February 4, 2023

I’m at a point in my life where I’m team stools over chairs, and I truly believe stools deserve to be given way more credit than they get. Stools are often overlooked, maybe because they occupy minimum space, and aren’t really overbearing. But these traits are what make stools so great in my opinion! I mean, they’re compact, and a great space-saving furniture option for our modern homes. They are also super portable. And, we’ve put together a collection of stool designs that not only provide a healthy seating experience while promoting a good and stable posture but most of them are created from sustainable materials as well. From a sculptural multifunctional stool made from wood to a wild stool that invites nature into your space – these well-designed stools are the furniture pieces you need to add to your home.

1. The Plastic Translation Stool

Called the Plastic Translation Stool, this intriguing stool design attempts to reinterpret the lines of a plastic stool, creating a form that is similar and yet completely unique, allowing the wooden stool to possess its own unique character.

Why is it noteworthy?

The wooden legs alone, however, won’t be enough to offer the same stability as the plastic counterpart, so an additional element had to be added. This element comes in the form of Birch plywood buttresses. These buttresses distribute some of the force evenly across the beechwood legs, which, in turn, hold the buttresses together. The result is increased architectural stability and visual amplification, which gives the design an upgraded look.

What we like

  • Doesn’t require screws or nails to be assembled
  • A more sustainable option to the plastic stool
  • It’s like a fun design puzzle

What we dislike

  • Options to customize the stool are currently missing

2. The Fels Stool

The Fels Stool by OUT stands out from most of the stools on the market as they’re quite aesthetically pleasing. They’re a stark contrast to the boring wooden stools we usually see in homes. They have a sculptural appeal to them, and they’re also multifunctional!

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Why is it noteworthy?

The Fels stool is excellent for a variety of reasons. It’s been crafted from wood, making it a sustainable and eco-friendly piece of furniture. Secondly, although it is built from wood, it looks as if it’s been carved from stone! This instantly gives the stool a rather sophisticated and luxurious look to it, despite being made from a simple material – wood. It looks more like a sculpture than a piece of furniture, to be honest.

What we like

  • It functions as a side table as well
  • Looks like it’s been carved from stone

What we dislike

  • The stool may be too bold and quirky for some people

3. The CONECTO Stool

The CONECTO stool looks like a pretty ordinary stool when in reality it is not. It consists of two half cylinders joined at their flat side. These halves can be used in a modular fashion, allowing you to create bigger stools that can accommodate and hold more people.

Why is it noteworthy?

Joining the two halves on their curved side allows a square “cover” to be put on top for a more traditional stool. Putting half a cylinder on one side extends it a bit for a more comfortable arrangement, but adding yet another half on the opposite side creates an oblong bench. If, on the other hand, you put three full cylinders together in a triangular formation, you can have a bench that can accommodate as many as three people.

What we like

  • Modular and flexible design
  • A mix of brutalism and minimalism

What we dislike

4. The Balanco Stools

The Balanco stools were designed during the pandemic to provide kids and adults with something to play and engage with! Besides being interesting playthings, the stools are great seating options, inspired by rocks and boulders. You can stack the stools in different forms and patterns, in turn creating art in the process.

Why is it noteworthy?

The idea for the Balanco stools came from the Japanese practice of stacking pebbles to create towers. Traditionally, the pebbles mostly consist of rounded forms, designers Lisa Lai and Joel Wong decided that chiseled rock-like shapes would create more visual dynamism while offering a variety of flat surfaces that are ideal for stacking and layering.

What we like

  • The poufs are deceptively light
  • The individual surfaces remain relatively flat, so they stack on each other rather beautifully
  • Inspired by rocks and boulders

What we dislike

  • Made from felt, there is a higher chance of staining this design

5. Wild Stool

Spanish designer Jorge Herrera and Spanish company Greenarea created a cylinder-shaped low stool with a transparent base that holds a miniature natural landscape. The unique stool brings nature into interior spaces with no maintenance needed. It allows you to enjoy nature indoors!

Why is it noteworthy?

Equipped with a natural wooden base, Wild Stool is available in three different seat options – birch, oak, or upholstered seat in sustainable Gabriel fabric for added comfort. The minimalistic design draws attention to the little garden inside the stool and also lets the seat blend seamlessly with existing furniture in your living space. Simple yet unexpected, this terrarium-turned-stool enlivens the space with wonders of the wilderness and gives you a comfortable seat as well.

