The art of the bar stool: Artistry and exacting design in the Frontgate development studio

Beautiful design is a marriage of many minds. The strategy sessions that inspire truly special furnishings are extensive and exacting.

At Frontgate, each new bar stool requires the careful consideration of style, comfort and artisanship – and the acumen of experts at every step.

“It takes over a year for a new bar stool to go from concept to production,” said Meg Donovan, Frontgate’s Director of Interiors. “The merchandising and design teams work in close collaboration to review every aspect of a piece, from design details to build quality.

“The merchandising and design teams work in close collaboration to review every aspect of a piece, from design details to build quality. ”

Director of Interiors Meg Donovan

Frontgate prides itself on the craftsmanship and quality of every bar stool, made to specifications superior to industry standards. Each boasts its own artistry – from handcarved details in refined stools such as Cheshire, evocative textures like the woven rattan on Bali and sleek sophistication in contemporary stools like Fulham.

Each bar stool begins with inspiration from merchandising experts – for example, a European style, such as in Cheshire. The merchandising and design teams consider both comfort and aesthetic appeal. Then sketches begin. Refinement comes in terms of the stools proportions and materials.

Computer-assisted design printouts and 3D modeling programs advance the project progress to the sampling stage; it takes about four months to produce a high-quality sample. Two or three rounds of revisions, each requiring the careful production of new samples, perfect the design.

In Cheshire, for instance, care was taken to incorporate the comfort of a dining chair, including sloped arms with padded armrests. The stool is crafted of kiln-dried hardwoods – as are all wood stools from Frontgate – and corner-blocked and double-doweled for durability. Cheshire is individually detailed with artisanal handcarving, then upholstered in easy-care fabric.

“A lot of time is spent on the details, because they set us apart,” said Stephen Levine, Senior Director of Design and Product Development. “Every design choice is intentional. Our customers will have these stools for many years, and we want them to be proud of them.”

Frontgate’s selection ranges from traditional to modern design, with an extensive array of upholstery, choices of counter and bar heights, and profiles that include low-back and backless barstools. When you’re ready to shop, explore our Bar Stool Buying Guide to learn how to determine which style is right for you.