Something Crazy Happened…

Here’s a little hint:

It all started when John and I were lying in bed one night talking about what we’d love to do to make the sunroom more useful slash function slash awesome (it’s currently packed with secret book projects, but come fall we can finally clear it out for a charity auction – and hopefully start working on making it a room that we actually hang out in). We came up with the idea of a long chunky floating bar/counter made from rustic imperfect wood with a few stools pulled up to it along one currently unused wall. You know, sort of like this one or this one (but not exactly like either one of them for reasons we’ll get into down the line).

A chunky little wood bar along one wall in there with some simple pull-up stools would be super functional for us because:

  • we wouldn’t have to put a big table in the middle of the room for reading the paper, sipping drinks, snacking, and general chillaxing (which means the daybed won’t be too cramped and can stay in there – yay!)
  • when we have Clara’s annual party or just invite people over to hang out, we usually set out food and stuff in the sunroom (so everyone can mill around in there, on the upper patio and on the lower patio) so having a built in bar for setting out all the food and drinks instead of dragging various pieces of furniture into the room and tossing a tablecloth over them would be really nice


So the the next morning I dove into a daydream about how it would be fun to make that cool chunky wood bar/counter for the stools ourselves with some old hunk of wood and some simple brackets – just to add some rustic edge to the space and to make it less precious at parties (no real worries about drink rings since we’d stain it dark and seal it to protect it). And then I started thinking about how I’d want the stools to be counter height since the ones in the kitchen have worked out so well (they’re not as high and teetery as bar height chairs) so I mindlessly just typed in and searched “stools.” And then – I kid you not – the top entry made me suck air. Audibly. They were the. coolest. stools. ever.

You think I’m kidding. Check these babies out:

Forty bucks a pop, retro slatted wood with molded seats, cool dark iron hardware on them, and get this – THEY SWIVEL! The funny thing is when I googled around for similar stools, a few nearly identical versions popped up, like href=”” target=”_blank”> these for $85 a pop, and these for almost $120. So to get them for $40 each really saved us a ton (we got four for about the price of one and a half).


Well, actually not sold until I showed them to John (we both have to sign off on things, so sometimes things are dead in the water when the second person nixes them) but lo and behold, John didn’t just like them, he loved them. And actually demanded (nicely) that I call about them “right now before they’re gone.” All the good stuff is always snatched up off of our Craigslist within the day things are listed, so I ran my buns to the phone and made that call.

So then they were SOLD FOR REAL! To us. Wahoo.

When we got them into the house we were chatting about how wood stools with a chunky wood counter/bar would be a lot of wood – but it would be a huge shame to paint the chairs since they’re so cool and slatted and vintage and all that jazz. So we decided we could make a sleek white counter instead of a wood one in the sunroom. But then a better idea came into the play. That’s when the bright idea to bring them into the kitchen popped up (duh, there’s already a white counter in there).


Long story long, John and I loved them so much in the kitchen that we decided that our fun blue metal stools would be awesome for the rustic sunroom bar. Rough chunky wood sounds pretty fun paired with sleek boldly painted metal, right? So it’s totally weird that I ever even went on craigslist to look for stools… and then the fact that I found some, fell in love, chain-reactioned John into falling in love, and ended up with them is all kind of a whirlwind. We’re taking it as a sign that they’re meant to be.

They’re just so darn pretty in the kitchen with the rich cork floors, our chunky wood cutting boards, and even things like the woven light and the wood mirror by the fireplace. So… SOLD ALL OVER AGAIN.

And now I will wow you with how many angles I can photograph our new stools:

We love our blue guys too, so who knows, maybe they’ll come back in the spring or something when we’re feeling flirty. Haha. And who knows, maybe once the sunroom’s done we’ll ultimately love the wood stools in there and the blue guys might end up back in the kitchen. Either way, it’s pretty hilarious that we have two stool sets going on, but at least they were both really affordable (we got the first set from an online school supply store for $32 each) and we’re truly in love with both of them… and have a functional use in mind for both sets. Just don’t ask us who our favorite stool baby is. We love them all equally. Although if they’re jockeying for most comfortable, the new guys definitely have a bit of an edge with the curved seat and the swivel-action. Dinners at the peninsula just got more fun swivel-tastic. As for what Clara does, she has the yellow highchair I painted for her, so we just move that around to various places (peninsula, dining table, living room pedestal table) and she eats in that. Girl gets around. Haha.

In short: Party at our house. We’ll bring the stools. And probably say SOLD a lot.

Oh and we just used these things on the feet. Just to make sure they don’t do evil things to our cork floor. So far, so good.

Now that we have more natural wood in the room, we’re thinking about bringing some up onto the floating shelves on the other side of the kitchen, just because the wood mirror and our new (old) swivel stools have warmed things up and added so much texture and “homey-ness” that we’d love to add some to the open shelves too. Maybe just in the form of some rustic wooden salad bowls…

Have you guys gotten ahead of yourself and ended up getting something for a future project just because it was too good to pass up? And once you got it home did it end up shifting other things around in surprising ways? So funny how things mutate as ya go. It’s like our house is a ninja turtle.

