Monday, March 29, 2010

Which Would You Choose???

Here are my current wood counter stools with the Ballard Design toffee checked chair cushions. If you look closely you will see that the chairs are actually different. The two on the ends I bought at a discount many years ago because they were being discontinued by the manufacturer. When I needed an additional stool I bought a similar one from Ballard Designs.
What I like - the tall backs, the warm wood tones and cushions - over all the chairs are very comfortable for sitting. We don't like that we can only fit three stools. I have two children and when they each have a friend over, only three can sit. Also we don't' like how the stools protrude into the walking area.
Here are the Tabouret stools. Aren't they great?! Did I mention they were only $50 each - I am still giddy about this...you can find them here. What I like: Aesthetically I like their lines and the way their color ties in with the stainless steel in the kitchen. I love how four stools (and children) fit. I also like how they push in and make a clear pathway for walking by. I don't like how cold they are to sit on in the morning and how uncomfortable they are with out a back. I also worry they are just too industrial looking (a family lives here after all!)
.
So readers, what do you think?? Which do you prefer and why???

107 comments:

  1. I prefer the wooden one because:
    1) they are not the same model and yet they look similar as much as well assorted
    2) I love the grey and brown combo more than the grey on grey one
    3) I generally dislike metallic finishes
    4) the grey stools look to industrial to me

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  2. I like the chairs over the stools. They work well with the cabinets and add warmth to the room.

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  3. I definitely love the second stools the best! They're more modern and freshen up the kitchen.

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  4. I like the grey look of the stools but I need a back on things I sit on for comfort so I would go with the wood stools. What about painting the stools black or a grey for the look- know you wouldn't have 4 as with the metal stools -

    bee blessed
    mary

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  5. I would go for the stools! Clean and crisp contrast.

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  6. The wooden stools look like "home" to me. The grey ones look like a home in a magazine. I would choose the wooden also becuase of the back. Perhaps your little ones have an opinion about it. I think that is great that you are considering them and their friends.
    But whichever you choose, you kitchen is fabulous! They both look great!

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  7. My vote would be for the metal stools, hands down. I think they look like they belong in the room so much more than the wooden chairs. I love how they pull in the metal from the hood and faucet as well. :)

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  8. tough one. I personally like the 'look' of the metal stools better, and you can seat four. Are your kids and their friends just as comfy w/o the backs? OK, just looked back at your images and it's my opinion that the metal stools look best with your decor. More sophisticated. I think the wooden ones look more 'country.' Sheez, I am a little reluctant to put my opinion out here like this; not something I usually do...please forgive if I offend...

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  9. I much prefer the Tabouret stools! I love the jolt of contemporary they insert. The wood ones seem dowdy and almost outdated.

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  10. For the kids...the stools are perfect and I love the look. For adults...I like the backs on the chairs and a softer seat....but maybe I would paint them white?...and change the fabric of the cushion to be more of a gray to match your stainless appliances...The stools were a fab price and I wouldn't get rid of them!
    That's my 52 cents! :)

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  11. I like the idea of the 4 that fit under the counter. Why not get four wood stools with rush seats? They would fit and be warm on your bottom, and look warmer in your kitchen area. Or place colorful tie down cushions on the stainless.

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  12. I prefer the Tabouret stools as they pick up similar elements in the kitchen, whereas the timber stools don't. Kitchen looks absolutely gorgeous! Rachaelxx

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  13. The Tolix reproductions (that sounds so much nicer than knock-offs) get a thumbs up from me Gina. If you want to warm them up a bit, have some thin-ish, un-tufted leather cushions made for them.

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  14. I looove the Tabouret stools!!!

    xx
    Anette:)

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  15. I have very similar wooden french chairs, however, I am luving the metal industrial stools in your kitchen!
    Whichever one you choose, I will think will be the best choice! Your taste is impecable!
    L.

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  16. Oh I have to say that I too love a back on a stool- but having said that-I also love the clean look of the tabouret stools. I would likely drive my husband nuts and change back and forth according to my mood! So, I'm no help at all!

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  17. I love the stools. The chairs seem a bit grandmotherish!

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  18. My vote is for the wood stools, but I'm out numbered!

