about that….sell off two stools and get different styles and go for the paint variety! we are going to do different styles/colors around our dinette table when we get into our new house someday.

    • says

      We actually considered different types of stools before we bought these but we realized with eight chairs in the nearby dining room and four in the kitchen it would probably be too busy for our space- but in other homes it could look awesome!

      xo,
      s

  6. Jessica Dixon says

    Lots of amazing choices I think I like the last option best, the lighter teal with hint of grey. Good luck choosing!

  7. says

    I love all the darker color. Since your cabinets and walls are light it helps add a little visual weight to the room. Several of them look good though. I’m not sure which one I would pick but I am lad ou decided to paint them.

    • Leslie says

      I was rooting for the teal (light or deep) the whole post! I also liked the leaf green, but oh–the teal! I never would have thought about the connection to the next room, and now I think it is so smart and by no means too matchy. I also appreciate these posts about decision-making as I am incredibly indecisive and like to see how others navigate choices like these. I appreciate the many visuals you two provide as well! :)