Pssst- Our newest addition of Clara Conversations is up over on Young House Life. We might be biased, but we think she’s is pretty hilarious…


  1. says

    Wow. They are perfect. You guys always find the best stuff on CL. I never have such luck. Maybe people don’t have as much awesomeness to sell here in Colorado.
    Seriously, love them.

  2. Ali Miller says

    Just a quick tip – I used those felt pads on my kitchen chairs, and they kept coming off somehow (read: boys scoot in chairs). So I found some that actually nailed into the bottom of the chairs, but were still covered in felt. They worked so well!

    • says

      Love that tip! John did that for the two white bentwood chairs in our living room and it’s amazing how well they hold! If these pop off we’ll definitely give them the whole tiny-finishing-nail treatment!


  3. Amy says

    Those look great! I’m a big fan of some natural wood tones in every room to warm things up. I also love that you guys, even after declaring a room “done”, are still open to changing and letting it evolve.

    Now I vote for replacing that white bowl on the counter with something more colorful. :P

  4. says

    Pretty sure those stools are making me drool. I’d say I wanted to lick them, but a) splinters and b) it sounds a little creepy.
    What a killer find! Craigslist can be such an awesome way to go.

  5. says

    I’m concerned that this is what you two discuss in bed at night. Hmmmm. Ha ha – of course it is what you would discuss…

    Love those stools. When I first looked I thought – “Those look comfy” or ” I like how they form to a persons bum.” Well done.

  6. Desiree C. says

    Oh my goodness! They’re so warm and home-y! I’m not kidding when I say that my reaction to your hint photo at the top of the post included wide eyes of amazement and an outloud “Wow!” moment at my desk…at work.

    I love the strips of wood and the warm wood tone that make the stools. Needless to say, if you change your mind, I’ll take them.

  7. says

    LOVING the new stools!! It really warms the space up. And the metal ones will look very cool with the chunky bar:)
    Have you guys thought of doing anything with that awesome basket light? Like making it a warmer/contrasty-er tone to go with the floors, mirror, and lovely new stools? It sort of blends in in the photos looking towards the gallery wall. Either way – kitchen looks amazing! I’m definitely SOLD:)

    • says

      We have thought about painting it but love the natural basket-y texture it brings for now (might be more obvious in person since pics are always hard when it comes to capturing stuff like that). Who knows where we’ll end up though!


  8. Lauren says

    LOVE THOSE CHAIRS!!! Love them so hard! The kitchen looked good before, but now it looks FANTASTIC!! I have never liked a change of yours more :)

  9. says

    I love those stools. They have the potential to look so dowdy in the wrong home, but mixed with your clean, bright aesthetic, they are amazing. I love natural wood. Well done!


  10. Sarah says

    Eeekkkk! Love, LOVE, LOVE them!
    These new little tweaks are turning your beautiful kitchen into my dream kitchen!

    I believe every room needs some wood element to it.
    And I love everything you’ve been re-adjusting in there!

    And I loved your blue one’s too. But, these make my heart skip a beat!

  11. says

    It’s funny how you two keep jumping with both feet into bold color choices but usually make a correction later on that brings you back to a more conservative and sophisticated palette. I make similar attempts in our home and often when able, I replace them with vintage or better “quality” items that have more
    presence. Happy to see that others struggle to find a balance in their homes too.

  12. says

    SWEET SCORE! I love the way the wood tone of the stools changes the entire vibe of the room. It also seems to mellow out the wall color too now – I love using pops of color, but the art studio stools’ tealy color against that yellowish-greenish hue of the walls just doesn’t meld as well as those new stools do. Love it!

    Do you worry that your ‘unit’ has changed? (The best way to define that and make sense is to just quote where I heard it from, “unit is defined by the amount of money you think in mul­ti­ples of; if you per­ceive a thou­sand dol­lars as ten sets of 100 dol­lars, that makes your unit 100 dol­lars. In col­lege, a twenty dol­lar bill is at least four sets of five dol­lar bills, and maybe even 20 sets of one dol­lar bills, if you remem­ber that one dol­lar can buy you four pack­ages of Nutty Bars.” ~ John Mayer) Do you find your ‘unit’ has increased over time or remained constant? I worry as I get more into a design, my budget slips a bit!

    • says

      Sometimes I think that we’re more into spending money on something if we love it and don’t think we can find anything like it, but thanks to things like craigslist and thrift stores, I think if anything we have taught ourselves how to spend less over time by hunting in formerly-unknown-to-us places or learning a skill that can save us money (ex: our first house’s kitchen was over 17K and our current house’s kitchen reno was under 7K!)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *