Yvonne Carter March 29, 2020 Bar Stools
We recommend measuring the distance from the floor to the underside of your counter before ordering so you can narrow your product search to either bar height or counter height models.
There's more to ensuring your stool makes sense in your space than height. You'll also want to consider bar stool sizes. Ideally, it's good to have enough distance between each stool to accommodate counter height stool dimensions and also bar height stool dimensions.
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.
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.
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.
Do you want kitchen bar stools with backs? You'll need to determine how this style of bar stool will fit under the overhang of your kitchen island, and whether or not it will overpower your island visually. You'll also need to consider your budget. Bar stools come in a wide range of prices, from discount-store price tags to custom-designed big-ticket pieces.