It’s got four legs, cuts an impressive figure in any setting and scares the life out of my mother-in-law’s parrot.
Standing sturdy and supreme above the rest, it’s a tiger of a thing. And if something about its superior stance can reduce Jack the precocious African Grey to a squawking mess, then so much the better. What's not to love about the Hay About A Stool (AAS)?
For your average devotee, it's the durability of the AAS, or its simplicity that swings it. But for me, it's all about the fact that, after 15 years of being tormented by this pecking parrot, I can finally sit down in peace, without fear of being swooped on.
Every time I settle myself in this great all-rounder, my feather-brained foe takes one look at the AAS’s robust oak legs and inexplicably turns his back, shrieking: “It’s scary Jack, but I can cope…”
Never has the temptation to splash out on a job lot of these been greater. And with all sorts of options including different bases, seat colours and fabrics, it’s not just me who is all of a flutter about the About a Stool. Nor is it just about the stools – the Hay About A range extends to many, many chairs (some available in leather) and tables. Check out our website.
And then there’s the Hay Hee Stool, which is not as funny as it sounds, but just as striking, with its slender metal lines. Also available in Lounge and Dining Chair versions, the gorgeously galvanised wire is rust-proof, so in terms of outdoor use and longevity, you’re certainly laughing.
Similarly, if the name of another Hay range - Copenhague - triggers memories of the song “Wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen”, you could do worse than to tune into these wooden wonders. The key again is that, based on an old university chair, these are more simple than Simon, and every bit as tempting as his pies. The classic design is dished up in a table adaptation too, with many colours to tempt the palate, not to mention stools, with an extra toppings menu of upholstery options whetting your appetite.
But while my taste buds are tickled by these seats, that’s nothing compared to the soft spot I have for Hay’s Mags sofas, which come in both standard and soft versions.
The Mags may be minimalist, but with add-ons like chaises longues and corner modules, plus oodles of options where colour and fabric are concerned, the possibilities are endless. Deep-seated and with high armrests, it is endearingly durable.
The Mags Soft, meanwhile, is so squidgy I could squeeze it. Call me slushy, but something about this more relaxed counterpart makes me melt. Team it with a Hay cushion or three and again, with limitless laid-back compositions, the world really is your open-hearted oyster.
The real pearl in Hay’s shell though, is for me the Hackney Sofa. Quite aside from its foldable frame which allows for easy manoeuvrability, it boasts a single-section cushion generous enough to sleep on. And it positively wooed me to snuggle up to it. Available as a seductive two- or three-seater model, the initial impression when I first clapped adoring eyes on the blindingly beautiful blue version will stay with me for a long time.
And judging by its name, the Don’t Leave Me table, a cute little side number, evokes similar sentiments, as do the Tray and Slit tables, all in the most captivating colours. Rather more plus-sized models like the Frame Table and T12 also make a big impact. Meanwhile, alongside Woody Shelving and the Pinocchio Rug, the Strap Mirror on the wall is one of the fairest of all Hay’s goodies.
But on reflection, it's a certain feather-ruffling parrot-defeating seating that raises the biggest smile with me.
Hay - did you hear the one about the About A Stool? A little bird told me...