Bar Stool Buying Guide

A Growing Home Trend

The bar stool may once have been the preserve of...well bars and pubs, it is now a very common and very desirable option for seating in and around the kitchen. The breakfast bar or kitchen island continues to grow in popularity and along with it the bar stool.

It is safe to say the term bar stool covers a huge range of different types of seating from designer breakfast bar stools and shaker style bar stools to sumptuous barista stools. 


The Heart of our Home

Part of the appeal is the ability to sit and socialise in the kitchen while food is being prepared. Long gone are the days of being shut away while guests drink and chat in the lounge, the kitchen is not only the heart of the home it's also the social hub. So getting the right bar stool for your kitchen area is crucial.
Choosing something that will suit your lifestyle and those of other household members, something that will look good, stand up to daily use and be comfortable is not an easy task. So here is our very own buying guide to help you choose the right bar stools for your home.


Cheeky Chairs


Stool Use & Location

Before anything else and no matter how much you have fallen in love with a certain type of stool you need to think about where they will be and how they will be used. For some, a bar stool is exactly that and will be used in a home bar area or a commercial setting. For others, and by far the most common use, is at a breakfast bar in the kitchen or around an island.


Cheeky Chairs
Whilst the location does not really effect the type of stool it should effect the amount of use it will get and therefore affect the build quality needed. However, even an occasional bar stool should be comfy and should look amazing so there are very few situations where quality is not key. 

Bar Stool Height

The average height of a kitchen breakfast bar is around 90cm while a commercial public bar is likely to be higher at around 110cm.

To make sure you have enough leg room to actually sit down you should be looking at a stool height of 70-75cm. We think 20cm of leg room is ideal. It is important to make sure you measure your bar height when considering bar stools. Crucially always measure from the underside not the top of your bar or island to the floor to obtain the correct measurement.

While it is good to be able to fit under the bar when seated it is not ideal to be too far below as eating, reading and feeling comfortable sitting depends on the surface being easy to reach. Our bar stools can be cut to any height between 65 and 74cm which should be perfect for almost ever home bar.


Cheeky Chairs

Bar Stool Width

When choosing your new bar stools colour, design, quality and material are all generally at the top of the list but width is, in fact, one of the most important factors. No matter how wonderful your stools are, if people have to sit so close to each other that if one wants to get down everyone has to move then a mistake has been made!

The length of the bar obviously plays a big role here but it is a good rule of thumb to leave around 15cm between each stool. James, our wonderful bar stool model are 48cm wide so all you need to do is measure the length of your bar, subtract 48 x the number of stools you want and then another 15 x the number of gaps. This calculation might be worth doing before the final bar dimensions are in place so you can get the number of stools you want rather than being limited after the bar has been installed.



Cheeky Chairs
The width of a stool is also important when it comes to comfort. Some bar stools are only 30cm wide which, while allowing you lots of seating places, may not be ideal for comfort. In contrast others are up to 70cm wide which, unless you have a huge bar area, may be a little over the top. Around 50 cm bar stool width allows for a good amount of seats while also meeting the comfort needs of most people. 

Stool Type

There are hundreds of different types of stools from low back to high back, leather and metal to wood and fabric; some spin, some don't, others have gas risers and some do not. In terms of style our shaker bar stools are very popular but barista bar stools are also very common as well as many different interpretations of each style. 

The key in choosing the right stool type is to think about the style of your kitchen or bar area and work with that. Adding a modern set of bar stools to a traditional kitchen may not work so plan ahead and set the tone before you start looking. It is worth remembering that in many cases chrome and metal finishes can tarnish over time and cheaper painted finishes can also wear away. All of our stools are finished to a very high standard and are designed to last which means you do not have to worry about them look faded and flat 12 months after buying them. 


