Interior Design Tips: Selecting the Perfect Barstools

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One of the most puzzling interior design challenges relates to a very basic piece of furniture: the barstool.

Determining the height, scale and style can feel more like an engineer’s task than furniture shopping. To make it a little easier, we’ve asked our interior design team to provide some helpful hints and suggestions.

Selecting the Correct Barstool Height Can Be Tricky

Barstools are designed in a variety of heights. Generally, a counter-height design has a seat that is 24 inches from the ground. A bar-height design is approximately 30 inches from the ground.

Despite these guidelines, you will find a great deal of variation in height, even if the barstool is identified as being bar- or counter-height.

The safest approach is to ignore the label and measure instead. For maximum comfort, the seat height should be 10 to 12 inches shorter than the counter or bar top surface. Adjust that up or down based on your family’s general size or if children will be using the seats frequently.

Use Interior Design Principles for Determining Barstool Scale

Naturally you want to select barstools depending on your interior design and furnishings. However, you must also consider your goals for the space and how your family and guests will use the seating.

If your décor is modern or minimalistic, follow that style when selecting your seats. Ornate, carved stools will look mismatched. Likewise, choosing sleek metal or acrylic barstools is probably not the way to go if your furnishings are traditional or rustic, or especially large in scale.

To maximize seating capacity, select stools that are more sleek in scale. Choose barstools without arms or, if you really want to maximize the space, without backs.

It’s important to remember that armless, backless stools aren’t the most comfortable option, nor are they the safest choice for young children (especially bar-height designs). So, if you want to use these seating areas for socializing and entertaining, or for the kids to do homework, you may want to choose barstools with comfortable upholstery and at least backs, if not arms and backs.

Creative Ideas for Barstools from Professional Interior Designers

If you have a home office – and who doesn’t these days? – consider using a barstool rather than a task chair. If you prefer to use something other than a traditional desk, or if your space won’t accommodate one, your options expand greatly if you use a barstool for your workspace.

Interior designers have begun adding barstools in a variety of unconventional areas around the home. Adding a simple stool in the master bath provides a flexible option that makes getting ready easier. Add a tall stool or two in the corner of the kitchen, so family and friends can relax and chat while you finish your prep work or cleanup. (And we won’t tell if you grab one from time to time while chopping veggies!)

If space allows, add a barstool in your foyer or entryway. You’ll be amazed at how much easier it is to put on and take off snow boots or wet shoes when you can sit down!

In the Salt Lake City, Utah, area, look to Guild Hall Home Furnishings for all of your fine furnishings and home accessories needs. Our friendly staff of experienced professionals is always on hand to help you, and to provide all of the interior design advice you need.