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Bar & Counter Stools

Whether your home bar needs a few stools for that final, authentic touch, or you just want to make your breakfast nook or kitchen counter a little more comfortable for meal time, bar stools and counter stools can be the perfect solution.

Designed to be taller and more streamlined than many other chairs or seating solutions, bar stools live up to their name by providing a thin, tall base with seating right on top similar to what you encounter in many bars and diners. The range of styles available for bar stools and their more residential cousin, counter stools, can offer something for every home - from traditional bar stool designs to taller chairs with backs, swivels, and armrests, even all the way to gas-lifted stools to help your whole family get more comfortable at home.

If your home needs higher seating to reach the counter at mealtime, you’re finally installing that bar in the basement you’ve been talking about for years, or you just want a more convenient seating solution for guests, Art Van has the selection of counter stools and bar stools you need. Take a look at our home bar stools and counter stools to find the perfect stools for your home, your bar, or your kitchen.

Buying Guide

Finding the right bar stool takes more than just finding a color and size you like. Depending on where in the house you want them to go and even what you’re using them for, bar stools and counter stools can come in a lot of different styles with a lot of different options, each of them designed to provide the perfect seating arrangement for any counter or bar in the house.

By knowing how many options you have to pick from with counter stools & bar stools, as well as understanding what each of them can offer your home, you can better find the perfect stools for your house.

Types of Bar & Counter Stools

Counter chairs and bar height chairs, no matter what their design, all come from a similar idea - a chair or seat on taller legs that allow you to sit at a higher bartop or countertop that regular dining chairs can’t quite reach.

But from there you get a wide range of options in size, style, and type, all of which have something to offer depending on what you want out of a home bar stool.

Bar Stools

Chances are, when you started thinking about buying a bar stool or counter stool for your house, this is what you were thinking of. Bar stools are a common sight in many houses with a breakfast nook, kitchen counter dining space, or other high surfaces due to their height and streamlined design. Traditional bar stools have a lot in common with the kind seen in actual bars or diners - a wood or metal base with either multiple legs or a solid stand to sit on, with a rounded top for sitting, typically without arms or a back (but not in all cases, as you’ll come to find). These are great for quick meals, impromptu get togethers in the kitchen, or enjoying a drink at that home bar you’d been thinking about.

Gas Lift Bar Stools

Gas lift bar stools are a fun branch of the bar stool family tree with one crucial difference - the ability to adjust posture. Mounted on a solid base, gas lift bar stools allow air to flow in through a valve that moves the seat up and down for a smoother and more accurate adjustment than other adjustable bar stools. (Don’t be put off by the name - there’s no ‘gas’ you actually have to work with, the valves just let in air from outside the stool to move the seat itself up and down.)

Swivel Bar Stools & Swivel Counter Stools

Another fun and mobile option is swivel stools. Swivel stools offer the same base design as standard stools but with one fun difference - the chair can swivel around on the base in a circle not unlike an office chair. These are a good call for kitchens where a little extra mobility can be handy, or for anyone that wants more versatility out of their seat.

What Size Bar Stool Do I Need?

When shopping for a new bar stool or counter stool, it’s important to find a stool at just the right height to keep you comfortable while you eat and relax.

One of the biggest factors in choosing the right bar stool is the height of your current counter in comparison to the height of your bar stool. Standard bar-height stools tend to come in between 29 and 32 inches high, and pair best with table or counter heights between 41 and 43 inches. Most home bars, bar-style tables, and kitchen islands are built to this height, and would be better served by bar stools due to their taller height. This helps make sure everything is comfortably aligned without too much height difference.

Counter stools, on the other hand, tend to run a little shorter at about 23-28 inches high. True to their name, counter stools are best used with standard kitchen countertops, which typically stand between 35 and 37 inches tall. The majority of countertops are built at this height to accommodate the height of standard kitchen appliances such as ovens and dishwashers, and as such would do better with a counter-height stool rather than a taller bar stool.

By having a better idea of how much space you’ll be working with and where exactly you’ll be keeping your stools, you’ll be able to find the perfect bar stools and counter stools for your home.

Bar Stool & Kitchen Stool Styles

After you figure out what kind of bar stool you want, and what size bar stool you need for your house comes the fun part - finding the right color and style!

As with many other home chairs, bar stools and counter stools are available in a variety of material, style, and design to help you find the perfect stools for your bar, kitchen, or even patio.

Bar Stool Materials With bar stools, the choice of material can be an important one. As stools tend to have a more simple design and construction than larger furniture, finding the right base can be important for both the look and longevity of your furniture.

While many vintage bar stools and counter stools are made from traditional materials such as wood, modern bar stools tend to bring together both vintage and contemporary materials such as wood, metal, plastic, and even rattan and wicker.

The sort of setting you keep your bar stools in will be a big factor in choosing what material you want your bar stool to be made from. A lot of modern kitchens tend to go for a more rustic ‘farmhouse’ type look that might be better served by an all-wood counter stool with a wood seat, or simple fabric or leather upholstery at most. Home bars or contemporary dining rooms, on the other hand, would do well with the more industrial look of metal bar stools, to fit the setting and mood a little better without sacrificing looks.

Bar Stool Colors & Upholstery

Similar to your choice in material, the colors and upholstery you choose for your bar stools will be largely impacted by the space you use them in. Many bar stools and counter stools are available in more neutral colors such as white, black, grey, or blue to accentuate the space they’re in without drawing as much attention to themselves as you might see with some splashier fabric designs.

These colors can help you contrast with other pieces or create a mood - for example, you could use calmer colors in the kitchen for a more relaxing vibe, while the downstairs bar or basement lounge gets something more bold or industrial to help add to the party atmosphere. There’s enough color choice in bar stools to help you match any room (or mood) you’re in, all you have to do is figure out what you’re looking for.

The same could be said for upholstery choices. While many bar stools and counter stools go for the classic look with an un-upholstered seat made out of solid metal or wood, in a lot of cases you can see upholstery options like fabric or even leather. Leather bar stools are a great way to further give your home bar, lounge, or even living room a classic bar look with a popular upholstery choice. If you don’t go in for leather styles, stools are available with durable fabric upholstery similar to other home chairs such as cotton and polyester to stand up to whatever life throws at them while remaining inviting and comfortable.

Can I Use Bar Stools Outdoors?

All this talk of finding the right room for your bar stools may have brought up a good question in your mind - can bar stools be used outdoors?

The answer in many cases is yes. Like you’d want to do with patio furniture, it really depends on material choice. For outdoor bar stools, you’ll want to stick with something more durable like metal or solid wood that can handle the elements. Patio bar stools tend to be made without fabric to prevent it from getting ruined in the weather, and making sure your fabric bar stools are able to be safely used outdoors will be important to keeping them safe and usable.

Otherwise, so long as you know your bar stools can stand the rain, bar stools can absolutely be used in outdoor settings! Set up a few around your fire pit for enhanced seating during outdoor parties, put a few up on your deck to enjoy a drink outside, or just keep them around in case you need to put some extra seats up during your next cookout.

Ready to Buy Your New Bar Stools?

From the bar to the kitchen to the patio, bar stools can help add stylish seating to any room in your home. If you want to find the perfect bar stools, Art Van has the widest selection in the Midwest. Leather stools, swivel seats, a chair for your breakfast nook - shop online or find an Art Van location near you to take a look at our selection of bar stools, kitchen stools, & counter-height stools.