In the 1970s and 1980s the bar stool was relegated to basement recreational rooms and rec-room bars. But these days, you'll find bar stools front and center in the heart of the home -- the kitchen. Why the shift in furniture placement? Though they still go by the term "bar stool," this style of chair is perfect for the high counters of a kitchen island, a feature that has become overwhelmingly popular in many newer homes.
And though you might be thinking of a classic, unattractive bar-style stool, with a few wooden legs and an ugly polyester cushion, today's bar stool is pretty much anything but that. Modern bar stools can be made using metal, wood, bamboo, rattan, wicker or wrought iron [source: Bar Stools Plus]. They can be simple, with no back or cushion, or have a lush cushion, sturdy back, armrests and some even swivel around! The options are almost endless, and the project can be as easy (wood seat with no back) or as complicated (scalloped, intricate design with a back, an armrest and swivel capabilities) as you'd like it to be.
Building a simple bar stool, as discussed in this article, can be done with a bit of wood and a few hand tools that you most likely have in your possession already. And the project should only take an afternoon to complete. More complicated set-ups, like those that are very decorative with careful carvings, can take as much time as you want to put into the design. That time frame is up to you, but remember that you will likely be making more than one -- at least two, if not four or more.
Whether you've built a new rec-room bar or have an updated kitchen island at bar stool height, building a bar stool is not a difficult do-it-yourself project if you take the time and patience to do it right. To begin, check out the next page to collect your supplies.