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How to Choose a Bar Stool

How to Choose a Bar Stool 

Whether you're serving sandwiches to the kids on a sunny Saturday afternoon, chatting over a snack spread on the day of the big game, or settling in for a home cooked meal and a glass of wine at the end of the workday, you'll sit in comfort with bar stools from Crate and Barrel. Whatever the style of your kitchen, dining room or patio, you're sure to find a one that fits—choose from swivel and stationary, high-back and backless, and shallow- and deep-seated designs in nearly any style imaginable.

Understand the Room's Layout 

First, determine how many you need, and measure your space to determine how many you can fit. Take into account the stool arrangement—will all seats face the same direction? If positioning around a kitchen island, consider making space for a seat or two on either end for a setup more similar to a dining table. When deciding on the ideal number of chairs, remember that swivel and high-back stools require more room between them and that round styles take up slightly less space than square and rectangle designs.

Measure the Height 

Seat height is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing kitchen seating. For an accurate idea of your space, gather measurements from both the floor to the top of the counter as well as from the floor to the underside of the counter. For optimal comfort, look for a height that allows for 10 to 11 inches between the top of the seat cushion and the underside of the tabletop. Short or counter height stools are typically 24 inches from the floor to the top of the seat and are best suited for counters and kitchen islands. Alternatively, tall or 30-inch bar stools are fit for high pub tables and bars. For accessible, kid-friendly options, look for frames with a footrest or rung across the bottom legs and kitchen stools with height-adjustable seats.

Find Your Favorite Style 

Make, design and upholstery pattern will all be contingent on the overall style of your space. Round-seated backless or low back styles are sleek and minimal, and can look natural and rustic in wood or chic and modern in simple silver metals. A full-back bar stool has a look more akin to that of a classic dining chair. High-back chairs are especially fit for counters where people sit for a fair amount of time at once. Also look for styles that have arms for more formal settings.If fabric upholstery is best for your space, try coordinating patterned cushions with your counter tops—for example, marble already has a standout character, so neutral patterns pair best with it. In that case, experiment with color rather than pattern; midnight blue and mustard yellow are daring choices. Patterns, on the other hand, create a cool contrast with natural wood tabletops. With the elevated look of an upscale bar setting, leather upholstery is great for a bar room, game room or dining room. Consider coordinating your stools with other upholstered seating in the space. To integrate leather stools into a modern farmhouse chic kitchen, look for a design with a leather upholstered seat and natural wood legs.

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