In our previous Shop Talk, we highlighted a local, modern decor store, explaining how shops like Kasart are where you find those unique, eye-catching pieces for your interior design. We love our local businesses, but big-box home furnishing stores, like West Elm and CB2, have their benefits, too! In this edition, we'll discuss exactly what those benefits are.

commercial interior design inspiration

Roar + Rabbit™ Brass Geo Inlay Bed, West Elm

When it's time to replace a large piece of furniture in your home (bed, sofa, dining table), it often means you'll also replace many of the space's supporting pieces – bedding, coffee tables, media stands, dining chairs, etc. This is usually the point where clients come to us, saying "I have to refurnish my place but have no idea what I'm doing. Can you help?" And of course we can! Nothing brings us more joy than helping people with their interior design projects (truly). But for those people who love to DIY or who may not have room for an interior designer in their budget, commercial home furnishing stores can be great places to start when updating one's space.

One of the best features stores like West Elm and CB2 have is their room or style photos. Because these stores sell everything from sofas to hanging mirrors, nearly all of the items featured in their photos are purchasable from their shop. These photos act as advertisements, showing people how great their space could look if they purchase the accompanying pieces, but they can also be helpful tools for those who want guidance in keeping design continuity in their space.

interior design inspiration photo CB2

Click the image to shop this room!

Another benefit of stores like CB2 and West Elm is they offer a diverse range of neutral styles, allowing them to appeal to a majority of modern design lovers. Are you one for minimalist luxe? Or perhaps mid-century is your cup of tea. Either way, the commercial modern furnishing store will have your style.

diverse interior design inspiration

Need help finding your style, read our Four Styles of Modern Design blog!

Don't feel limited to just these shops. There are a handful of stores you can explore to find out which one best matches your budget and style.

modern commercial home furnishing stores

And, in the end, if you feel stuck, an interior designer will always be there for you, so don't hesitate to reach out!

Once upon a time, kitchens were merely the place people cooked and prepared their daily meals. They were a place of work, not leisure, and they definitely weren't exposed to guests. Fast-forward to today's open-concept living and kitchens are showcased to everyone who walks in the main space.

modern interior design condo

Click the photo to see more from our Turtle Creek project!

This transformation of spatial planning has changed the way we experience and utilize our kitchens, especially our kitchen counters. During dinner parties, people gather around the island, which is filled with hors 'doeuvres, cocktails, and conversation. In the morning, the family grabs their seat at the bar, partaking in their breakfast ritual. The space even becomes the home office, with papers and the computer sprawled out among the spacious countertop.

As kitchens become multi-purpose and used more frequently, the aesthetic and functionality of the elements within the space become ever more important. We're talking specifically about the seating. Stools, having used to be afterthought additions to a kitchen, are now oftentimes a centerpiece of the space. Which means they need to be selected as carefully as one would choose an accent chair. If you never imagined you'd have to put so much thought into selecting counter or bar stools, it's ok. We'll set out some easy criteria for you to follow to help you choose your next set of kitchen seating.



If you've purchased a set of stools before, you've probably already researched whether to get counter stools or bar stools, making you think this category is obvious. However, you'd be surprised how many people still place the wrong stools underneath their counters.

In the simplest terms, counter stools (23"-28") are about four to six inches shorter than bar stools (29"-32"). Another way to think of it is to know you need at least 10" of space between the bottom of the countertop and the top of the stool for comfortable seating. If you have too little of space, legs won't be able to fit under the counter and your food or workspace will be too far away from you.

counter and bar stool heights


In order for you to choose the right set of stools, you need to think about how much you'll use them and for what. Will they be a seat for you to leisurely enjoy your breakfast with family at the kitchen island? Perhaps they'll allow you to hanker down and utilize your spacious countertops for work (it's always nice being close to coffee and brain food). Or will the stools simply be seats guests can use while enjoying appetizers before the meal is brought to the dining table?

modern counter stools

Click the photo to see more from our Prospect spec home project!

If you don't think you'll use your stools regularly, you can choose stools with or without backs — your options are limitless. But if you plan on frequently using your seats for prolonged periods of time, you should choose stools with backs. Don't worry, you won't sacrifice style or sleekness for functionality. If anything, you just limit the options you have to look at, making it easier to avoid analysis paralysis.



Last, but certainly not least (so cliche, we know), aesthetic is key to creating or maintaining your beautiful space. Because counter and bar stools are front-and-center in open-space concepts, they must be aesthetically pleasing and flow with the overall style of the main space.


modern stools for open concept home

Click the photo to shop these stools!


Now that you have some criteria of how to choose your bar or counter stools, we trust you'll be able to select a set that enhances your space and fits your lifestyle! And if you ever need help, we're always here for you.


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