How to Choose Counter Stools
Shopping for counter stools might seem easy, but choosing the right ones can be tricky. Whether you want to add a touch of luxe with leather or a rustic feel with wood, there are options that suit any design aesthetic.
To narrow down your search, start by asking yourself what you and your family need. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Stools are available in a variety of sizes, styles and materials so you have lots of options when it comes to finding the perfect pair for your kitchen counter or island. When choosing a stool to compliment your kitchen style, keep in mind that your stools will be seen along important sightlines so you want them to coordinate with your overall space.
You also want to be sure that the height of the stool matches the counter or table so your thigh and knees don't get pushed into each other. Typically, a counter stool will be 24”-26” tall from floor to seat and a bar stool is 28"-32" from floor to seat.
It's possible that you will have a countertop that falls outside of this range and that isn't a problem, just be sure to take measurements before you go shopping so you don't end up with a stool that doesn't fit your space or hurts your legs when using it.
Another consideration is whether your stools will have backs. Some people prefer to have a bit of support with their backs when sitting at the counter but there are many who like to have no back for a sleeker look that allows them to slip under the counter more easily and disappear from view when not in use.
Other things to consider include armrests and whether or not your stools will swivel. Some designs have armrests that are upholstered and others are simple without any upholstery so you can choose the option that best suits your space and lifestyle.
There are also many types of stools to consider including a wide selection of wood finishes and metal. Leather can add a luxurious touch while some metal designs blend in perfectly with modern furniture styling. For a more casual look, there are wicker stools and even some that are designed to be stackable for easy storage when not in use.
Once you've determined the size and style of your stools, be sure to shop around and compare prices for the best deal on the stools that will make your kitchen the most comfortable. There's nothing worse than having a set of stools that aren't as functional as they are beautiful!
Counter stools aren't just about the height — their style can play an important role in your kitchen and overall design. Whether you go with a traditional wooden back or modern metal base, you can use the style of your stool to create a visual statement and tie the look of your kitchen together.
Before you begin searching for your perfect stool, take a spin through Pinterest or another inspiration source to see what types of stools you're drawn to. If you're looking to create a bold statement, choose a stool with an eye-catching design or color that will stand out against your counter or island. If you're aiming for a more subtle look, stick with neutral or metallic stools that will blend seamlessly with your existing kitchen decor.
You'll also want to consider how much comfort is a priority in your seating. If you're only planning on using your stools for quick coffee runs or to do a bit of prep, then perhaps comfort isn't as big of a concern. However, if you envision your family and guests lingering over cocktails or appetizers at the counter, then opt for a more comfortable seat.
The material of your counter stools will also have a big impact on the overall look of your space. Wooden stools are great for warm, rustic rooms, while sleek metals offer a more modern touch. If you're going for a more coastal or So-Cal vibe, then try out rattan or wicker options.
Finally, think about what else you'll be doing in your kitchen or dining area. If you have a lot of hard surfaces, you may want to choose a fabric or leather counter stool that adds some softness to the space.
Once you've figured out your stool style and size, you'll need to decide how many you'll need. Keep in mind that you'll likely want to have at least six inches between each stool to ensure everyone has enough legroom. When choosing the height of your stools, measure from the floor to the underside of your counter or table to find the right seating match.
There are many options when it comes to the materials used in counter stools. For a soft and inviting look choose a stool that is upholstered with fabric. This is a great choice if you have kids or pets as fabric can easily be cleaned and is stain-repellent. Leather is another option that adds a touch of luxury and pairs well with traditional kitchen decor. Metal stools can also be a good option for modern or industrial style kitchens. Finally, wicker and rattan stools add a natural and earthy aesthetic to any space.
The best material for a kitchen counter stool will be one that fits your personal style and can withstand what your lifestyle can throw at it. If you have kids or pets consider a fabric that is stain-repellent and easy to clean such as vinyl. Microfiber is another great option as it is soft and stain-resistant yet still quite durable.
Another important consideration is how much comfort you require from your stools. For example, if you have back problems or prefer to sit for long periods of time then you should opt for a stool with a back. Alternatively, if you are a minimalist and prefer to keep things streamlined then a backless stool is the way to go.
Once you have considered the type of stool that is right for your needs and the style of your kitchen you can start to browse designs and styles. Take some time to explore online galleries or Pinterest and write down the details of any stools that catch your eye. This will help you narrow down your search when the time comes to buy.
When buying a set of counter stools it is important to remember that you will need enough seating for your space and that there should be adequate legroom to be comfortable when sitting in the stool. It is recommended that you allow for 9 to 13 inches of space between the top of the seat and the underside of your kitchen or bar counter. This will ensure that you and your guests can enjoy a comfortable experience without feeling cramped or claustrophobic.
If you're in the market for new counter or bar stools, it's important to keep your budget in mind. There are plenty of stylish and affordable options available, from high-end designer brands to discount home stores. The most important factor is to determine what size stool will work best for your space, as well as any desired features like swivel, backless or adjustable options. Once you have an idea of the dimensions and functionality needed, it's time to start shopping.
While choosing a color or pattern can make the most visual impact, there are other considerations to take into account when shopping for kitchen stools. If the stools will be visible along key sightlines, such as the kitchen-dining-living area or family room, it's important to consider how they will coordinate with other furniture and finishes in those areas. Many spaces are a mix of styles, so try to avoid picking stools that clash with the rest of your decor.
Another factor to keep in mind when shopping for a new set of stools is durability. If you have kids or pets, you'll want to choose a durable material, such as leather or fabric, to ensure that they hold up over the long term. You can also find a wide selection of materials in both bar and counter height stools, so you're sure to find something that matches your current decor.
The type of stool you'll need depends on the height of your countertops or bar, as well as how many people you plan to seat. As a rule of thumb, you'll want your stools to be 6 to 8 inches shorter than the counter or bar they will sit at. This will help to keep your thighs from getting squished, which can be uncomfortable and unsightly.
If you're looking for a modern style to pair with your kitchen, check out this rattan Loren counter stool from Wayfair, which has a gorgeous woven detail and is priced less than the Serena & Lily Riviera model. Or, if you're seeking a rustic look, this reclaimed wood Emerson stool from World Market has a no-fuss design and is only $118 per chair!
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