Bar Stools-Who Knew?

Even though there has been an onslaught of new kitchen designs and updates to existing cooking spaces, furniture manufacturers have lagged behind. Common innovative ideas for renovating your kitchen include Peninsulas, Islands, Bars, and counter height tables/bistros. Obviously, these designs need the accompanying furniture: bar stools. However, it is much harder than it should be to find coordinating furniture. You would never have guessed how hard it will be to find the perfect bar or counter stools.

First we must understand that bar stools and counter stools are not the same. They are different heights; bar stools are taller. And although you can find a variety of available seating products, there are really not that many stools to choose from. Few manufacturers have made coordinating or even matching chairs to their counter, island, and bar sets. To help make finding the right stool as simple as possible, narrow down which is of greater importance to you: style or comfort? This is not to say you can’t have both, this just helps make your decisions easier. Also, cushioned seats are not a necessity. Chair pads that tie to the seatback will not only provide a more updated, pulled together appearance but they will make the chair more comfortable and again, increase your chances of finding the perfect seating arrangement. Stylish furniture may be easier to find than comfortable furniture, as you can see with the multitude of the wrought iron pieces available.

Keep your lifestyle in mind while you search and ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have a large family that gravitates to the kitchen/eating area?
  • Do you entertain a lot?
  • What will be the easiest to keep clean?
  • What will last the longest?
  • Do you change your décor often?

Consideration of these factors will eliminate 90% of the chairs that are available. Keep in mind that chairs are no longer just for sitting, they have become a large ticket item that makes a statement about your style and personality.

Keep in mind the decorative style of your area and make it work together. Contemporary styling can work in a fifties kitchen. French details can be added to a traditional or Tuscan styled room. Maintain a play on woods and incorporate painted pieces to avoid the clashing of colors.

Take note of the details on the chair. Ask yourself specific questions such as, are there:

  • Carvings on the legs or arms?
  • How are the arms styled?
  • What are the details on the chair back?

If necessary, keep all chairs in the same style and purchase a table that matches. If purchasing a full dining room set, use two different arm chairs and keep the side chairs and stools the same. Buy a different buffet or, if possible, purchase the table, buffet, and stools from the same set and vary the chairs. Keep in mind that wood colors vary although they may be the same species. This is due to the stain colors, techniques, age of the wood and its porosity. It is better to look at stain color rather than wood types. Even though a table may be cherry and your cabinets are cherry, they may look entirely different and clash.

Remember, purchase what you like and what works for you in spite of the limited choices: Only YOU will know how hard it really was to find that perfect piece…
Who Knew?

Decorating the kitchen? See our articles on Kitchen Décor!