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Breakfast bars and kitchen islands are becoming an increasingly common feature in modern kitchen designs. Whether it’s compact or open plan, the kitchen space is the focal point of any home.
When entertaining, guests will usually congregate in the kitchen area. Most will avoid the dining room. Its dining table and chairs can feel too formal for certain occasions. The serving of tea, coffee and biscuits is more suited to the casual comfort that bar stools provide. Choosing one, however, can seem like a daunting task because of the wide variety of styles and designs available. It is difficult to know whether to purchase a high stool, counter stool, or even a wooden stool. But fear not, our buying guide will help you to make the right decision and will navigate through the different types of bar stools, their features and even materials.
When choosing the right bar stool for you, it’s important to remember why you are purchasing one and the function it will serve. Do you wish to seat large groups of people in your home when hosting? Do you want an area in your home that you can drink your morning coffee? Or do you want to fill open space and add character to your room? Maybe it’s all of the above, but whatever the reason is, make sure this is at the forefront of your mind before purchasing.
You may be surprised to learn that bar stools and kitchen stools are not the same product. A bar counter tends to be higher than a kitchen island and because of this many stools will vary in height depending on their name. The key is to measure the stool and table before purchasing to ensure that you purchase the right height of stool for the counter you wish to place them at.
A bar stool will measure between 28” and 32” (71cm - 81cm) from the floor to the seat.
A kitchen stool will measure between 24” to 27” (61cm - 69cm) from the floor to the seat.
You should always allow clearance of between 8”- 10” (20cm - 25cm) from the stool seat to the top of the counter when measuring. This will help you to decide whether you should purchase a bar or kitchen stool.
Often, bar stools are used more frequently than dining chairs, therefore, you must find a good quality option that is not only sturdy and long-lasting but also age-less. There are many features on stools listed below worth considering before you fully commit.
Stools with adjustable heights will come fitted with a hydraulic gas-lift mechanism that can be altered to suit an individual’s height and comfort when seated.
A swivel feature allows the bar stool user to move from side to side and spin around.
Bar stools are available with both an adjustable height and swivel feature all in one.
There are a surprising number of stool design options to choose from, each with its own set of benefits.
A backless stool can be easily stored under a bar counter or kitchen island.
A high-backed stool will offer greater support and comfort to those sitting in it for long periods of time.
A footrest can elevate your feet and legs to a height more comfortable for your body. When there is no footrest and a person’s legs hang down, it can feel quite unstable. A footrest will add to the overall stability of a bar stool.
Once you have decided on essential features for your bar stool, the focus should turn to colour schemes and fabrics. A general rule of thumb is to follow the colour scheme or theme already in the room you plan to place the high stool in.
If you have a rustic wooden theme throughout the room, choose a wooden bar stool. Should you have a grey theme, pick grey bar stools. It is that simple!
Leather bar stools should also not be disregarded as they are ideal for those with children. Simply, wipe any spills away with a damp cloth.
If you prefer to incorporate different colours or shades throughout your home furnishings that is ok too. The sky's the limit. Just like other items of furniture, bar stools typically belong to a larger collection. Stools can be matched with dining chairs or benches from the same collection, and this will allow for consistency throughout your space. This is also a great way to experiment with colour.
Lastly, it is recommended to leave at least 6" (15cm) between each stool for optimal comfort and to allow for spinning around in a swivel chair.
Our full range of bar and kitchen stools can be found here.