How To Find The Right Kitchen Bar Stools

How To Find The Right Kitchen Bar Stools

How many, how high and what should they be made of? There are lots of things to consider if you want your kitchen bar stools to work in unison with the rest of your scheme. To help, we asked two of the industry’s top interior designers what they'd do…
Photography: Bergman & Mar

Beth Dadswell, Imperfect Interiors

Consider the style and the height. High backs offer plenty of support but can look cumbersome and bulky in a small space. On the other hand, backless stools don’t come with any support but they can be pushed underneath an island or counter top when they’re not being used. In my view, something with a low back and arms looks stylish without cluttering up a space.

Don’t be tempted to cram too many seats in. Remember, you need enough elbow room to be able to get in and out without asking your neighbour to shuffle up. The ergonomics are just as important as the look.

Inspect the finish. Upholstered fabric stools are comfortable and can add a luxurious element. But unless the fabric is wipeable, they won’t wear as well. Wooden stools aren’t comfortable for long periods of time, so something like rattan or wicker might be a better option if you like the natural look. Plus, they’re easy to clean.


Chris Snook for Imperfect Interiors

Rococo London Interiors; TH2DESIGNS

Irene Guner, Gunter & Co

Don't confuse bar stools with counter stools. The amount of times you walk into a home to see barstools which sit at a standard 90cm high kitchen worktop, and leave no space whatsoever... the item most of us need in our homes is called a counter stool. The average height for a counter stool is 67cm, whereas a barstool seat height often reaches up to 82cm.

Be realistic about how often you'll use them. Most models aren't very comfortable. However, if you end up doing work on your laptop or homework with the children, comfort is such an important factor. A small back rest can still look stylish but offer great support, and an upholstered seat makes all the difference.

In terms of quantity, go for a minimum of two and a maximum of four. It's ideal if they can sit around the corner of an island so the space is still sociable, too. Having more than four tends to be overkill – if you have enough space for six bar stools, you certainly have room for a dining table.

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