Barbara Stewart March 29, 2020 Bar Stools
Last, but certainly not least—how many bar stools should you buy? You'll base your answer on the size of your kitchen and island, the size of the stools themselves, the size of your family and your entertaining style.
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?
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.
This type of barstool has a seat mounted on a hydraulic column. At the touch of a lever, you can change the seat height, a plus for smaller children or when you need to accommodate guests of varying heights.
Few pieces of furniture are more frustrating to spend money on than items that come in multiples. Sure, it's easy to justify a large one-off splurge on a quality sofa or a statement chandelier, but furniture sets like barstools quickly add up. One $300 barstool might seem reasonable, but when you consider that you'll need a matching set of four, it suddenly becomes a costly buy.
If your kitchen is small, you can still provide seating, at least for your workspace. If you don't have a kitchen island, try a rolling cart that is tall enough to be a work surface. You can choose a simple stool with a round seat that is lightweight enough to be moved out of the way when necessary. You can also use a folding stool that can be tucked out of the way when it's not in use.