More than just a chair: Kitchen bar stools aren't just for sitting down to eat at the counter. They can add a profound decorative statement to your kitchen while also providing a perfect place to relax and socialize in your home.
Although bar stools were originally designed for use in bars, as the name implies, these furniture pieces made their way to the kitchen fairly quickly when high countertops required taller chairs. In this idea guide, we want to help you make an informed decision when it comes to selecting the right stools for your kitchen.
When choosing a bar stool, you should not only look at style and design, but also its purpose. Do they only provide seating for a quick breakfast or a chat in the kitchen, or are they meant for longer lunches and dinners? The time you and your guests are going to spend in the chairs should be a key factor in your decision. You will have to look at chairs with comfortable padding, foot rests and back rests. However, the chair should also suit your kitchen, which is why you will have several style options to choose from, with many different designs that will work well with your specific interior.
Retro bar chairs can really draw the eye and create a focal point. They are usually available in bold colors and contain a lot of shiny chrome. Cherry red is an all-time favorite, but you also get them in pink, blue, purple and basically all the colors of the rainbow. These chairs are great if you have a funky, retro kitchen design or you are trying to recreate the 1950's diner look.
If you have a rustic kitchen, with a lot of wood and country-style decor, your bar stools should match this look. A simple wooden design will work perfectly in such a kitchen but will not necessarily be comfortable unless you go for an upholstered seat. Leather chairs also work well with the rustic look, but instead of the slick, modern black or white leather, stick to the browns. Wicker is also a great material that adds to the rustic look and is surprisingly comfortable to sit on. Fabric seats are also fine, as long as the print is in muted colors and not too funky.
Steampunk is a style that is gaining popularity and also making its way into our interiors, including kitchens. If you are going for the Steampunk look for your kitchen interior, go for chairs with ornate ball and claw feet. Anything with machine-like properties and an industrial look will also go well with a Steampunk kitchen. Wrought iron designs in a Victorian style are also very suitable.
If you have a more formal picture in mind and are simply looking for something elegant, black leather is always a good option. These chairs are both comfortable and stylish. There is also a wide range of very elegant upholstered chairs available, with stylish patterns. Faux suede is also a good choice and will blend in nicely with the rest of the kitchen interior.
Contemporary kitchens are often small, which is why space saving bar chairs are quite popular. You can, for instance, install "floating" chairs that attach to the island and simply swivel out when used and can be folded back neatly afterward. Contemporary bar stool designs are usually minimalist, with flowing, curvy lines or very geometric shapes.
Great contemporary designs are not hard to find; they are readily available from modern furniture stores such as UK-based Forrest Furnishing. Colors often include high-contrast black and white, bold colors, or beige and earthen tones.
Now that we've covered different bar stool styles, it's important to go over some functional basics about kitchen seating: