Bar Stools 101: Your Basic Guide

Bar stools provide a comfortable and elegant option for sitting with friends sharing a drink or just plain and simply relaxing and kicking back with some good conversation and maybe a card game or two. These versatile furniture pieces come in different styles and fit perfectly into various parts of the home. With the wide variety of bar stools available on the market, you need adequate information to choose the most suitable type of stool for your lifestyle and home design. Here is a compact and informative guide that presents the most important factors to consider when you are buying a new set of bar stools.

Location and Number of Stools

Bar stools are excellent for small areas within the home and outdoors. It is important, however, to determine the main purpose your stools will fulfill within the home. You need to decide whether you will use them to add elegance to your garden, to relax in your patio, to save space in your kitchen, or to sit in your family bar or dining area. In addition, you should determine the number of barstools you will need based on the size of your counter or bar. You should leave a space of about 8 to 12 inches between each barstool. This will enhance free movement and provide adequate space for people to dine and socialize.

Style Preference

Various styles and designs of bar stools are released regularly by major brand manufacturers. Most of the barstools existing today can be classified into these groups: traditional, retro, contemporary and casual. The traditional design has curving lines, dark wood and a lot of hand-painted details. Retro designs replicate the barstools used in the 1960s and 70s. Contemporary designs look sleek with little curvature and clean lines. Casual designs are modern designs which have country aesthetics.

Material for Base and Cushion

Presently, most barstools have a wooden or metal base. The metals commonly used for the base include aluminum, chrome, and wrought iron. Aluminum is durable, lightweight and has a clean, modern appearance. Chrome fits perfectly into most dining areas and blends well with bright colors. Wrought iron is ideal for use in kitchens and gardens due its strength and beauty.

Examples of wooden materials used to make the base of barstools include: bamboo, beech, cherry, rattan and some exotic hardwoods such as teak, boxwood, mahogany, and ebony. To make the padding on the seat of the barstool, most stool designers use fabric, vinyl or leather. Leather may cost a little more but it will last much longer than fabric or vinyl.

Height of Stool

It is important to select the correct height for your barstool unless you are purchasing an adjustable stool. Typically, the space between the bottom of the table and barstool seat should be about 12 inches. The height of the bar stool should correspond to the height of the bar or table where it will be used. Stools used at a makeup table or bathroom vanity should be 22” or shorter. At the kitchen counter, the stool should be between 23” and 28” while stools used at family bars should have a height ranging between 29 and 32 inches. When buying barstools with arms, ensure that the arms will fit below the bar.

The information and guidelines provided here will make it easy for you to choose a suitable set of bar stools for your home. The most important factors you should consider before buying your new barstool include the place where it will be used, the design, the materials it is made from, and the height of the stool. Dining and Stools offers a wide variety of bar stools sure to meet your needs. Contact us today.