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Industrial Metal Stools: Unique Furniture Ideas

Updated on January 25, 2018

Vintage Industrial Metal Stools

Industrial metal stools and chairs can look great in the home, office or workplace. Check out a few examples of vintage industrial metal stools, chairs and the applications to use them in this article!
Industrial metal stools and chairs can look great in the home, office or workplace. Check out a few examples of vintage industrial metal stools, chairs and the applications to use them in this article! | Source

Industrial Metal Stools: Unique Furniture For The Home, Office or Workplace

Forever a fan of minimalist, modern, and shabby chic design aesthetic, admittedly my first real exposure to the powerful elegance and hardened grace of vintage industrial metal stools came some ten years ago in my life. Curiosity, combined with mild boredom on a Saturday afternoon, led a friend and me to visit a vintage antique furniture shop just down the road from my previous residence. Nestled sophisticated in the corner of one of this shop’s many rooms, the makeshift and somewhat impromptu placement of these five or so industrial metal stools just proved that the owners were seemingly perplexed by just HOW to adequately and appropriately assimilate this type of furniture among the other vintage wares of this shop. As with many design aesthetics, this type of furniture does, in fact, require special care and consideration because of it’s powerful and often overwhelming appeal. Integrated appropriately into a largely industrial design aesthetic, industrial metal stools can be a breathtaking, and completely functional, complement to just about any room in your home.

Fast forward to the present today, and I can’t help but reflect upon those stools that had garnished that seemingly neglected room akin to the land of misfit toys. With hints of dust concealing the true elegance and potential of those pieces, it wasn't until very recently, in late 2012, that I witnessed a refreshing integration of these pieces into a real home (not just an antique furniture store). My neighbor, who derived great industrial influence through the renovation of her basement, leveraged these stools in a valiant display of industrial décor and culture. Complemented by the appropriate wall paint, her basement took on a form where these vintage industrial metal stools literally placed center stage among several contrasting elements.

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Vintage Industrial Metal Stools: What They Are & How To Use Them

When you first began looking for comfy and attractive seating options for your home or office, the first thing that came to mind probably wasn't the industrial metal stool. However, they are a great option to consider for quite a few reasons.

Most industrial metal stools on the market today are vintage, either authentic or meant to look that way as a reproduction. They were originally intended for industrial purposes, thus the name. They would typically see usage in factory settings, where a strong and durable seating arrangement was necessary. Since looks weren't important, they often have a distinctly minimalist aesthetic. Uncovered bolt heads and raw wrought iron are not uncommon in these pieces.

Another common feature of the industrial metal stool or chair is adjustability. They are often intended to be used in a variety of settings, so you can typically adjust the height, and sometime other aspects as well.

Since they were often found in turn of the century factories, they utilized the materials they had on hand at the time. Industrial metal stools often incorporated steel, iron and wood. A lot of the original vintage examples out there have been pretty weather beaten too, having seen many years of steady usage.

How To Use Them:

Today, the beautiful thing about vintage industrial furniture in general is the fact that you can use it just about anywhere. They look great, and not just on the manufacturing floor. Many spaces will use them to give the impression of a rustic, antique environment. They will at once give the impression that your space is old, comfortable and well established.

To incorporate a set of vintage industrial metal stools in the home, be sure that the surrounding space and pieces will fit with them. Avoid pairing the pieces with anything that clashes; vintage industrial metal stools work in a vintage inspired setting. Some styles that work well with this are minimalist, modern, andshabby chic.

A great way to use industrial chairs and stools is to use a really minimalist table. Since vintage metal stools are so nice to look at, don't hide them behind something big and clunky. Vintage metal industrial stools can be great 'statement' pieces, so be sure to show them off.

Vintage Industrial Metal Stools and Chairs


If you're looking to track down an industrial chair or stool, whether vintage or a reproduction, there are a few places you can check out.

Antique Shops:

Probably some of the best places to find metal industrial stools are antique or vintage furniture shops. They often have a nice selection of vintage industrial furniture. The prices can be a bit high depending on where you shop, but they'll typically haggle on the price a bit too. You should make sure that everything works on these pieces; antique shop owners aren't always the best at restoring them. Make sure adjustable components operate well and are rust free.


Admittedly, Amazon doesn't exactly have the widest selection of these stools. On top of that, from what I can see, few are actually previously owned. With Amazon's selection, a sense of old vintage is compromised, giving way to essentially newer, more modern, looking industrial looking stools. Fortunately, if you are looking for a clean, modern, aesthetic, Amazon may just be the perfect place for you to look!

Vintage Industrial Furniture Restorers:

There are a lot of people these days that are taking vintage industrial furniture and refurbishing it to be used in the home or office. They will clean up the pieces and make sure they're safe and strong. Sometimes they'll even augment the patina to make them look more cool and weatherbeaten than they originally did. Expect high prices at these places, because restoration of vintage metal stools and chairs can be labor intensive.


Since vintage industrial stools and chairs are getting pretty popular, there are a few reproductions popping up. The advantage of this is that they are cheaper, and typically in 'new furniture' condition. The downside is that they aren't actually vintage, but if you're not a collector it probably doesn't matter anyway. Reproductions of vintage industrial furniture will be clean and in good working condition, so if you're going for the look and not the real deal, start here.

Good Luck!

Finding vintage industrial metal stools can be found at antique stores and industrial furniture refurbishers. You can also find reproductions just about anywhere.
Finding vintage industrial metal stools can be found at antique stores and industrial furniture refurbishers. You can also find reproductions just about anywhere. | Source

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    • cabmgmnt profile image

      Corey 5 years ago from Northfield, MA

      I love the look of industrial furniture in interior design. Fortunately, It is one of the few vintage collectibles that can still be had inexpensively, however, I have noticed prices rise because of its popularity on certain television shows.

      Nice hub, voted up!

    • Suzie HQ profile image

      Suzanne Ridgeway 5 years ago from Dublin, Ireland

      Hi DIYmommy,

      The title and leading pic drew me in, how interesting to use industrial stools and chairs. I love different design elements and interiors. A great way to have a different and unique twist to a room! Great job, vu, interesting, shared , useful.