Barbara Stewart March 29, 2020 Bar Stools
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.
You enjoy the finer things in life, and bar stools are no exception. You want something with visual interest, quality craftsmanship and elegant details. It's important for every piece to match the rest of your home decor for a cohesive look that's as functional as it is ornate.
What material do you want your bar stools to be made of? For a traditional look, choose oak or other wood and stain or seal it to suit your tastes. Sleek lines in painted wood or metal will complement a contemporary kitchen. Or you can create an eclectic look by choosing bar stools in a contrasting style or color to the rest of your kitchen's decor. You'll also want to consider whether you want cushioned seats on your barstools. Fabric cushions add comfort, but they can be a hassle to clean after food spills. You can choose leather or vinyl instead. If you have children, you'll want your stools, including the seats, to be durable. A bar stool with a curved wooden seat can be just as comfortable—if not more so—than a cushioned seat.
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?
If you decide to cover your bar stool with leather, keep in mind that leather is a natural product made from the skin of cattle. As such, there will be variations in color and texture just as there are variations in texture and color of your own skin. Generally, the more expensive the leather, the more of these imperfections you will see. The "Cheaper" leathers used in furniture are often "corrected" leather. Corrected leathers are treated, sanded and dyed to remove these imperfections. Many are even stamped with a simulated grain pattern. Corrected leathers will most often match very closely from one piece to the next and may actually look more artificial than many vinyls! Consider it a unique trait if you happen to get a barbed wire scratch mark or even a "brand" mark. Many people pay extra for these imperfections that prove the authenticity of their leather.
They're not always cheap, but a cool stool can be the easiest way to upgrade your home dining situation. For many, a formal dining space is a thing of the past. With open-concept kitchens becoming more popular, the bar stool has gone from occasional seating to where you have your coffee every morning. If you're spending a good portion of your meal times sitting on a bar stool, then it's important to know how to choose the right one. A bar stool that's all at once comfortable, stylish, and functional.
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