How to choose the ideal bar stool for your space

While it’s adorable to see a face peeking over a kitchen bench, there’s nothing more awkward than feeling like a little kid at the adult’s table from a seat that’s too low. Bumping your knees under a bench from a too-high stool is also far from ideal. Once you nail the ‘thigh clearance’ of your bar stools, your family and guests will contentedly interact from the bar or counter space for as long as need them there.

So, before you set your heart upon a particular aesthetic (because who doesn’t want to jump straight to the pretty part), there are a few logistical elements to consider. Here is our guide to the perfect bar or counter stool for your space.

Measure your counter height

Whether you’re choosing stools for a central kitchen island, a fabulous breakfast alcove or a traditional bar space, the absolute first step is to whip out the measuring tape. Australia has standard measurements, which include;

– 90cm for residential kitchen benches, and;

– 105cm for commercial bars

While many stools will be created for these heights, it’s certainly no guarantee your space will match the standards. So, measure your counter’s height from the floor to the underside of your bench.

Select your stool to match your bench height

The height of your stools not only creates comfort and allows for lingering in the space, it also increases the visual appeal if the bench and stool heights work together. First question is, should your bar stools be higher than the counter? Our advice is no, obviously the seat won’t be higher, but the backrest should also be lower so as to not aesthetically overwhelm your bench.

Once you have your bench measurement, we recommend a thigh clearance or gap of around 25cm from the seat to the underside of the counter, and a range of nothing more than 30cm or less than 20cm. For example, a bench of 90cm height would suit a bar stool with its seat at 66cm high. Or, go rogue and choose an adjustable bar stool that will fit the individual.

Spacing between stools

There’s cosy and then there’s cosy, right? While you might want to shuffle your stool next to your partner’s, we recommend allowing space for at least 20cm gap between stools to reduce the chance of copping an elbow in the ribs while enjoying your morning coffee. It also creates ease for people to move in and out of the bar space.

Choosing the right material

Ok, now we can have a little more fun. How do you want your bar stools to look and feel in the space? At Chairforce, we have a range of materials and colours to choose from. From polypropylene which provides a modern twist and are extremely durable (great for outdoors) to timber with its warming, vintage vibes. For classic tastes, rattan is a soft and tasteful choice or go urban chic with a steel frame option.