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  19. Hmmmm...I see your point. I love both of them for different reasons. Cant help you here...I love them both!

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  20. Yes, I prefer the metal chairs better.
    My kitchen has the Tolix and I solved the chilly problem by having loose lambskins hanging over the top. They stay put.

    Look here for pictures to find out more.

    http://loveyourhomes.blogspot.com/2009/10/kall-om-rumpan.html

    Regards
    Ingela

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  21. Wow! Thanks!! So much to consider - maybe 6 months with one and 6 months with the other?!
    xx-Gina

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  22. I replaced similar stools with super cool modern Lyra stools and now no one chooses to use them. They too are backless and people quickly abandon them. It looks like you have room for another Ballard stool. I looked on their website and they are still available and on sale for $199.99. I have a 15% off coupon, too, if you want the code. I'd keep the kids close and comfy while you can!

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  23. Easy question: the Tabouret stools better harmonize with your kitchen, the lamps, the color of walls and the floor. Honest! ;)

    Greetings

    VINTAGE

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  24. hey,

    first of all i need to say that this is the first time i leave a comment on a blogspot, and also that i love your blog. i honestly prefer the look of the silver chairs, because they match your kitchen better. but at the same time i understand your concern about that the metal chairs are not so comfortable.so why not paint the wood chairs white, grey or black and buy some nice cushions for it???SO I GUESS THAT WOULD BE A HAPPY MEDIUM.
    good luck katharina

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  25. The chairs are lovely. I'm not a bif fan of stainless steel stuff. Perhaps some wooden stools? Have a great day!! Vanessa

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  26. Wow, that's a tough one. I'd go with the second ones. First of all, you're giddy about them. Second, they are the most functional for your needs. Lastly, they look really great with the stainless steel in your kitchen.

    I think those stools would look nice with a more "country" cushion to contrast the modern finish and lines. Maybe box cushions made out of monogrammed linen tea towels with ties down the legs to warm them up? Just a thought.

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  27. How about the metal stools with some white slipcovers on the seats? I think the slipcovers would soften the industrial feel and the whole look would go with the rest of your decor. i like the wood stools too... but I think the other looks more you (from what I've seen of you!).

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  28. Have you considered the classic Bertoia barstool, http://www.dwr.com/product/outdoor/bar/view-all/bertoia-barstool.do?sortby=ourPicks? This is a link to DWR which sells certified editions however there are multiple online sources which sell knock offs for $150 or so. I used these with the pads covered in a Fortuny cotton, a really nice mix between old world design and a modern sensibility. Beautiful kitchen by the way!

    Best,
    Jaime

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  29. Hi Gina,

    I don't know if I can be of any help or not. I think that there are pro's and con's to both. I like how you are honest enough to say what you don't like about the tabouret stools....the tabouret stools look more updated and I don't think they look too industrial for a family, yet I don't dislike the wooden stools, but I understand what you are saying about only so many children being able to sit on them and yet the wooden ones stick out. From one of the pictures I could see some of your room and I think in my very humble opinion that the tabouret stools give it a bit more of an edge, overall. I guess it will depend on what you can live with in the everyday. Best of luck.
    Take care
    Janine
    XXOO
    Tasmania, Australia

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  30. Hi Gina, What ever you choose....and I think you have made up your mind, will look amazing because the kitchen is so great!!!!

    xo kelley

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  31. I love the Tabouret ones.
    They just seem to sing with the whole environment.
    I love their shape, their color, how they fit, how they accent the silver in the kitchen.
    The wood ones are fine, but the metal ones add just a touch of flair that just makes me smile.

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  32. The Tabouret stools win hands down... in fact I am saving your post to show my other half who insists on a say in matters of design - perfect in your kitchen and ours... ! Now I'll just have to track them down in NZ...

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  33. Wooden, definitely wooden.

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  34. Gina,
    I like the metal stools...alot! But, they just don't say get comfy and stay awhile! People of all ages seem to prefer a backrest.

    Maybe consider painting them and give them a new cushion to match your bench?

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  35. While I like the backrest on the original stools. I would still stick with the metal ones. They pair up well with the hardware in the kitchen. I might paint the legs white but leave the foot rests and tops unpainted. They fit under the counter nicely too.

