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Have a Seat – Let Us Tell You All About Bar Stools

Now that you have created the perfect bar – one that's great for entertaining party guests, enjoying a meal with family, or just chilling with friends – you'll need the ideal stools to complete the package. From swiveling to stationary, seat height to adjustable footrests, and metal versus wood construction, these are all important aspects to consider.

It's all part of the fun when decorating your home's entertainment area, and to help you in this endeavor we've put together a handy guide.

Size – with Bar Stools, It Matters

Perhaps the most important part of purchasing a bar stool is in the height. You might have found the coolest color and the most appealing fabric, but if the seat is too short or too tall for your bar, then the stools won't be very practical, and no one will be comfortable sitting in them.

The Tall and Short of It

If your stools are too tall, your family and friends might bonk their knees when they sit down. And that's not good. Either is a stool that's too short. You don't want your guests to feel like they're looking up at the bar.

Bar stools average a 30-inch seat height. This is an important measurement to remember, especially when it's easy to confuse a bar stool with a counter stool. Counter stools are typically shorter, with an average height of 26 inches. Just remember, bars are higher than counters, and therefore bar stools are taller; they can go up to 34 inches for tall models.

Give Me Some Space

We all like to have a little elbow room, right? So when planning your purchase, be sure you calculate the amount of space you will need between each seat. It's such an important detail that there is even an industry standard. The suggestion is to allow for 26 to 30 inches of space between each stool. That way, everyone is comfy and can enjoy a drink or meal without spilling it on the person next to them.

Wood vs. Metal

There are two main materials to consider here: wood and metal – two different materials that present two different vibes in your bar area. Wood, especially with leather upholstery, is perfect for rooms with a darker decor, such as a "man cave" type of setting. Bar stools made of lighter wood, on the other hand, are ideal for a breakfast bar, or kitchen bar, in a bright, sunny room.

Metal makes a good choice, too, when you need versatility. They go well with all sorts of home decor, and are particularly ideal in a contemporary eating or entertaining area. In addition, they are more adjustable, which is nice when you have friends and family who come in assorted sizes.

Whether you go with metal or wood, you also have to decide between a swiveling or non-swiveling model. Swiveling styles make it easier for everyone to turn to their left or right when chatting. (Plus, they're fun to spin around in when no one is looking!)

Get a Lift

One more thing to look out for when shopping for metal bar stools is a covered piston. Be sure that the hydraulics or gas lifts are covered. No need to send guests home with greasy pants. Make sure that the pistons have a sufficient sleeve over them for protection.

Seat Upholstery

After you've picked the right height, the right construction, and taken into account the best spacing for your stools, it's time to look at the seat – the place where you take the proverbial load off. For wood styles that aren't upholstered you have the option of adding cushions, and since there are many designs from which to choose, it's easy to match the cushions to your decor.

If the stool comes upholstered, it's always good to have upholstery that's easy to clean and maintain. Materials like microfiber, polyester, vinyl, and leather are more stain-resistant and durable.

So there you have it. Stoolology – the science of bar stools. Have fun shopping for your perfect match!

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