February 27, 2013

Practicality Wins.

Remember these barstools?

Kitchen Remodel on a Budget | Cape27Blog.com

Well, they didn’t work out as planned. I guess you can’t win every time. We actually ran into several problems with them before we finally pulled the plug and listed them on Craigslist. Issues starting popping up, umm… the day we got them. We loved the design, but they sat at 24″ inches, which just felt a little too low for our 37″ island counters. When it comes down to it, this was really just an error on our part since Overstock sells the same barstool in a ‘bar height’ versus the shorter ‘counter height’ that we ordered. So they could have worked in that department, had we measured correctly and really thought it through.

That being said, we didn’t beat ourselves up over it too long before we realized a longer list of issues. Nothing major, more just inconveniences. The seats didn’t have backs. It’s so weird to list this as a con, because one of the original must-haves on our hunt for barstools was something backless. I preferred the open feel that a bar stool without a back had. The kitchen is one of the first spaces you see when you enter our home and it’s open to several other rooms. A backless bar stool was nice aesthetically, in that it allowed the eye to pass through it and see directly into the kitchen. On the flip side, and obviously the more important side of things, we have little kids. Very little kids, a two year old and an 11 month old. It’s going to be a VERY long time before they (and hopefully future kiddos) can sit steadily in an open back chair. We realized this quickly and knew the change had to be made.

To top off these problems, I ran into one myself. Like I mentioned earlier, the kitchen is centrally located. We spend a WHOLE lot of time in here, specifically, me sitting at the island. I like to write up grocery lists, to-do lists, pay bills, and work on small crafty projects here. Since it’s directly next to the office, all of my supplies are right at hand, and it’s also next to the living room, which is where the girls find themselves playing most of the time. Read: It’s the only place I can be and get anything done. Now… try spending more than ten minutes in those cold, hard chairs. Doesn’t happen. Especially not in the dead of winter. Get me a blanket, I’m snuggling on the floor with the girls.

And that epically long detailing of why our previous bar stools didn’t work, leads me to these.

Kitchen Remodel on a Budget | Cape27Blog.com

After two weeks without bar stools (we thought we’d narrowed it down to the one, we sold our previous stools, and then realized we didn’t like the new ones we’d landed on) we finally compromised on Ikea’s Henriksdale with a gray seat/back cover. And if anyone is wondering, we went with the shorter Henriksdale, at 26″ seat height. Yep, only two inches taller than our previous bar stools. And it makes a serious difference.

Kitchen Remodel on a Budget | Cape27Blog.com

We considered a few other options, including this one from Overstock, but decided that the size of the Ikea option was the way to go (the Overstock only came with a 30″ seat height). We also fell hard for this bar stool, but it was WAY out of our price range. We’re thinking it’d be fun to refinish the legs on ours to achieve a similar look though. We even thought some fun nailhead trim would be cool, except we’d loose the slipcover feature if we chose to do that.

Kitchen Remodel on a Budget | Cape27Blog.com

The slipcover option will probably win over the nailhead considering the damage Zoey has already done (a run through the washing machine and they’re like new). She’s been having way too much fun enjoying her new ‘big girl chairs’. And I won’t lie, having her at the island during breakfast and lunch is such a time saver. Clean up is a breeze, especially with our new trash can/cabinet hack. I literally just wipe down the entire island straight into the garbage. It’s amazing.

Kitchen Remodel on a Budget | Cape27Blog.com

The new barstools ended up running us about $100 each, $70 for the chair frame and $30 for the cover (not sure why the frame is listed at $80 on Ikea’s website, but it was cheaper in store). Plus, we sold our previous three bar stools at $75 for the set, so that knocked down our ‘out of pocket’ cost to $75 per chair. Not bad.

How about you guys? Any design mistakes lately? Anyone switching out decor for something more practical?

Pssst- I just finished Zoey’s new headboard (literally minutes ago) and I’m dying to share it!! Hoping for next week! 

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24 thoughts on “Practicality Wins.

  1. Mel

    I like the new chairs/stools much better, for all of the reasons you already stated, but also because they are “soft” and help to soften up all of the hard kitchen surfaces. Great choice.

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Totally agree, Mel :) We’re loving the softness that they bring to the space!

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  2. wilma

    Practicality needs to win (at least in this case). We have a tiny peninsula w/ two stools–backless wooden ones. We would’ve bought ones with backs but the kitchen table is *rightthere*, so it wasn’t an option.

    Your stools look great. Would you ever consider painting the legs a nice, ccrisp white to complement the rest of your gorgeous white kitchen & trim?

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      We actually did consider painting the legs white to match the kitchen trim/cabinets. It’s all still up in the air, but I think we’re leaning towards a wood tone for a little less contrast with the dark gray fabric.

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  3. Amy Braid

    The new bar stools work so much better with the design of your kitchen!!!! It adds a nice touch of fabric in an already heavily hard-surfaced room. LOVE THEM!!!

    Reply
  4. Kim

    Your kitchen is very bright and open and pretty. I’m jealous! Ours needs a major paint do over to look open. I have no idea what color to go with though.

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      We did notice a really weird, uneven leg ‘wobbling’ problem with all three of them. Ricky even disassembled and reassembled them. Not sure what that was all about, but after we put a few felt pads on the bottom of the legs to protect the floors, it seemed to completely disguise the issue. Other than that, no other issues :)

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  5. Jen

    I’d love to sell our brown leather couch and loveseat on Craigslist and replace them with white IKEA cotton couches, but it will be a very hard idea to sell to my husband! Especially since we have 3 young kiddos. ;0

    Reply
  6. Meg Griswold

    We have the same bar-stools with the linen colored covers and we love them, too! They are very comfortable. My problem with our bar is that it has become the “junk surface” of the house and there is no space on there to do anything. That needs to be fixed.

    I made a slipcover for a chair and realized after weeks of work and stress and swearing that I didn’t love the fabric. Too much work to redo and to expensive to pay to have professionally done. Blerg.

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Oh yea, our kitchen island is always the first to go with clutter. It’s definitely ‘the dumping ground’ in our house. I try to clear it off every night at least for a nice space to wake up to though. Bummer with the fabric! Maybe a few throw pillows can disguise it temporarily?

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  7. [email protected]

    My oldest is two and a half and she is a climber. She sits all the time in open-back (or backless) bar stools at her aunt’s house. She’ll climb up the barstool, sit on it, climb up onto the counter, then climb down, sit on the bar stool, then climb down the barstool. It really all depends on the child and how well they balance at certain ages. For example, my 18 month old can’t climb, on anything. But by that age my oldest was climbing at 13 months onto the kitchen counter.

    Either way, I still like the new bar stools in your kitchen. :) Good job picking them out. :)

    Reply
    1. Jessie R. Post author

      Love the pattern in the rug! You could always buy a second one and push them up against one another to make a larger size. Just a thought :)

      xo,
      Jessie

      Reply
  8. Brooke M

    We went through the same thing. We bought a bar-height kitchen table with backless stools when we moved into our new home for our eat-in kitchen 3 years ago. My first child was only 5 months at that time. When an aunt came to visit my home for the first time, the first thing she said is, “I know these types of tables are popular, but how can a child sit at the table?”

    Yeah, good question (which I never even thought of).

    I looked into stools like yours, but we opted to build an L-shaped, banquet/bench type seat, bar-height, around the table which sits in the corner.

    I just love it and now my kids can safely dine with us!

    Brooke

    Reply
  9. Sarah-Nadine

    I love your kitchen. It looks classy yet stylist with either type of stools. I totally understand you going back to a still with back especially with small children.

    Nice work

    Reply

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