Published on April 7, 2019

The biggest decor revelation of 2019 has finally achieved mainstream status: Stools are no longer just for stepping on. Having long flown under the radar as an understated and under-utilized item of furniture, these simplified seats are realizing their full capabilities thanks to a number of totem-inspired pieces leading the charge.

Landing somewhere under the tubular trend that is currently sweeping the nation, ribbed stools have stolen our hearts with their sweeping curves and chunky silhouettes. Both highly sculptural and extremely functional, their sheer versatility has surprised us the most. It’s no wonder that we’re seeing them in every stylish home we know.

Whether used as a makeshift coffee table or a stand-alone art object, these short, sweet, and stacked accents bring out the best in any room. Read on for three fresh ways to bring this statement find into your living room, plus 10 shapely stools to steal the look.

Use It as a Coffee Table

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photography by Sara Tramp, courtesy of Emily Henderson

When Jess Bunge decided to give her tiny living room a makeover, Ferm Living’s round pouf was at the top of her must-have list. Instead of parking the piece in the corner, she nested it under Kontrast’s Brut Table. Now one and the same, the key to pulling off this dual look is finding a coffee table that’s just the right size.

Use It as a Side Table

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photo by lindsay hollinger

Now on her second Airbnb, Lindsay Hollinger’s #thatdeserthousrecently underwent a colorful makeover, which includes a custom-made cedar stool by artist Dan John Anderson. “It’s truly a gorgeous piece and a functional work of art,” says Hollinger. “Each stool is one big piece of wood. There are no joints, except he adds a few patches here and there to mend cracks from the drying process.” Given its sturdy build, the piece is primed for holding a hot cup of coffee or a glass of wine.

Use It as a Chair

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photo by Christian Torres, courtesy of Tali Roth and Tina Rich of The Playhouse

In Tina Rich and Tali Roth’s colorful office—otherwise known as The Playhouse—primary hues rule. The punchy color scheme is led by two curvaceous stools that frame an equally bold terrazzo table. If there’s one place deserving of a flexible seating arrangement, it’s the workplace.

Want a stool to call your own? Here are 10 picks we’re eyeing right now.

So long, right angles—this is the only thing that feels good and honest in our life. Re-create Henderson’s dynamic living room design with Ferm Living’s extra-plush pouf.

The small imperfections in Anderson’s one-of-a-kind creations promise character that lasts. If your style leans toward organic-modern, embrace the warmth of a wood totem stool.

Minimalists will appreciate this sleek white stool’s straightforward silhouette. Deal-hunters can also get behind the price tag.

True to its name, this lacquered wood stool opts for jagged movement over a contoured finish. Its rugged form will lend itself best when used as a side table or as a stylish spot to kick your feet up.

Crafted from wood, metal, and cork, this artful rendition takes the stacked nature of its fellow statement stools to the next level. Given its playful structure and resemblance to a toy, this splurge-worthy pick would add a special kick to an ordinary nursery.

Translate this covetable trend to the great outdoors with this crisp white weatherproof find.  

Goop x CB2’s acacia wood stool exudes a sense of earthiness. For maximum intrigue, play up textural contrast by placing it next to a blush pink velvet sofa or sling leather armchair.

This jet-black stool is keeping a healthy secret. Designed to mimic the benefits of an exercise ball, this buoyant stool will improve your strength, flexibility, and circulation.

You might not want to plop down on this auspicious blue stool, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t safe to stare at it all day.

Introduce Rich and Roth’s bold ottomans to your own office. Getting down to business never looked so good.

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