This adventure started when we moved into the new house (over a year ago now) and with any luck will be coming to an end in the very near future *fingers crossed*. Our kitchen has a little breakfast bar area that the kids use all.the.time. for snacking, eating meals, art projects, playing games, homework and you get the picture.
Initially, the kids made due with bar stools we already owned, but they stood at bar height not counter height. Which meant the kids skinny little legs could squeeze in, but not so much for adults. Plus when you sat on them you had to hunch over the counter at a weird angle to do anything. Not very comfortable for the sittee, although it was fairly entertaining for the observer. After working with what we had for several weeks, I happened across some cute little counter height bar stools at Goodwill for $10 each and grabbed them up quickly. They weren’t anything extraordinary, but being the right height and the right price made them all good in my book.
And, the journey would have ended there if one of the stools hadn’t fallen apart (the lone remaining stool is above). They lasted for months and months before the problems began. At first it was just the occasional jiggle with one of the legs and we could deal with that, but eventually it became the occasional falling off of one of the legs and that wasn’t so workable. So I started searching out some alternatives. I knew I wanted to put something there more permanent and not have to revisit this little area for many a year to come. What I found out was how crazy expensive new bar stools can be…seriously. I mean there are cheaper stools out there (similar to what I found at GW), but the whole point was to find something that would last and be timeless in style (as in I didn’t want to regret my purchase a year from now). After more searching I realized I would have to make them, if I didn’t want to spend a lot money (which I didn’t have anyway so it was more a reality check than anything).
I was fairly certain I wanted something with a back and these were the two plans that appealed to me the most in both style and cost of materials. The Louis XVI Bar Stool from The Design Confidential and The Vintage Bar Stool Plan from Ana White’s site. Both of which would need to be adjusted to counter height vs bar height. After debating which one to build I decided to go with the TDC plan. It involved curving a 2×4 using my circular and jig saws, so I was a little intimated. Let’s just say a couple of 2×4′s may have been sacrificed as part of my learning curve, but I made it through. Then I started to assemble one and realized it was too big. The scale of the stools would be too big for our little bar area. Ugh. Thankfully, I had only spent $10 on 2×4′s at that point (I had the other wood necessary in my stash), I could salvage pretty much all the wood and most importantly the circular saw and I had become better friends with all the time we had spent together . On to plan B, building the vintage stools. I actually only built one because I wasn’t sure if it was going to be the “one” or not.
And, I’m glad I did because I just didn’t love it. I tried to, but it just wasn’t happening. I kept telling myself maybe if I paint it a different color, the black is just too much and blah, blah, blah. None of my mental counseling had any effect. On the bright side my son was thrilled to have a chair to sit on that didn’t practically fall apart under him every time he sat down, so at least that part of the build was a success. Also, if this style chair is for you – very easy to build and inexpensive material list.
The journey paused here with the two mismatched bar stools for several more months, until I
got sick of looking at two mismatched stools had an epiphany and found the perfect little stools to DIY. TO BE CONTINUED…