Lighter, Brighter Counter Stools on a Budget

I can’t even believe I’m FINALLLYYYYY writing this post. I’ve wanted new counter stools for over 2 years now, and I’m so excited to report that I finally took the plunge and bought some! #commitmentissues

New Counter Stools

I’m not sure if I was able to capture what a HUGE difference these new stools have made in our space. You may just have to take my word for it when I say that these counter stools have totally changed everything! (dramatic much?!)

Here's a look at the old stools from the front. See how the dark brown leather makes the counter look darker too? In all seriousness, I’m shocked at what a difference these chairs have made. The kitchen island looks so different from every angle. The space finally feels a little less dark, bulky, & brown and more light, bright, & airy. And here are the new white stools! I'm not sure if it's just the color or the height of the stool itself, but these new stools just brighten up the whole room. Old counter stools from the side. Isn't the dark leather way too masculine? Even walking to the front of the house from our bedrooms makes a difference. The whole space feels like it flows more and the style feels a lot more “me”. These white counter stools are so much more "me!" I love how they brighten the space.

The OLD Counter Stools

Like I mentioned, I’ve been wanting to ditch the brown, (faux) leather chairs that I scored on black Friday from Home Depot before we moved into our house for a long time. Four-ish years ago these stools seemed like a good idea because they were…

  • Cheap (a doorbuster that cost us about $50 each)
  • Comfortable
  • Matched the kitchen
  • Got the job done (read: check “buy counter stools” off the to-do list ASAP so we can finally eat at the counter)

A Deserving Tribute

But before I dive into the details of our new chairs, I HAVE to give credit where credit is due. These chairs are SUPER comfortable and look/feel brand new even after 4 years (!!) of daily use. It was hard to find another chair that was as affordable, “wipe-able” and comfortable as these counter stools are. To be perfectly honest, I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to commit to purchasing new stools. As much as I wasn’t in love with the look of these dark, masculine stools in my already very dark kitchen, I’m NOT counting this purchase as a design mistake because I learned a lot from these darn stools.

  • I learned that counter stools don’t have to cost an arm and a leg
  • I learned that I valued the opportunity to wipe the stools down so we never had to worry about spilling on them
  • I learned that comfortable stools were important to us
  • I learned that dark on dark is NOT my style
  • I learned that living with something that you don’t love really helps you identify exactly what you do love

And for all of these lessons learned, I have to take my hat off to our old counter stools. They served their purpose in our house over the past 4 years and as much as I’m happy they’re gone for good, I’m grateful for what they taught us along the way.

Love my new white kitchen counter stools! Here's to new counter stools on a budget - these babies really open up the room!The NEW counter stools

After Casey decided to ditch her very similar counter stools, she shared a round up of her options that instantly inspired me to finally make the change in my kitchen as well. (Thanks Case!) I used her “vision” to find stools for our home that were wipe-able, comfortable, and would coordinate with my dining room chairs. Oh… and I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg on them.
New white kitchen counter stools on a budget. DOn't they look great with the board and batten wall? I found a few options that I loved, but most of them were far too expensive (as in $250+ EACH!). Yikes. Spending over $700 on three stools was not an option. Eventually, I stumbled upon these charming counter stools online at TARGET for $79 each! Yes, TARGET!! <—- Just when I thought I couldn’t love Target anymore.

I bought three stools in white, but they actually come in 6 colors (the grey is amazing!). They also come in barstools (which are taller) AND dining room chairs — both options are gorgeous! After delivery, each counter stool had to be assembled. The assembly took about 10 minutes each, which is my kind of assembly! All I had to do was use an Allen wrench to secure six screws that attached the base of the chair to the seat.  I also added mini felt pads to the bottom of each leg to protect the floor from scratches.

Rookie Tip

One of the chairs was a bit wobbly after I assembled it, so I put two sticky felt cushions under the one leg that was a bit “off” and that fixed the problem — no more wobbles.

I use a cute white storage box like this one to store little odds and ends like the allen wrench to tighten any loose screws on the chairs. I noticed that our old stools needed to be tightened every now and then so I made sure to save the Allen wrench and extra screws that came with the chairs. I put them in a labeled ziplock bag and put that bag in our “odds & ends” box. If our chairs ever become a bit loose over time, I’ll be ready!
New and old kitchen counter stools, just hanging out at the counter.

^^^ Random: I had to add this picture because it totally makes me laugh out loud. Just two counter stools hanging at the bar… probably chatting about how crazy this lady is who owns this place. 

Yay for new stools!

But seriously, why did it take me 4 years to finally buy stools that I actually like?! This seems to be the story our house these days. I guess better late than never, right?!Bridget got these new kitchen counter stools on a budget and they replay are perfect for the space!AND I guess waiting it out meant that I learned a bit about my style along the way, didn’t spend an arm and a leg on new stools, and eventually ended up with what I love. Sounds like a winning combo in my playbook.


The Year of Casey

Hey there!

I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m a Chicago gal teaching you how to design, DIY, and maintain your home…by yourself! Learn more about me right here.

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