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What we like

  • Adds an element of nature to your living space
  • Natural objects such as rocks and sea shells can also be added to create a terrain that provides you with a sense of comfort, tranquility, and inspiration

What we dislike

6. The Tie Stool

The Tie Stool is made up of three bent plywood strips that effortlessly lock into one another, creating a tripod form that is comfortable to sit down on. Besides its unique design, the sheer simplicity of the stool, and the use of minimal materials make the stool quite a beauty.

Why is it noteworthy?

Fabricating the Tie Stool would require a few simple steps. The three plywood strips can, in fact, be split into 6 total parts (you can see the parting lines). The individual parts are formed using high pressure and temperatures that cause the plywood to bend and retain its shape, and cutting/finishing processes are performed on the parts to make them interlock into one another.

What we like

  • The entire stool can potentially be flat-packed and shipped to customers
  • It’s stackable

What we dislike

  • Its compressed design means it needs a tabletop to add more space on the stool

7. The Flightable Closet

The Flightable Closet is a pretty interesting concept as it is not just a suitcase but is also a mini closet (as the name states) with a clothes rack. It can even function as a stool in case you would need one while at the airport or in the room where you’re currently staying.

Why is it noteworthy?

The idea is to make your carry-on suitcase more than just an accessory where you try to fit in as many clothes and toiletries as possible. It is conceptualized both for frequent travelers and those who are living in small spaces and need extra space for their stuff.

What we like

  • The telescopic handle of the suitcase can also serve as your clothes rack
  • Multipurpose design
  • Perfect for frequent travelers and those who are living in small spaces and need extra space for their stuff

What we dislike

  • Need to test the actual weight it can withstand when an actual life-size prototype will be created

8. The Rubik Stool

The Rubik Stool can be turned, flipped, and combined, to create a versatile furniture design that you can use for whatever purpose you may have in your home. It is specially designed for homes that cannot hold space for a sofa or shelves to store magazines, books, and other items.

Why is it noteworthy?

If what you need is somewhere to sit, you can have it upright with the seat on top. But you can also use the underlying part as storage for things like shoes, magazines, or whatever it is that you don’t mind being under your seat. If you want it to become a mini shelf, you just flip it over and now you have two layers where you can place books, toys, plants, or even some decorations. It’s not exactly modular but it can serve multiple purposes.

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What we like

  • Unique seat + shelf concept
  • The furniture is specifically designed for spaces that cannot accommodate a sofa or shelves

What we dislike

9. The Bond

Bond Stool 2022

Bond 2022 Designer

This is just a stool, but its particular purpose is to make two persons live in unity. How? You open the stool system and separate the parts to seat two persons. Some people will probably not understand the point because the stools are too close, but the Bond can be perfect for couples who change residences frequently.

Why is it noteworthy?

If you and your partner love going out, you can sit together on the stools while you wear your shoes and before you head out the door. Bond is just to be closer to one another because, you know, some couples just can get enough of each other. The Bond stool system also features some storage space inside. You can put anything inside, like maybe your shoes or your laptop. Likewise, you can probably put there your purse or just about anything you don’t want to forget.

What we like

  • The Bond is mainly made of wooden material, so you know it’s durable enough to withstand the test of time
  • Space-saving form
  • Allows you to get closer to your partner

What we dislike

  • Standalone design that cannot be added on or increased

10. Rice Husk Stool

This reading stool is ‘rice-inspired’, which basically means that rice husk became the designer’s inspiration and material for this product. Agriculture is not something that is usually linked with furniture, so this stool is really quite a special one.  The round shapes of the actual chair seat and the stand itself give off a “harmonious emotion” between the bionic design and the human who will be sitting on it.

Why is it noteworthy?

When it comes to sustainable materials, he proposes using a mix of rice husk and carbon, breaking them down and mixing the materials together, and then using perfusion molding to shape it into the final chair design. The seat surface itself is made from braided straw but with the rice husk used as the base for the cushion. At the bottom of the stool, the straw is used as well. This brings the idea of sustainable design full circle, so to speak.

What we like

  • The stool looks like a sculpture with an agricultural spin to it
  • Sustainable + eco-friendly design

What we dislike

  • As a reading chair, it looks uncomfortable to be sitting in for a long period of time