Featured today is a list of places to buy kitchen stools, barstools, or counterstools plus some helpful tips. Throughout our 38+ years experience in kitchen design, we noticed the needs of clients vary when it comes to purchasing kitchen stools and seating. Here are a few things for you to consider when purchasing stools for your kitchen island or bar.

Kitchen Stools With a Back

Do you want your kitchen stools to have a back? Having a back on your barstools offers extra support especially for kids or for sitting long hours at the kitchen counter, but be careful when buying stools that swivel. You will need to tell your family and guests to swivel out of the stools gently and carefully because swivel stools with backs notoriously bang into the countertop edge. This causes damage and wear to the stool’s finish, especially on wood stools. If you live with a bunch of “twirlers,” you might want fixed stools over swivel.

Backless Barstools

Do you want your barstools to be backless? Backless barstools work really well when you need to maximize the floor space in a smaller room. You can easily tuck and hide the stools underneath the countertop or bar saving floor space. If you plan to work from home using your kitchen countertop as an second office, a backless barstool can be hard on the back when sitting for longer periods of time. 

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Counter Stool Height vs Bar Stool Height

Barstools are different than counter stools, and that difference is the height of the stool. Barstool height needs to be higher than counter stool height, so it is important that you know the height of the counter first. Typically a bar counter is 42″ and a regular countertop height is 36″ making  30″ the ideal size for a barstool and 24″  ideal for a counter stool. You have a little leeway to go up or down in size based on the height of the seat cushion. Leave about 9-13″ of space between the top of the seat and the underside of the counter.  

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Custom Designed Stools: Seat Cushions and Upholstery for Kitchen Stools

You can purchase barstools and counter stools ready made in a variety of materials, fabrics, and finishes. Many companies also offer you the ability to fully customize the look with upholstered cushions, pads, finishes, or other materials.

Buying your own fabric COM (Customer’s Own Material) will typically need 1-2 yards of fabric per stool depending on the stool. Check with your designer as to the exact amount of fabric you should order and send to the manufacturer. Be sure to note that COM stools are made to order and in many cases are non returnable. Check with the vendor or interior designer you are working with.

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Buying Designer Barstools: Where do designers shop for barstools & counter stools?

Here are some places to shop when looking for designer barstools. Some you can buy direct, and some you need to buy through your interior designer or local retailer: Ballard Designs, Eichholtz, GlacSeat Bistro Stools, CR Laine, William D. Scott, Palacek, Ambella, Woodbridge, KnollLamps Plus, Designmaster Furniture

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