Sally Hill March 29, 2020 Bar Stools
Bar and counter stools can be a fun way of bringing together the design in your dining space, whether you're tying together metal finishes or incorporating a fun pop of color on the upholstery. They're also pieces that you'll be using every day, so it's important to find comfortable and functional 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.
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.
Like armless barstool designs, backless barstools create a more streamlined look. Backless barstools can also slide right under the counter, which makes them take up less visual space, a plus for smaller spaces.
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.
A beautiful bar stool isn't that useful use if it doesn't fit under your counter or bar. So start by measuring your bar or counter's height. The key is to account for legroom when choosing a size.
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