MMDH: Design Tips for Counter Stools

 
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Have you ever struggled finding the perfect stools for your kitchen island?? If so, here are a few tips and tricks of the trade to take you into final selection mode!

TIP 1: Height

If you have a counter height surface (36”H) you are looking for an approximately 24” seat height. If you have a bar height surface (41”H), you are looking for an approximately 30” seat height. Simple, right?!

design and photo:  reference link … 24” counter stool at counter height surface

design and photo: reference link… 24” counter stool at counter height surface

 

You can see the difference in leg space between the photo above vs. the photos below, when a bar stool is used for a counter height surface. Bar height stools will still function as a standing perch for adults at a counter height surface, although your kiddos are going to look like they are grown adults sitting at the counter, and adults will have their circulation cut off quickly if they try to schooch in! Clearly, these photos show how well this combo can work aesthetically, although the function upon install is not always ideal.

design & photo:  reference link … 30” bar stool at counter height surface

design & photo: reference link… 30” bar stool at counter height surface

design & photo:  reference link … 30” bar stool at counter height surface

design & photo: reference link… 30” bar stool at counter height surface

Tip 2: Width

You can use the rule of thumb of allowing a minimum of 24” in width per stool. Small scale stools are on average 18”-20” in width, so the few extra inches will give you space to pull them out from the counter and provide your guests a bit of elbow room. If you are hoping to use fully upholstered and/or swivel stools, 26”-30” per seat is more practical to give your guests room to breathe and swivel! Again, aesthetically, the breathing room vs. cozy squeeze can look equally as pleasing, but you need to manage your own expectations on the number of stools vs. functionality you will be desperate for while using the stools.

design & photo:  reference link … ample room to breathe with a bold color and unique shape that holds its own.

design & photo: reference link… ample room to breathe with a bold color and unique shape that holds its own.

design & photo:  reference link  … tighter squeeze with a fully upholstered arm stool.

design & photo: reference link … tighter squeeze with a fully upholstered arm stool.

design & photo:  reference link  … just right fit to fill the space, while maintaining some room to breathe.

design & photo: reference link … just right fit to fill the space, while maintaining some room to breathe.

Tip 3: Style

While the scale of the your kitchen stools is by far the most important factor in the selection process, aesthetic is a VERY close second. Kitchen stools can be an investment, although they are one of the most versatile accents in your kitchen. They are not at all permanent fixtures! You should always have fun with your stool selection, so if you are in between two options, go for the one that is a bit farther outside of your comfort zone and live a little!

design & photo:  reference link  … there was the definite option of going with a super sleek, low on character stool here… but this unique choice ramps the space up dramatically even beyond that glorious waterfall.

design & photo: reference link … there was the definite option of going with a super sleek, low on character stool here… but this unique choice ramps the space up dramatically even beyond that glorious waterfall.

design & photo:  reference link  … classic pattern pop adding huge personality… bonus that this stool has the option of fully hiding under the overhang, for ease of serving from all sides!

design & photo: reference link … classic pattern pop adding huge personality… bonus that this stool has the option of fully hiding under the overhang, for ease of serving from all sides!

design & photo:  reference link  … the perfect color and textural pop to an otherwise classic neutral kitchen.

design & photo: reference link … the perfect color and textural pop to an otherwise classic neutral kitchen.

 

There is always room for error with a kitchen stool selection, so “measure twice/order once” and follow your gut on a style that adds some personality.

 
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