July 13, 2018

I wish we had the option to swap stool as easy as swapping pillow covers!

Nowadays when it comes to selecting stools for a kitchen or bar area the quantity of options available on the market is almost overwhelming. Years ago we had to work with a completely different scenario; stools used to be bulky, functional but with a small variety of styles to choose from. The stool was almost a last-minute purchase, an item considered as been a part of a kitchen or bar décor/furnishing but not as important as it is today. At times, we are asked to design kitchens based on the homeowner selection of a specific item and the stool can be one of them!

So the questions that we ask homeowners when starting a selection for stools are:

  • Wood or metal?
  • Upholstered or wood seat?
  • Swivel or stationary?
  • What style?

The important things to think of are the way in which the space will be used and who will be using it. Keep these simple tips in mind to make your selection process a bit easier.

Decide where your stool will be located

Whether you are outfitting a retro diner style kitchen, a large size kitchen or a cozy breakfast nook can have a big impact on the type of counter/bar stool that you choose to buy. Think about the space you are decorating and try to find the best stool for the location whether it is an indoor, outdoor, kitchen, bar or commercial space as per restaurants and clubs. Remember what the theme of the space will be and you are one step closer to finding the perfect bar stool.

Take in the surroundings

Once you know what type of island/bar you will be furnishing, take a look around your surroundings. Is there space for arms on each of your new bar stools? What is the height of the counter? Likewise, you want to have a good idea of the traffic that will be coming and going in your kitchen/bar area. This can have an effect on whether or not you choose stationary, floor-attached stools or movable, swiveling stools.


Stools are manufactured at a variety of heights to suit a variety of needs.

For counter height stools the height ranges are 24 to 26 inches with counter height been approximately 36-39 inches high. For bar height stools 28 to 30 inches with counter height been approximately 40-42 inches high and for extra tall bar stools 33 to 36 inches.

If the widest part of your stool is 16″-18″ allow 21″-22″ of space per stool.
If the widest part of your stool is 19″- 22″ allow 24″ to 25″ of space per stool.
If you choose stools that swivel and/or have arms, you’ll need to add a bit more space between stools.

Shop for quality

As you begin to shop for bar stools, you will quickly realize that there is a wide range of prices to choose from. The best idea for shopping for new stools is to buy the very best that you can afford, especially for an highly utilized area, imagine a family with children that have snacks or meals often during the day and most luckily prefer a casual sitting arrangement instead of a dining table setting. With people coming and going regularly, it is important to have the highest quality stools, not only for safety reasons but for durability as well. Buying a higher quality bar stool can save you time, hassle and money in the long run. Look for dealer guarantees and warranties as you shop and be sure to check the return policies at the company you decide to buy from.

Remember function

Before you shop for bar stools, you will want to keep in mind the use that your new stools will receive. Think about how the stools will be used and how you want your guest to feel as they sit. If you are furnishing a kitchen or bar located in a high traffic area of your home, you may want to consider swivel top bar stools to make for easy conversation. If you are hoping to create a more intimate atmosphere then you may have the option for an upholstered stool that can keep your guest comfortable for a longer period of time. Whatever your atmosphere, having stools that help your guests feel at home is key.

With so many amazing choices in furniture today, choosing the right counter/bar stool for your space can be a daunting task. Today will be sharing with you some of the stools #OnMyListRDH and invite you to view our on-going and always growing list of stools pinned on the reDesign home Pinterest board!



Ballard Designs

Ballard Designs

Serena & Lily






ACRYLIC Via Wisteria

FUJI Via Domino magazine













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