Priscilla Thompson March 29, 2020 Bar Stools
Bar stools and counter stools instantly call friends and family over to your entertaining space. Your first thought will probably be a matched set that features matching seat materials and frame styles (say, dark wood with a bourbon-colored seat). That's always a timeless option when you're designing a entertaining space. It's classic and easy on the eye, which is why we love that look. But there are other design concepts worth considering; we'll share a few here.
If you'll just be using the stools for a few drinks and a little conversation, comfort isn't as big of a factor, so you can focus on style. Most of the time, you'll see the back of your bar stools, so choose something that has a rear view you like. Retro bar stools in brightly colored vinyl will give your home bar a whimsical feel — like a burger joint or an ice cream parlor. Wood bar stools can feel traditional or casual, depending on the type of wood and whether or not the seat is upholstered. Sleek metal bar stools with low backs can turn your home bar into a swanky hangout.
Shape choices also abound. Some people prefer the look and feel of a classic, retro, rounded stool seat, while other like the solidity of a square or rectangle. Have you considered a super-comfortable curved, padded seat style? Backless, winged, or traditional chair back? How about the very updated, low-profile curved seats that are crafted of beautifully polished wood or acrylic?
Do you want to make a design statement or do you want more discreet seating? Do you want to match or layer materials in your kitchen? And do the stools you really want work in the space you have? Your answers can help you determine the style and height of stool that will ultimately work in your kitchen. If your stools are in a busy or narrow corridor or you don't want a tall profile that overwhelms your island, choose backless seating that can easily tuck under and away. But if you love to entertain and want something more lounge-worthy, choose a broad-backed stool with deep seating.
The shape and material of the base of a stool can change everything. Try the industrial or modern country contrast of a sleek metal base with a wood seat. Wood legs with a tweedy cloth seat feel chic and mid-century modern, in the same way wood plays up the natural textural elegance of leather and bonded leather. Bringing dark wood-and-leather stools into sleek, tile-and-steel contemporary space to add a sense of texture and elements-interplay is also in keeping with the new trend of “honest” natural materials design.
For starters, consider the decor and style of your kitchen. Is it modern or traditional? Do you want bar stools that will blend with or complement the room's other furnishings. Alternatively, would you prefer a style, material or color that will provide a contrast or a pop of color?