DIY Contemporary Bar Stools


Contemporary designs are those that have a modern appeal. They can have sleek shapes with mostly straight lines or shapes with bubble-like features. Easy do-it-yourself contemporary bar stools are made of wood and can be covered with a fabric of your choice. Homemade bar stools allow you to customize your design to match the décor of your home.


  • Choose a wood for the bar stools that matches the wood used in accents throughout your home. If you have wood floors, use a wood for your stools that matches the hardwood floors or is a lighter shade. Wood elements darker than the floor can make the objects look too heavy for the room. Cut the wood elements of the stool, including the seat components, into straight lines to create the modern look.

    If you prefer the stool to have the bubbly shape of a contemporary design, achieve this look by using prefabricated, curved chrome or plastic stool pieces. Consider using metal legs and a plastic, colored seat. Choose white, black and silver reflecting colors that are ideal for modern designs.


  • Select the hardware to hold the pieces of the wood stool together. Although nails work well, screws are a better choice for wood stools because they hold wood together better when the wood must support a moderate amount of weight. Select screws longer than 3 inches to hold down the seat of the stool. Use screws that are at least 2 inches long to hold the legs to the foot rest bars.

    The holes for attaching metal or plastic pieces together are made for screws only. If the stool pieces do not come with matching screws, measure the hole accurately before picking up screws. Screws that do not fit the holes properly will not hold the pieces together and the stool could collapse.


  • Stain the wood starting with a light shade of stain. It's best to start with a light layer and build on that layer until you reach the color of your choice. Let each layer dry in a well ventilated area before adding another coat.

    Spray a protector over stools with chrome elements. Put the stool in a well ventilated area before spraying to avoid inhaling harmful chemicals. After the spray dries, buff out the excess residue with a clean cloth. Cotton cloths provide a soft material for soaking in excess residue as well as buffing the surface to create shine.


  • If you want to cover a wood stool's seat, select a durable fabric for the bottom and the backrest. Consider choosing a cover made of leather or a faux leather because of its contemporary appearance and durability. Add a thick cushion material under fabric on the seat and behind the backrest fabric to add a comfortable element.

    Metal or plastic seats cannot accommodate a seat cover because it's hard to secure the material to the plastic or metal. If you would like extra comfort on one of these stools, consider adding a seat cushion. Detachable cushions typically have two ties at the back that grasp on to the back of the seat to hold it in place. Select a solid colored cushion to maintain the modern appeal.

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