Stools are probably the most overlooked type of furniture there is. You will almost always find them, forgotten and barely used, in some corner of our homes. When truth be told, they’re much more functional and ergonomic than they are given credit for! They’re compact, and a great space-saving furniture option for our modern homes. They are also super portable! This collection of stools not only provides a healthy seating experience while promoting a good and stable posture but most of them are created from sustainable materials as well. It’s time to cast aside chairs, and maybe adopt stools as your preferred seating medium. From a rocking stool to a stool which is a seat + shelf concept – these furniture designs have converted me into Team Stools for sure!

1. That Stool

Small stools can come in handy anywhere. From empty art studios to crowded offices, stools can make the simple difference between sitting on the floor and having a seat. They especially come in handy when they’re designed for easy assembly and storage. Developed by Alondra Elizalde, That Stool is a flatpack DIY small stool designed with easy assembly to provide a practical means of having a stool anywhere, at any time.

Why is it noteworthy?

That Stool is comprised of only a few parts: a seat rest, five legs, a couple of star-shaped spindles, and some connecting nuts and bolts. All contained within a flatpack corrugated cardboard box, the parts of That Stool are easy to assemble with no additional hardware required. Following the imprinted instructions on the underside of That Stool’s top cover, users will first attach each leg to the corresponding screws on the star-shaped spindles. From there, connecting fasteners secure the legs and spindles in place, providing a sturdy bolster for the seat rest to mount.

What we like

  • Assembled in only four steps without any additional hardware
  • Can be used anywhere, at any time
  • You can build it yourself!

What we dislike

  • Looks like any other regular stool on the market

2. The Stool .03

We’ve seen our fair share of stool concepts and prototypes, and, more often than not, these often come in wood, plastic, or even stone. The ones that are made from metal often convey smooth curves and forms to contrast with the material’s often cold appearance. There are times, however, when sharp edges and corners, visible nuts and bolts, and overlapping sheets of metal present a more interesting visual experience, especially when it’s associated with a certain theme. That’s what this steel stool prototype brings to the table, metaphorically speaking, with a design that would perfectly fit in a sci-fi, cyberpunk, or even dystopian movie set.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Stool .03 throws all those conventions and expectations out the window to create a piece of furniture that appeals to a certain aesthetic taste while still promising stability when someone does sit on it. It wholeheartedly embraces its metallic nature and makes no effort to hide it, looking unpolished yet at the same time refined. Its polygonal surfaces and triangular shapes call to mind designs used on TV and in games when portraying sci-fi or futuristic objects. Alternatively, it also looks like an alien craft with its three wings folded in a state of rest, ready to expand and lift off at any moment.

What we like

  • Different and unique form
  • Made by cutting steel sheets using a laser

What we dislike

  • Not sure if it’s comfortable enough to sit on for hours or even a few minutes

3. FLUP

Who isn’t fascinated by transforming furniture designs? I love watching how furniture can serve multiple purposes by simple actions like a pull of a string or folding of a flap. My latest love in the realm of (furniture) transformers is FLUP – a multifunctional furniture piece that is both a rug and a seat! Furniture designs like FLUP are perfect for smaller living spaces, especially with the growing tiny house movement.

Why is it noteworthy?

In the unfolded position, FLUP works like a conventional mat or rug on which we can sit or step without interrupting the movement of people through the space. It transforms from plane to volume, from floor to space while changing the function with its shape. In the folded position, it works as a piece of minimal furniture – it can be used as a pouf, an auxiliary seat, a footrest, a nightstand, etc.

What we like

  • Transforming design
  • Space-saving
  • Ideal for tiny homes

What we dislike

  • Doesn’t rate high on aesthetics

4. The Rool

The Rool or Rocking Stool doesn’t look to be the most comfortable or stable of stools but it does look pretty. It looks more like a museum piece or a decorative stool for a designer house. What’s unique about its functionality is that it is designed to rock like a rocking chair but this time, from side to side. It can be soothing for some who like a rocking motion or who would prefer to sit on something that is not stationary.

Why is it noteworthy?

The stool is made from plywood but the three pieces are designed to bend “artfully” to give not just a unique design but to also bring that rocking functionality. We previously covered something called a Nodding Chair where it’s the seat that’s rocking and not really the whole structure of the chair itself. The Rool doesn’t employ that same design as it’s the whole thing that will be rocking. So it will have some impact on the floor eventually.

