Kamilka Rafal. Kitchen Appliances. May 08th , 2017.
I’ve been specifying a lot of bar stools for projects lately, and I feel like I’m running out of options! There are so many challenges in finding the right one for the right clients. For some people, comfort is king; for others, it’s all about looks. Some people need to swivel while others want to stay stationary. There’s also the issue of depth; I’ve had the unfortunate experience of unearthing the perfect bar stool, only to find out the overhang at the bar is atypically shallow, and there won’t be enough room. And no matter what the style is, staying mindful of scale is always important, not just with regard to the space they sit in, but also in context with other furnishings.
This is a beautifully appointed kitchen. The scale is just right, and while the wood seats are similar in coloration to the brown cabinets and light fixture, the movement in the wood and the blackened steel bases give them distinction, making them stand apart.
One of the most universal designs, this style of bar stool manages to be both light and industrial with a healthy dose of softness in the wood seat. This one falls on the lower end of the vast pricing spectrum, and I'll tell you, it's hard to find barstools that are both affordable AND handsome.
Form Bar Stool
This barstool, though similar to the one above, has a little hint of a back, and can be found in the higher price range. If you treat the counter as more of a landing pad for quick snacks and chatting while cooking, having a full back isn't quite as important. A low back is nice, though.
Of course, there's always the option to keep them ultra-fresh by dipping them in paint, white or any other color, for that matter!
If you want your barstools to be conversation-starters up close, but kind of disappear from a distance, acrylic is the way to go.
If space is limited, or you're particularly into a non-cluttered look, consider simple, unembellished stools that stow under the bar top.
Tolix Bar Stool
Among a lot of strong, heavy woods, metal bar stools breathe a little fresh air into spaces by introducing a contrasting material and texture.
Not ready to embrace the industrial look fully? Try Phillippe Starck's riff on the Emeco chair with a pinch of high-polish tradition.Are you having a good week? We now have 2 out of 4 down with a cold so the Emergen-C is flowing like nobody’s business. I think it’s actually working for me ( thanks, Lauren). Today I am sharing a bit about our bar stool hunt. Turns out it’s a bit harder than I thought, especially when children are involved.
COUNTER STOOL OR BAR STOOL?
First and foremost you need to measure your island or bar area. There are two heights of stool. For the most part, they are called counter stools and bar stools. Most kitchen islands and countertops are 36″ high. That is the industry standard which means a that a counter stool is best at about 24″-27″ in height. Bars, like in restaurants or outdoor areas are usually 42″ in height and require a taller stool (28″-33″).
WITH OR WITHOUT A BACK?
Ahhh. This is the sticky one. So without question the comfortable stool has a back on it. At least in my book. Even my sister was saying I had to go with backs because it’s so much more comfy to hang out at an island when you can lean back. When we go out on date nights, I am always the girl looking for the bar stool with a back on it. I get it. I agree. But let me share a story with you.
I bought these stools when we first moved in so my children could immediately start sitting at our island. They were inexpensive (only $37 each) and would buy me time to find the perfect stool for us. They came quickly and I assembled them myself. My kids couldn’t wait to sit in them. And they did. Once.
It was such a crazy thing to watch but they stopped sitting in them and sat at our breakfast table. One day I was looking at the stools and the backs just bugged me. I didn’t like how they played with the rest of the kitchen so I removed the backs. The kids came home from school that day and hopped up on the backless counter stools and have not gotten off. Ha. They sit there ever day after school. I am convinced that having to pull out the stool with the back was different that just hopping on a backless stool. May sound CRAZY but I saw it happen.
ROLLING WITH BACKLESS
So we are rolling with backless stools for now. I am still looking for something that really jumps out at me but it’s much harder than I thought. Either I don’t love or it has upholstery or it’s crazy expensive. Our metal ones are great for now and the kids love them. My wise dad even reminded me that you make certain design choices based on where you are in life. Right now we are in the kids doing homework stage at the island rather than cocktails with my girlfriends stage and I need to design for that. The kids prefer backless and that’s what we will go with right now. It will change down the road, I am sure.
*Also note that backless are very dangerous for small children. With my children being 8 and 10 I feel comfortable with the backless but I highly recommend backs for young kiddos in the house.
Another French-y industrial option that says "drawing stool" more than "bar stool." I love the play of materials and elements in this kitchen/wine room. The industrial chairs are a whimsical addition, helping the space feel anything but typical.
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