When shopping for a new bar stool, there are a few questions you need to ask yourself to ensure you find exactly the right one for you and your family—or, as it might happen, your business. Taking the time to properly consider what you need out of your bar stools before you start splashing the cash could save you a headache in the long run, as well as prevent that awful feeling of buyer’s regret.
1. FUNCTION OVER FASHION
As furniture tends to be a bigger purchase than most we make (groceries, socks and undies, etc.), it makes sense to being by thinking about your priorities carefully. For example:
- Is your main concern the right vibe, or do you care mainly about comfort?
- Do you prefer stationary designs or do you want your bar stool to swivel?
- Does the height of your bar stool need to be adjustable? (More on this below.)
- Do you want a bar stool with the back support or are you looking for more of a classic bar stool look?
These are all important questions and it can be useful to ask the other members of your household for input, especially those who might be found sipping a G&T on them one day!
2. MIX OR MATCH?
Once you've assessed your priorities, you can move on to the fun stuff: interior design. This is all about whether you'd like your new bar stools to blend in with your existing décor, or whether they ought to make a bold statement in your dining area. The first option is the most practical and the easiest (see, for example, the images above and below), although in some situations you might be missing a big opportunity to transform your bar space. For example, in a room with relatively mellow aesthetics, bar stools in a contrasting colour or style are utterly striking and can really define the room as yours.
3. GET THE HEIGHT RIGHT
Bar stool height can be one of the most befuddling parts of the whole buying process. Often, this because many of us approach buying bar stools with mistaken assumptions. One we encounter all the time is that bar tables proper and breakfast bars are roughly equivalent. To put it bluntly, they simply are not. By Australian standards, kitchen breakfast bars are usually around 900mm high, while bar tables and bar-height counters tend to measure around the 1050mm mark.
The corollary assumption is that bar stools and breakfast stools can be used interchangeably. After, it would save money and be highly convenient if you could pop your matte black breakfast stools under a bar table in the next room! Alas, as you now can appreciate, the 150mm height difference between a breakfast bar and a bar table proper makes all the difference.
Below, we've tabulated the standard relationships between seat heights and various tables you might find in a kitchen or commercial restaurant. But remember: if your bar-height counter or table is more than a centimetre or two outside of standard Australian dimensions, you should seriously consider a bar stool with an adjustable seat so that you can adapt the height to your needs. Note also that your needs may change if the people using the seats are unusually small or large.
|Dining table||Breakast bar (aka counter-height dining table)||Bar table proper|
|Table height||750 mm||900 mm||1050 mm|
|Chair or stool height||450 mm||650 mm||750 mm|
STILL STUCK, OR WHAT TO LEARN MORE?
If you still don't really know what to do, never fear! Our staff are here to help you at your nearest store. While you're there, you can see and feel our great range of bar stools and other dining furniture in person to help you finish your family home in a way that doesn't cost the earth.