Sit up, take note of wooden stools Design: Thin aniline stains can put fresh color on hardwoods while allowing the grain to show through.

February 09, 1997|By Rita St. Clair | Rita St. Clair,LOS ANGELES TIMES SYNDICATE

I can't find the right kind of stools for the eating counter in my modern kitchen. There seem to be very few pieces that will go with the granite counter top and the cabinets of light-finished wood. Part of the problem arises from my own tastes, since I dislike high-tech metal stools as much as cute wrought-iron ones. Any suggestions?

How about simple wooden stools, but with a contemporary design and a colorful veneer? Pieces of that sort combine traditional beauty with contemporary flair -- which seems to be what you're trying to find for your kitchen.

The Hardwood Manufacturers Association recommends a type of stain called aniline dye that brings the full spectrum of color to hardwood stools. These very thin dyes change the color of oak, maple, ash or cherry fibers without disturbing the distinctive patterns of their grains.

The Top Seat Stools shown in the photo are fine examples of this design.

Produced by Altura Studios in New York, they can be found in restaurants as well as in residential settings. They're even being used in the San Antonio Central Library.

For more information about such possibilities, contact the Hardwood Manufacturers Association at (800) 373-WOOD.

And whatever option you eventually pursue, do make sure that the stools' seat height is appropriate for the elevation of your counter. It's amazing how many people overlook that essential detail when buying kitchen stools. You need to decide whether a 25-inch or 30-inch seat height is more comfortable, since those ,, are the two standard sizes for kitchen counter stools.

One final bit of advice: Even though you don't like metal stools, give some thought to a steel foot-rest. Not only will it prevent scuff marks, but such a strong element will also provide extra structural support for a high stool.

Pub Date: 2/09/97

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