Modern Restaurant Furniture: Best Trends in Backless Bar stools

by Andrea Reynolds

Backless barstools have come a long way from the bolted down, vinyl top, retro bar stools of yesteryear. The backless bar stool is a now a go-to for modern restaurant furniture. They can be seen everywhere from organic juice bars to revamped burger chains.

But what exactly makes backless barstools such rock stars of the restaurant design world? That’s easy—backless barstools are versatile, stylish, and the perfect seat for gathering and interaction. So, if you’re specifying a new backless barstool, these are the three design aspects to look for.

Mixed Materials

Like our culture’s craving for a variety of unique flavors and foods, backless barstools increasingly feature a variety of material combinations. And it’s no wonder; just by mixing multiple materials,  you’re adding layers and texture to a space in a very simple, yet impactful way. Depending on the finishes, a mixed material backless barstool can make a space feel comforting and warm or modern and cool.

Backless Barstools

 Parrish Hall 

Don’t be afraid to use color in mixed material. Some of the most drool-worthy backless barstools use color on their frames to highlight the wood seat and add an unexpected touch.

One of our favorite combination is a solid hardwood seat with a powder coated steel frame. This rugged, industrial chic combination is especially ideal for restaurants and bars because the materials stand up to constant cleanups, dings, and dents. For this look, opt for frames with straight lines and high-quality, low gauge steel. A solid maple seat adds warmth and much-needed contrast to keep this backless barstool looking fresh.

Avoid Slick - Add Some Soul

When it comes to modernizing a restaurant or cafe, think soulful. As cheesy as it sounds, diners are craving restaurants with unique, approachable food with interiors to match. According to Eric Mailaender architect and principal of Resistance Design, “The upshot is that we're seeing more interest in simpler, architecturally modern spaces that are comfortable but that have some soul, some warmth, places that are conducive to the meal and drinking versus a slick environment.”

An easy way to avoid that “slick” look is with an all-wood backless barstool. Adding wood furniture almost always adds warmth, and this barstool is no exception. For a modern approach, think light, natural finishes—opting for barstools with details like slight curvature or dipped socks. As menus turn towards more fresh, simple, and soulful ingredients, that mentality should be reflected in the furniture. 


Light Wood Backless Barstools

Lena Backless Barstool

Lena Barstool 

Comfort Counts

It’s important to remember that comfort is an integral part of the overall dining experience. “Everyone wants to feel comfortable and social. They want to have a variety of experiences and to be in spaces that allow them to interact,” says Stephen Francis Jones architect and principal of SF Jones Architects.

And that’s exactly what the backless barstool does; its casual nature elevates the space to be more social and more inviting. For a comfortable and relaxed fit without compromising style, choose a backless barstool with mid-century-inspired lines and a spacious seat. Details like tapered legs, streamlined angles, and colorful upholstery will keep patrons comfortable and relaxed.

Andy Backless Barstool

Andy Backless Barstool

Pink backless barstools

Pink Backless Barstools

It’s no wonder we’re seeing this minimal seating option everywhere; its laid-back silhouette satisfies the modern diner's preferences. And we're delighted to say the backless barstool is here to stay. If you are interested in the barstools featured in this post, download our Price List to find prices and product information. 

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Featured Image: Brady Backless Barstool and Fonda by Techne Architects