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 stool made using agriculture-based materials to a set of contemporary mini stools – 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. Rice Husk stool

Agriculture is not something that’s not necessarily associated with furniture. But for this designer that was looking for materials for sustainable designs, agricultural waste, specifically rice husk, became his inspiration and material. So the design of the reading stool became rice-inspired as well, with the round shapes of the actual chair seat and the stand itself giving 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 the 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 doesn’t seem to look like something that you would sit in for a long period of time

3. 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

4. The OO Stool X Plasticiet

OO STOOL x PLASTICIET Limited Edition Designer

OO STOOL x PLASTICIET Limited Edition Series

The studio behind the OO Stool has teamed up with another group to develop a new version. Meet the OO Stool X Plasticiet. The limited-edition series is a fresh take on the flat-pack stool. It’s a more sustainable version as it is made of plastic waste.

Why is it noteworthy?

The Reduce, Reuse, Recycle campaign is going places. 56 Hours Studio came up with the product using material from a chocolate factory. Specifically, polycarbonate molds used for the chocolates in the factory have been used. The molds were gathered, shredded, melted, and then compressed into solid sheets. The company Plasticiet produced the material post-industrial plastic waste.

What we like

  • The OO Stool X Plasticiet can be flat for packaging and transportation
  • Like the original version, this one doesn’t need any tool to assemble—only the hammer that is cut from the same sheet

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

5. 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

6. The Mini Stools

Napp Studio Mini Stop

Napp Studio Mini Stop

The Mini Stools by Napp Studio are modern versions of the stool chairs usually seen in Asia. Stools are common in everyday settings where people gather to talk and just be with one another to catch up on stories. These stools are ready for another round of stories wherever you are in the world.

Why is it noteworthy?

The small stools are redesigned into something more multi-functional and contemporary. It’s also undeniable they have a major aesthetic appeal. The seats don’t look the same as each differs from the rest. Napp Studio knows contemporary design and can deliver stools using three kinds of solid wood. The Mini Stools appear they are made using different objects. They’re just made of wood in different shapes and sizes. The natural wood finish is used and complemented by green paint on some parts.

What we like

  • Each stool is designed after a word: lean, tread, lay, and stamp
  • Modern versions of the stool chairs usually seen in Asia

What we dislike

  • No complaints!

7. 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

8. 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!

9. 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 in.

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

What we dislike

  • Not really sure how much actual weight it can withstand when an actual life-size prototype will be created

10. The 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!

The post Top 10 smart stool designs to perfectly replace chairs first appeared on Yanko Design.

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