What we like

  • The three pieces of plywood are designed to bend “artfully” to give not just a unique design but to also bring that rocking functionality

What we dislike

  • Aesthetics can be considered a bit simple

5. The Tie Stool

The Tie Stool’s beauty lies in its sheer simplicity – not just design but also materials. The stool comprises three bent plywood strips that conveniently lock into each other, creating a tripod form that you can easily sit on. The design could easily expand to accommodate more strips to create a 4-legged (or even 5-legged) stool, but the dynamic nature of having a tripod format really gives the Tie Stool its appeal. I don’t know about you, but I can’t unsee the Google Drive logo in the stool’s design!

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

No complaints!

6. Rubik Stool

When you hear the word Rubik, it brings to mind something that can be turned whatever which way and can still be functional. Well, the Rubik Stool is somewhat like that as it can be “turned, flipped, and combined” so you can use it for whatever purpose you may have in your house. The furniture is specifically designed for spaces that cannot accommodate a sofa or shelves to store books, magazines, and other smaller knick-knacks.

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.

What we like

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

What we dislike

No complaints!

7. The Front Stool

Front Stool Design

Front Stool Launch

The Front Stool combines two stools in different materials and thicknesses. The wooden part can either be Walnut or Cypress while the other part is made of High-Density Poly Ethylene (HDPE) material and comes in four color options—Light Gray, Crimson Red, Blue Green, or Dark Gray. It comes packed in a small rectangular box with separate pieces secured and organized.

Why is it noteworthy?

i Woong Cha noted the importance of designing for a smaller space. A small household cannot hold many items, so a functional shape is preferred. The Front Stool comes with a modern and intuitive design that fits right at the entrance. It’s more than just a stool as it also works as an umbrella stand and support for when you need to put on or take off your shoes.

What we like

  • Functions as a stool, footrest, and umbrella stand
  • You can easily assemble it yourself

What we dislike

  • It’s still a concept!

8. The Axis Stool

Designed to guarantee comfort and instantly increase concentration and physical fatigue, the Axis stool is, according to the designer, the first ergonomic stool created from sustainable materials. The stool is intended primarily for the demanding needs of a flexible office environment, for which, it is made lightweight and stackable – two essentials of a modern office where space comes at a premium.

Why is it noteworthy?

In addition to its ergonomic design, sustainability is at the Axis’s core. The seat is made from injection molding bio thermo-polymer, which makes it a biodegradable and recyclable seating unit for the greener offices of the future. To create more impact with little mechanical intervention, the entire stool – the base and the seat – are held together using a single screw. The convenient manufacturing makes it possible that the specially engineered seat on the top can tilt in any direction so the users don’t feel the pressure while leaning from one desk to another. The base and the seat are placed inches apart from each other to allow 360-degree tilting without friction between the two components.

What we like

  • Comfortable enough to let you work efficiently for long hours
  • Eco-friendly

What we dislike

No complaints!

9. Rattan Stool

First impressions really quickly – did you think this was a whisk or folded spaghetti? I thought spaghetti but maybe I am just hungry. This rattan stool stood out to me because of its visually curiosity-evoking design. Is it comfortable? Probably. Is it cool? Absolutely.

Why is it noteworthy?

This stool explores the malleability of rattan as a material in furniture design, we are so used to seeing it in a checkered woven form that the noodle-like seating of this piece becomes a testament to how we can use often overlooked materials unconventionally to push boundaries. As the world moves towards a sustainable future, so must design.

What we like

  • Innovative use of Rattan
  • Quirky spaghetti-inspired aesthetics

What we dislike

  • It may not be comfortable to sit on for long periods of time

10. The TAKEoSEAT

Folding stools are nothing new, but few actually try to hide the fact that people are carrying something meant to be sat on. In contrast, the TAKEoSEAT flattens down to something that looks like a large portfolio, or at least a stylish bag made of felt. You won’t look odd carrying it around, nor would the seat look out of place in an office space. Designer KRETHO positions this portable stool as a perfect part of an agile arsenal, allowing people to just pick up their seats and move around as needed. No more rearranging furniture or sweating over a heavy chair.

Why is noteworthy?

This folding design is admittedly not exactly novel, but what TAKEoSEAT adds to the table is a bit of environmental focus. Each stool is made from PET felt, which is felt that comes from those plastic bottles that we use and throw away without giving a second thought about where they end up. PET bottles undergo a special process (that does, unfortunately, use up water and energy) that results in a material that feels familiar to the touch while also strong enough to support a load of 130 kg. Plus, the TAKEoSEAT itself is recyclable, too!

What we like

  • Created from PET felt
  • Extremely portable

What we dislike

  • Folding designs are quite common these days

The post Smart stool designs that’ll make you ditch chairs for good first appeared on Yanko Design.

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