How to Choose Bar and Counter Stools

Our simple, step-by-step guide to choosing the best stools for your space.

27 March –

How to Choose Bar and Counter Stools
How to Choose Bar and Counter Stools
01 Playful Office Space

Picking bar and counter stools for your space can be easier said than done, and we get a lot of questions about how to do it right. Here, a step-by-step guide of things to consider when making a purchase.

There are a lot of guides out there on how to choose the right height and style of bar stools and counter stools. But, in our opinion, the hardest part about picking bar stools and counter stools isn’t measuring, but knowing what will work well in your existing kitchen. So, we decided to spill a few of our secrets to create a simple, step-by-step guide with tips from our design team. Here is our guide to picking the right bar stools and counter stools for your space.

Find more styling tips and design guides on the pages of The Art of Home.


Pick Your Height

First, let’s cover the basics. One of the most frequently asked questions we get is, “What is the difference between counter stools and bar stools?” Counter stools are used under countertops, measuring from 34″ to 39″ tall, and bar stools are used under bars, measuring at a standard of 42″. The standard counter stool height is 24″ to 29″ tall, allowing it to fit directly underneath the countertop. The standard bar stool height is 29″ to 32″. Although, there are exceptions, typically, any bar stools or counter stools at standard heights should fit under any bars or countertops at standard heights. Once you measure your countertop or bar, double check the measurements of the stool you are looking at to make sure it falls under the standard sizing guidelines. You want to make sure your legs and knees have enough space to fit comfortably under the counter or bar when you’re sitting on the stool.


Consider Function

When Shea and the design team are picking bar stools or counter stools for their clients, they always talk to them about function. There are many reasons to choose one type of stool over another. Some of our clients with little kids want to avoid swivel or backless stools, while others want to be able to move them throughout their home for multiple uses. Whatever your reasoning, make sure you consider how you need the stool to function before making the purchase.

Think about how you will use the stools in your home. If you want flexibility, consider a swivel or backless stool. If you’re prioritizing comfort, look at stools with arms or upholstery.

Design Tip


Choose Your Style

Although this is the fun part, it can also be the trickiest. Like so much in interior design, there are countless ways to think about the “right” way to do something. When it comes to choosing bar stools or counter stools, that couldn’t be more true.

What works well is so dependent on the style of your kitchen. It’s hard to put our finger on what we “always do,” when picking bar stools and counter stools,(or anything for that matter), but here are a few things our design team recommends.

This applies to much more than just stools, but texture is crucial in creating visual interest in a space. We love to put an unexpected twist on the usual, and bar stools and counter stools provide the perfect opportunity to bring an interesting element to the kitchen. Look at stools with raw, rough wood, woven seats, boucle fabric, or hand-tied bows.

Date Posted
27 March