We’ve been in the market for a set of stools for our kitchen for quite awhile now, always mentioning while cooking dinner that a seating area fitted beneath our kitchen island would be a really nice (and comfortable) addition to the space. I can’t go as far to say that we’ve searched high and low for a bargain of a deal, we’ve kind of just been hoping that the stools would find us, our butts would approve, and then we could go on our merry little way.
With all that said, when we came across these babies in the Target clearance section we considered it a sign and took a chance on them, bringing home two. After all, they were 1) sleek and modern, with an attractive and (presumably comfortably contouring) bentwood seat, 2) espresso brown to match our glorious new cabinets, and 3) small enough to tuck away, side-by-side, beneath our kitchen island with nothing (like tall back support) sticking above the table preventing our island from being functional. I like me a good win-win-win situation, and the price was sweet too–each stool was discounted 50% to $17, so we brought home the twins for just $35 smackeroos.
The idea of bentwood seats was right up our alley; I had even given the Felix Barstools a shimmy at Crate & Barrel in NYC when my mom and I were (distracted during our mission of) wedding dress shopping. Things I could do all day? Test seating in Crate & Barrel. Things I’m happy I only had to do for two hours? Sampling wedding dresses that I’m told have been tried on by hundreds of other naked brides, vom.
Our Target-brand stools were exactly $112 expensive than the 30″ Felix Barstool at Crate & Barrel (that’s $224 savings total), and we were optimistic that they would be comparable enough to serve us well on the somewhat rare occasion that we’re sitting in the kitchen (i.e. one hour each night while we cook dinner, or one hour during the day if we’re baking cookies while on a conference call).
I had some immediate issues right off the bat as I assembled the first of the stools:
- I can smell a cheap chrome frame from a mile away. Ding, ding, ding. Considering the source, I knew it might be kind of dinky, but I felt like I might be able to bend the metal with my bare hands if I tried hard enough.
- The very first set of screws that I was instructed to use were too small. Or the holes they were required to connect to were too big. This immediately made the base very insecure, like I might be able to pick the chair right off of the legs.
- Many of the holes felt like they weren’t aligning correctly, making the rest of the assembled structure seem wonky, and ultimately, the frame a bit wobbly.
- The seat itself when screwed into place was perfectly comfortable and contouring, but upon the wobbly frame felt very uneasy to sit upon. Rated as holding 300 lbs., I weigh less than half of that and still felt as though I needed to hold on to a nearby ledge for balance and support so I didn’t come crashing to the ground. WHOMP.
- It didn’t look so bad though, you know, if you’re just going for a happy looking chair.
Verdict? We’re returning them to Target today and putting the $35 into a fund to buy something better. Maybe like the Ribbon stool from West Elm, or the Spin stools from Crate & Barrel, or DALFRED at IKEA.
P.S. Our Target had like, 3 full aisles full of clearance merchandise, marking my favorite sale of the year. Did anyone out there splurge on the area rugs discounted to $14 and the pillows marked down to $7?