For the bar or a child's room, these eclectic stools will add a lot of form to your function.

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A stool is one of the most versatile pieces of furniture you can get. It slides neatly under or up to a counter, takes up little real estate and can provide a handy perch in any room.

New York interior designer Kati Curtis finds herself employing stools a lot in her projects.

She suggests swivel stools in an open plan, where the action’s taking place in both the kitchen and family room, and Lucite stools in front of decorative bars.

Classic looks

Then there’s Powell & Bonnell’s Alto Bar Stool (ordering info at dennismiller.com). “When I need a bar stool that’s going to make a solid design statement, this is the go-to,” says Curtis. “It’s a showstopper that stands on its own.”

The Alto has a trim, sculptural steel frame that you can get in a variety of finishes. The low-profile yet comfy seat looks great in caramel-hued leather, but can be custom upholstered.

At Wisteria, each seat is unique on the Javanese Bar Stools ($479 each at wisteria.com), crafted of teak salvaged from old homes.

From left: Claire-Anne O’Brien Corda Footstool, $1,427; and Elements Optimal Bambi Chair, $340
From left: Claire-Anne O’Brien Corda Footstool, $1,427; and Elements Optimal Bambi Chair, $340

Another option for a kitchen or home bar is Arteriors Home’s Caymus Stool ($780–$900, ordering info at arteriorshome.com), available in two heights, with a mango-wood seat and an iron base with foot rest.

Little splurges

You may want to splurge a little on stools since you usually only need a couple. Check out the Thomas Hayes Studio’s Cojo Bar Stool ($3,000 at 1stdibs.com), a limited-edition, midcentury style that has a vintage rosewood back and a seat sourced in Brazil.

Anna Karlin’s Original Chess Stools ($2,200 each at annakarlin.com) are brass-plated, cold-rolled steel seats that evoke the game pieces, with muscular geometric profiles.

Mongolian lambswool makes a shaggy-chic seat for the brass-plated, art deco-style  Imperial Sheepskin Barstool ($1,399 at horchow.com).

Children’s stools

Need a fun little seat for a child’s room? Kinder Modern has Oskar Zieta’s Plopp Jr Stool ($435 at kindermodern.com), which looks like a blown-up balloon chair but is made of steel. It comes in taxicab yellow and fire-engine red, among other colors.

The retailer also stocks the Elements Optimal Sheep and Bambi Chairs ($340 each at kindermodern.com), cute little pieces crafted from hardwoods and upholstered with faux deerskin or shearling. The seat backs are shaped like antlers or horns.

Drawing inspiration from architecture, sculpture and vintage fashion, Irish designer Claire-Anne O’Brien’s Corda Footstool ($1,427 at bespokeglobal.com) plays with the scale of knitwear patterns. Upholstered in sheep and lambs’ wool, the stools are cozy, artful spots to sit.