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Kitchen Progress: Side Shell Stools from Modernica

My turquoise DIY kitchen makeover is done, and it looks amazing.  It exceeded my expectations and I’ve been spending my days staring at it wistfully.  Every now and then I sigh, in a decidedly contented way.  Today I wanted to gab about a key piece of kitchen furniture, and provide a review of Modernica‘s customer service.

The hard and uncomfortable wood stools left with the lakehouse were the first thing to sell at a family yard sale recently.  I’m so happy to have replaced them with something that looks, and feels, much better.  When Modernica had their 15% off sale I bought the triple bubble lamp fixture you already saw, as well as two fiberglass shell counter stoolsThese were also part of my original plan, but I ended up ditching the gray.  I really liked the diamond blue shell colour that was a limited edition with different legs, so I emailed Modernica and asked if I could combine the diamond blue colour with the dowel counter stool swivel base.  Surprisingly, yes!!  They promptly added my preferred colour choice to the website and … voila:

Fiberglass shell chair, solid walnut dowel base, and the perfect aqua hue (I found their standard turquoise – Ocean – to be too blue for me).  And here is the pair at our smashing DIY solid maple kitchen counter:

Although I was thrilled I could get the color I wanted, my experience with Modernica was not without a little trouble.  The moment we opened the box, we noticed that one of the shock mounts had slipped during the gluing process and did not align with the base so it could not be assembled.

I contacted Modernica right away and was a bit taken aback when I received a rather cool request for photos, to ascertain the problem and determine if they could/would help me.  After I emailed the photos, where the mistake is clear, the process picked up speed a little bit.  They sent me a shipping label via email and instructed me to return the shell in the same box I received it.  Unfortunately, the replacement fibreglass shell that came was very different from the one I sent back – the colour is a bit lighter and the edges are very white.  I understand that irregularity is part of the process, but the first pair were perfect for each other because they were similarly irregular (if that makes any sense).  I just didn’t want to go through the hassle of returning it again.  I don’t notice it as much anymore, but this was a bit of a disappointment.

Hubby asked me if I would order from Modernica again.  Hmmmm.  Good question!  I LOVE our lights and I would probably want them again if we ever moved.  I was thrilled that they agreed to a custom combo on the stools for me, but they were a little unconcerned about my defective shell.  The stools look good, but now that I’ve seen the real deal I think the construction is a tiny bit.. messier?  Especially concerning the adhesive used on even the properly installed shock mounts.  But, other than that, they do seem well built.  The bases are incredibly substantial and heavy enough to prevent any tipping, even after enthusiastic spinning.  The solid walnut legs are  beautiful and the chrome accents gleam.  There are these little plastic caps that refuse to stay put, which is another complaint of mine, but I think a little sticky tack can solve that.  They suit the look I’m trying to achieve in the lakehouse and even though they aren’t licensed reproductions, I’m convinced of the authenticity of the production (there is some debate).

Ultimately, I can excuse the flaw because they are handmade, in America, and that’s a beautiful thing.  I like supporting companies that keep jobs in North America, and I can forgive an assembly flaw.  Plus, they made something just for me, and that’s pretty special.  Comfort-wise, these stools are pretty phenomenal.  The seats are shaped so that you slide and sink into them.  Even without padding, they don’t uncomfortable because they follow the shape of a body.  Happily, they are generous enough for wider bums.  Szuka has even taken to them, licking them, using the foot rest as a head rest, and doing whatever this is, lol:



  1. Cassie @ Primitive & Proper
    June 9, 2014 / 12:32 pm

    oh those are AWESOME!!!!!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      June 11, 2014 / 4:56 am

      Thanks!! Any surprise they're aqua, lol?

  2. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication
    June 14, 2014 / 4:14 pm

    Those look awesome in the kitchen! Love them!

  3. atthemanse
    February 5, 2015 / 12:19 am

    Tanya, I adore those stools! And am strongly considering getting some for our house but I have a question for you. At a Toronto restaurant last weekend, my husband I saw some identical Modernica stools (though in orange – not nearly as nice as your aqua ones) at the bar. They looked terrific and were very comfortable to sit in, except we found the seats wiggly – perhaps a result of them having been sat in by many bums. Have you experienced any problems along those lines as you've used your gorgeous stools more and more?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 5, 2015 / 3:57 pm

      That's a really good question! They wiggle a bit, but it hasn't bothered us and hasn't gotten worse – not that we've noticed anyway. My Hubby says that it is a property of how they are assembled. There is a bolt that goes through the centre of the two metal plates (stationary and rotating). There are then washers and a castle nut that holds this in place. A cotter pin holds the nut from loosening. You could probably remove the pin and tighten the nut a bit, but then they might not rotate as well. You might want to check out a stool at a store that carries them and double check. But I'm thinking that slight wiggle will bother you. I hope this was some help!

    • atthemanse
      February 6, 2015 / 12:01 am

      It sure is, Tanya. I will try to find a retailer and check them out – but the fact that it doesn't bother you folks is a good sign. Thank you!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 6, 2015 / 4:33 pm

      Oh good, I'm glad! I will say that we really love these stools. We use them everyday and I would definitely recommend them. My biggest problem with them is that the rubber caps covering the nuts and bolts fall off so we decided to either use a bit of sticky tack to hold them in place, or just remove them. But it's a really small problem. Other than that, they've been great!

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