Atlantic Shopping / Blog / Embellishing Stool & Chair Legs With Metal Tips

Embellishing Stool & Chair Legs With Metal Tips

By Jack Morris, 11th December, 2019

Metal tips for stools and chair legs have been created in a variety of materials and finishes over the years. In recognition of the many stylistic and practical benefits of tips, as well as high demand in the modern furnishing scene, we have made strides to update our range with a variety of exciting products that make use of this helpful addition.

Glam Bar Stool & Chair With Chrome Tips

Glam Bar Stool Grey Velvet Velvet


A History Of Stool & Chair Tips

While commonly referred to as ‘tips’ in modern interior design, technical terms that you may see in use elsewhere are ‘sabot’ (derived from the French word for shoe or clog, and gesturing to the component’s use as a capping section to the leg) and ‘ferrule’. Ferrules tend to range widely in shape and material depending on the manufacturer, with some taking the form of rubber or plastic protective feet at the base of the leg, and some being closer to the tubular design of typical sabots. Since all our dining chairs and stools already incorporate some manner of floor protection, whether in the form of plugs, pads or adjustable feet, it is more helpful to refer to sabots when considering our own range.

The use of sabots in chair design gained popularity in the eighteenth century, though their use can be traced back to late-seventeenth century France under the reign of Louis XIV. At the time, it was popular to utilise brass feet or mounts as a decorative measure, resulting in an ornate appearance that befitted the similarly opulent homes in which they were being used.


Designing Chairs With Metal Tips


Moving into the twentieth century, we can see a rising trend in the use of metal as both a structural component and a decorative feature in furniture. Chrome in particular was used widely in the 1920s, having become synonymous with modern architecture, due in no small part to innovative designers such as Marcel Breuer, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Lilly Reich. This popularity waned somewhat with the advent of World War II, as metals were increasingly used for vehicle and munitions production, rather than for domestic purposes.

In the post-war climate of the 1950s, a reinvigorated consumer culture meant a resurgence in the use of metals commercially, particularly when it came to chair and bar stool legs. Since then, a wider array of metal finishes has become available for use in the home, complementing a variety of spaces including retro-chic and contemporary interiors. We at Atlantic Shopping use both chrome and brushed steel finishes in our own range, with both materials having their own distinctive uses and benefits within the home.


Examples Of Chrome & Brushed Tips


Manufacturing Sabots & Ferrules

Metallic tips are hand or laser-cut to measure the specifications of the leg. Depending on the size and shape of the part required, these will either be fashioned from individual panels that have been welded together, or else cut from a length of tubing in the desired material and finish. As our range of products mostly incorporates circular sabots, they are mostly completed with the latter method.


Manufacturing Chairs With Metal Tips


Once the tip has been constructed, it will be attached to the chair or stool. This will be done via a bolt or similar fixing, with a strong construction adhesive, or else through being tapped on with a mallet, if the tip has been cut to a slightly larger diameter than the leg itself. Once our sabots have been connected to the rest of their frame, a separate protective plug or pad is included on the base of the leg.


Uses For Tips

1. Create an Accent for your Stool or Chair

Metal tips can provide a subtle yet effective contrast that gives your new item of furnishing a sophisticated boutique effect. Many of our products feature dark wood or metal legs which, paired with chrome or a brushed surface, are emphasised and made even more striking. Other products may pair chrome tips with a footrest section in the same finish, integrating these accents more completely into the look and feel of the stool or chair.


Glam Bar Stool Blue In Kitchen

Glam Bar Stool Blue Velvet

2. Match with your Interior

If you already have chrome or brushed furnishings in your kitchen or dining area, then tips may help tie the space together in a thoroughly elegant manner. Some of our relevant chairs even have matching bar stools with the same tips, for a distinctive unified aesthetic.


Glam Bar Stool Green In Kitchen Featuring Chrome Tips

3. Mix Metals and Add Depth to Your Kitchen or Dining Area

Alternatively, experimenting with the tones and textures of different metals is a simple but effective way of making your interior feel more dynamic. Shinier chrome features in a kitchen otherwise ruled by matte, hand-finished brushed appliances can mean a pleasing, textured aesthetic. Tips are a subtle yet stylish means of achieving this.


4. Modernise a Chair, Stool or Whole Room

Chrome tips in particular can have a dramatic effect on surrounding decor, bringing a stool or chair or even your whole interior into the twenty-first century. The benefit of this will be your ability to use classically designed pieces in an otherwise modern-feeling interior, for a perfect mix of refinement and contemporaneity.


Polo Bar Stool Grey In Kitchen

5. Protect Legs and Lower Frames

In addition to providing a sophisticated touch, metal tips can serve as a protective measure by defending the finish on the legs from marks and scratches. Sabots may also strengthen the legs and prevent splitting, making for a more reliable overall product.


Whatever your requirements and wherever they’re being used, metal tips are a fascinating way of transforming your interior. Feel free to look over our extensive range and see which chairs or stools could be right for your home.

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