Family and friends have always gathered in the kitchen during a get together. It doesn't matter if we are in my daughter's town home, at our friend's beach bungalow or up at the family farm, the kitchen is the place to be. The kitchen counters are used for everything; food prep surface, office, craft space or as an extra dining table. To make this area as useful as possible we purchased bar stools to help with additional seating and to cozy up the space. Several things became apparent as we began our research to make our purchase.
Bar stools that are counter height come in all shapes, colors and materials. You can spend as much, or as little, as you want, but remember, you get what you pay for. You can buy bar stools that need assembly, or you can buy them ready to use.
The first thing to remember when you begin you search is to purchase the correct height of stool for the counter. Counters, which were once standard in size, now have been customized, and range from those that accommodate shorter people to counters made for tall folks. A comfortable height for a bar stool is for the seat to be 10 to 12 inches below the bottom of the counter.
An additional consideration when planning your purchase is the number of stools that your counter can comfortably accommodate. It is standard for there to be approximately 26 to 28 inches of space between the centers of each stool seat. This can vary, of course, depending on the style that you have selected. Some chairs have large backs, arms, and can swivel, so a minimum of 6 inches between stools, and any wall is ideal.
Next consider the type of materials. The stools, legs, and supports, are usually made from wood or metal with cushions or seats being made from a variety of materials. Your selection here will be based on personal preference, and the overall look that you are trying to achieve in your kitchen. Wood bases with cloth cushions, make for a warm, homey, look, while stools made from metal, leather, vinyl, or composite seats, give a more contemporary feel to the room.
Your budget and the intended use for the stools will play the two major roles in the selection process of your bar stools. Just remember to get the correct height for the counter and choose the other options that appeal to you and reflect your personal style.