A quest for sleek, comfy, easy-to-maintain kitchen island bar stools.

My sister-in-law recently complimented us on our bar stools. She has been on the market for some new ones and has been having a hard time finding them. I knew exactly what she meant. It took 1.5 years before we finally found, purchased and received ours. Who knew finding modern, comfy, functional stools could be so hard? If you find yourself in a similar predicament, I can empathize. If you have similar taste, maybe this will help!

When it comes to kitchen island seating, most of the options we’ve seen are usually either quite bulky, or sleek but uncomfortable, with no back support or cushioning. Most of them are really heavy and hard to move too. It took us months to find the perfect stools for our kitchen counter. What we ended up with didn’t tick all the boxes, but we’re quite happy with the result.

Our feature wishlist

  • Works with our existing kitchen’s color palette – check.
  • Has a low footprint/sleek look but doesn’t look out of place – check.
  • Is relatively light so it’s easy to move around – check.
  • Is comfortable to sit on for a long time – check.
  • Has back support – check.
  • Is easy to maintain and stain resistant – check.
  • Has a swivel seat – nope, didn’t work out, but we’re okay with that.


After looking at endless reviews and trying to imagine various options in our space, we finally ended up with these Selka Natural bar stools from Article.

This is the third time we’ve bought from Article and everything we’ve received from them so far has been a well-made delight, except perhaps the Bamba pouf, which is hard to maintain and came with fibers fraying and falling out. If I were to buy a pouf again, I would have bought the Timpani or Macca instead. But I digress!

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Made of a steel frame and synthetic wicker, the Selka stool is pretty sturdy, yet light enough that it doesn’t hurt arthritic hands to pull it. Weight is important if you think you’ll be using the stools every day. Heavier ones will not only be harder to pull, but also harder to put back in place after using and harder to move out of the way while cleaning. Heavier stools can also cause damage to your floors when pulled.

The stool on its own was not super comfortable to sit on as there’s a metal bar across the seat. However, this was easily fixed with washable cushions and pillows.


If you know me, you know I like things to be washable. I found these excellent washable cushions for a reasonable price. We went with the Alexis Cream/Brown color. They are available in many other colors as well. The only downside to these is the material used on the edges is a bit see-through, but it’s minor enough not to bother me. I can confirm that I have washed them and they’ve held up well. If your machine is top-loading like mine, I recommend placing them vertically so more of the water drains during the spin cycle.


I loathe accent pillows that cannot be washed. Especially if it’s going to be in the kitchen, it needs to be easily sanitized. If it can’t be washed, it’s a deal breaker for me. It’s a bit more work to look for the right insert for the right sham, but it’s totally worth it!

Note on pillow & sham sizes.

Be careful when buying your inserts and shams. Some shams will recommend buying pillows a size up, such as a 16″ pillow for a 14″ sham, and some will recommend the same size. You may want to look for sizing tips from reviews before you buy.

We went with these 14″ x 14″ pillow shams paired with these 14″ pillows, which provided just enough lumbar support. All machine-washable of course. The off-white and beige stripes complement the white walls and limestone countertop, and the grey isn’t too distracting and actually hints at the grey from our sofas in the adjacent living area.


The kitchen cabinets and stone are not what we would have picked, but we’re not ready to remodel at this time. So we made the design work with the current color scheme, leaving room for future upgrades.

The Selka stools are a natural/neutral color that can easily blend into most designs with the mere addition of an accent pillow to tie them to the rest. I think they will work well even if we end up modernizing the kitchen or painting it a totally different color. Choosing furniture with neutral/natural palettes might be a good option if you like to change things up often. Just changing accent pillow shams can be a cost effective way to spruce the space up!

If you’d like to see more examples of how we’ve made the design work with our existing space, be sure to give us a follow!

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