Courtesy photo


1. Taking shape

An updated version of a classic midcentury modern molded plywood design, this stool provides a comfy perch with a generous seat and wide back. The seat is available in eight stain color options, including white, and the tapered wooden legs come in a choice of white oak, cherry or walnut. The Pike stool costs $229 at Room & Board, which is slated to open in September in Bethesda (800-301-9720,


2. French twist

Inspired by a Parisian antique, these casual stools would be right at home in a cottage or beach house. The sturdy seats and backs are constructed of hand-wrapped abaca fibers with a fresh striped pattern. The solid mahogany frames are available in white, ebony, and natural wood finishes. The Carson counter stool retails for $698 at Serena & Lily on Bethesda Row (240-531-1839,


3. Sit and spin

This stool, with a sophisticated European design, has all the moves. The padded barrel-back seat swivels, and a gas mechanism in the chrome base powers the stool up or down to adjust from counter height to bar height. The seat is fully customizable in a wide array of colors in fabric, leather, or leather-like upholstery. The Jumper stool sells for $2,500 at Roche Bobois in Chevy Chase, D.C. (202-686-5667,


4. Split personality

This stool can be contemporary or traditional, depending on how you look at it. It features slim, tubular iron legs up front and shapely solid oak legs with a natural finish in the back. The cushioned seat and backrest are upholstered in a tweedy-looking textured burgundy fabric of easy-care polyester. The Raaf stool sells for $449 at Crate and Barrel in Upper Northwest D.C.’s Spring Valley neighborhood (202-364-6100,


5. Back in black

Add a touch of elegance to the kitchen with this distinctive wood stool and its cerused finish. A curved back of lacquered rattan provides ample support, and a linen-covered drop-in cushion and brass arm caps and sabots finish the chic look. The wood stain comes in black, natural or driftwood, and the seat in a variety of colors. The Edward counter stool from Bungalow 5 is priced at $850, through Urban Country in Bethesda (301-654-0500,


6. Rustic modern

Woven leather seating is durable and adds warmth and contrast to sleek kitchen materials such as quartz and stainless steel. The Kleio stool combines a hand-cut basket-weave seat with powder-coated metal legs and footrest. It comes in two colors—smoke gray leather with a black frame, and natural leather with a gunmetal frame. Find it for $649 at Pottery Barn in Bethesda

Carolyn Weber lives in Silver Spring and frequently writes about architecture and home design.