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  36. I love the 4 metal stools but maybe with some cushions they look a bit short.

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  37. i think the metal ones look better with your kitchen hands down. we just got these which have an industrial feel to them and you can get them with a back. we got the dove grey

    http://www.csnchairs.com/Lyon-Workspace-Products-1801-LW1275.html

    good luck!

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  38. I might like the wood stools if they were white and had a different color cushion. But if I had to choose the stools as is, I would pick the metal in a hearbeat.

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  39. I like the metal ones a bit better, more modern and somehow cool! Maybe you could give them a mini slipcover with a build -in cushion? Short, just a few inches, so as not to take away the look? No frills, just very plain? Or a small cushion topper, fixed trough the slot in the seat? Velcro from the bottom?

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  40. http://www.csnchairs.com/Lyon-Workspace-Products-1706-LW1298.html

    :)

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  41. Industrial looking, yes they are. Inexpensive, check. Being able to fit four in place of three, right on. Comfortable ... well no. Many thing in life are a trade off. Perhaps for now, purchase the inexpensive ones, and change them later when the kids are a bit older. By then you will be tired of them anyway.

    Love,
    Susan and Bentley
    xxoo

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  42. Gina,
    I am so glad you started this conversation. I am having a difficult time making a decision exactly on this topic. I don't have either at the moment and have just been trying to figure out what to do. I am going to keep tuned in!
    xx

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  43. A vote for a new choice of stool -- a wood saddleback stool! These backless stools would tuck under the counter and still fit in to seat four kids. And be a touch warmer (wood) and kinder (curved) to early morning risers!

    Jan at Rosemary Cottage

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  44. The stools without a doubt. The wooden ones look dated and a little too country. I have stools - they are often used for extra seating which my previous chairs (like your wooden ones) never were.

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  45. I'm with Elizabeth up above. I like the Lyon stool with a back in grey, which pretty much are the best of both worlds, and pretty cheap too, especially if you sell the Ballard ones at a tag sale!



    Rebecca

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  46. Chairs. The stools look too low and out of proportion to the counter. And, as you said, they aren't as comfortable.

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  47. Wow, you've got some great comments and ideas to help you make your final decision!

    I'm on team Tabouret by the way :-))

    Best wishes from Ireland,

    Mrs C x

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  48. Gina,
    I LOVE, LOVE the Tabouret stools. It does seem they would not be a comfy as the wooden with backs, but they sure look great with the other elements in the kitchen. I like the idea of a small, skirted cushion...maybe in a warm stone or grey blue. Also, Nuevo Living makes several industrial styles that have backs...they have an online site and many retailers sell them!! Though I ove your Tabouret so much that I've registered to have O email me when they are back in stock!!

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  49. I would choose the industrial stools every time, I absolutely love that design and I think they really suit your kitchen. Bargain too!!
    alicia

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  50. Think my comment got lost but basically what i said was the industrial stools. Firstly bargain price, secondly they really suit your kitchen and thirdly more seating! I think they are gorgeous
    alicia

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  51. I had a similar problem in my kitchen. Wood was too "country" and the backless stools were not kid friendly. I ended up purchasing the Delta Barstools from Crate and Barrel. I love them and I get a ton of compliments on them.
    They are industrial and have backs! I haven't purchased the cushions, but my kids have not complained about the cold seats....yet.

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  52. I prefer the aesthetic of the Tabouret, but for comfort I would think the wooden (I like the mix of different styles, too) stools win. There must be a rustic/industrial combo out there somewhere that would work ....

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  53. i have to say that while i understand your reasons for not liking the first, they add something to the room that the cold, industrial ones don't. i like the contrast in colors, but also the contrast in materials. is there a way you can find smaller wood ones with a back that will allow four? they must be out there. if you are going to go backless, what about those bucket seat backless type ones? target sells them, and other easily accessible places.

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  54. I prefer the wooden stools are the seem to fit better in your decor. Also they are warmer, homier and just more pleasing to my eye.

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  55. I like Gina's idea from Willow Decor. Both look great. I would use the metal stools during spring and summer and the wood during the fall and winter.

