From Hugging Your Sofa Arm to Housing Your Plant, This Iconic Stool Does It All
Four ways to style the Finnish classic.
Published Aug 16, 2023 2:30 PM
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Transparent methods of construction, flat-pack shipping, and space-saving design are trends that lead the DTC furniture industry today. But Finnish heritage brand Artek has been doing all that for decades—90 years, in fact. Just before its inception in 1933, the company’s cofounder, influential architect and designer Alvar Aalto, had dreamed up an all-purpose object, something that could serve as a side table, a seat, or a display surface, made only from birch. Cut to the ultimate versatile piece: Stool 60.
The stool, when in multiples, can transform from a discreet tower in the corner of a room to seating for a full dinner party in seconds. Most stackable furniture is likely to be tucked away in a garage when not in use, but the layered iconic bent L-legs of the Stool 60 creates a nearly hypnotizing effect when condensed. You want to leave them out for all to see.
There’s still plenty of fun to be had with just one stool, though. It’s at home as a seat, sure, but it can also serve as a plant perch, nightstand, or partner to your sofa. Unlike more hulking, single-use pieces of furniture, it can follow you from home to home, finding a new purpose in each space.
While Artek’s model is pricier than the many look-alikes that exist, Stool 60 reigns supreme because of its pedigree and superior quality. The original stool is still expertly crafted in Finland from native birch through an intricate wood-bending process that the designer patented. However, collaborations with brands like Maharam and Supreme have offered a fresh twist on the classic. And to celebrate its 90th anniversary, the Stool 60 Kontrasti highlights its unique construction method through a contrasting veneer.
What’s even better is that the delightfully pared-down seat will actually look better over time. Just check out the patina on the vintage stools at Artek 2nd Cycle, the brand’s special storefront in Helsinki dedicated to its vintage pieces. Think of it as the gift your children will thank you for.
Below are our four favorite ways to style an Artek Stool 60, which show just how seamlessly it can shift roles.
The Unfussy Side Table
Unlike many side tables, the Stool 60 is super-lightweight—which means it can move from hugging your sofa arm to floating as a footrest. It’s just big enough for everything you’d need to reach for when lounging, from a beverage to a remote control.
The Minimalist’s Nightstand
Best suited for those who don’t rely too heavily on bedside storage, the Stool 60 makes for an easy, unfussy nightstand. It takes up very little space, making it appear light and airy—perfect for those who want their bedroom to feel like a sanctuary.
The Perfect Plant Perch
While Aalto’s main objective for the stool was function, he also imagined it as a display surface. Like a pedestal or plant stand, the stool is petite enough to support just one object, giving your green thumb the attention it deserves.
The Dinner Party Hero
Just a few of these stools can become the best flex seating to accompany everyday dining chairs; they’re ideal for those who love to host a group gathering. Then no one gets stuck on that spare office swivel.