vintage-style barstools

Marian ParsonsFavorite Finds, Kitchen, My House14 Comments

I can’t believe that I’ve had new barstools for months and haven’t shared the details until today!  I used to document every tiny change that happened in my house, but now that I work at the studio most of the time, my house is just my house, so I don’t take pictures as regularly as I used to.  So, finally…these are the new barstools…


A few months after we moved into our house, my mom and I were out shopping and came across these barstools from Target…

kitchen 11

I painted them in MMS Milk Paint French Enamel finished with Antiquing Wax, but they were originally a mid-tone wood with a glossy finish.  They were on clearance and I liked the style, so we tracked down three of them at two different stores.  I’ve been very happy with them, but one broke a few months ago and, since I bought them on clearance years ago, I couldn’t find a replacement.

I also had an idea that I wanted stools with more of a vintage look to them.  It felt like these stuck out a bit against my other furnishings.  I shopped all over the place online and fell in love with this 19th Century English Schoolhouse Stool from Restoration Hardware.  That is my favorite place to browse when I’m looking for new furniture with an antique feel.  I prefer actual antiques, but sometimes that’s non-existent, like a queen-sized bed, or really hard to find, like four sturdy matching counter-height stools.

RH Schoolhouse Stool

As with all large non-business-related furniture purchases, I started to put a plan together for how I could buy these without cutting into our family budget.

I started saving up my business credit card points and I traded them in for cash.  I didn’t have quite enough, though, so I sold this rug…

mbr 24

One of my readers was in love with it for her house and, since I could never find the perfect spot for it, I sold it to her and then I had enough to order the stools.

First of all, I love the way they look.  The style and the color of the wood (the weathered oak finish), compliment the space, but don’t look “matchy”.


The stools  had a very matte finish…they almost feel raw, but I like that as well.  I have considered oiling them or even putting a wash of paint on them but I’m going to wait until I’m 100% sure on that one and I’m just not.  The only downside to these stools is that the seat is as flat as a pancake.  Our last ones were a little sculpted, which made them more comfortable to sit in.  We usually sit in these for quick meals, snacks, sometimes a project and I occasionally work on my computer, so it’s okay if they are not the most comfortable seat in the house.


I ordered four, since we are a family of four, but it looked really crowded, so I took one away and keep it in the basement as a spare.  I’ve learned my lesson that barstools can break and it might not be possible to find a match down the road.


Today, Kriste and I packed and shipped out the rest of the ironstone and we worked on another fall photo shoot…

I could create and photograph seasonal tablescapes all day long…

vintage-style barstools

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14 Comments on “vintage-style barstools”

  1. Your fall centerpiece is amazing. Would you consider providing a tutorial? I would love to incorporate succulents in my centerpieces like that. Also, do you find that pieces from Restoration Hardware stand up to the cost? Compared to very old antiques, craftsmanship has gone downhill for most furniture. How do you find Restoration Hardware stacks up to the quality of your antiques?

  2. Gorgeous tablescape and those bar stools look like they were made for that space. Is all of the Ironstone sold out already or is there more to come? I went to buy a few pieces and was too late, everything that I wanted was gone. A girl has to be faster than lightning to score something when you have a sale lol

  3. While I think that you’re bar stools are perfect and I love them so, what I really want to tell you most is ‘Thank you.’
    Thank you for sharing with us how you saved and what you did to purchase these stools and not dip into your already pre-set budget and and scramble later. I think this is very important for readers to see and know. In a society where we see beautiful things and so often ‘want immediately’ you keep it real and responsible.
    You wanted something ‘extra’ so you found and made ‘extra’ provisions for it.
    I really appreciate that – thank you!

    1. I have to agree with Tiffani. This is an important lesson in our 24×7 world of online shopping.

      I have a friend that I introduced to MMS just a short time ago and she was envious because she assumed MMS had such a beautiful house because she had unlimited funds – and felt she couldn’t have the same.

      Thanks MMS!

  4. Love the stools but also love your idea of painting the Target stools. You always give me great ideas. I also love your diningroom drapes. May I ask where you got them?

  5. I need to replace my stools – they make my legs go to sleep! They are a shaker style with woven rush type seats that are sagging. Does any one have a suggestion for a comfortable bar stool?

  6. Hi Lana, We have flat Windsor style chairs w/ our round pedestal table. I purchased padded seat covers. They might be more commonly known as chair cushions. I see them for sale everywhere. I have some plain ones and some w/ a small ruffle, and all of them having matching ties to keep them tied to the chairs. It’s fun to change them up w/ the seasons. Hi Marion, I’m not so sure if you would want to sew beautiful simple square linen covers w/ two ties at the back to make the stools a little more comfy?

    1. Thanks Lynne, I think a solid wood seat might help. I don’t want to replace one set of uncomfortable stools with another set of uncomfortable ones!

  7. Wow! I think it was that last picture that had a pretty good shot of those seats…they ARE flat!!

    What a lovely centerpiece, cute how the nuts peek through.

    I love your blog!! You’re a good writer and use correct grammar, which is beginning to be a lost art these days. I grind my teeth when people no longer know how to conjugate a verb. Whatever happened to er, est instead of always using more this or that?

  8. Missed the ironstone sale…shoot!
    Any more coming, or was that it?
    Love the bar stools. I really like the raw wood look for some things.
    My coffee table is stripped pine, which I love, but how to keep it clean??

  9. Hi Marion,

    The rug you sold is probably the most beautiful I’ve seen. I’m having a hard time finding anything like it – one that ties in pinks and blues so beautifully. Was it vintage? Or could you provide a source for it? I would be eternally grateful.

    Love your creativity and how you share it. So inspiring! Xoxo

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