If the kitchen is the hub of the home and the island bench central to its functionality, the perfect line up of bar stools will bring your whole look together.
An ideal piece to make a style statement, invite comfortable chatting and service the daily breakfast onslaught, many a homeowner has been stumped by the quest for the perfect bar stool.
Here are our top tips for stool success:
Get the height right
The correct height for your stools will depend on the height of your island bench. Before you go shopping, measure from the floor to the underside of your island bench and take this measurement with you as you shop. Ideally allow approximately 25cm between your seat and the top of your table – but ensure there’s plenty of clearance for your legs if you have a thick benchtop.
If you are building a kitchen from scratch, start by considering how many stools are ideal for your family and ensure your island bench provides enough room to accommodate them.
Ideally allow 50-75cm for each stool, plus another 12-15cm per stool for arm room and access.
If you’ve inherited an island bench and are buying stools to go under it, work backwards from the existing bench width and find stools that fit with the additional 12-15cm of space per stool.
Make sure you measure the width at the base of your bar stools if the feet are wider than the seat, which is often the case. The seats may have room underneath the bench but if the legs and feet are getting tangled, it’s not a comfortable fit.
The sky is the limit – or perhaps your budget is. This is one case where you definitely get what you pay for. The build quality in a bar stool is reflected in its price and your investment will be rewarded with a long and sturdy life when you spend more.
A bar stool is one item you should definitely try before you buy. Buying online is easy to do but doing so without sitting on it for comfort, finish and build quality is taking a risk.
Here's a dozen of the best to get you off and running in your search:
1. Cora counter stool, $299, West Elm
2. Emily bar stool in Walnut Wood, set/2, $274, Just Bar Stools
3. Barista bar chair in Oak, $249, Oz Design Furniture
4. Babanees bar stool, from $339, Green Cathedral
5. Leather strapping bar stool in Rosewood & Black, $390, Fenton & Fenton
6. Cygnet bar stool, $199, Harvey Norman
7. Mondeo bar stool in Rose Gold, $249, Sokol
8. Olivia bar stool in Ash, $149, Temple & Webster
9. Piper bar stool with arms in Black/Beige, $515, Design By Them
10. Xavier Pauchard premium replica Tolix bar stool with timber seat, set/4, $229, Temple & Webster
11. Parker bar stool in Oak and leatherette, $175, Life Interiors
12. McKenna bar stool in Blue, $39.95, Zanui
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