Up to the Bar
Once upon a time, bar stools weren’t really seen much in the American home. Some homes would have a built-in drinks bar, but it wasn’t a common thing. But as the open kitchen trend has gained in popularity, suddenly bar stools are an important design feature in nearly every home. That means there has been a renaissance in bar stool design, and a new importance on finding the right fit for every room.
To find your best fit, you need to decide what the best height would be. Bar stools come in two heights, counter height at 24”-26” high, and bar height at 30”-32” high. In an open kitchen, usually you want counter height to tuck in under an island - the key is to be sure there’s plenty of room for the sitter’s legs!
Stools come in a variety of styles, but the biggest difference is backless stools and those that are more like tall chairs. The difference between the two is pretty much a matter of aesthetics: Upholstered back stools are clearly more comfortable, but can sometimes be too bulky for the space. A simpler stool, like the ones I chose for my Telluride project above, can have a more casual vibe. And yes, the upholstered backs are nice, but how many times have we gone out for drink/nibbles, and sat happily chatting for hours on a backless stool? So really, either works. Backless aren’t always informal - check out this pair in the cutest little home bar ever, by Suzanne Kasler.
I’ve had a crush on these Anna Karlin-designed totem barstools in John Legend’s and Chrissy Teigen’s NYC pad since first saw them in Architectural Digest in 2015.
I adore these vintage 1970s bar stools designed by Cleo Balden. They have sort of a Neoclassic-meets-easy-chair vibe…
Now, I’d like to sit down on one one of these pretty stools, and enjoy a glass of rosé. Who’s up for joining me?