What makes a bar stool Scandinavian? It’s a combination of mindfully sourced materials, careful craftsmanship, and minimal silhouettes that are functional, comfortable, and long lasting.
Let’s walk through 12 of our favorite Scandinavian bar stools and counter stools from MENU Design, MUUTO, Normann Copenhagen, and Skagerak.
Passage Bar + Counter Stool by MENU Design
The success of the Passage Stool led MENU to introduce its counterpart sized appropriately for kitchen counters and bars. Crafted from FSC-certified oak, it is as comfortable to sit in as it is beautiful to look at. The flat-pack design is easy to assemble, with a built-in supportive footrest to maximize comfort. You can also choose to use it as an elevated plant stand! If you love the design thinking behind the Passage Bar Stool, you’ll love the Passage Lounge Tables.
Afteroom Bar and Counter Stools by MENU Design
“The line between a chair and a stool may be the simple curve of a backrest, but the design process is as meticulous for one as the other,” MENU Design poetically says as they share the story behind the Afteroom Dining Chair and stools. The original chair was MENU’s first foray into chair design, collaborating with Stockholm-based Taiwanese design group Afteroom to introduce a chair that was both minimalist and comfortable with a sleek and memorable silhouette. The bar and counter stools followed shortly after. The Afteroom Stool Series from MENU comes in three heights: regular stool height, counter height, and bar height. Each stool featured black powder-coated steel and a minimalist design that can slide up against a bar or underneath a kitchen island.
Form Barstool by Normann Copenhagen
The name Form comes from designer Simon Legald’s desire to form the ideal chair, starting with an in-depth study of how chairs were designed throughout history. In fact, it took 3 years to develop the series, with tedious adjustments, corrections, and over 20 prototypes before finding it’s final form. Normann Copenhagen calls its Form series their idea of the perfect chair.
”To me, form is the essence of design. Form is what makes a product recognizable and sets the design apart from other products,” says Simon Legald. “Form is the first thing you see; you then experience the function. Form is also where a designer can put his personal stamp on a piece of furniture or a product.”
There are several variations of the Form:
Each one comes in bar or counter height with several color variations.
Just Barstool by Normann Copenhagen
The Just Barstool is simple, welcoming, and versatile, featuring a clearly defined shell shaped as a molded “sandwich” of hard and light veneers as well as the light steel base, which is discretely integrated in the molded shell, so that the chair naturally comes together as a whole. The barstool comes in two heights and is available with and without a backrest. Its name, just, is drawn from its simplicity.
Cover Bar + Counter Stool by MUUTO
“The Cover Bar + Counter Stool sprung from a desire to bring a modern perspective to the traditional wooden bar seat,” says designer Thomas Bentzen, who collaborated with MUUTO on this Scandinavian bar stool. “I wanted for it to have a crisp and contemporary expression through its light plywood material, paired with the solid and grounded sentiment of its frame and base in solid wood. With its tall and curved backrest that folds gently around the frame alongside the warmth of its wooden materiality, the Cover Bar + Counter Stool has the comfort required for people to be seated for hours on end while translating the ideas of Scandinavian craftsmanship into a modern design language.” The design is an extension of the Cover series, which includes a lounge chair, armchair, and side chair.
Visu Bar Stool by MUUTO
MUUTO collaborates with a wide range of designers to offer new perspectives on Scandinavian design, including multiple interpretations of a wooden bar stool.
”The idea for the Visu Bar Stool was to create an elegantly simple interpretation of the archetypal wooden seat,” says designer Mika Tolvanen. “ I wanted for the design to have a subdued and timeless character that would add feelings of modern familiarity to any room together with a comfortable seat. The Visu Bar Stool features a seat in form-pressed alongside and a discrete footrest for a new perspective on the traditional wooden bar stool, echoing the ideas of Scandinavian design together with a modern expression.”
Nerd Bar Stool by MUUTO
Shown here is the Nerd Bar Stool, David Geckeler’s approach to the archetypal wooden chair. ”The overall expression of the chair ties in with the honest values of Scandinavian design,” explains Geckeler. “Nerd Bar Stool brings new perspectives to Scandinavian design by combining the traditional material of wood with a simple yet eccentric design language, making for a timeless chair that adds character to any space.”
Oslo Bar Stool and Counter Stool by MUUTO
Prefer something a bit softer than wood? Turn to the Oslo Bar Stool, an extension of the Oslo series from MUUTO designed in collaboration with Norwegian designers Anderssen & Voll. With gentle shapes and an upholstered, soft seat, the Oslo Counter & Bar Stool allows for the user to be seated comfortably while allowing to be so at multiple angles, thanks to its curved edges and slender footrest for additional comfort and movability. "The Oslo Counter & Bar Stool creates a new perspective on the traditional form with its rounded softness and gentle curves—a friendly design with modern yet long-lasting expressions,” explain Anderssen & Voll.
Loft Bar Stool by MUUTO
Thomas Bentzen is a masterful chair designer, creating the entire Loft series including the Loft Bar Stool. “Being a natural extension of the Loft design, the Loft Bar Stool mixes the complementing opposites of robustness and elegance through materials—wood for the seat and back, metal for the frame—with a soft, industrial appeal,” explains Bentzen. “The bar stool has an archetypical look that gives a feeling of familiarity while the subtle details, such as its sturdy back legs…Though having the comfort of a full seat and back, the bar stool comes with a small footprint thanks to its legs being positioned neatly under the seat, making the design a natural fit for all environments while providing maximum comfort to its user.”
Fiber Bar Stool by MUUTO
The Fiber Bar Stool has multiple variations––opt for a tube base or a wood base, and choose to go with or without a backrest. Across all variations, there is a “clear sculptural language that refuses to compromise on comfort.”
“Retaining the essence of the Fiber series…the bar stool is a versatile and conforming companion for any setting,” explains designers Iskos-Berlin. “We wanted to create a harmonious and friendly piece with soft shapes that would fit a café setting as much as a bar or kitchen counter.”
Hven Bar Stool by Skagerak
Skagerak is well known for carefully crafted heirloom quality solid wood furniture, and the Hven Bar Stool is the perfect example. Its slender oak legs are strengthened by a stainless steel support bar that also acts as a footrest.
An optional leather seat pad provides extra comfort and warmth. It’s the perfect complement to the Hven Armchair!
Georg Bar Stool by Skagerak
Skagerak’s Georg series is where Nordic sensuality and Japanese minimalism meet. Each piece in the series features slender wooden poles and a soft surface. The Georg Bar Stool comes in both bar and counter heights and is designed to last for generations. We love how the H-shaped pole adds sturdiness and a place to rest your feet.
Ready for more Scandinavian furniture inspiration? Discover our guide to designing a Scandinavian dining room.
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Batten Home carefully curates Scandinavian furniture designs and minimalist decor objects for the modern home. We are inspired by a Scandinavian aesthetic and Danish design philosophies with a new modern design feel we like to call new Nordic design.
Have any questions for us? We’re family-owned and independently operated, and we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or find more inspiration on Pinterest.