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  56. I am going to surprise myself and say, "I think the stools all the way". The room just looks better with them. After going back and forth a few times, I just didn't love the brown wood chairs, after seeing the metal stools. They just didn't relate as well at the grey metal.

    However, I did see someone above suggest keeping the chairs but "re-working" them with a black, white, grey paint, that could work too ... but that does seem like a bunch of work when you already have a great looking option parked under the counter.

    I think I need some new barstools ...

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  57. You asked so here goes. I actually prefer the tabouret stools although I think they look a bit crowded n the area. While the wood is nice, these add an updated touch and really bring out the black, white and stainless in the kitchen. I would add a cushion to softem them up a bit but maybe not quite so country a pattern and not worry about the lack of backs. Kids are comfortable anywhere!! Nice bargain!

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  58. Hi Gina,
    Of course, I vote for the Tabouret, but do think the cold tush factor is an issue, as I have metal barstools too! I have seen tabouret stools with a cushion that ties underneath - I think the cover of a Country Home mag from last year. If I still have it, I'll forward to you.
    Serena

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  59. oh Gina, such a difficult decision! I love how the industrial stools look in your lovely kitchen. but having two kids me too, I know it IS a problem if they don't have a place to sit with their friends... I also find it very uncomfortable not to have where to lean your back on. I'm sorry, but you'll have to choose between beauty and comfort. this happens to me all the time! and I must admit that sometimes I choose beauty! good luck! xo

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  60. I like the warmth that the wood stools bring, but the fact that you can fit more stools into the space, which you need is certainly important! What if you had some cushions made for the top of the Tabouret stools? That woudl make them more comfortable (no cold tushies!) and bring some color and warmth to them. They get my vote!

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  61. Hi Gina~
    I loved reading what others would chose. It didn't surprise me at all to see a split in opinions.

    If someone really loves an industrial look they would chose the metal. If they love the warmth of wood with white, they probably would chose the wood, which is my first choice.

    But now I think that rotating for the seasons or any other reason, sounds perfect!
    Donna

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  62. Voting tabouret. I love them. We have them and I got cushions made for them - I know the metal can be cold!!

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  63. Stainless Steel! They compliment the appliances in the kitchen and the low height does not distract.

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  64. I think the proportion is wrong on the stools - I would go for the chairs but I would punch up the slipcovers to something different.

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  65. I like the look and price of the stainless steel. I would add a fur cover to soften it up a bit and make it cushy under the tushy!

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  66. It's kind of you to ask our opinions but we all know that at the end of the day you'll come up with some amazing solution - something none of us had even thought of...

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  67. Stools, all the way... No contest

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  68. I love both styles. The wood looks "homey" and the metal looks "cool". We could only do 3 at our counter, too, and it was a pain. But the metal would be a pain to sit on for any lenth of time. I don't know how they would look with a cushion, but I'd still miss the back support. The metal stools look awfully close together. Would your kids be frustrated trying to get all of them under the counter? It would have been an issue for my kids. Good luck with your decision.

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  69. I love the look of the stools in your kitchen.
    Do the kids find them uncomfortable? if not go for the stools hands down.

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  70. I like the wooden best. I think the others are a bit trendy and will not have the staying power .

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  71. Option 1 feels dated and doesn't relate to the dining room. Option 2 is a good balance to the traditional dining room and relaxed kitchen. Buy 4 and leave 3 out using the 4th on the opposite side of the island. 4 people don't want to sit that close to one another :)

    Even if they are trendy, they are a good price. And you can paint them later and use them elsewhere...

    Marija

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  72. Oh the Tabouret stools are fabulous (and this is coming from Ms Traditional herself).... LOVE them. You are right, they tie in beautifully with the stainless steel and they hint at the fact that you are totally groovy! A-M xx

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  73. Ok...Just to add to the confusion {cause I am good that way}. Have you thought about painting the wood stools a worn and warm grey color...would fit beautifully with your style...and maybe kill two birds with one stone.

    Not that I am a bird killer....

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  74. Are you kidding me?
    No comparison.
    The metal stools look amazing...good work!

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  75. Have you considered the tibetan stools from pottery barn? They have clean lines, are backless so they fit right under the counter, and are surprisingly comfortable.

