10 Best Modern Counter Stools – Life on Elm St

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

Last month, I wrote about our new home on Elm Street. Our move-in date is this Friday, and amidst the thousands of things that need to get done, I’m thinking that having modern counter stools in place at the kitchen island should rank somewhere near the top of the list. The kitchen and the island are the heart of home, a place to gather. I want to set that tone from the start, which means we need a place to sit! While we’re all hanging at the island, we want to be comfortable and sitting in style, right? I love how the stools and this island look above, designed by Grant Gibson. There was no source listed for the stool, but I found a look-alike and lots of other stunning modern counter stools below.  I need your help to choose!

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

I thought my search had ended when I found these gorgeous modern counter stools above, the Duda Stool from Sossega.  Done! Except they are way out of my price range at $960/each. Sigh . . .Did I forget to mention, the stools need to have clean, beautiful lines AND be affordable? The search was back on.


I know I want something with a mid-century feel, wood and/or leather. I also want them to look good from the side.  See how you start drooling when you look at the Duda stool from the side. In my new house, you will see the stool profile as you enter. I want them to be show-stoppers, that also won’t show everything the kids ate for dinner last night. Here’s our kitchen to give you some context.

Elm Street-6332

It is filled with white and light, but also has darker tones, both in the cabinets that line the walls, and also in the steel beams overhead.

kitchen with hutch

This is the view from just to the right the front door. This beautiful tall-boy hutch from my Aunt and Grandmother is one of my favorite pieces. I think it looks fabulous in this modern setting. The wood looks so lustrous and has such a pretty tone. It would be nice to tie in that wood tone to the stools, and then either to fold in the black of the steel beam, or the white of the island. I love white and bright, so I don’t want to the stools to look too heavy. I think stools of a modern design and made of wood will bring together the hall and kitchen in the best of ways. Here are some of my favorite modern counter stools:

10 Best Modern Counter Stools (and affordable, too!)

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

These John Vogel counter stools from West Elm are gorgeous. These hit all the right buttons for me and felt very close to Duda stool above. Then, I sat in one. They aren’t the most comfortable, and to make matters worse, I don’t relish the idea of cleaning up that mesh after a pancake breakfast. For me, this one, though stunning, is just too impractical for my home.


I actually think that this Norman Counter Stool from Rove Concepts might be the same used in the kitchen photo at the very beginning of this post–either that, or it’s a very good knock off. I am very tempted by these as they seem beautiful, easy to clean, and potentially very comfortable.  Plus, the wood tone seems to be a fairly good match for the hutch.

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

This one is another attempt to get something close the Duda Stool.  I like these Grotto Mid-Century Modern wood stools because of the curve of the legs and the sleek wood back. I get the feeling that this back may be more comfortable than most. The white faux leather would keep the stools looking bright. With the exposed screws and the tone of the wood, though, I’m not sure they feel at the right level for what I want. But still, these have the right feel, and the price point means they could take a bit of a beating from my family and I wouldn’t be so worried about them.

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

I wouldn’t normally go for these Tomkin Mesh Bar Stools. I love the look, but I’m afraid that the metal will make things feel colder or more harsh in the house. I generally like things warmer and softer. I could add some softness to these by layering with a cush sheep skin or weaving something soft into the frame of the chair. But, in the end, that layer of softness that I add wouldn’t likely be practical with three teenagers running around.

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

I like the feeling of this Martino modern counter stool. I love the marled gray of the cushions. I love that it swivels and is height-adjustable. And, it just looks comfortable. But, I think I might drive myself nuts with upholstered counter stools.  Just my luck, I would have a hot dog squirt mustard all over that bad boy.  Trying to be realistic here, folks!

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

This cognac Slope Leather counter stool from West Elm had me at hello! I love the reddish tone, and how it would tie in with the undertone of the wood in my Grandmother’s furniture.  I think the leather would be fairly wipeable, too. Plus, the leather reads a little softer than straight up wood.  Still, the price point is high enough, I’m afraid they might be anxiety provoking – ball point pens, anyone? But, still, wouldn’t they look awesome in the kitchen??

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

I love the simplicity of these modern counter stools, Frame-Moon Back by Regal. It comes in all sorts of combinations. The gloss of the wood and its curve is just so pretty against that brushed nickel base. I like school-style back and seat. This stool seems like it would be practical and pretty at the same time. But, it lacks some of the design flair of the others. Would this one be too simple?

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

This is the DSW Eames Style Counter stool in black. The stool also comes in white, which would also look excellent in the kitchen. I think this stool is wonderful – it is comfortable and hugely practical. The problem here is that my husband hates this stool.  Hrmph. Not sure why he does, but I’m moving on.

10 Best Modern Counter Stools

This Arechiga adjustable height counter stool by Brayden Studio is also one of my favorites.  I love that it swivels – great for a raucous house like ours.  Plus, it can adjust up and down to get the perfect height. Its got the pretty lines to the back and a nice profile. It has a faux leather seat which is practical to clean and has a good price tag too. It will have screws on the side, which won’t make me happy, but it could be a good compromise. I worry a bit about the cream v. white in the kitchen, but I think it may be a small enough amount. This one also comes with a black seat. Would that be a better bet?



10 Best Modern Counter Stools

I love the addition of the curve to this Curvo height adjustable counter stool.  The fold built into the design is interesting.  Though the chair is inexpensive, this stool feels higher end. Its lines from the back and the front view are gorgeous. The screws are hidden underneath, which is nice. Though I love the luxe cream and wood look, I worry that the cream wouldn’t work against the all white island of our kitchen. What do you guys think?

Well, I think sharing these modern counter stools with you has helped me narrow it down. Which would be your choice for my kitchen? Let me know which you would choose and why! I can’t wait to get your feedback. Thanks in advance for your help!

  1. Anne

    Hi Anne, If I can’t have the $960 each stools (those are absolutely divine) my two favorites would be the Norman Counter or the Frame-Moon Back chair. I like the open feel and the simplicity of these. They also look like they would be easy to keep nice looking and don’t have lots of swivels and other moving parts that have the tendency to break quickly (you should have seen the conference room chairs in my last office).

    • Eliza

      Norman & Frame-Moon are my favorites as well — great looking and look like they would function well

      • Thanks Eliza! I think you’re right. I’m heading for the Norman. . . I think!

        • Jenny

          I came across this blog while researching the Norman stools from Rover Concepts. Did you end up with these?

          • I did end up with the Norman stools! They have been fabulous! I love them.

  2. All the decorating you have done has me drooling! I feel pretty certain that whatever you choose is going to be amazing! I will say I have been loving West Elm stuff lately. We bought pendant lights, side tables and bookcases from them and I love their stuff. Keep sharing your home, makes me feel like I’m visiting! 🙂

    • Thanks, Melissa! The West Elm stuff is fabulous. I think I may be going with the Norman. . . . we’ll see!!

    • Thanks so much Victoria. I just went and sat in them – pretty nice! hmmmm . . .

  3. Bene

    Hello from France, thank you for this selection..! I love the cognac leather ones

    • Me too Bene! Thanks for your comment!

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