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Article: The Lem Piston Stools : A Timeless Icon

Lem Piston Bar Stool

The Lem Piston Stools : A Timeless Icon

What is it about the adjustable stool that makes it so popular?

The LEM stool is a favorite for interior designers and architects. It has been named Product of the Year at the FX International Interior Design Awards in the year of its release and has received many more since.

LEM is iconic because of its innovative design. Steel, round shapes and sleekness are unified in this extraordinary piece, bringing into play the strength of the steel, the softness of the shapes and the lightness of the aesthetic.

The stool’s simple form belies a sophisticated understanding of materials and technology.

  lem piston stool


What inspired the design of the LEM Piston Stools?

The story has been told many times.

In 1969 the Apollo LEM - the Lunar Excursion Module landed on the moon. In the year 2000, at the turn of the millennium, designers Shin & Tomoko Azumi aimed to replicate the lightness, and the absence of gravity, to create a void through a masterful design that would foster its relationship with the environment. And so, the LEM Piston Bar Stool was born. A swivel stool with a light structure.


The Lem Stool - “A loop which is floating in the air”


The Apollo 11 could not bear unnecessary weights, and this  is exactly why the LEM Stool incorporates this function in its minimalist profile. Only the essential was kept, the rest stayed on the ground.

 lem piston stool

How can I customize my LEM stool?

The adjustable bar stool can be customized in a variety of finishes. Customizable parts include its seat, frame and gas lift. The paragraphs below will explain the different finishes.


1. Seat Finish

The seat can be finished in a number of ways, each one creating a different mood. The options for the seat finish are: wood, lacquer, laminate, metal, plastic, fabric or leather. Wood, with its unique grains influence warmth and authenticity. Lacquer and laminate surfaces have a light shine that give them a rare polished elegance. Stainless steel is a metal that is classically contemporary, and a fabric or leather finish will give the stool an intimate and delightfully cozy feel.

2. Frame Finish

The frame can be finished in either one of 2 ways: stainless steel or powder coated. The steel finish suggests a contemporary and sophisticated aesthetic while the powder coated finishes are more soft, friendly and refined. There are eight color options for the powder-coated finishing.

3. Gas Lift

The stool is height adjustable thanks to the gas lift that is contained by a cylinder and is made gas-tight by piston rings. The gas lift can be customized in a mat chromed or powder coated finish.


The most popular versions of the LEM Stool

When it comes to choosing the perfect finish for your LEM stool, there are a few standout options that have captured the hearts of our customers.

1. Basic Black: Timeless, the basic black finish exudes a modern and minimalist charm, making it a favorite among those who appreciate the elegance of simplicity.

2. Basic White: On the other end of the spectrum, white offers a clean and bright look that can effortlessly blend into a variety of interior styles, from contemporary to classic.

3. Oak Seat with a Chrome Base: For those who seek a touch of warmth and natural beauty, the oak seat paired with a chrome base creates a harmonious contrast that's both inviting and sophisticated.

4. Black Leather Seat: Luxury meets comfort with the black leather seat option. It not only adds a layer of sophistication but also provides a delightful coziness.

5. Special Fabric to Match the Room: When it's essential to integrate your LEM stool into your room's decor, the option to upholster it from a selection of special fabrics that matches the room's aesthetics is a game-changer. This choice allows for a cohesive look that blends the stool into its surroundings effortlessly.

These popular finishes cater to a wide range of design preferences, making the LEM stool a versatile choice for any interior. The stool continues to be a beloved choice among interior designers and architects. Personalize your LEM stool to reflect your style, and elevate the ambiance of your space.

Materials and Construction

Crafted with precision, the stool is primarily composed of high-quality steel, chosen for its remarkable strength and long-lasting resilience. This ensures that your LEM stool will stand the test of time, remaining an elegant addition for years to come. Its design prioritizes both strength and stability without compromising on its minimalist aesthetic. This means you get a neat uncluttered appearance without sacrificing durability. It's the perfect blend of form and function, where materials and construction unite to create a lasting piece of functional art.

lem piston stool

Is the LEM stool comfortable?

Although there is only a low backrest, the ergonomic shape of the seat makes it very comfortable to sit on. The functional footrest adds stability, and the swivel and height-adjustable features make it easy and convenient.


Lem Piston Bar Stool


Meet The Designers: Shin & Tomoko Azumi

Shin and Tomoko Azumi, the masterminds behind the LEM Piston Stool, formed Azumi Studio in London in 1995. Trained both in Japan and at the esteemed Royal College of Art in London, they achieved numerous accolades, including the coveted "Product of the Year" at the International Interior Design Awards in 2000 for the LEM Piston Stool. Their innovative design thinking and ability to create timeless pieces have left an indelible mark on the design world.

Lem Piston Bar Stool


The Original Lem Stool vs the Knockoffs

The LEM stool's exceptional design and popularity have inspired the creation of knock-off versions. While imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, it's crucial to choose the original LEM stool to experience its unparalleled quality. We all want the best, and when it comes to iconic design, there's no substitute for authenticity. Here are key indicators to spot a LEM stool dupe:


  1. Price Discrepancies: One of the most obvious indicators is a significantly lower price. If a deal seems too good to be true, it may be a sign that you're looking at a dupe rather than an authentic LEM stool.

  2. Materials Quality: Pay close attention to the materials used. Dupes often cut corners with cheaper materials that lack the durability and quality of the authentic LEM stool, which is known for its high-quality steel construction.

  3. Design Accuracy: Compare the stool's design to the original LEM stool. Dupes may struggle to replicate the authentic stool's precise minimalist profile, resulting in design inconsistencies.

  4. Lack of Brand Information: Authentic LEM stools are typically sold with detailed brand information, including the manufacturer's name (Lapalma), which ensures their authenticity. A lack of such information may raise suspicion.



About Lapalma

Lapalma, the makers of the LEM stool, is a heritage brand with a family history of great craftsmanship in Italian design. Joining craftsmanship with industrial techniques, efficient production and attention to detail, Lapalma produces and sells its quality designs in more than 81 countries around the world from its headquarters in Cadoneghe, ItalyContinuous research is aimed at creating truly innovative solutions. Chairs, armchairs, stools and tables are the result of ongoing research, that interact with each other. More than the furniture pieces themselves, they are creating furniture systems that connect people by personalizing their environments. View the entire Lapalma collection here.

 Lapalma furniture

FAQs about the LEM Piston Stool

  • Is the LEM stool suitable for commercial spaces?

    • Yes, the LEM stool's durability and design versatility make it a great choice for commercial spaces, including bars, restaurants, and offices.
  • Can I choose a custom color for the frame finish?

    • Yes, you can select from a variety of powder-coated frame finishes, allowing you to match the stool to your interior's color scheme.
  • How do I clean and maintain the LEM stool?

    • Regularly dust the stool with a soft, dry cloth. For stains or spills, use a mild, non-abrasive cleaner and a soft cloth. Avoid harsh chemicals that may damage the finish.
  • Is the LEM stool eco-friendly?

    • Lapalma is committed to sustainability and environmental responsibility. Their products adhere to eco-friendly standards, and they continually work to minimize their carbon footprint.

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