In some cases people want a bar stool to sit on and not really be seen but this can be a wasted opportunity. Bar stools are a great chance to colour pop and inject a flash of bold colour into an otherwise understated kitchen or bar. This can be done through the finish and paint on the stool frame or by opting for a statement fabric upholstered onto the seat.


Cheeky Chairs


Breakfast Bar Stool

The breakfast bar comes in many different shapes and sizes from small 2 seater benches, giving a small kitchen an extra seating area to large 4 or 6 seater oak and marble topped bars bringing a social area to a large kitchen. The breakfast bar is certainly not something that has been around for hundreds of years and continues to become and more and more popular choice in kitchen design. The seating choice at this highly popular interior choice is similar in one big way…the seats have to be tall. They also have to fit neatly against or under the counter top itself.



Cheeky Chairs
The breakfast bar stool tends to have a back rather than being a tall version of a traditional stool. There are short backed, high backed and rounded back options available. Others come with arms although this is far less common and can be a challenge when fitting under the counter. Our Breakfast bar stools are upholstered for extra comfort and it is fair to say that nearly all are used at any time of the day and not just breakfast.  
Our luxury breakfast bar stools are beautifully crafted in responsibly sourced solid beech using traditional joinery methods and provide a beautiful splash of colour and style to any home. Our  Colour Match Collection features our James bar stool that can be made-to-order in your choice of paint colour and luxury linen f. It has never been more easy to add a stylish splash of cat-walk colour to your kitchen or breakfast bar! And with 12 versatile linen colours to choose from you are bound to be able to be able to match your chosen colour scheme.


Cheeky Chairs

All of our stools offer so much more than just something to sit on. Their naturally soft seats combined with the use of luxury prints and weaves from the worlds leading designers alongside fresh colour schemes can really bring style and impact to a kitchen or bar area.

Counter Stools

Counter stools have always been a very popular choice and come in many different styles and levels of comfort. When thinking about a counter stool it is important to think about the height, size and level of comfort; as well as colour and fabric of course.

A counter stool needs to fit under the counter so and must have enough clearance for someone to sit on without crushing their legs. The counter stool has a lot of work to do, it must fit easily away, it must also look amazing and be comfortable.  

Our luxury counter stool is the sophisticated and stylish Turner stool. This slim, classic tucks perfectly under a counter in a kitchen or any other room with a bar style area. Style is critical but comfort is key and creating a counter stool that was conformable enough to sit on for hours was very important to us. We use luxury fabrics in a range of subtle earth tone and natural colours perfect for blending and layering in your home. Hand upholstered and made to order, the Turner stool is rather special!


Cheeky Chairs


For very contemporary kitchens and bars the classic leather and metal combination is still popular. But as more and more people turn to more natural finishes and styles in the home, the more natural crafted bar stools come into play. However, whilst a plain wood seat can be an option it can also be pretty uncomfortable if the stool is going to be used for any length of time.

Upholstered bar stools offer the best of all worlds. There is a huge range of choice when it comes to fabrics and designs while also providing comfort. We offer a wide range of designer fabrics from the likes of Christian Lacroix and Kit Kemp, as well as hard wearing and super comfy colour matching options. All of our stools are individually upholstered and offer a sumptuous level of comfort while remaining functional .

Where to use a Counter or Breakfast Bar Stool

Whether the home follows a more contemporary theme or a classical styling, stools can always play a role by looking great, providing elevated comfort and being a critical part of the interior design. 


Cheeky Chairs
Bar Stools are not only useful at the standard breakfast bar. Homes with central kitchen islands are the perfect place to allow guests and family to sit and chat while enjoying a glass of wine. For simple elegance a counter stool can be perfect. A counter stool can slide neatly under the bar or counter leaving walkways clear. 

Need Help?

If you would like to discuss your kitchen or bar area then please get in touch. We love helping customers work through the different material and colour options as well as looking at size, positioning and more. We can even colour match any commercial paints you are planning to use as well as fabric colours to create the perfect seating solution for your kitchen or bar.