Harmonie Gonzales February 26, 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.
Of course your home has entertaining space. Of course you love having people over. Of course you want everyone to be happy, sitting in blissfully in your great-looking party space. So, get your bar stool game on. When choosing a bar stool, comfort matters as much as the style. On a bar stool you're sitting higher, but you're there to relax. So the cushioning, seat shape and seat design all matter, as does the position of a great footrest, or foot bar. A metal plate on a wood footrest is also ideal, for saving wear and tear on the stool.
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.
When choosing bar stools, consider a few things: Do you want chairs with backs? How tall do they need to be? How many do you need or have room for? Do you want the stools to swivel? Do you want a style that blends with your kitchen's decor, or something that contrasts? What size will you need to ensure the look is proportional to your bar and the rest of the room?
If you'll use your stools where food is served, consider a low-maintenance material, such as leather, wood or metal. If you choose upholstered stools, choose a microfiber that easily wipes clean. Or, choose cushions that you can swap out. Whether the style of your kitchen is traditional, rustic or contemporary, you can find a stool that complements your look. There's no need to be too matchy-matchy. If, for example, your dining room is adjacent to your kitchen, it's not necessary to match the style of seating. And if you already have a lot of wood, try mixing it up with metal stools. Keep an open mind, and you'll find just the right look for your kitchen.
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.
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