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  76. I am sure there is nothing left to say...but for me it is a question of warmth over practicality. The steel stools look fabulous and are more practical whereas the wood is warmer and more comfortable yet you have less seats. Thinking about it, I would go with the steel ones...just simply because more is always merrier in the kitchen. xv

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  77. I definitely like the wood chairs over the stools - for comfort as well as the homey feeling they give. Only thing I would do differently is put another color of checked cushions to give some pop - how about red check to go with your black and white? I might even suggest that you paint the chairs black so they blend in with the black and white scheme and then add the red checked cushions - wow!

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  78. i like the look of the metal stools best. they look great with your lights and your kitchen. Perhaps a flat cushion would look good on top of them too, to add a little warmth in the morning? I like the others too, and understand the whole comfort thing. maybe metal in the spring and summer, wood in the fall and winter?

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  79. Go with the industrial ones! Your reasoning about needing 1 more and sticking out make huge sense to a mother of 3...but are they comfortable...will the kids have good posture...good manners while eating or will they look like they are leaning over a trough like Wilbur in Charlotte's Web?

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  80. How about this one? http://www.oficinainglesa.com/en/catalogue/chairs/stools/colonial-212

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  81. Hi there!
    I like the wooden ones with the fabric cushions. First, the wood warms the gray and stainless in the space. I also like comfort and prefer a back to my chairs, if it works and it does here.I also like the odd man out, even if it's very discreet. I do like the stainless stools (really great price -- congrats!!!) Plus, going this route makes it all a bit too matchy-match for my own tastes. And if I was on a photo shoot at your house, we'd take out the fourth stool for aesthetics. Plus, I often gravitate to odd numbers, especially after two; there's something more real about it. If you go with the wood chairs, I hope you keep the stools -- love 'em. My two cents. cheers, -susan

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  82. I think that I would test them out for a month and see which worked better for my family. I think that they both look great for different reasons although I would maybe consider different cushions... like french-stitched burlap? ohhh, i love!

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  83. I love the metal stools, but I love Linda's idea. Painting your wood ones gray might be the answer if the metal ones are too uncomfortable.

    xo
    Brooke

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  84. Gina dear, sorry I have not been so blog alert lately (just got back from Canada).

    I have the same dilemma here (with 3 young kids). Comfort, function, look...Comfort, function ....

    I love the industrial chairs because of the updated look. But do you know what I would do: I would get seatings pads from Ikea and put on them! They have one gray (lovely!) round one that looks like sheep skin. They also have one that is cow hide.

    But if you are afraid of the kids falling off, then keep the ones you have (and get another one form Ballards) but paint them light gray. And perhaps invest in new seat cushions.

    Tough call. But if anybody can make a good decisions it would be you!

    Much fondness, Mon

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  85. Gina, here is the pad! Looks better in real! I can send a pic from my own house if you want.

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/90141977

    ox, Mon

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  86. I think the wooden chairs give much more of a home feeling, I can just imagine sitting on the comfortable cushion on a Sunday morning, big Sunday paper in hand and a lovely tea cup in the other!

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  87. I love the LOOK of the stools, but the chairs look much more comfy! I wonder how black painted chairs would look? To me, the wood color just doesn't blend well with your kitchen.

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  88. Gina, I love the stainless steel it looks contemporary and vintage at the same time. I live in Atlanta and have seen the wooden ones used over and over in homes. So obviously you can not go wrong since so many people have them! I still vote stainless steel; your home is already so personal and represents your family - stainless steel barstools are not going to take away from your homey feel. It adds pop and I already feel like you live in a "magazine" house you have such terrific taste!

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  89. I like the wood the best. I love marble and blue gray colors in homes, but I feel that to soften these finishes, some natural pieces are needed. The wood softens the look and gives the kitchen some age and soul. Now you just need some great rugs!! Beautiful kitchen!

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  90. I love the warmth that the wooden chairs provide over the modern metallic stools. They belong in the "Grease" malt shoppe, complete with Franke Valle singing "Beauty School Dropout."

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  91. Normally I lean towards 'traditional', however surprisingly enough I prefer the 'industrial'. Even though they have an modern edge, they also speak 'old world handcrafted' because they are simplistic in design and (in your case will be far more) functional. -Brenda-

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  92. I love the look (and price) of the Tabouret stools but honestly I think 4 looks really crowded there. Can 4 kid really get in and out? Also, I like being comfortable a the kitchen island...I will be curious to see what you do. You always do everything so well.

