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Tips for Selecting Kitchen and Bar Stools: Part One

Tip #1: Buy for the long haul.

These days the kitchen island is the spot to eat, read, entertain, lounge, work, and fill-in-the-blank. They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and it’s true. Purchasing a quality and durable stool that will take a beating from kids, grandkids, friends, and that neighbor that likes to show up unannounced, is very important. People will be sitting, climbing, spilling, leaning, swiveling, and (if you have kids) standing on your stools. You want these stools to stand their ground when your 5 year old tries to use it as a rocking chair or when Grandma needs the armrests to stable herself when sitting down. 

Tip #2: Know your heights.

Before you purchase, know what height you need. (Picture of stool heights) You don’t want to feel like Lily Tomlin in the ‘Incredible Shrinking Woman’ or the Jolly Green Giant.
Measure from the floor to the top of your counter for best accuracy. Almost all stools are available in both 26” kitchen counter and 30” bar heights. Super 34” bar heights are more limited, although we do have over 40 on display that can be made to order at super bar height.

Take a look at this correct stool height cheat sheet to help in finding the stool height for your home.

Tip #3: To swivel or not to swivel.

With so many homes built (and remodeled) with open floor plans, this is a good idea to ponder. People like movement so people will choose a swivel hands down every time. It also aids in climbing into and out of a barstool with ease and allows Mr. Johnson to turn and watch the football game so he doesn’t miss the big play. If you’re worried about children bumping the counter when they swivel, opt for a padded back.
Stationary stools tend to lean towards a simpler, less traditional look. If you’re the organized type, seeing 4 stationary stools up at the counter gives off a cleaner appearance.

Tip #4: Your stools don’t have to match your cabinetry.

They can match, of course, and we see customers who love this look, but it’s not the only option. With so many choices in kitchen and bar designs, from the backsplash to the cabinetry and everything in between, you have options. Pulling colors from other areas of your kitchen and great room to use as a color guide on the stool frame or upholstery will help coordinate your stools to the rest of your furniture without feeling stale. Think about pulling out the color of your hardware, swirls in your counter top, and accents in window treatments and furniture.

……Check back next week for more selection tips in Tips for Selecting Kitchen and Bar Stools: Part Two.

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