Features, Lifestyle, Q&A

Can you mix and match stools? The Assembly Hall’s Jess Bettenay has the answer!

Brooke by Brooke
July 5th, 2013

This week’s reader question is a goody!

‘Can you mix and match stools? Or is it cooler not to?’   The Assembly Hall’s Jess Bettenay (and our resident decorator!) has you covered!

So as you all know I am a fan of the mix and match on most things but I must admit to never having done so with stools.  Why?  Well to be honest I haven’t even thought about it until now and as I do I actually think this is one area in a home that I do like a bit of symmetry (can you believe it!)

Usually when I am developing a concept for this area in a residential project, I would want the bar stools to be interesting and work with the over all mood, yet I would want them to be a “hero” or “focal point” of the room.  If you mix and match the stools then you are instantly drawing attention to them, rather than allowing them to become part of the overall picture.

I guess too I have never considered stools in a home to be a place to create great interest and naturally lean towards creating interest in sofa’s, armchairs, rugs, artwork dining chairs etc etc.  Actually when I think about it I would prefer to create interest in most other parts of your living area before I would highlight the stool.  That isn’t to say I don’t carefully consider it or that I think you should be boring or safe with the stool its just not what I feel is the important item in the room.

Also when mixing and matching stools or chairs I tend to think that it works best with say 6 or more to get the best effect.   With the mix and match look there does still need to be some order, weather that be the same shape stool just in different colours or the same colour stools just in different styles.  It can be tricky trying to stop this look being messy and with only a limited number of stools in most houses this becomes even harder to pull off.

There are however random exceptions to any rule and I am certainly not black and white on the topic and if your lucky enough to have a huge house and more than 5 bar stools then I may be tempted to bend this rule.  And of course Commercial projects are different again – take the commercial space that Anna Spirio just completed for Mr & Mrs G Riverbar in Brisbane.  The same bar stool has been used but in multiple fabrics, it therefore does still have some order but it still creates interest. When I look at these pictures my eye does look straight at the bar – exactly were you want your customers to look and be focused on in a restaurant/bar setting but in a home for me its not the best focal point….getting the idea?



So instead of mixing and matching your bar stools pick a bar stool that has interest or is a great colour, here are a few of my favourite kitchen stools:

These are the Muuto Nerd Bar Stools – available in 7 different colours and from The Assembly Hall. Yes there are different colours in this picture but I would have preferred it with 3 of the same colour….


Hay About A Stool – available from Corporate Culture in a number of different shells and frames:


Jardan Seb Stool – available in countless powder-coated colours and upholstered:


The Spun Stool by Life Space Journey – available in any dulux powder-coated finish:


The Milk Store from Y10 store – available in multiple 2 tone options :


The Seville Bar stool from The Assembly Hall –


Mark Tuckey Timber stool available in multiple coloured and natural finishes –


Thanks to the very talented Jess! And don’t forget if you have a question for Jess – email us at info@showandtellonline.com.au!