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  93. I love the look of the Tabouret stools best! - But, comfort is a factor as well. In that case you could paint the wooden stools (maybe black or a grey-black).

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  94. I think the industrial ones a a bit TOO industrial and don't fit overall with the rest of the space. Have you considered RH's vintage chair? It has some wood, which softens it a bit, but has the industrial feel.
    http://www.restorationhardware.com/rh/catalog/product/product.jsp?productId=prod1608042&navAction=jump&navCount=4

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  95. I like the wooden chairs the best. You already have stainless in the rest of the kitchen so I think the wood warms things up a bit.

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  96. I love the tabouret stools... Fresh & Fun for an all around updated look! I love mixing traditional with modern to keep a room alive!

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  97. Personally, I prefer the wood style. They coordinate well without being too matchy-matchy :)

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  98. It's really interesting to read all the feedback you've received thus far. And I like the idea of painting your wooden stools. But then again, I like the contrast the wood brings.

    Regardless, your taste is superb and you will do what you think is right for you. Enjoy your weekend!

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  99. I have enjoyed reading the comments on this post!

    We had barstools similar to your wood ones, but they were a bit yellow toned (or maybe sun stained) so I got rid of them. My island only has room for 2 barstools (and I have 3 kids!), so now I have upholstered barstools that were a hand me down from my MIL when she moved. They are backless and very comfortable!

    When looking at your pictures, I agreed that the wood seemed a bit dated, but I also thought that painting them would look great. Don't they work well with what you have in the breakfast room?

    I do like the look of the industrial stools, though - however, I agree with the other comments that 4 looks a bit crowded. I liked the suggestion to keep 3 out and pull out the 4th when needed.

    I had a discussion about barstools with my designer and architect. My designer likes upholstered barstools for my kitchen(Lee makes great ones); she says that they add a soft element to the space. My architect had seen some upholstered barstools done in a faux leather with a contrast welt, and said it looked amazing.

    Sorry this is so long, but in general I prefer for barstools to be retreating rather than prominent - I like to be able to tuck them under the counter so they don't interfere with the view into the kitchen.

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  100. I like the metal stools but for comfort, I would try to work with the wooden chairs. I'd paint the chairs in a distressed grey finish and add some hemp cushions to change the look from their current appearance. I'm sure you will find a use for the stools in any case.

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  101. I am in the same position with my stools sticking out too far in the walk way- and I wanted to buy these same stools from overstock. Unfortunately they are now out of stock. Soo...I'm considering these now:
    http://www.csnchairs.com/National-Public-Seating-6324-NP1076.html

    I prefer the industrial juxtaposition. It's very Giannetti.

    If you stick with the brown; I'd slip the seats.

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  102. I love the Tabouret stools. They look amazing with the pendant lights and really complete your kitchen. They do look uncomfortable so you could add a lightly padded cushion to them to soften it up. If you decided to stay with the wood ones, I would paint them - probably a weathered gray and get new fabric for the chair cushions.

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  103. I like the four metal stools.
    They meet your need of seating for 4.
    They look awesome paired with your wall color, etc.
    Why not make a seat cushion cover with a gathered skirt in ticking fabric OR use the burlap. That would cozy them up and make them more comfortable, plus add some soft texture and make them less industrial. Keep 'em, girl!
    Love your style and your beautiful home.

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  104. Hi, I like the wooden chairs. They have more character. The stainless steel stools look very cold and not that comfortable to sit on for any length of time.

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  105. I feel like the metal stools pull the whole kitchen together. Metal wins, hands down!

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  106. Lovely kitchen! Stick with the metalic - modern, soothing, chic, functional, pathway clear. You could use cushions, nothing ruffled or floral, stictly tailored in either yellow, blue or white with silver to enhance the grey. I understand about the comfort backs but style generally is less comfortable. The wooden one's are out of place, just plain frumpy. Your grey paint screams for the metalic element, not wood, with a lot of sparkle as in crystal-like gems, prism type objects that reflect. Well done.

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